Chris Moore, who runs Ninfield Village Stores in East Sussex, writes: “First, I must say that if someone only comes in every few months just to pay their paper bill I am not that interested in their custom. Some just post a cheque!”

Chris says the store handles about £350-worth of tokens per week, £18,000 per year, and “we hold 90% of our customers’ tokens in store”.

He admits it took a few years to get to this stage, but here is how he did it: “When an HND or shop save customer receives a new book of tokens they now give me the whole book (if they go on holiday we give the relevant tokens back to them). Also my customers now pay their 13 weeks’ delivery upfront.”

Chris sent me an example of the just-gone Sunday, which added up to £68.90. “Paid in advance,” he points out. “If something goes up I lose out, but not by much.”

Any tokens not used by customers go towards the purchase of a hamper for the Christmas raffle. This year, as always, the proceeds went to Hastings RNLI - a cheque for £250.

“It works for us and our customers, and we know when the new tokens are expected so reminders can be sent.”