Monday, September 28, 2009

Tis the Season to be Jolly

I have been thinking about doing this post for the last few weeks and now I really must take the "Bull by the Horns" and talk about Christmas. The key to a successful Christmas is careful planning and spending and the more Frugal your Christmas needs to be, the more you will have to stick to these rules.

Xmas Cards & Wrapping Paper

I always buy these in the sale straight after Xmas. Boots is the best place for me, but last year I got my Christmas crackers from the local co-op, so I already have what I need, but if you don't, write down everybody you send cards to, family friends, colleagues etc
Do you send special cards to Mums and Dads and for overseas family?
Buy Cards, wrapping paper and tags from a supermarket or anywhere you have a loyalty card for i.e. Boots so that you get something back for your spend.
Buy 2nd class stamps, posting cards early means you won't need to pay out for 1st class postage making a saving of 9p per card sent.
Aim to write them out now and post on 1st December. Check postage dates for overseas and send within plenty of time.


Make a list of people you usually buy for and next to each name enter an amount you think is reasonable to spend on the person concerned i.e Mum £20, Friend £10 and stick to the budget! Once you have your total you will need to divide this over the amount of paydays you have left before Xmas i.e. a total present list of £150 would mean you having to find £50 each month for presents if you have no savings or Christmas Club money to take care of this. Certain items will become harder to get hold of, the closer you get to Christmas, remember the Wii Fit last year? well you couldn't get one for love nor money past mid November, so prioritise your list. You won't have any problems getting Grandad a jumper from M&S on Xmas Eve but may have trouble getting Little Johnny the lastest Game from Toys r us.

Once you have your list and know roughly the amount you wish to spend, don't be afraid to ask the person concerned if there is something specific they would like, within your budget. We are all grateful to recieve something we really want rather than the usual "old Tat", so to cheer yourself up, make a list of what you would like as well! My list usually consists of things like Ren Otto Rose Body Wash at £16, a reasonable price for a pressie but in my eyes a luxury, as I wouldn't spend that amount on a shower gel for myself! I always write next to the item, the place it can be bought, either a shop, online or both and then leave to my husband to sort out who is buying what.


Need a party dress - how much would you like to spend? If on a tight budget check out click on women and then click on clearance and check out dresses or click on their outlet tab and click on dresses. I picked up a bargain party dress last week from the womens clearance section for £9! Buying now is one less pressure closer to the time. You may want something more casual for Xmas Day, jeans and a new blouse, a knitted dress? think about what you will be doing on the day, are you cooking? going out to eat? pick your outfit accordingly but if you are cooking, do invest in a cheap apron to save any fat splashes on your new clothes!

Food & Drink

Make another list!
First make a note of Dry goods i.e. tins of sweets, Xmas puddings,things that can be bought in advance then a separate list of fresh foods such as cheese, cream, dips etc.
Many supermarkets already have offers on tin sweets such as Roses or Quality Street, if they are on "buy one get free" or half price, then buy them now, I can guarantee that the special offers on these kinds of Xmas goodies will not be available come December, the same goes for Wines & Spirits. If you don't have provision for your food shopping then the best way to deal with this is to buy a few things each week on top of your usual weekly shop. Although it will make your shopping more expensive each week, it will be far easier than buying nothing and trying to scrape up £100 the week before Christmas!

I have been busy making notes and speaking to various friends and family so that I can show you some case studies for Christmas Budgeting. By doing this, I think we can all see how other people cope and what good advice we can take from other peoples situations. To finalise these case studies I will be offering Recessionista advice on how they can make any cut backs if necessary. I am also in the process of collating information on some good shopping websites so please keep checking back as I am hoping to get this all on the Blog this week if possible. If you have any great ideas of your own, please let me know!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

British Gas Customers get a free Swimming Voucher

If you are still a British Gas customer (and to be honest I doubt there are many who are!), then you are eligible to get a free swimming voucher for you and the family or a friend, just click here for details.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free Tea or Coffee at Debenhams plus money off vouchers!

Grab todays Sun (20p) for £7.64 worth of shopping coupons inc a free tea/coffee at Debenhams rests/cafes worth £1.90, valid 'til 30 Sept.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Free Clinique Lipstick at Selfridges London tomorrow only (17th Sept)

For all you London based beauties, get down to Selfridges tomorrow, where you can collect a free Lipstick from Clinique! Spend some time at the counter to receive a Lipstick consultation to qualify for your freebie in a choice of 3 colours! Offer runs throughout the day until stock runs out, so get there early! A full size Clinique Lipstick retails at £14.

Korres Cosmetic Kit originally £52 now £6.99 - great xmas gift!

Get this fantastic Korres Cosmetic Kit originally £29 (or £52 on Korres website) from halfprice perfumes for an amazing £6.99! here. This would make a great present, so start that Xmas Gift box now! Set contains Mascara, 2 eye pencils, lipgloss and eyshadow.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Freebies worth over £16 and reduced postage on Skincare at Origins

As Origins is one of my favourite skincare brands, I am always excited at their special offers and use these as an opportunity to either stock up on my own skincare favourites or to stock pile gifts for others. Origins are offering a free cleanser, serum and scrub, worth up to £20 depending on which range you choose on any purchase over £25. They have also lowered the rate of their standard delivery by £1 from £4.95 to £3.95.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Off to Uni? get your student union card to get great discounts from selected retailers

To get discounts from a large range of retailers including Superdrug (10%), Amazon (5%), Warehouse (10%) and Miss Selfridge online (10%) apply for your student union card now at The card costs £10 so you will need a credit or debit card to hand, along with a picture that you can download from your computer or a webcam.

Free Digi-Box & £20 off Shopping at Tesco

The Daily Mail are back again today with their £20 off shopping at Tesco and in addition to this, are offering readers a free Digi-Box. With the Digital Switchover about to take place, every Daily Mail reader should be collecting their 60 Tokens to grab this great freebie. Don't discard the offer if you have Sky, as you may have a television in another room that you won't be able to watch once the switch over takes place or an older relative or friend that doesn't have a clue what to do regarding Digital Television and would be grateful of your unwanted Box. You need to collect 60 tokens, so if you are not already a Daily Mail reader it would be false economy to buy the paper for the next two months as you may aswell just go out and buy a Box, worth buying it today though for the £20 off groceries. Happy Shopping!

£20 off a £50 spend at is the new name for Littlewoods Direct and they are currently offering £20 off a £50 spend on a fantastic range of Fashion including designs by Fearne Cotton and well known brands such as Yumi and Elise Ryan (see pic). Enter promo code ZQ427 at the basket page. With winter fast approaching there is no better time to take advantage of one of the best savings around and grab yourself a key piece for your winter wardrobe (chunky knit, jeans, coat, boots) or a bit of forward thinking could have you buying that Christmas Party dress now, before the financial strain of present buying and nights out take their toll!