Tag Archives: Shopping

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: 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!!

Making Money Monday: Avoiding the sales (again)

OK, so I’ve gone a little off-piste with this one here. But who wants to be thinking about getting a new job on Boxing Day? Instead I’m sure the sales are drawing lots of attention… I don’t often do re-runs of posts, but hey, I’m probably stuffing my face with leftover turkey today, so here’s the post I did about avoiding the post-Christmas sales at the start of the year. A stance which remains true at the end of 2011 also.

P.S. Of my list of ‘must haves’ at the start of 2011 (see below) I only purchased the stickers for my map and a suit.


Depending on which newspaper you read…

a.) Consumers have raced out to the post-Chrimble sales and spent like a bunch of banshees


b.) sales have been disappointing and signal a stagnant start to 2011

Either way, this year, I am trying my best to avoid the post-Christmas sales. Not least because my Christmas money is going towards the rather large UGG shaped hole which has been left in my finances, but also because I know that if I do drag myself down to the local shopping mall I’ll get a case of ‘bargain fever’.

‘Bargain fever’ goes a little like this… you leave the house with a pre-determined list of items which you wish to purchase, for me this is:

1.) Slipper boots
2.) Pyjamas
3.) Stickers for my new world map (so I can show where I’ve been!)
4.) New work bag from Clarks
5.) New suit

Upon entering your local shopping centre you start looking for these items with the best of intentions, before you know it you’ve purchased a whole bundle of things (none of which were on your original list) because they were bargains. Cue budget well and truly blown.

To be fair, if you’ve got funds available, this time of year can be a great opportunity to rush out and grab some great bargains (Check out Liberty London Girl’s fabulous guide to great sale buys if you are thinking of hitting the sales) and in some respects for me it would be a great time to try to get the items on my list for less. But I’m aware that I need to start 2011 in the manner I want to continue the year in, which means moving away from justifying my purchases with the famous phrase ‘it was a barrrgain’ and moving towards spending less. How boring.

Spend it Saturday: notonthehighstreet.com

I originally tried to make these posts about individual items which had tempted me to part with my cash, and to which I have resisted. But sometimes there’s a website which comes along where virtually everything is covetable.


Image credit: notonthehighstreet.com

I purchased the earrings which I gave to my bridesmaid’s to wear on our wedding day from notonthehighstreet.com and since then they’ve been trying to tempt me with their simply gorgeous wares by sending me beautiful mailers. When they drop into our letterbox I settle down with a hot chocolate (with marshmallows) and prepare myself to ‘coo’ in wonderment of all the things I don’t need, but really, really want!

Here are some of my top picks from their Christmas catalogue. It was difficult to choose, believe me! Enjoy! x

notonthehighstreetItems shown:
Vintage Style Christmas Sign, £34
Personalised Family Values Print, from £37
Personalised Men’s Chef Apron, £28
Little Hearts Framed Picture, £58
Bespoke Map Art, from £48

Spend it Saturday’s – The Literary Gift Company

Those sneaky marketers, with their targeted ad’s on Facebook, have led me to a rather wonderful website…The Literary Gift Company.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that wannabe author/writer/blogger or bookworm in your life, this seems like a good place to start.

There’s free delivery on orders over £30, and a host of literary items for sale – including mugs, stationery, clothing, books (obvs!), bags, jewellery, journals and games – it’s a little treasure-trove of all things bookish.

Here are some of my favourite picks:

Literary_gifts1. Book Handbag – Illustrated Jane Austen, £46 (handmade, only one available)
2. “Go Away I’m Blogging” Bone China Mug, £9.95
3. Ladybird Cinderella Notebook, £5.95
4. Twitterature, £7.99
5. Scrabble Magnetic Fridge Tiles, £8.95
6. “Careful or you’ll up in my next novel” fitted T-shirt, £10.95

Warning! Make yourself a cup of tea before you head over to their website, it’s one of those where you can get lost for a while browsing the pages of wonderfulness!


Spend it Saturday’s – Simple Pleasures

empty_coffee_cupYou know you’re unemployed when your temptations become the things which used to be your everyday. Which is why right now I’m craving M&S sushi, Starbucks (what a surprise) and a pile of glossy mags (Red and the Christmas edition of Ideal Home should do it).

Sob! Someone please employ me quick, so I can do my bit to help the economy!

Holland and Barrett Loyalty Card

I know I should probably stop whittering on about it, but as you know I’ve not been very well of late. With me, illness is generally always preceded by a vow to be supremely healthy in a bid to rid myself of all future bugs, lurgs and germs. An integral part of this involves trotting along to Holland & Barrett to pick up some supplements which I invariably start taking for a few months and before   forgetting about them and leaving them to expire on a shelf somewhere.

My recent sojourn to Holland & Barrett saw me picking up some Cranberry capsules, which will apparently keep my waterworks in good repair. But while I was there I also got me a Holland & Barrett loyalty card. Now I don’t spend oodles in H&B. The occasional Acai juice, some supplements every quarter and maybe one of those flapjacks (which surely have no health benefits and don’t truly belong in health food shop) once a year. But never one to turn down a loyalty card I signed up. Cardholders receive:

  • Four points per £1 they spend at Holland & Barrett
  • A 50p reward coupon for every 50 points collected (sent within reward statements)
  • 150 points when the card is activated
  • Access to extra discounts and exclusive offers and news by email

The idea of getting 150 points just from activating was enough to hook me in. Even if I don’t rack up the points, £1.50 has got to be enough to get me one of those flapjacks, right?

Click here to visit Holland & Barrett’s website to find out more.