Tuesday, March 31, 2009

£10 meal deal at Pizza Express - print off voucher - Eat out for Less


Until 9th April enjoy a £10 favouites menu at Pizza Express. Click here to print off your voucher and enjoy a choice of 2 starters, 10 favourite mains and a glass of wine or soft drink.

Extra Nectar points when shopping online at Sainsburys

Collect an extra 150 points with Sainsbury's online groceries until 30th April, collect an additional 150 points each time you shop online through Nectar first, on top of the usual 2 points per £1 spent from Sainsbury's.

In Style 100 top beauty buys - get Dermalogica on a Budget


Dermalogica has quite a few products in the In Style 100 Best Beauty Buys here.

For all Dermalogica fans, there are two websites which I find come out best, price wise, the first is jersey beauty company this is based in Jersey, so prices are cheaper, being offshore. They are a dedicated Dermolgical site and you do get free samples with every order, quite a few in fact, which is a great way to try out other products and with the ultra calming cleanser coming in at £7.04 delivered, it is not much more expensive than buying a cleanser in Boots.

The next one is Salon skin care. Not quite so easy to navigate, it is easiest to search by brand to see the full range, but this site is offering 4 for 3 on all Dermologica products and in addidtion to this, they also operate a points system, allowing you to build up points to spend on the site. They also sell other top brands such as Rodial, Nuxe and Cowshed to name but a few. Bear in mind, as much as I love space nk, you don't get points for buying some of these brands on their site, so do check out salonskincare and get something back for your spend.

Save 20% on Elle MacPherson Intimates at Figleaves


Still on the lookout for some new underwear for spring and summer? then look no further than the Elle MacPherson Intimates range, where there is currently 20% off at Figleaves.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shopping and PMS

Don't go shopping if you suffer from PMS and are trying to save money according to the Telegraph.

Having a Blonde moment?



I read an article a few weeks back which says satistics show, that in times of Recession, lots of women dye their hair Blonde.
It all seems a bit crazy to me (even though I am hi-lighted) as root re-touches on a regular basis can seriously eat into your budget. Many beauty treatments fall by the wayside (according to my friend who works in the industry) when times are hard.

Here are a few tips to help you save money, long term:-

1. Everybodys hair grows at a different rate, is it really neccessary to book in for a root retouch every six weeks if your hair is slow to grow? If this is the case try seven weeks, it could save you a pile of money over the year. I have three girls, two of which have hair that grows at a rate of knots and one whose hair is so slow to grow she only has a trim twice a year!

2. If you want to grow your hair, avoid six weekly trims. My own hairdresser once told me, she was trying to grow her own hair for ages, but got nowhere because she felt it important to have regular trims to keep her hair in good condition. She took a year out of hairdressing to travel the world (much to my disgust) and came back with Long hair! simple! after this she didn't mind having the ends trimmed!

3. When I used to work in London, I didn't wash my own hair for years. I used to have a blow dry every Tuesday and Friday. With 3 little kids and 13 hour days, I just didn't have time to tame the mane, that without much smooth blowdrying or now ghding, resembles something not too dissimilar to what my Gran used to put on her teapot when I was a little girl. As I still miss those regular blow drys, I now split my colour and cut appointments, that way the appointments seem cheaper, colour, cut and blowdry adds up to a lot of money in one go, this way I also get in another blow dry that I wouldn't get if I had everything done in one appointment.

4. Getting your hair done by a Junior Stylist can bring about substantial savings or better still, many salons have training days, or advertise for models. All work is overseen by a Senior Stylist, appointments may take a bit longer, but are much cheaper. Alternatively, check out your local College. If they teach hairdressing and beauty, trainees will have certain days where they perform treatments on members of the public under supervision, again at greatly reduced prices.

5. Dont forget this post where I told you about the free Loreal professional products.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Beware of Bank Accounts offering Cash Incentives

Just to let you all know, that I heard on the radio today that the Government is trying to get banks to be more truthful regarding their charges. Some Banks are offering cash incentives of £100 or more to open a bank account, but don't tell you that these accounts come with extremely high charges, like £5 per day for every day you are overdrawn.
Just make sure you do your homework and if you are sitting in the bank opening an account, then make sure you ask for a list of charges and are clear and happy with them before signing on the dotted line, otherwise you could easily be giving that £100 back to the bank, before too long!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sales update

The latest on the sales from Elle:- http://www.elleuk.com/fashion/news/(article)/The-mid-season-sales-start-now

Next Sale starts tomorrow

For anyone who hasn't already seen the T.V. advert, the Next mid season sale starts tomorrow (Saturday) I think it is only on for 2 days (can't remember what they said - sorry)so best be quick if you have had your eye on anything!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Free Gift with Purchase at Superdrug


Buy a bottle of Coleen perfume 100ml £19.49 at Superdrug and recieve Coleens style guide book absolutely free. Ideal gift for a teenager perhaps?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lux for Less - 10% off at Catwalk to Closet - Today Only




Catwalk to Closet is a fab site stocking all manner of high end designer labels including Pucci, Missoni, Chloe and Vera Wang to name but a few and for today only they are offering an additional 10% off their already heavily discounted prices, using the discount code TWEET at checkout.

Now wouldn't this fab Missoni dress (pictured above), be great for that summer wedding I was talking about in my last post? at only £305 (original price £1,560) or how about these fantastic gold sandals, all ready for summer at only £45 (originally £125).



There is swimwear from Melissa Odabash, bags by Bottega Veneta, True Religion jeans at only £55 - the list is endless, so if you have an event coming up this summer, or want some designer bits for your holiday - this site really does offer Lux for Less!

Wedding Guest on a Budget



There is no doubt that weddings are an expensive celebration, but not just for the bride and groom and their respective family’s, but also for the guests.

It is not just the wedding but also the Hen Night – Last year I was invited to a friend’s wedding in Italy (I did not go) and also to a Hen Night in Dublin! (I didn’t go to that either). I have just received a wedding invitation from an old friend and do feel compelled to attend as she came to mine and this will be the first wedding I have attended since my own, some 9 years ago!
So how do you cut costs when there are outfits to be bought, hen parties to attend and presents to be purchased?

Well firstly I was quite pleased to see that none of the children’s names were on the invite, so that at least means there will be no new outfits to buy there. If your children are invited, start early in their outfit preparation and do checkout ebay. Boys suits really don’t seem to go for much on there, when I have sold them, they have gone for peanuts! Also smart shoes are very often for sale, having only been worn once for a wedding etc. If it is a family members wedding, you are bound to have lots of notice even before the official invites go out, which can only work in your favour, as with a bit of luck you will have some Sales on at the shops, in the lead up to the event. High summer can see teeny tiny guests in cute shorts with little short sleeve smart shirts for boys and pretty lightweight dresses and cute sandals for girls. These less formal outfits will mean that items can be mixed and matched and reworn for the remainder of the season. If your child is to be a bridesmaid or pageboy, make sure you know exactly what part of their attire you are expected to pay for, if any, well in advance.

Think carefully about buying your outfit. I saw a gorgeous mink coloured jersey Grecian style dress in last weeks Bella magazine (it was my mums mag - I don't buy that!), £40 at Wallis, went on the website and it wasn’t even on there! I Can’t believe stupid magazines do this! Anyway have seen one at M&S online (pictured) for £39.50 and feel it is an easy piece to chuck on, won’t break the Recessionistas bank and the shape and style will hide a tummy quite nicely! The beauty of this dress is that it will work perfectly well for holiday evenings, future parties or even sunny days with flat gladiator sandals. Buy something too “over the top”, and you will risk never being able to wear it again. You want a timeless style and not something too high fashion. Posh Ruffle blouses and pencil skirts can also be a good alternative to a dress as the blouse could be dressed down afterwards with jeans and the skirt could be worn for nights out or to the office.

Accessorize – I have long advised friends if only buying one pair of sandals, one evening bag or clutch, then always go for Metallics. Silver, Gold and Bronze accessories work with all colours, look fab with a tan (real or fake) and you can add chunky bangles, dangling earrings and necklaces to match and complete your outfit. I have asked to borrow some silver shoes and bag from my dear friend S, so will only have to worry about getting the dress. If you decide to wear a hat, check out ebay or borrow from a friend. Never buy a hat first just because it is fantastic, only to find you can’t find an outfit in the same colourway. Hats can also be hired so check out your yellow pages or the internet for local companies offering this service if you really want to wear one. Alternatively, Fascinators have been quite fashionable for a while now and are much cheaper.

Beauty – We all want to look and feel fab at a wedding and as summer Saturdays can be very busy for Salons, book any appointments well in advance to ensure you get the time you want. Try to schedule appointments early so there is not too much of a rush when you get back home to get ready. Manicures and Pedicures are important, especially if you are wearing sandals. Ensure your therapist has a suitable nail colour in advance of your appointment; you don’t want to arrive on the day of your mani/pedi to find the only colours she has, clash with your dress! A cheap nail polish will still last a good few days if applied properly and you can prolong your treatment by putting on a layer of top coat each day. Barry M (£2.89 available at Superdrug) tend to copy all the designer colours like Chanel and the professional ranges such as Opi and are very reasonably priced, no manicurist will be offended if you take along your own colour. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount if having more than one treatment i.e. mani/pedi and say, a leg wax. Most Salons offer bridal or holiday packages, so see if any of the contents in these packages are suitable, or if you can swap one package treatment for another.

Hair – Never rely on friends to do your hair on the day, no matter how tight money is, unless they are qualified and you have practised a style beforehand. Never experiment with new colours or cuts before a big event. A blow dry on the day will finish off your look to perfection and will be a worthwhile investment. If you manage to get a reasonably priced dress, the hair and beauty treatments shouldn’t push your budget over the top, if the event is planned for and you save gradually. You can prolong your blow dry with the use of a dry shampoo such as Batiste (available at Boots and other chemists) and ask your hairdresser not to put too much product in your hair, as this makes it get greasy quicker or you can just ask for product on the lengths of hair, away from the roots.

Make-up – Got a bag full of out of date colours and dried up mascaras? Then book an appointment at a beauty counter in your nearest department store. Make sure you mention you are looking for a natural look and discuss the colour of your planned outfit. If there is a small charge for this, it is normally redeemable against any purchase, so you could buy the lipstick or blush that has been used on you. Bobbi Brown are very good with natural looking colours. Try this method out in advance if you wish and always ask for a note of what colours have been used on you and never leave a beauty counter without asking for some samples.



Wedding Gifts – The purchase of a gift is made so much easier if the Bride and Groom have a wedding list. Lots of couples will already have a home together and might just ask for Vouchers for things they may need in the future. If you really don’t have a clue then opt for this lovely white candlestick from Tiffany £60, nothing will cause such a frenzy of excitement by the bride, than a blue Tiffany box, beneath the wedding wrapping paper! They also have gorgeous vases for £100+ if you want to spend a little bit more. The bride whose wedding I am attending loves Laura Ashley soft furnishings and furniture, so a gift voucher from there should go down a treat.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pierre Hardy's recession shoes


Just as last summer was a case of spot Hardy’s Gap gladiator sandal and three-bar high-heel sandal – followed by spot Hardy’s elasticated boot – this summer expect to see the new white and tan leather variants of Hardy’s Recession Shoe, at £55 per pair (for stockists, call 0800 427789).

“I love that they’re redoing the sandals,” says Hardy. “It will be a classic, a bit like a polo shirt.” He claims that the gap between the high-street client and Hermès isn’t so wide. “They are both authentic labels with authentic clients. You can’t describe H&M’s image, but you can with Gap, just as you can with Hermès.”

Recessionista says "I am so excited that Piere Hardy is redoing the 3 strap sandal, as I bought them last year and they are still in the bottom of my wardrobe. Whats even more exciting is the Recessionista will be wearing official Recession shoes!"

More Discount Codes



Antik Batik & Koodos Clothing, Benefit and L'occitane make-up and skincare.


20% off Antik Batik - ecommerce site for UK just opened, enter code KURTA at checkout.

10% off Benefit Cosmetics enter code BENEMDAY

Koodos the home of discounted designer clothing is offering 10% by using the code KOODOS.

Loccitane are offering a free shea butter discovery set worth £12.50 when you spend £25 or more enter code ASH9. Also free standard delivery when you spend over £45 code AFPP45.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Fashion on a Budget as recommended by The Mail's Liz Jones - I think not!

Liz Jones in The Mail, giving us her offerings for spring fashion that won't break the budget - ha!

Marks and Specer Mid Season Sale Starts Today



Marks & Spencer Sale starts today with discounts of up to 50%. Be quick though as I always find their online Sale only lasts for 2-3 days.




Fab top great for spring, super with skinny jeans for drinks out or with flared jeans and flats for that 70's look. Was £25 now £15.

Still thinking about a holiday?


With the current exchange rate on the Euro, it may be better to avoid the Costa's altogether this year, in fact, avoid anywhere which has the Euro as its currency.

According to GMTV this morning, on average, a family of 4 will be paying £40 for lunch in Benidorm as opposed to £22 in Bournemouth! but the opposite was true of alcohol, where Benidorm came out cheaper. So do you think you will give up a holiday abroad for one closer to home, without the guaranteed sunshine?

The travel correspondent on TV this morning, also said that cheap flights are becoming harder to find, but I am afraid I disagree. Firstly I checked out www.moneysavingexpert.com where they have a flight checker and I was very disappointed with the outcome, (I still love you Martin) as I was able to go to certain websites and find flights that were not listed at all, on the flight checker. Now lets take Malaga for instance, going to www.flymonarch.com you can find flights for a family of 4, 26th Aug - 2 Sept for £483.32 and get back just in time for the kids to return to school! The same dates with www.ba.com were coming out at £662.80. Now if you are going to book a hotel direct or rent out a villa or apartment via www.ownersdirect.co.uk you are still looking at a reasonably priced family holiday, even in the Recession! In fact with Monarch Airlines you can fly from Gatwick to Malaga (one way) for £10.49 (excluding charges) on Aug 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30 and Sept 1, 2. Obviously you can get better deals if you don't have kids and can go outside the traditional summer holiday dates.

So if Europe is still your destination of choice, then doing a bit of research can still see you getting a good priced holiday and as I have mentioned in previous posts, if using a High Street Travel Agent, do go to more than one and ask what discounts they can give you, or ask them to match a price you may have found elsewhere.
Another Option for Europe would be to go All Inclusive or Full Board to cut down the need for spending money, as that is where you are going to suffer the effects of this exchange rate fiasco.

Looking for a more Luxurious Destination? BA currently have a sale on and are offering Dubai for £799, but the dates are before the kids summer holidays and need to be booked this week. They also had an advert in The Times saying they had St.Lucia for £599 but I couldn't find this on their website, so could be a bit misleading, would have to ring them and quote the advert if interested in that destination and price.

A Recessionista's other holiday advice

Don't leave holidays essentials to the last minute

In my single days, I like to think I was a bit of a jetsetter, I went on many holidays and always went out and bought everything from antisceptic cream to toothpaste and bikini's in one foul swoop! It used to cost an absolute fortune even then and I am going back some years! So make the purchases less of a burden on the purse strings by getting one thing at a time and adding to the weekly shop, a bottle of shampoo here, suntan lotion there, and you really won't notice it! Otherwise you can do it all in one go, via Boots online and earn 3% cashback on your purchases when going via a cashback site.

Same goes for holiday clothing. We will soon be getting last years summer wardrobe out, so you can access your needs and buy gradually. Summer sales have got earlier each year and now start around June time, so you will benefit from some great Sale bargains if going away from July onwards.
Mid season sales are currently on in many shops and all your swimwear needs can be met at www.Figleaves.com where there is a 50% sale on. You can get 2% cash back with Figleaves via Quidco and Topcashback and 1% when purchasing through Paypal offers (remember retailer must be entered via cashback/paypal site).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I think I have managed to do the link to the webpage with my mention

Recessionista gets a mention here

A fab credit crunchy recipe for Spring

This receipe is taken from the Blog "Backwards in High Heels" with permission.


Four fat, ripe tomatoes that actually taste of something.
Half a cucumber.
Two handfuls of slightly stale bread – ciabatta or good white sourdough.
A handful of basil leaves.
Extra virgin olive oil, the best you have.
Malden Salt.

Cube the tomatoes. Sprinkle them with two or three good pinches of sea salt and let them sit for half an hour to bring out the juices. Cube the cucumber. Cube the bread, and fry it up a little in a dry pan, until it is golden around the edges. Tear the basil. Mix it all up in a big white bowl, and add as much olive oil as you wish. I use quite a lot, making sure that the bread soaks most of it up. Add a couple of screws of black pepper. Check for seasoning. Sometimes I add a tiny dash of lemon juice, and, very occasionally, a few black olives.

That’s it – a perfect spring salad for the credit crunch

Friday, March 20, 2009

I see other blogs where people have links to webpages. I have no trouble linking to a site homepage, but not to a contents page, others on blogger can do it, can anyone shed some light on this for me please?

Fridays Frugal Fashion Fest Week 2



First up for Fridays Frugal Fashion Fest, is Dorothy Perkins. Not a shop I usually use, but upon seeing that they have 20% off for orders over £75 and free delivery by entering the code SPRING4 at checkout, I couldn't resist a peek at their Website. They seem to be embracing all this seasons trends, Nautical, Nudes, Brights etc and also have some fab shoes with zips up the front for £30 (alas out of stock. The dress pictured above comes in various colours and would be fab for a summer wedding, Lime green looks fab with a tan! and being a jeans girl, I reall like the top pictured below. It looks as though the site may be being updated as some of the garments are being worn by a real person, which makes them look so much better. Offer is valid until 9th April here.


Next offer comes from La Redoute, who have 30% off by using the code 6049 at checkout. This one is valid for this weekend only, so hurry and don't forget enter site via cashbackkings to get 3% cashback on your purchase.

More mothers day on the cheap


Most of the posts I have done recently concerning Mothers Day have covered Internet Shopping, but for those of you who have left it too late, why not check out these gorgeous flowers from Sainsburys. At only £4.99 and with 100% extra free these Rainbow Tulips would make any Mum happy. They look much prettier on the Sainsburys website homepage, but I couldn't download that picture!
I was interested to hear a Florist talking on GMTV this morning, saying that the average spend on a Mum is a fraction of the £35+ we spend on flowers for Valentines Day, which shows we put our partners over our Mums - well don't - there is no one like your Mum x

Another way to get something for nothing

For lots of people, being Thrifty will allow them to enjoy the finer things in life and I have just found another way we can do that!
Firstly, forgive me in my ignorance because I always thought that Airmiles were awarded to frequent flyers and didn't realise that anyone can collect them!
Yes indeed folks, you can turn your online spending into Airmiles with lots of different retailers including Ebay, Debenhams, Boden, Figleaves, The White Company and Waterstones to name but a few, so there is something for everyone and what a great way to be able to afford that weekend in Rome or the holiday in the Algarve sunshine you have been hankering after. You can also turn your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers into airmiles along with your petrol spend at Shell outlets.
I must admit, what with using the cashback sites, the online voucher codes and shopping through my nectar card, I fear my head will explode with all the ways I can make savings or get something for nothing whilst shopping online!
Sign up now at airmiles.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not for the faint hearted frugalista!



The homemade Louis Vuitton shoe that's got Posh & Co falling over themselves to wear... and it's a snip at £2,040 - Yikes!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

French Connection goes into the red!



French Connection has plunged into the red reporting a pre-tax loss of £5.5 million for the year ended January 31.

The £5.5m loss was against a £3.1m profit in the previous year and was blamed on the global economic downturn.

I know we are all a bit sick of hearing this stuff, but I have only reported on this as FC is not only one of our fave shops (middle daughter has loads of FC dresses mostly bought by herself and always in the Sale!) but it is also, so very often, worn by celebs. FC have certain dresses each season that go down a storm and are usually in the £130 - £150 price range and are often seen on red carpets being worn by the likes of Fearne Cotton, Mylenne Klass etc. My daughters comments, when I told her the news was "well they should put their bloody prices down then" trust a teenager to say it as it is!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pampering Treats on the Cheap

Check out www.activitysuperstore.com where you can buy treats online.
2 of their current special offers include a Nails Inc Luxury Manicure and Pedicure, was £84 now £29.40 (mothers day?) and a Pamper Day with three treatments for two people, was £125 now £75, great for a special friend, bride to be or sisters birthday?
Nationwide locations are listed on the website.

Deals of the Day at Marks and Spencer & Mothers Day Bargains Part 3


Marks and Spencer are currently doing a "deal of the day" and todays deal are these mens shoes from the Autograph collection, usually £49.50 but by entering the code DOTDMW06 at checkout, you get them for £39.50. Check back each day to see what is on offer.

For Mothers Day M&S are offering £5 off when you spend £35 on womenswear, lingerie or beauty, by entering the code MUMOFFER at checkout.

This is how you do it! (buying onine with cash back sites and using voucher codes)



Friends of mine were in the process of buying a new computer and after all my talk of discount codes and cashbacksites on this blog, I was there to give a helping hand to save them as much cash as possible. The procedure went something like this:-
1. Clicked on to Cashbackkings and Topcashback to see which retailers selling computers gave the most cashback (everyone from Dixons to Comet to PC World, offers money back).
2. They eventually decided on a computer package from Tesco Direct, so we entered the Tesco website via Topcashback (obviously they had to register with the site before they were eligible for the cash back) and the deal was up to 5% with Tesco but with the Tesco Direct it was 3%.
3. Then we searched voucher code websites for ecoupons for Tesco and although some codes didn't work, there was one for £9 off purchase, from www.mfiles.co.uk.4. Finally they used their Tesco Clubcard and got 354 points!

The 3% equates to £10.47 which you get totally for nothing, just for using the cashbacksite. My hairdresser, who does a lot of online shopping told me that she had over £200 at Christmas! Your cashback money can be sent to you via cheque, BACS or paypal, it usually takes a few days to show in your account and is a great way of saving for a treat.

The £9 voucher code - again for nothing, except a few minutes of your time. There were lots of different codes on the site, you could have had free delivery, £7.50 off etc etc but the £9 looked like the best deal and didn't expire till April.
So as you can see, it is as easy as pie to make and save money.

Monday, March 16, 2009

£10 off new shoes at Brantano



Take an old pair of shoes into Brantano and swap them for a £10 voucher to spend instore on any new pair costing over £40. Check out their website to find your nearest branch. www.brantano.co.uk

TV Licence News and don't discard the rubbish that comes through the door!

Firstly, just to let you know that the Government has put a hold on the increase in the Television Licence for this year, due to the Recession and secondly, just had some stupid circulars put through the door, or so I thought, until I looked closely (whilst walking to the recycle bin) and saw that a flyer offering mobile foot treatments is giving away a free, no obligation, Foot Spa Treatment and Aromatherapy Foot Massage! Wow, can't be bad, nothing like a good FREE foot rub!

Freebies, Discounts and why buying Bulk is not always cheapest!



1. Another great freebie from Nivea, a little tin of Nivea Cream.

2. 20% off Odille Lingerie and Nightwear at Oasis - enter code ODILLESS09 in promotional box.

3. I use a lot of pasta and always buy a 2kg bag of Spagetti, but was surprised to see today when adding items to my online shopping trolley, that buying in bulk is not always cheapest. The 2kg bag of spagetti costs £2.50 and the 1kg pack is £1.35, so great you say, by purchasing the larger bag you are saving 20p! but hold on a minute, I looked at the next item down, the 500g pack and saw it was 56p. So if I bought 4 x 500g packs (making the 2kg I usually buy) I would actually be saving 26p. Weird eh? Worth checking if you always buy in bulk. Sainsburys did redeem themselves however, by their offerings on Veg reductions. I said the other day, about buying in Aldi, all their fruit and veg for 69p each, well Sainsburys has some fab things for just 60p, pack of 4 x baking potatoes, 500g bag of brussel sprouts, 1kg bag of carrots, 500g bag of parsnips. More than enough to get your 5 a day this week!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Free Ralph Lauren Clutch Bag



Fantastic Ralph Lauren Clutch Bag, FREE with every purchase of 50ml or bigger, of Nortorious perfume.

Offer is available nationwide from 16 March while stocks last.

Get Mum the perfume for Mothers Day, you keep the bag!

Things I will and won't economise on!

I find that a lot of personal finance blogs I read are exactly that, personal. They may contain posts about an individuals journey out of debt or what they have spent in the Supermarket that week etc, whereas I feel that mine is more about ways to save money and where to go to grab a bargain, along with the latest financial consumer news and some receipes thrown in for good measure. I have recently left comments on a few blogs where the author has asked its readers what they do to save money and whether they buy branded or unbranded items when shopping for essentials and what products they would never cut back on i.e. Loo roll, Baked Beans, Shampoo etc, so today I am going to give you an insight into my shopping basket and share with you my favourite products whether essential or luxury.

Food Shopping

In the last few months, I have started to shop online rather than instore and find I am making huge savings each week. I am no longer tempted by special offers I don't really need, I have a 4 weekly menu plan and stick with it. I add essential storecupboard items each time I run low, or out of them, as you can save your trolley contents until you checkout. I get the shopping delivered Midweek, when delivery charges are cheapest, but what I save, more than makes up for delivery.

I sometimes go to Tesco in the evening with my eldest daughter, who has recently left home and now has to do her own shopping and it is at these times that I take advantage of cheap bakery items. Last time I went a few weeks back, I got packs of rolls, uncut loaves and french stick all for 13p each! When I got home, I sliced the bread before freezing to cut down on waste and that way, can just take out what I need as I need it, as bread defrosts quite quickly.

My essentials and things I use a lot of and am happy to economise on


Onions - Sainsburys Basic range is only 50p per bag and contains approx 18 onions!

Stew Pack - much prefer the contents of the Sainsburys basic range bag and at only £1 it is cheaper than Tesco and really fills up a stew or casserole or makes a great vegetable soup which will feed loads for a quid with a bit of crusty bread.

Bananas - More than happy with Sainsburys Basic range again. I honestly find their Basic range far superior to Tesco Value.

Pain Killers - I buy paracetamol in Savers for 19p!

Flour - have used value ranges for years, fine for yorkshire puds, baking etc

Things I wont economise on

Loo Roll - I tend to buy this in Savers, as they always have the 6 instead of 4 pack of Kleenex for approx 30p cheaper than Supermarket. So not only do you save money but you get 2 extra rolls.

Tuna - I always used to get Tesco Value for years and never had a problem, but then about 6 months back, I opened a tin and it looked like bloody Kitty Kat we used to feed the Moggy on when I was a kid! I topped off my childrens jacket potato with it one day and they all refused to eat it! It was pale pink, no sign of a chunk anywhere (it looked like puree) and it stank, so now it is John West for me, but I buy the 4 packs when they are on offer.

Tea Bags - My fave is the yellow pack of Twinings but when they are not on offer, I find Sainsburys red label very palatable.

Cereals - I buy branded - full stop. I read on a blog that someone said she couldn't taste the difference between sainsburys crunchy nut and kelloggs - I don't want to take the chance, so buy branded, but only when it is on offer.

Bread - I do buy Supermarket own brand on occasion, usually when there is nothing on offer, but won't buy value or basic.

Crisps - Won't buy anything other than Walkers but will buy Cheese Puffs or Quavery type snacks in a supermarket own brand, when Walkers is not on offer.

Cola - nothing but Pepsi Max in this house! but they usually have 2 bottles for £2 at one supermarket or another! I won't buy it full price, I will get a different type of fizzy instead.

Washing Powder - only use Aerial, but buy it from Savers and have started to buy Sainsburys basic range soap powder at 65p per pack for washing towels, bath mats and bedding - it smells gorgeous!

Shampoo and Conditioner - I totally love my Frederic Fekkai! I have just run out and last night, used Herbal Essences (the girls fav) but my hair feels totally different today. It is quite costly when bought at Space NK, but go to HQ Hair via Paypal and at least you get cashback! I have also bought this on Ebay quite often. You may have seen my previous post on the free Loreal Professionnel shampoo and conditioner, well I have my voucher ready to pick up my freebie next time I visit the salon. This offer runs until August 09 so it could be a while before I get any FF! Check out my previous posts if you want a Salon professional range for free and details of the downloadable voucher.

Other things I do to cut costs on shopping

I often go to Aldi's when I see a TV advert showing their fruit and veg products for silly prices as I use a lot of fruit, doing 3 lots of pack up each day. In fact yesterday I took advantage of their current offers on fruit and veg and at 69p each got 1. 6 oranges 2. 6 red apples 3. a punnet of plums 4. a punnet of red grapes 5. a punnet of button mushrooms and 6. a bag of salad potatoes. Total £4.17.

I go to the Farm Shop when I can get there, which isn't often, but it defo saves money.

I don't buy pots of expensive sandwich fillers, I make my own, 1. cheese, onion, mayo 2. Tuna, sweetcorn, mayo. 3 Coronation chicken with chicken leftovers, and a bit of curry powder mixed into mayo and a few sultanas 4. egg mayonnaise 5. prawn mayonnaise etc etc

I feeze bread, pitta bread, muffins, crumpets etc and take out the night before, whatever I will need the next day, saves them going mouldy green before they all get used.

How I make use of Leftovers or items going out of date

Chicken - make a pie or if not enough, I use leftover meat for sarnis or wraps for packing up.

Pizza & Pasta - taken cold for pack up.

Ham & Bacon - I use in Quiche or add to the chicken pie.

Apples - if old and going a bit soft, I cook for apple sauce with pork and freeze.

Bananas - I make banana cake - great for pack lunches or picnics.

Bread - if there is any going a bit stale, I make bread or bread and butter pudding.

I would never buy value Beefburgers but do buy cheap chicken. Now I realise this is a controversial subject that will no doubt raise a few eyebrows after the plight of battery chickens was bought to light last year by Hugh Fearnely-Whittingsall in his Channel 4 programme. Now don't get me wrong I love Hugh and when I watch his series and see what that man can do with a wild mushroom, it makes me want to move into River Cottage!
In his programme on chickens, Hugh interviewed shoppers in Tesco and a few mums said "I would love to buy organic, but I simply can't afford it, I have a family to feed". So, if you have a family to feed on a weekly budget of say, £50 and you have the option of buying a chicken for £2.50 or an organic one for £7, what do you do?

Everyone seems to have jumped on the "Thrifty" bandwagon of late, with even the Broadsheet newspapers giving us tips on how to save money but I am a bit fed up with broadcasters and journalists harping on about a. being middle class (I thought that the class system in this country was dead, but oh no, it is alive and kicking, in the eyes of the snobs that believe they are middle class) b. making no apologises for only buying organic produce and c. not buying clothes from certain High St chains due to child labour issues. Although I agree, in priniciple, with some of these issues, I just don't think these people have a bloody clue! I have friends who don't have a bloody clue either! They have never had to think about switching a light off to save money, nor do they break out in a cold sweat at the supermarket checkout, for fear they don't have enough money in their purse to pay for the contents of their trolley.
The idea for this Blog had been around for a while before I actually started it, but it was bought about by personal experience due to a drastic change in circumstances last spring. My aim is to help you whether you are a student, a single parent on benefits or just a normal family who is feeling the effects of the credit crunch and may need to make savings on everyday things to afford them the luxury holiday they have wanted for years. I don't want to be patronised by people waving the single parent flag, when they have a wardrobe of designer clothes, a full time job and a full time nanny to match! and I certainly don't want to patronise the readers of my Blog. Sure I love designer goods and have spent a fair bit on them over the years. I have always been the kind of girl who prefers to have one pair of Jimmy Choo's a year rather than 6 pairs from Office or Faith, but times are different now. Even people who have money are scared to spend it. If a girl is going out on a Saturday night and needs a new top, we have to realise that some people can only afford Primark and others can't afford to go out at all! I told you talking about chicken was controversial and look how it has taken me off at a tangent! So yes I do buy cheap chicken and make no apologises for it, it makes a bloody gorgeous pie!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fridays Frugal Fashion Fest


Fab little Flats by Nine West from Shoe Studio sale section. Was £50, now £19. Great for going down the school, lunch with the girls etc. In black snake effect, these pumps will make all the difference to a black t-shirt and jeans.



Florals are all in again for the summer season and this dress from Republic is only £10! You could wear it out with heels now and come high summer it would make a great little day dress with Gladiator sandals. Click on Sale, then dresses. Get 7% cash back at both Cashbackkings and Topcashback, remember to enter retailer via Cashback Site.



Totally loving this Tunic from Urban Outfitters, loose shape for comfort, great spring to summer transitional piece, dress up with skinnies and heels or down with fared jeans and pumps. Also available in Yellow, was £45 now £19.99. See Sale section, click on Tops. Get 6% cash back at Topcashback and 4% at Cashbackkings, remember to enter retailer via Cashback Site.

Mothers Day Gifts on a Budget - Part 2



Thorntons has £5 off it’s Happy Mother’s Day Bouquet now £29.99 instead of £35 and comes delivered with a free box of chocolate caramel roses plus 20% off everything when quoting voucher code MAB2.

Order by 4pm on Friday 20th March for delivery in time for Mother’s Day.

Earn 5% Cashback with every purchase through Cashbacking.

Vintage Fashion Fair In Hammersmith - this Sunday


For all you lovers of vintage clothing and textiles, The London Vintage Fashion Fair takes place at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London W6 this Sunday 15th March. Admission is £5 and doors will be open between 10am and 5pm.

The London Vintage Fashion Fairs are an inspiration to fashionistas and an unbeatable source of one-off bargains.

There are over 100 leading vintage clothing dealers attending the event so you will be sure to find something of interest that won't put a strain on your purse strings!

If you go online and sign up to the organisers E-news, you may receive tickets at discounted prices pa-antiques.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Make more for selling books at Green Metropolis

I must admit I was very dissapointed a while back when I sold my copy of Russell Brands "My Booky Wook" on Ebay. I had previously bought it on Ebay for £3.99 but when I sold it I only got £1.50! Gutted! That was before I found out about Green Metropolis where you earn at least £3.00 for every book sold.

Now imagine if you could earn money and help the environment at the same time… well you can! Join a growing community of buyers and sellers, where the more unwanted books you buy and sell, the more trees can be saved and planted - we donate 5p from every sale to the Woodland Trust.

Buying books couldn’t be easier, all our books are just £3.75 including free delivery on most items.

Turn the books you’ve read into cash! Earn at least £3.00 for every book sold.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

50% off underwear at La Senza




Turquoise bra reduced to £5!

Looking for some lucious underwear then check out La Senza where they currently have a 50% off sale. Just type in your size, click on "go" and then it will bring up all the styles in your size.

20% off at New Look and Uniqlo with Cosmo and Glamour

OK so its not exactly Whistles, but here are two more magazine based money off vouchers.
Grab the April edition of Cosmopolitan magazine (£3.30 with Fearne Cotton on the front); in the booklet that comes with the larger edition of the mag you'll find a voucher for 20% off at New Look. You should also find another voucher inside the mag itself. Both are valid in store from Monday 9 - Sunday 29 March. Use them on a single transaction on either full price or promotional items (but not permanently reduced products).

Get the mag and you'll also find a 20% off code to use online at New Look, valid on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March. Note that if you're only planning to buy Cosmo for the offer, you'll need to spend over £16.50 in store for the 20% discount to be worth the cost of the mag.

20% off Uniqlo - Magazine based voucher

To get 20% off at Uniqlo simply take page 145 of April's Glamour magazine (£2 with Nicole Richie on the front) to your nearest Uniqlo store before Saturday 4 April 09. Grab the mag and you'll also find a 20% code to use online.

The voucher is valid for one transaction only and cannot be used with any other discount or offer.

25% off at Whistles with the April edition of Elle


As hard as I try to keep my readers up to date with all the latest money off vouchers and special offers, sometimes I need a little nudge in the right direction and as my magazine spending budget is currently at zero, I was grateful to nixdminx for the info concerning the 25 per cent discount in this month’s April issue of ELLE. You have to buy the mag (can't download voucher from their website), but if you have seen something in Whistles you like, it is well worth buying the magazine as 25% is a great discount.

Waitrose launches cheaper range of products



Waitrose shoppers suffering in these hard times, will be pleased to hear that the Supermarket has launched a cheaper range of own brand products.

The range – named Essential Waitrose – is made up of more than 1,400 lines of staple groceries including fruit and vegetables, household goods aling with meat, fish and poultry.

The Essential Waitrose range is made up of 200 new lines and existing Waitrose products. Around 450 of the existing goods will be reduced in price.

Products will have a consistent packaging design so shoppers can identify Essential Waitrose.

The launch began yesterday, and will continue until October 2009 across 98 grocery categories.

Waitrose said that the Essential Waitrose range ‘hasn’t compromised on quality standards or sourcing integrity’. Bananas in the Essential Waitrose range will be Fairtrade, eggs will be free range and chicken will be British.

The range is set to compete with the already comprehensive own label ranges in Waitrose's 'big four' rivals - Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

Waitrose said; ‘Essential Waitrose effectively combines the quality our customers have come to expect and the reassurance of Waitrose values, together with affordable prices and an easily recognisable brand.’

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Steve Madden shoes for a fiver? pinch me, I must be dreaming!


Am I dreaming? Are these shoes really a fiver? They are Steve Madden and I stumbled across them here at Sole Trader when I was looking for a pair of his Gladiator Sandals. They are alright aren't they? Wedges will still be in this season, and so are metallics. These would look fab under flared jeans, with skinnies, or can you imagine with dresses and tanned legs? a great shoe for evenings on holidays, team with a little silver clutch and you would only need to take one pair of evening shoes with you that would go with every colour! Only seem to have a size 5 or a 7 left - go for it!The link doesn't seem to work, try pasting this http://www.soletrader.co.uk/pages/product/product.asp?prod=VISIBLES&ctgry=Sole_Womens_Shoe_Casual&sSiteName=sole&cookie%5Ftest=1

Looking for D - FF Cup Swimwear? Discount on Ballet Swimwear at Figleaves


Well girls, it will soon be summer and there is no better time to buy your swimwear and to know that you don't have to worry nearer your holiday when all the stores are out of your size. Ballet Swimwear caters for D-FF cup and is currently on offer at Figleaves, buy one item in the collection and get another half price! Add two Ballet swimwear products to your basket and enter the promo code BALLET at the checkout to redeem half the price of the cheapest item. Mix and match across bikini separates and swimsuits.

Nivea Free Sample Update


Further to yesterdays post about the free samples available at www.nivea.co.uk, please be warned that today it is for a cream for the over 50's called Expert Lift.

Singing the praises of Savers - again!


Sorry guys if it gets a bit boring, me singing the praises of a certain High Street cheap shop but I am about to tell you why, so hang on. Now my silly husband likes to use Mouthwash, but not any old Mouthwash, just the most expensive one that Listerine do. It is pink in colour and it is called Total Care, Antibacterial something or other and makes him smell like he has eaten a tube of Ralgex (that doesn't look right, you know what I mean that pain reliving cream).
Well, whilst doing the online shopping yesterday, he informed me that he needed more. Normally that would be fine, as it has been on offer at Sainsburys for the last few weeks, but now it is back to full price, so I didn't put in the trolley and was going to pretend I had forgotten it when the shopping is delivered tomorrow. I mean honestly, what is he doing to use so much? is he making Mouthwash Cocktails once I have retired to bed? Anyway, popped into town today and needed to get some make-up remover wipes for the girls (only 69p in Savers) and low and behold my husbands amber nectar sitting proudly on the Savers shelf for only £2.49! Unless you are a purchaser of Mouthwash, this may not seem cheap, but let me tell you, it is currently £4.19 in Sainsburys, £3.84 in Tesco and £3.83 in Asda (which proves the point about my post on Asda's 1p price cuts). RECESSIONISTA'S LOVE SAVERS - NUFF SAID!

Cheapest contract phone ever!


I often wonder why grown women, and often quite well off ones, have a pay as you go phone. My dear friend K, 3 x chanel handbags, Rolex, Louboutins and a face moisturised with £85 a tub Chantecaille Flower Harmonising Cream, will ring me from Jimmy Choo and ask me to go online and check which shoes I think she should buy and then say "gotta go, nearly out of credit" - what the bloody hell is that all about? Even "pay as you goers" can spend £10 a week on phone credit (= £40 per months so more than the best contracts at about £30 for numerous texts and minutes) but prefer not to be tied to a contract or just don't want another bill by direct debit, but this deal from Virgin makes having a contract so incredibly worthwhile at only £8.50 per month (18 mth contract)for 100 minutes and 100 texts. It is ideal for those that like the convenience of not having to purchase credit on a regular basis but don't use their mobile that often i.e. light users. The deal also comes with a free phone and there are a few to choose from.

For those of you who do have a pay as you go and a Boots advantage card, I read over at shoestringalley the other day, that she bought her credit in Boots and got advantage points for it, along with a £5 voucher off of No.7 or Ruby & Millie make-up - a great deal if ever I heard one!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Free Samples of Nivea Young Tinted Moisturiser


Go to www.nivea.co.uk to recieve two free Nivea Young Tinted Moisturiser samples. I do find these samples a great way to try before you buy, or to keep for when you run out of product. This one, however, will be shared between teenage daughters!

Asda cuts prices by just 1p!


Having reported on this blog last week that Asda was to banish "buy one get one free" in order to cut prices on over 5,000 items by Easter, a recent survey by the GROCER magazine has found that the majority of price cuts, are in fact by just 1p!

Asda insists that it still offers great value for money, which of course we know to be true, as they frequently come out on top in the weekly basket challenge, but I feel that consumers like the "BOGOFS". With "BOGOF'S", theoretically, you could end up with two weeks shopping for the price of one! BOGOF's will not save you any money if you just buy things that you don't need because they are on offer, as you could end up throwing stuff away and that would be a waste in more than just monetary terms!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Call for Credit Crunchista Carnivale! March 18 2009

Check out my Blogroll and click on over to Nixdminx.com where you are being invited to submit the best and must luscious budget blogs or individual posts.

Email nixdminx@live.co.uk with Credit Crunchista Carnivale in the title and include the post you’d like to enter, with a link and a brief synopsis of you and your blog or which blog or post you may like to nominate.

The deadline is March 16 2009.

If anyone would like to tell me which posts of mine they have enjoyed or found the most stylish, so that I can admit one for entry, then please let me know! Also if anyone knows how to send a link to a post, I would also be grateful as I am not very technical, frugal yes, technical no!

Clinique Specials - This one is for S x



Well there is no doubt the ads are there to tempt you and any moisturiser that claims to turn back the clock, instantly, has my attention. I really like the look of this new Clinique product and so will my friend S. Dearest S asked me the other week if I could recommend a good skin care range that wasn't too expensive as she may be needing to give up her beloved Clinique sometime soon. I suggested Liz Earle as I have always been a huge fan of her hot cloth cleanser (far cheaper than Eve Lom) but when I looked online at Clinique to check out this new product I had seen (in the Marie Claire with the freebies, see earlier post) I saw that with every online purchase you get to choose 2 free sample size products from a range of items. Now, S will never buy Clinique unless she is getting a frugal freebie and I have trawled the shops from John Lewis to Boots to H of F and back again with her to see who is giving away a freebie before she makes the final purchase, so this offer will be great for her and could make all the difference as to whether she continues to use her favourite brand throughout the recession. The NEW Youth Surge Age Decelerating Moisturizer comes in various skin types and contains spf15 and is apparently inspired by Sirtuin technology, whatever that is! (maybe it has something to do with tortoise, as they use one in the ad campaign!)it also uses exclusive agents with visible effects. Lines and wrinkles appear to evaporate. Skin gains strength and looks younger, longer. Sounds good doesn't it? And at £27.40 for 30ml or £36.21 for 50ml it is nowhere near the kind of price you would expect to pay for a cream making such claims.

Free Subscription to a glossy mag with Horlicks!



If you are a Horlicks fan, collect two special codes from promotional packs by May 31 and you can claim a FREE three-month magazine subscription. You can choose from Marie Claire, In-style and Woman & Home. So grab a jar now! Get a friend to do the same, subscribe to different titles and swap!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Cheapest Mobile Contract ever? + Top up your phone at Boots!



I often wonder why grown women, and often quite well off ones, have a pay as you go phone. My dear friend K, 3 x chanel handbags, Rolex, Louboutins and a face moisturised with £85 a tub Chantecaille Flower Harmonising Cream, will ring me from Jimmy Choo and ask me to go online and check which shoes I think she should buy and then say "gotta go, nearly out of credit" - what the bloody hell is that all about? Even "pay as you goers" can spend £10 a week on phone credit (= £40 per months so more than the best contracts at about £30 for numerous texts and minutes) but prefer not to be tied to a contract or just don't want another bill by direct debit, but this deal from Virgin makes having a contract so incredibly worthwhile at only £8.50 per month (18 mth contract)for 100 minutes and 100 texts. It is ideal for those that like the convenience of not having to purchase credit on a regular basis but don't use their mobile that often i.e. light users. The deal also comes with a free phone and there are a few to choose from.

For those of you who do have a pay as you go and a Boots advantage card, I read over at shoestringalley the other day, that she bought her credit in Boots and got advantage points for it, along with a £5 voucher off of No.7 or Ruby & Millie make-up - a great deal if ever I heard one!

Things I will and won't economise on!

I find that a lot of personal finance blogs I read are exactly that, personal. They may contain posts about an individuals journey out of debt or what they have spent in the Supermarket that week etc, whereas I feel that mine is more about ways to save money and where to go to grab a bargain, along with the latest financial consumer news and some receipes thrown in for good measure. I have recently left comments on a few blogs where the author has asked its readers what they do to save money and whether they buy branded or unbranded items when shopping for essentials and what products they would never cut back on i.e. Loo roll, Baked Beans, Shampoo etc, so today I am going to give you an insight into my shopping basket and share with you my favourite products whether essential or luxury.

Food Shopping

In the last few months, I have started to shop online rather than instore and find I am making huge savings each week. I am no longer tempted by special offers I don't really need, I have a 4 weekly menu plan and stick with it. I add essential storecupboard items each time I run low, or out of them, as you can save your trolley contents until you checkout. I get the shopping delivered Midweek, when delivery charges are cheapest, but what I save, more than makes up for delivery.

I sometimes go to Tesco in the evening with my eldest daughter, who has recently left home and now has to do her own shopping and it is at these times that I take advantage of cheap bakery items. Last time I went a few weeks back, I got packs of rolls, uncut loaves and french stick all for 13p each! When I got home, I sliced the bread before freezing to cut down on waste and that way, can just take out what I need as I need it, as bread defrosts quite quickly.

My essentials and things I use a lot of and am happy to economise on


Onions - Sainsburys Basic range is only 50p per bag and contains approx 18 onions!

Stew Pack - much prefer the contents of the Sainsburys basic range bag and at only £1 it is cheaper than Tesco and really fills up a stew or casserole or makes a great vegetable soup which will feed loads for a quid with a bit of crusty bread.

Bananas - More than happy with Sainsburys Basic range again. I honestly find their Basic range far superior to Tesco Value.

Pain Killers - I buy paracetamol in Savers for 19p!

Flour - have used value ranges for years, fine for yorkshire puds, baking etc

Things I wont economise on

Loo Roll - I tend to buy this in Savers, as they always have the 6 instead of 4 pack of Kleenex for approx 30p cheaper than Supermarket. So not only do you save money but you get 2 extra rolls.

Tuna - I always used to get Tesco Value for years and never had a problem, but then about 6 months back, I opened a tin and it looked like bloody Kitty Kat we used to feed the Moggy on when I was a kid! I topped off my childrens jacket potato with it one day and they all refused to eat it! It was pale pink, no sign of a chunk anywhere (it looked like puree) and it stank, so now it is John West for me, but I buy the 4 packs when they are on offer.

Tea Bags - My fave is the yellow pack of Twinings but when they are not on offer, I find Sainsburys red label very palatable.

Cereals - I buy branded - full stop. I read on a blog that someone said she couldn't taste the difference between sainsburys crunchy nut and kelloggs - I don't want to take the chance, so buy branded, but only when it is on offer.

Bread - I do buy Supermarket own brand on occasion, usually when there is nothing on offer, but won't buy value or basic.

Crisps - Won't buy anything other than Walkers but will buy Cheese Puffs or Quavery type snacks in a supermarket own brand, when Walkers is not on offer.

Cola - nothing but Pepsi Max in this house! but they usually have 2 bottles for £2 at one supermarket or another! I won't buy it full price, I will get a different type of fizzy instead.

Washing Powder - only use Aerial, but buy it from Savers and have started to buy Sainsburys basic range soap powder at 65p per pack for washing towels, bath mats and bedding - it smells gorgeous!

Shampoo and Conditioner - I totally love my Frederic Fekkai! I have just run out and last night, used Herbal Essences (the girls fav) but my hair feels totally different today. It is quite costly when bought at Space NK, but go to HQ Hair via Paypal and at least you get cashback! I have also bought this on Ebay quite often. You may have seen my previous post on the free Loreal Professionnel shampoo and conditioner, well I have my voucher ready to pick up my freebie next time I visit the salon. This offer runs until August 09 so it could be a while before I get any FF! Check out my previous posts if you want a Salon professional range for free and details of the downloadable voucher.

Other things I do to cut costs on shopping

I often go to Aldi's when I see a TV advert showing their fruit and veg products for silly prices as I use a lot of fruit, doing 3 lots of pack up each day. In fact yesterday I took advantage of their current offers on fruit and veg and at 69p each got 1. 6 oranges 2. 6 red apples 3. a punnet of plums 4. a punnet of red grapes 5. a punnet of button mushrooms and 6. a bag of salad potatoes. Total £4.17.

I go to the Farm Shop when I can get there, which isn't often, but it defo saves money.

I don't buy pots of expensive sandwich fillers, I make my own, 1. cheese, onion, mayo 2. Tuna, sweetcorn, mayo. 3 Coronation chicken with chicken leftovers, and a bit of curry powder mixed into mayo and a few sultanas 4. egg mayonnaise 5. prawn mayonnaise etc etc

I feeze bread, pitta bread, muffins, crumpets etc and take out the night before, whatever I will need the next day, saves them going mouldy green before they all get used.

How I make use of Leftovers or items going out of date

Chicken - make a pie or if not enough, I use leftover meat for sarnis or wraps for packing up.

Pizza & Pasta - taken cold for pack up.

Ham & Bacon - I use in Quiche or add to the chicken pie.

Apples - if old and going a bit soft, I cook for apple sauce with pork and freeze.

Bananas - I make banana cake - great for pack lunches or picnics.

Bread - if there is any going a bit stale, I make bread or bread and butter pudding.

I would never buy value Beefburgers but do buy cheap chicken. Now I realise this is a controversial subject that will no doubt raise a few eyebrows after the plight of battery chickens was bought to light last year by Hugh Fearnely-Whittingsall in his Channel 4 programme. Now don't get me wrong I love Hugh and when I watch his series and see what that man can do with a wild mushroom, it makes me want to move into River Cottage!
In his programme on chickens, Hugh interviewed shoppers in Tesco and a few mums said "I would love to buy organic, but I simply can't afford it, I have a family to feed". So, if you have a family to feed on a weekly budget of say, £50 and you have the option of buying a chicken for £2.50 or an organic one for £7, what do you do?

Everyone seems to have jumped on the "Thrifty" bandwagon of late, with even the Broadsheet newspapers giving us tips on how to save money but I am a bit fed up with broadcasters and journalists harping on about a. being middle class (I thought that the class system in this country was dead, but oh no, it is alive and kicking, in the eyes of the snobs that believe they are middle class) b. making no apologises for only buying organic produce and c. not buying clothes from certain High St chains due to child labour issues. Although I agree, in priniciple, with some of these issues, I just don't think these people have a bloody clue! I have friends who don't have a bloody clue either! They have never had to think about switching a light off to save money, nor do they break out in a cold sweat at the supermarket checkout, for fear they don't have enough money in their purse to pay for the contents of their trolley.
The idea for this Blog had been around for a while before I actually started it, but it was bought about by personal experience due to a drastic change in circumstances last spring. My aim is to help you whether you are a student, a single parent on benefits or just a normal family who is feeling the effects of the credit crunch and may need to make savings on everyday things to afford them the luxury holiday they have wanted for years. I don't want to be patronised by people waving the single parent flag, when they have a wardrobe of designer clothes, a full time job and a full time nanny to match! and I certainly don't want to patronise the readers of my Blog. Sure I love designer goods and have spent a fair bit on them over the years. I have always been the kind of girl who prefers to have one pair of Jimmy Choo's a year rather than 6 pairs from Office or Faith, but times are different now. Even people who have money are scared to spend it. If a girl is going out on a Saturday night and needs a new top, we have to realise that some people can only afford Primark and others can't afford to go out at all! I told you talking about chicken was controversial and look how it has taken me off at a tangent! So yes I do buy cheap chicken and make no apologises for it, it makes a bloody gorgeous pie!

Get a free £ M&S voucher at Oxfam when you donate your old M&S clothes!




Something for nothing? A £5 voucher for a department store? - I'm loving it already!For those of you how don't already know, The M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange has already raised £1.8M - by paying you for your old clothes!

Clear out your wardrobe and clean up with a £5 M&S voucher.

If you go to www.oxfam.org.uk you can even send your friends an e-card and let them know it's time for a wardrobe update.

How it works
Bring the M&S clothes you no longer wear to any of Oxfam’s 700+ high street shops in the UK and 40 shops in Ireland, and you’ll get a voucher giving you £5 (or €7 in Ireland) off when you spend £35 (or €50) or more on clothing, homeware or beauty products in M&S.

This is perfect for me as I often pick up pieces from M&S Limited Collection and always buy my sons school shirts and trousers from M&S, so as he grows out of them, I can donate and get a voucher off the next lot! I just told my eldest daughter, who although gets supplied with a work uniform, prefers to get her Navy trousers from M&S, and she also got her Navy court shoes and Navy tights (all required for work) from there the other week, so again, as she needs new, she can donate the old and get a £5 saving off the new purchases!

The only thing I don't like about this campaign is that it is fronted by Mylene Klass, who I much preferred when she was a chunky size 14 back in her Hearsay days, rather than the fast becoming, skinny lollipop head, who seems to be in every magazine and on every T.V. programme at the moment! (I'm sure she is a nice girl, just does my head in). She has even managed to elbow out Nicky Hambleton-Jones from Channel 4's 10 years younger, what is that all about? I won't watch it anymore as feel Mylene should be fronting a programme called "How to lose a stone a month after giving birth!

Mothers Day - great buys as I find them!


Don't leave it to the last minute when it comes to Mothers Day, I have already added to my Sainsburys online shopping trolley, these Terry's All Gold Milk Chocolates 225g
Save 50% was £3.49 now £1.74. A great buy, especially if like me you have a Mum and Mum in Law to buy for, but at this price you can afford some flowers aswell!
Don't forget in my previous post about CASHBACKKING, I mentioned the Teleflorist offer where you get 10% off and cashback.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Buy, Swap or Sell to recycle your wardrobe at BIGWARDROBE.COM



After my recent post about Swishing, the new way to swap clothes which is sweeping the nation, I thought it high time I posted about www.bigwardrobe.com the free, ethical, and stylish way to recycle your wardrobe. Bigwardrobe has had good press and has been featured in Vogue, Heat and Grazia, to mention a few.
According to the website
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Bigwardrobe.com is the new and exciting way to swap things you don't wear for things you will, OR turn your unwanted clothes back into cash. It's really simple. Add some clothes you don't wear anymore to Bigwardrobe.com and soon you will start receiving offers (swaps, cash or a combination of both) from other members. It is 100% free to join!
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Sound Good? A better version of Ebay? Well it is free to list so that is great news, I get so annoyed at Ebay fees! When I checked out the site,there was a fab pair of Louboutins with a guide price of £145, so that was enticing, but then I saw a new Louis Vuitton Neverfull from the recently launched, limited edition, Stephen Sprouse collection with flowers on, with a guide price similar to the shoes, I became a little concerned. A bag like that would fetch very near its retail price if sold on Ebay, so my conclusion was that this item had to be fake, surely? There is no doubt that there are bargains to be had and I really liked that when you clicked on an item, a profile of the seller and her dress and shoe size etc is displayed in a column to the right of the screen, so you may be looking for shoes and see that the seller takes your dress size. I think it is worth giving this site a try if you have stuff to get rid of, but as for buying, if you are looking for designer items, check with the seller about authenticity and whether items come with receipts etc before parting with large sums of cash or swapping something you have of value. I also thought that asking £60 for a pair of used Ernest Sewn jeans by one seller was a bit excessive, when I recently posted that I picked up a pair from Asos.com in their outlet section for £35! So I think it all depends on what you are looking for, but do let me know if you buy or list anything on this site and feel that the transaction has been a success for you. I may well give it a go myself. Happy Swapping x