Category Archives: Spend it Saturdays

Spend it Saturday: How to get a Bargain – the Coast Dress


On Wednesday of this week, I purchased this dress from the Coast website. I paid £79 for it (plus £2.99 post and packaging). But this wasn’t an indulgent spur of the moment splurge. Oh no. This was bargainista shopping at its best, a carefully choreographed purchase of a dress, which I’m going to wear to a couple of weddings later in the year. Here’s how you can get that dress (or any other item for that matter) for less…

1.) Keep your eyes peeled
As I’m on a budget I tend to go shopping with a particular objective in mind and am sometimes blinkered to other items around me. However, it’s worth taking note of your surroundings and even wandering over to investigate some of the lust-worthy but unaffordable items. I was looking for accessories to go with another wedding outfit when I spotted this dress in Selfridge’s and fell for it.

2.) Try it on
To make this work, once you’ve spotted something which you love, but can’t afford right now, you’ll need to try it on. I warn you if it’s as lovely as you hoped it would be, the temptation to bung it on the credit card then and there is immense. But if you can resist, it’s so worth it when you pick it up at a discount price later. Make sure you like the item and determine which size fits you best.

3.) Decide how much you’re willing to pay
OK, perhaps the ticket price is too hefty for this to be an impulse purchase. At what price would you consider buying the item at? Decided. Right. Now tell the Sales Assistant at the Fitting Rooms that you’ll think about it and give her the item back to put into stock.

4.) Sign up for special offers
When you’re home sign up for special offers through the retailer’s website and also trawl other voucher code sites for discounts. Keep checking your inbox and wait for that email with an announcement of a special offer, or sale, which makes your item affordable. Also pop into the store occasionally to check out their offers. When you see an offer decide if it’s the right time to buy. This is going to be a head Vs heart decision of how much you want the item Vs how cheaply you want it.

5.) Decided it’s the deal?
My dress was reduced from £135 to £79, which was enough for me to dust off the credit card. Now see if you can get any points or cashback on your purchase to really get maximum cost-effectiveness. I got £3.29 cashback from Quidco and also paid for it on my cashback credit card. Not to mention the Nectar points I picked up by doing my searches using their toolbar.

6.) When it’s right – BUY!
I love this way of sale shopping as it prevents you from purchasing things simply because ‘they’re a bargain’. Instead it means you’re actually getting a bargain on things you really want, and, well, everyone loves the cheap thrill of getting a bargain…don’t they?

I must say though if it’s an absolute must have. Then get it then and there. There’s no guarantees that something is going to be reduced, or that if it is, that they’ll have stock in the right size and colour for you. Also if you’re adopting this philosophy go for classic, not high fashion items, which might date by the time you get your mitts on them. Enjoy!

Do you hold out for a bargain? What are your tips for getting a great deal?


Spend it Saturday: The Hairdressers, Contact Lenses and Curry

OK, so my first pay packet from the new ‘day job’ was a modest one. But that doesn’t make it any less exciting.

Of course, my first priority is to pay back Mr Love of my Life, which I will be doing over the next few pay packets. But I’ve still kept some funds so I can treat myself.

Which is why today I rocked up at the hairdressers and got my hair cut and styled for the first time in, uh, six months. Treat or necessity? You decide. I had it styled in the way I’m going to wear it to my Sister-in-Law’s wedding at the end of the month. I asked for Liberty London Girl volume with a curl at the end and to be honest when I first left the salon I was slightly worried I resembled Shirley Temple. The hairdresser assured me the curls would drop. Which they did, but only after a bit of coaxing from me.


I also ordered some emergency contact lenses and reinstated my contract, so I don’t have to be a speccy-four-eyes at the wedding.

And, tonight I am out for a curry with my bestie. Which is why I am typing this in a rush. That and because WordPress lost my previous draft – grr!

What are you up to this weekend?

Spend it Saturday: Bag Seeks Pretty Tea Dress

Ordinarily a new outfit brings about the need for new accessories. Not so in this case. In this instance it is the accessory which is screaming at me to get a new frock to accompany it, and I so want to listen.

Whilst clearing my nan’s house, we came across a number of vintage fashion pieces. Unfortunately an amazing lurex top was too big for me. And the hats? Alas (with my big head) were far too small. Then I stumbled across this gorgeous, gorgeous handbag. And, well, bags always fit don’t they?

I’ve no idea how old it is, or who it’s by (it was stuffed with newspaper dated 1980, but I dare that’s when my nan last used it, rather than when it was purchased). But I loved it. It’s robust, chic, elegant and timeless – tell me you couldn’t imagine Audrey Hepburn carrying this?

I have a Christening to attend next weekend and truly think this bag is crying out to be teemed with a pretty tea dress (plus sky-high platforms, so it’s not too twee) and worn to the church and disco afterwards. Whaddya reckon?

Have you stumbled across any fab vintage finds in relatives houses?


Spend it Saturday: The Birthday List

Hello Kitty cake
It’s somebody’s birthday next month, which means all those items I lust after but can’t afford can go onto my birthday list! Some think putting together a ‘birthday list’ is a bit mercenary and that your friends and relatives should know you well-enough to buy you a heart-felt present which they know you’ll love. Sounds dreamy – until you’re the one doing the buying doesn’t it? And, then you just wish you knew what the birthday girl/boy wanted, so you didn’t have to waste your time wandering around stores looking for an item which has a possibility of being returned or flogged on eBay.

This is what I’m hoping for this year…

North Face Etip Gloves

Girl Gadge
All that Instagram-ing in the cold has been playing havoc with my Raynaud’s, which is why I’m lusting after these North Face Etip gloves which allow you to use your iPhone (or other touch screen device) whilst keeping your hands nice and toasty. Result. I’m also hoping for a Gorillapod to assist when taking photos on my larger bridge camera.

As I’ve not been earning so much of late; I’ve also not been treating myself so much. By asking for vouchers I get the adrenalin rush of going into actual shops and purchasing things – without worrying about depleting my bank balance. I’ll take them for Starbucks, WHSmith (magazines), Dove Spa (de-fuzzing) and Next (furniture) please. Ta!

Kraft Box File from Paperchase

I am a total stationery whore. But alas my brothel is looking tired and, well, re-using ring-binder dividers so many times that underneath all the tipp-ex and sticky labels you find it says GCSE German – just aint sexy. Which is why my lovely mother has indulged my fetish, by buying me half of the Kraft range from Paperchase. Grown-up, stylish filing will soon be mine. *Purrs*


Orangutan Adoption
Or a little monkey, from my little money. Mr Love of my Life has been gifting me an adoption of cute little, Sen, for two years now and, well, I want to keep him (who wouldn’t?). Sen lives in Borneo, in the Sepilok Sanctuary which we visited back in 2010. He is a little orphaned Orangutan who is being rehabilitated with the hope of eventually being released back into the wild. Cute and responsible – what’s not to love?

Let them Entertain You
I can’t imagine I will ever tire of Jack Bauer screaming at Chloe to ‘get the schematics’, which is why the 24 Box Set has made its way onto my list. I also really want the Hurts CD. I know I’m late to the party, but I listened to this on the in-flight music service on our way back from Singapore and loved it.

Naked 2 PalletNaked 2 pallete

Pamper Party
Slightly pricier than my normal skin care, I’ve been wanting to try the Liz Earle range for, uh, aaaaaages. The perfect addition to my lust list. Fingers crossed it came tame my flare-up prone skin. And whilst I’m thinking of looking pretty, my eyeshadow collection is looking pretty shocking, which is why the Naked 2 Pallet is also on my list of things I’d love to have. Want, want, want!

Do you write a birthday list? What’s on yours this year?

Spend it Saturday: This Week We’re Really Spending!

I’ve been so good for so, so long. But now, alas, it’s time to plough some money into the economy. I can’t say my shopping trip is whole-heartedly an attempt to assist the ailing high street. It’s more the case that there are a number of occasions coming up which either require – a gift, new clothes – or both!

I will update this photo diary as I trot around the shops, so you can make like a cute ickle puppy in my (oversized) handbag and see what I’m up to… Enjoy! x


Up & at ’em Tiger! Beautiful sky, but brrr!


Writing my shopping list. Coffee & tunes courtesy of Spotify helping!

Tune of the morning. Silver Lining by Hurts. Heart, heart, heart!


On the train to Brum


Mommy & Babe try on some clothes…




A well deserved break!


Boots booty!


My Wu Lou. I’m taking this Feng Shui malarkey seriously.


If flesh coloured tights are good enough for the Duchess of Cambridge, they’re good enough for me!


Accessories for my Sister-in-Law’s wedding next month.




Another essential!


Dinner. Yes, that’s right. I AM a domestic goddess!


No, I’m not watching David Beckham on Jonathan Ross. We’re watching Mr Love of my Life’s Wonders DVD. I am wearing my confused face!


Someone has lent Mr Love of my Life a steering wheel for the Xbox. Looks a bit rude to me!!

Spend it Saturday: Tickets to John Bishop at the NIA

If what they say is true, comedy is the new rock & roll. I’m not sure about that. What I do know is sitting in an auditorium chuckling at a comedian, sure beats being squished into the armpit of some sweaty teenager in the standing area of a gig – and so what I’m craving today is some tickets to see the hilariously funny and perfectly toothed, John Bishop.

My first encounter with Mr Bishop was his appearance on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow. The accent, the hair, those teeth, and the stories told with just the right amount of risqué and realism, had me spilling my cuppa as I chortled along. Charming, quite obviously an embarrassing dad to his kids and self-depreciating – I just loved his style of humour – which seems to continue whether he’s doing a stand-up gig, or being interviewed. Saying, that I’m not so keen on his BBC1 venture, John Bishop’s Britain – but only because Aunty Beeb seems to have Mr Bishop watching what he says so as not to offend. This is a comedian who strikes me is at his best when given a free rein.

This is why I am supremely tempted to get my mitts on some tickets for one of his Birmingham gigs…

John Bishop plays the NIA in Birmingham from 11th October – 13th October 2012, with other dates throughout the UK.

Spend it Saturday: Christmas Eve Photo Special

Whilst I’m not looking to blow the budget today (JobSeekers Allowance doesn’t take into account a Christmas bonus strangely) it is Christmas Eve and so with Mr Love of my Life having a well-earned (and well-timed) day off from his job in retail, we’re looking to get into the festive spirit. From here on in, I’m going to let the photos do the talking. Enjoy! And a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you!


Updating my iPhone – an hour of my life I won’t get back!


Putting on the glitz.


Christmas card from Oz







Sofa. Comfy.


Free tea!



Christmas isn’t complete without Carols From Kings

Not one for the veggies…