It was a grey, cold, autumn day in North-West London. A cold wind blew tirelessly down the gloomy, empty streets of Kilburn. Evidence of the global recession was etched into the faces of the downtrodden inhabitants of this depressed and depraved area…but as soon as we saw the words:

Monkey Money!

…we knew it was destined to be one of the best days ever.

Scratchy scratchy!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
£20! £20! £20!

Sometimes it's hard to hide your happiness.
Falco did his best ‘Happy Cat’ face

We had turned £1 into £20, in less than 5 seconds. We felt like Enron in ’92.

Now we were faced with a dilemma – how to go about beating the credit crunch once and for all…to prove to normal people that there is hope at the end of the crooked fiscal rainbow.

The answer…

Please take your shoes off.
Discount store hell.

Our plan was to visit every £1 store in Kilburn High Road, to find the most amazing bargains possible and to make the happiness that we were feeling stretch to as many people as possible. Within reason.

“10 Products, £10” rules:

  • The total amount spent can not exceed £10
  • An individual item price can not exceed £1
  • Every item must be extremely cool (or extremely useful)

Before we began buying, we reminded ourselves of some ghetto economics:

Ghetto economics 101
I’m not convinced that the above statement is true.

We went in to our first shop, and things were already looking up.


An oversized phone-clock combo. Perfect! But things then took a turn for the worse…

Gambling + booze = Lose

I could hardly contain my excitement at the prospect of getting hammered while playing roulette…but what turf?! I checked the price tag (expecting a 99p or £1 label) and to my horror was confronted with…£4.99!

We’d been scammed.

Frantically we scanned other prices…

Victory belongs to you forever

Although this waist support (tagline: VICTORY BELONGS TO YOU FOREVER) looked like a perfect addition to any professional sportsman’s kitbag, the price tag read £3.99!

Those knees look SUPPORTED

These knee supports, which looked like they had been used by someone who had extremely weak legs, were £1.99!

We checked the name over the door of the shop – 99 PLUS DISCOUNT STORE. 99 PLUS WHAT THE F***??!?! PLUS??? We’d been tricked into this shop and now they were laughing at us. We were humiliated.

We ran from the pain, into the arms of: POUND SUPERSTORE

Art from all over the world...for 99p

These people wouldn’t try to scam us, would they? It started well, with these fantastic sculptures catching my eye…

…but then the familiar sinking feeling caught my gut.


What could be cooler than an exquisite, sound_controlled toy cage?! I’LL TELL YOU WHAT! AN EXQUISITE SOUND_CONTROLLED TOY CAGE THAT COST £1 OR LESS! It’s a frigging £1 shop!


I couldn’t even make myself feel better by playing with the oversized calculator. What turf.

We had to leave…to find a better place. We decided it was time to go to the market leader in £1 goods.


Why would you try to trick people like that?
I don’t care about children being influenced by movies, I want to WATCH THE BLOOD FLOW!

There was never any doubt that all of the goods in Poundland would fit the criteria of the contest. We let the quality and variety wash over us…

That sure is GLAM

A ‘glam’ red cowboy hat, also available with Santa-esque white trim! Festive!

I wanted to get a picture wearing this marvel, but while trying it on we were told to stop ‘recording’ as it was absolutely against company policy. This sadly means that the only other photo we could get is a covert one:

And you thought underwear was cheap in China!

And you thought underwear was cheap in China! Mmmmm Chinese underwear….

Age matter's k?

Now look – just because you’re a 99p store, doesn’t mean that you should ignore grammar. That’s point #1. Point #2 is…WHEN THE HELL DID IT BECOME ILLEGAL TO BUY PARTY POPPERS FOR UNDER-18s?!?!

Moving on…

I am sure that is not a mask/snorkel on the right. Sorry.

Ahhh…brings back MeMoRiEs!

We were coming to the end of our quest…and we’d made our choices. It wasn’t easy. We weren’t allowed to buy this…

Safe as mouses

…even though they looked like they would provide hours of fun.

When the final £1 had been spent, we were content…until we saw what we had ignored:

Niu Nai omg!

OMG! A Niu Nai statue!

Our reckless spending had left us with £0.00p, and although it could clearly have taken pride of place in ANYONE’S living room…we had to, regrettably, leave it in the shop. Come back soon for Part 2, where the list of items will be revealed!

COMING SOON! Beating the Credit Crunch – Part 2 – The List!


  1. I personally woulda reinvested the $20 into more MONKEY MONEYS! That or put $20 on red for 16 times in a row hoping to catch a lucky break to a million

  2. Dalan’s first instinct was to go STRAIGHT to the roulette machine in William Hill. Great minds (compulsive gamblers) think alike.

  3. Hi Mr.Lucky money with happy cat face~ u owe me £20 now.please ask oli to return the money back to me.
    I’m staying SH with oytun right now.Thank you.
    btw buy another one this Sunday,you will win £20 again.(if oli pay for the monkey monkey)

  4. I LOVE YOU.

    This must be The Best Comment on this blog never ever!

  5. This must be The Best Comment on this blog never ever!

  6. This must be the most boring time I’ve ever seen someone spend in London when they could be… err. drinking a cup of McD’s coffee with a couple of beggars whaturf.

  7. Next time you come to London, the coffee’s on me! (As long as it’s under £1).

  8. You’re crazy bastard!

  9. And if you want a drink for under £1, you can always visit Parliament!

  10. It must have been fun! you often find hidden treasures in places like this!

  11. Pingback: Beating the Credit Crunch - Part 2 - The List (10 -> 2) |

  12. Pingback: Beating the Credit Crunch - Part 3 - The Winner! |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *