Friday, May 29, 2009

London Clothes Swap event

Tired of seeing the same clothes in your closet? Fancy some new outfits without breaking the bank? Bring along the clothes and accessories you love but no longer want to the London Frock Exchange and swap them with like-minded ladies for a lovely new wardrobe!

When: Tuesday 9 June 2009
Browsing begins at 5.30pm and swishing starts at 7.00pm
Where: Borough Bar, 10-19 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG
Tickets: £10 (in aid of Alzheimer's Society) includes a glass of champagne on arrival

Tickets are selling fast and can be bought here.

Win £300 to spend on Kidswear

Win £300 to spend on the Childrens range at Asos here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

30% off at Asos

Asos has 30% off selected styles, check out whats on offer here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tan for a Tenner at Dove Spa's

Get ready for summer with a great offer from Dove Spas. At Salons Nationwide, for a limited period, you can get a St Tropez spray tan for just a tenner! Check out their website for further details and remember girls, the only safe tan is a fake tan!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Half Term Free Stuff for Keeping the Kids entertained

Open Topped Bus City Tours

City Sightseeing is offering a free ticket for each child up to age 15 travelling with an adult on tours of 15 cities around the country including Brighton, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon and Cambridge. Check out for details.

Free Supper for Kids

Under 12's can eat free from the kids menu before 7.30pm in the Bistro's at any of the 14 hotel Du Vin hotels around the country. Book ahead. For details visit

Free London Travel

If you are going to the capital to check out some sights, don't forget that kids travel free on the buses (under 16) and underground (under 11). Find out more at

HMS Belfast

Moored neared Tower Bridge in London, Kids can visit this attraction for free. For details

Travel Around Scotland on Scotrail for free

Up to 2 under 16's can travel on Scotrail all around Scotland, off peak, any day of the year with one full fare paying adult.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

25% off at Nails Inc

In addition to the free Nails Inc nail polish on the June edition of Instyle, you can also get 25% off Nails inc online, by entering the discount code instyle25 at checkout. Grab yourself a great summer colour as sandal season is finally here!

New Discount Code website

Allow me to introduce (for those of you who haven't yet come across it), a new discount code website called Discount Hypermarket. It is an easy to use website with categories such as Fashion, you then click on, say, womens fashion and it will give you a list of retailers in your chosen sector who currently have discount codes available. In addition to this, on the homepage it has a list of random codes for you to check out, you can find them here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nintendo Wii for £145

This one is for my dear friend S, who is looking to buy one of these for her childs birthday in July: Nintendo Wii £145 (Usually £170) in-store at ASDA. Ends Sunday, go quick if you want one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nectar arrives at Homebase with Double Points weekend!

Nectar, the UK’s leading loyalty programme, will arrive at Homebase on 18 May, the first time a DIY retailer has been included in the programme. The move means UK shoppers can now get the best of both worlds: the great value and service of Homebase and the vast choice and flexibility of Nectar to collect and spend points.

To celebrate the launch of Nectar in-store, Homebase customers will be able to earn double points on all store and online purchases during the launch, from Friday 22 to Sunday 31 May - the ideal time to make spring DIY, home and garden purchases. The offer coincides with 10% days on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May for a discount double-whammy.

Nectar collectors will be able to earn points every time they shop at any of the more than 300 Homebase stores or at, plus they will be able to spend Nectar points in store. Any customers wishing to become a member of Nectar can simply pick up a registration pack in store or visit to register online.

Shoppers will earn 2 Nectar points for every pound spent, up to a maximum of 1,000 points per transaction. Points can be redeemed at Homebase or any of the other Nectar redemption partners including Argos and Vue Cinemas. At Homebase, Nectar collectors will be able to redeem with a minimum of 2,000 Nectar points which is equivalent to £10 off their purchases.

Paul Loft, Homebase’s Managing Director said, “We are delighted that Homebase has become the first DIY retailer to join Nectar. This is really exciting news for Homebase and for our customers. Nectar is the biggest coalition loyalty programme in the UK and we believe that it has enormous potential for us to provide better service and value for our customers”.

Jan-Pieter Lips, Managing Director of Nectar said: “We are thrilled that Homebase has joined Nectar as our exclusive DIY partner. We regularly speak with our collectors and DIY is the most requested sector to add to Nectar. The arrival of Homebase adds an important dimension to the Nectar programme making it even more relevant to our millions of Nectar collectors”.

Nectar replaces Homebase’s existing Spend & Save scheme offering more flexibility and a wide range of outlets for redemption. Spend & Save users will be given details of how to join Nectar if not already a member.

Save over £30 a month by walking the kids to school and help in the fight against childhood obesity

New data shows that the average cost of the school run by car is up to £367 per primary school child per year*, which equates to over £30 a month, or £612 million for transporting all primary school children to school per year.

Research findings from the recent Change4Life ‘How are the Kids?’ survey* show that 45% of primary school children in London walk to school, whereas 23% are driven to school by car despite the fact that the average distance to primary schools remains at just over 1 mile an easily walk-able 20 minutes.

In the current economic climate, the £30 saved per month by a family walking to school instead of driving could go towards:
- Football training day for kids (£25)
- Children’s cookery workshop (£30)
- Family trip to the cinema for up to 4 people (up to £28)
- Monthly gym membership for mum or dad (£25.95 off peak)

National Walk to School Week (18th – 22nd May) coincides with the launch of Change4Life’s Walk4Life campaign, a whole month dedicated to encouraging families to walk more to help children reach their recommended daily 60 active minutes in the fight against childhood obesity.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get a free manicure and pedicure at Charles Worthington Salons

Get extra pampering when you book any service at Charles Worthington London salons.
Expert nails technicians will soak, buff and polish your hands and feet to smooth and silky perfection before applying a coat of the latest colour.
For a complimentary Manicure and Pedicure simply book any service at any London salon.
Offer subject to availability. This promotion cannot be used with any other discount or offer.
To find your closest Charles Worthington Salon go to
Expiry date: 30 June 2009

Marks and Spencer to launch 1p sale

Marks and Spencer will be selling some products for just 1p each to kick off its 125th birthday celebrations.

Marks and Spencer said the Original Penny Bazaar sale at all its chain stores from Wednesday, 20 May, goes back to when it opened in 1884.

Customers can choose up to five products at a price of 1p each from a commemorative Marks and Spencer range including jewellery sets, scarves, cufflinks, ties, socks, leather passport holders and luggage tags.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

If you don't ask, you don't get! - Learn how to Haggle

There has been lots of talk about Haggling and I am a firm believer in asking for money off/a discount but you usually need to choose your retailer/supplier carefully.
My first experience of asking for money off was 10 years ago when my husband was buying my Engagement ring. There we were, in a posh City Jewellers with the chosen ring being wrapped up, when my future husband said "how much for cash!". To say that I was horrified was an understatement, I thought it was only Gypsies that did this sort of thing! I was even more surprised when the shop assistant walked off to talk to the Manager and came back and said "we can take £250 off, Sir". Bloody hell - unbelievable! I walked back to work and one of my colleagues said "you look pale and shaky" to which I replied "I think I am engaged and we just got £250 off the ring".
After the ring episode, I began to get my head around asking for a discount and began to choose carefully where I bought items from, especially expensive things such as furniture and white goods.
If you buy a sofa from House of Fraser you are unlikely to get a discount, but for our suite, we went to our local furniture shop and asked for the exact suite we had seen in House of Fraser, got them to come back to us with a price and then said "how much for cash". We ended up getting the suite for £1,500 less than the HOF price.

I have also bought a T.V., Washing Machine and Tumble Dryer from a small local independent retailer rather than using Currys or Comet and each time, have got a discount for cash.

Remember that for card transactions, retailers do have to pay charges just to take your money, so will always prefer to take cash as a form of payment, so it is always worth withdrawing the money in cash, from the Bank, than just to hand over your debit card.

When looking for discounts on Clothes Shopping, seek out small independent Boutiques. You can always find these by checking out the websites of your favourite clothes brands and looking up their list of stockists. To get a good discount, make yourself seen in the shop often, become a familiar face even if you don't always buy. If you see something you like, ask if they will take a deposit and see if they will allow you to pay off items which means you will go in often. Enquire about a mailing list and ask to be put on it, if they have one. This will give you information regarding new season previews and discount shopping evenings. Small independents are more likely to struggle during a recession, so are more likely to offer a discount, than lose a sale. Always remember the mark up for adult clothing is usually 2.5 across the board, so you can work out how much profit someone is making on each garment. If you are buying a couple of things that come to £120, I really can't see the harm in saying "Will you take a £100" they may say "No I will accept £110" but you will still have saved £10.

Always bear in mind that if an Independent Boutique stocks Lipsy for example and so does House of Fraser and they have a sale on, never be afraid to ask if they can match the Department store sale price and if they can't, then buy it from the Department store. Build a good relationship with the shop owner or manager and avoid shopping when Saturday girls are working as they won't usually have the authority to give money off. If you find a lovely shop that doesn't stock your favourite brand, it may be worth asking if they would consider getting it in for next season. If they think you are going to spend good money on it, they may well look at it when they next go buying.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Recessionista Makes the Top 10 Personal Finance Bloggers!

I am truly honoured to be named alongside Frugal and Miss Thrify not to mention Martin Lewis Blog and The Times Money Central (who themselves mentioned me back in March). So there you have it, I come in at Number 10, but hell, I am so proud of that!
Check out the list here.

20% off at Karen Millen

When looking for a fab dress for a summer wedding, there is no better place than Karen Millen.
My dear friend M, will be gutted, she paid £199 for this dress a few weeks back and now you can get 20% off with Cosmopolitan by entering the code COSMO9 at checkout, valid until 11t June.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cheap neat feet treat!

Heat 2 cups of soya milk with 2 cups of water until the mixture is warm to the touch. Place your feet in a large bowl and pour over the liquid. Sprinkle in 1 cup of porridge oats. Rub the oats over your feet, then wait for 10 minutes as the moisturising milk soaks in, remove feet and dry thoroughly.

To turn this treatment into a mini, at home pedicure, moisturise, cut toenails straight across and file to remove any sharp edges. Cuticles can be pushed back with an orange stick with some cotton wool around the end, you can also use this to clean under the nail plate. Before painting, wipe over nail plate with cotton wool soaked in nail varnish remover to remove moisturiser, apply base coat, 2 coats of your favourite polish and a top coat to finish.
To make nail paint last longer, apply another layer of top coat once a week, this will make the polish look shiny and new again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Up to £25 off womens wear at House of Fraser

The Good news is it is not just womens wear, but across all departments at house of fraser. Offer ends Sunday 17th May, so hurry!

Day 24: Daily Tracking: No money spent today. Free Stuff: Grazia mag from daughter no.1. Stuff with Food: Made sausage rolls out of yesterdays leftover sausages.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Days 22 & 23 & co-op deals

I popped into my local co-op today for some chewing gum and ended up spending over £11 on their latest deals and forgot the chewing gum!

They seem to have a range of Mexican foodstuffs on offer and I picked up a Fajitas Kit for £1.54 and a pack of Tortillas for 84p, which is great as I often use these for the kids pack up along with rolls, as sandwiches often become boring and can lead to pack up not getting eaten (I have learnt the hard way). Heinz Tomato Ketchup was also on offer for £1.29 and I picked up some Fruit Shoot drinks 2 packs for £2, Penguins 100% free for £1.36 and a pack of 5 bars of Dairy Milk for 99p. Pilgrims Choice Cheddar was Buy one get one free, so £3 for 2 packs.

I know that if I hadn't have gone in there I wouldn't have spent this money, but it did save a bit on the online shop as drinks, cheese and penguins were all due to be bought.
I also had to go into town today so I treated myself to a coffee whilst I waited for the next bus.

Day 22: Nothing spent today
Day 23: Co-op £11.02, Bus Fare £3.50, Coffee £1.50 Xmas Club £10 High Street Vouchers £4

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Days 20 & 21

Well the good news is I haven't been out for two days so haven't spent anything!

Day 20 Daily Tracking: Nothing Spent today.

Day 21 Daily Tracking: Nothing Spent today.
Stuff with food: had 3 large jacket spuds left over from Friday night, put them in the fridge and had them today. Scooped out the middle and put grated cheese and chopped spring onion in them and popped them in a hot oven to reheat and brown, ate them with pizza and coleslaw for a quick and easy Sunday snack whilst watching numerous football matches on T.V.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Storecupboard Spot Saver

Two of my daughters are blessed with Mummy's skin, I only ever had the occassional teenage spot, but alas one of my fair maidens seems to be suffering from breakouts, which I put down to Exam stress.
So for anyone who is also suffering, try out this little budget beauty remedy:-
Mix together 2 tsp runny honey, 1/4 tsp fine sea salt and 1 tsp turmeric to form a thick paste. Apply to spots every evening and leave on for up to 30 minutes or overnight. Once spots have cleared you can use this mixture as a face pack once a month as a preventative measure.
I have mixed this up and put in an empty washed up Origins pot, otherwise my daughter wouldn't use it!
If you are looking for other cheap but effective beauty potions, don't forget that good old Olive Oil can be massaged into cuticles to keep them soft and also mixed with sea salt or sugar to make a budget concious body scrub.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Free Nails Inc nail polish and Days 18 & 19

So my efforts at being thrifty are often ruined by a glossy mag with a great freebie and that is exactly what happened today. I couldn't resist the June issue of Instyle to get myself a free Nails Inc nail polish worth £10.50. There are 3 colours to choose from, a nude, coral and berry. Why not collect all three? Instyle always was one of my favourite mags and this issue didn't disappoint, jammed full of fashion but also delving into Frugality with a 4 page article entitled "The Thrifty 50, get happy with our 50 under £50 hot list. Summer on a shoestring never looked so chic". Summer on a shoestring to me is getting a really cheap flight to a hot destination, or finding a pair of Louboutins brand new in bag, left on a hot stuffy train by the new owner, not, as in instyle's advice, decking out your patio with DIY bunting made from an old frock, or going to a Luxe restaurant and ordering the cheapest thing on the menu, or how about this one, accessorise your balmain jeans with a Fab, the perfect eighties ice lolly! Well what can I say to all this great thrifty advice? I think Instyle should stick to what it does best and if it wants to delve into money saving advice, get some tips from us Personal Finance bloggers instead of paying fortunes to Freelance writers who don't have a clue on how to save a buck or two!
Day 18: No spending today.
Day 19: £3.50 Instyle magazine.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Days 16 & 17 and sale dress from Whistles.

OK, OK, I am way behind with this daily tracking thing. I just seem to have had a lot on lately. Tuesday (Day 16) was spent at Bluewater looking at Dresses. I decided that I would look around the Department Stores first at labels I wouldn't normally buy, like perhaps, Phase Eight or Fenn Wright & Manson, but before I got to those concessions, I had to stop off at Whistles. I saw a great Whistles dress in my size and in the sale, so got the assistant to hold it for me whilst I continued my search. Nothing really struck me at the end of my rounds and I debated whether to go to John Lewis and maybe Jigsaw but went back to try on the Whistles dress. It looked far better than expected, covered in multi coloured flowers, therefore any colour shoes will match from pink to yellow to electric blue and emerald green. The picture is rubbish and it is far nicer on, a lovely silky material and fully lined and when you are looking at cost per wear, as we do in a recession, at only £80 it will do for my daughters 18th party, would be fine for holiday evenings and any time I might go out for a meal. The silly shop assistant took off the label, so I can't remember the original price so if you have seen it and know, please tell me, I think it may have been £120.

Day 16
Daily Tracking: Sushi & Coffee: £4.65. Chewing Gum: 50p.
Day 17
Daily Tracking: Loo Roll in Savers: £1.89. Train Fare for my daughter: £2.00.
Free Stuff: Got another Loreal Professionel Conditioner on a voucher, as my daughter had her hair done on Saturday and I forgot to get her to pick one up.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My first award and Days 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15

Firstly, my apologises for my blogging absence. I feel so guilty, but was really busy with work Thurs/Fri and Sat and then went on a Spa weekend Hen Night so am only just beginning to feel human again and finally getting the house back in some sort of order. Normal service will be resumed ASAP, well maybe not, as am off to Bluewater tomorrow to look for a dress for the up and coming wedding but I will be on the hunt for a bargain - you can be sure of that!

I gratefully accept my first blogging award from the fantastic Cassie over at Jacob Wrestling. Although I read lots of PF blogs, my blogging tastes are like my taste in music (a soul girl at heart, who also loves rock n'roll, jazz, country etc) so I don't just limit myself to reading the genre that my blog falls into. I love reading Cassie's blog she is one fab Momma, who constantly has me in hysterics with her wit and writing skill. Thanks Cassie!

Anyway part of this award is to nominate 5 other blogs who I think are fantastic and I would like to nominate:-
1. Nixdminx - A fab Mummy blogger, lone parent to miniminx with a wardrobe to die for!
2. Shoestringalley - Shoestrings account of her daily tracking was what inspired me to do the same! I get the hump if she hasn't posted each night before I go to bed!
3. Yummy Mummys Beauty Blog - Another single Mum, but one totally obsessed with Make-up, it is great to find out about products that someone else has tested out first, also I loved her recent outfit post, those KG shoes were to die for!
4. Obsessional Confessional - a recent find but a girl after my own heart in many ways! Follow her foray into Fashion.
5. Pochyemu over at Its mostly about me, meet this young American trying to juggle life as a wife and student in this country, swears a lot - v.funny.

Once you have received your award - this is what you have to do:-

1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.

2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.

3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.

Instructions: On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then “add image” it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the “picture” widget. Also, don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.

Just realised I need to do 5 addictions so here goes:-
1. Fashion
2. Shopping
3. Saving money
4. Bagging a Bargain
5. My kids! - easy!

Now onto the missing days of daily tracking.

Thursday Day 11 - Nothing spent today.
Friday Day 12 - £1 for cricket practice (no not for me, for my son!)
Saturday Day 13 - Nothing spent today.
Sunday Day 14 - £4.95 on my room bill for an Irish Coffee.
Monday Day 15 - Nothing spent today. Free Stuff: My mum has bought me her magazines as usual. Do you think there is any way I could get her off Take a Break and Chat and into Harpers or Vogue, she is 76 what do you think?