A rather manic lead up to Christmas left precious little time for blogging. I was nowhere near as organised as I had hoped to be and look forward to making next year stressfree and well organised. I didn't get round to posting Christmas Cards or handing them out and in most cases, not even writing them. Honestly, it is a total cop out, isn't it? and really lazy not to bother, I am convinced my neighbours must think I don't like them!
Recycle those gift bags. I have loads more of these but they are still full of presents. Once you have emptied out the contents, fold them flat. I shall be storing these upright in my wardrobe against the side, that way I won't forget I have them and they won't get dusty, all nice and ready to fill with my own childrens presents next year. Even in a discount store these are upwards of £1 each and I also use them to give my nieces and nephews their presents in, so much nicer than a large carrier bag!
I always buy next years Gift Wrap in the sales. I picked these up in Tesco on Monday. I was with my mother-in-law and when I asked if she wanted some, she replied with "I can't be bothered". I know so many people who moan they are hard up and yet also "can't be bothered". As I have always pointed out on this blog, saving money takes effort. These packs were £1.50 each. I usually get them from Boots and sometimes my local Co-op, so keep your eyes open and for Christmas cards aswell. If you can get packs containing plain metallic wrap, this can be used to wrap up birthday pressies throughout the year aswell. I still have some packs from Boots last year, that have plain turquoise and silver paper in, I use the blue for boys and the silver for girls gifts!
If you missed it, the Recessionista's guide to sales shopping back in the summer is here but the principles are the same.
A great way to keep in control of your Sales Shopping, is to write a list of what you want to buy, but on the back of an envelope. That way you can use the envelope to put your receipts in as you make your purchases, this will help you to keep a track on your spending aswell as to be able to locate your receipt, should you need to exchange or return something. Before you pay for your purchases, always ask for the returns policy as they can change with sales merchandise, sometimes shops will not refund, only exchange or credit note. Always make sure you try on what you are buying as in the Recession, you don't want to be left with credit notes that won't go very far on full priced merchandise when the Sales are over.
Maybe make a list of say, 5 items that you really need to build a staple wardrobe and then underneath write another 5 as back up, just incase you can't get all of your first choices. That way you won't end up buying things that you really don't need and wasting your allocated budget!
I always try to buy kids pyjamas on sale as they are so expensive. Above you can see 3 pairs which I ordered from John Lewis and have arrived this morning, they were all half price and came to £27 for the 3 pairs. They are all long sleeved and long legged and are in the size my son will be next winter, so will be stored away until required. I do like quality pj's for kids and often buy on sale from Boden, White Company, John Lewis and M&S as you can't fault the quality and you get a return on ebay for Boden and White Company.
I am awaiting an M&S order, 2 pairs of summer pyjamas for my son at $5 each and a pair for me at only £9 for long legged and long sleeved although mine aren't to put away but to wear now as I am desperate! I have also ordered my next years Christmas cards from their website aswell, another job done for next year.
I haven't ventured out to shop the Sales properly yet, but you can rest assured when I do, I shall be looking for wardrobe classics or pieces to inject a little bit of colour into my wardrobe. I am also on the look out for more leggings and jeggings as I can see these being around for a while yet as they are not only the most comfortable thing to wear but feel much better with long boots than the bulk you get even with skinny jeans.
I shall also be on the lookout for birthday gifts that I have coming up in the next few months, why pay full price when you can get items at a reduced price now?
What did you get in the sales or what are you planning to buy?
I get a huge kick out of using up leftovers and especially at Xmas. Our Boxing Day meal of cold meat and mash also consisted of our "Bubble and Squeak" roughly mashed, put in a roasting dish with cheese grated on the top and it made a lovely change from making into patties and frying.