How To Take The Stress Out Of Christmas Shopping

There’s no escaping the fact that Christmas shopping season is fast approaching or if you are super organised like me it’s already begun.

Christmas can be such an expensive time for everyone, even more so if you are trying to work to a tight budget.

I thought I would share with you some ways you can take the stress out of Christmas shopping.

Vouchers, Discounts & Sales

Never buy any of those wish list gifts until you have checked online to see if there is a sale, discount or voucher available for the items you want to buy.

Competition for sales around the festive season has become fierce in recent years with the introduction of ‘Black Friday’ and star buy sales so make sure you take full advantage of the offers.

Be sure to look at websites like My Voucher Codes where you can find a ton of the latest voucher codes and in-store offers from over 8,000 retailers.hang-tags-234566_1280Online Shopping

With the amount of stores that now offer online shopping there’s no need to even step foot out of the comfort of your house.

I now do about 70% of my Christmas shopping online, not having to brave the crowds or fight the queues has done wonders for my stress levels and of course my bank balance.

Most retailers now offer a free click and collect service which means you are also saving money on postage fees, another huge bonus is that it helps you to focus and buy only what you need without all those till point distractions that cause impulse purchases.

I do the majority of my shopping for the children presents from Amazon as the prices are really competitive and they have a huge range of the latest toys and games.gift-595871_1920Gift Vouchers

The toughest part of Christmas shopping for me is deciding what to actually buy for people, there’s always the worry of buying a duplicate or even worse something they don’t like at all.

If I’m really stuck for ideas I opt for buying them a gift voucher so they can choose something for themselves.

If you would rather buy some an experience or night out, most restaurants and cinema chains offer gift vouchers, I’m sure the recipient would be delighted with an actual experience rather than a physical gift.

Have a look at the Voucher Madness post over on Planner Wealth for lots more ideas about vouchers, there’s also a great easy money saving tips video for you to watch.coupon-472481_1920Start Early 

The most valuable tip I can give you and one I have always followed is to start your Christmas shopping early.

I have saved so much much money by being prepared, grabbing sales and bargains all the way through the year.

Another great advantage of doing it this way is that you can spread the cost and avoid facing a huge expense all at once.

Being prepared means that you also avoid last minute panic buying and missing delivery deadlines, leaving no choice but to pay over the odds and venturing out in what is truly silly season.coffee-1246511_1280I hope these tips have given you some ideas of how to take the stress out of Christmas shopping, if you have any tips of your own leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

*This is a collaborative post*

RachelSwirl

 

 

Freebies, Bargains & Charity Shop Haul

Lots of you seemed to enjoy this post last month so I thought I would share with you again, getting freebies, finding bargains and buying from charity shops really helps me stretch my budget which is so important when you are trying to be frugal.

As I’ve mentioned before being frugal to our family means that we find ways to save money on our every day expenses so we can afford for me stay home with the children, clear our debts and still have a little leftover for treats and family days out.

Freebies

IMG_9191 IMG_9027 IMG_9294 IMG_9293

A co-operative food store local to us were celebrating re-opening after a refurbishment and as I have a members card they sent me a coupon for a free cake, big thumbs up from me.

FrugalMrW is on the mailing list for Screwfix and they often include freebies in their mailers, this portable charger is really useful.

Daisy and Jake got a free goody bag and an Easter egg each from an Easter event at Smyths Toy store.

Bargains

IMG_9074 IMG_9295 IMG_9289 IMG_9215 IMG_9188 IMG_9171

I’ve been on a sort of spending ban this month, but I couldn’t resist a few bargains though in my defence I was very selective.

I picked up some reduced bargains in my local co-op food store, the quiches are great for freezing.

The make-up bags are from H&M and I’m going to use them as pencil cases, they are such good quality and at a £1 each a real bargain.

The Dolmio Lasagne kit was £4 from Asda, the dish is worth more than that alone, it’s really thick and great quality.

I could not resist this mug when I spotted as I was queueing up to pay in Home Bargains, it was only 99p.

The BBC online store is closing down so I bagged this Postman Pat toy for Jake’s birthday for only £6.

Another bargain I found by the checkouts are these two Disney books for 50p each from B&M Bargains, I love buying books for the children.

Charity Shop

I haven’t had the chance to visit any charity shops this month, I’m planning a trip in the next couple of weeks to look for some Postman Pat books so I’ll let you know if I’m successful.

If you’ve found any good freebies or bargains leave me a comment below, I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

How We’re Celebrating Easter 2016 On A Budget

I don’t know about you but I like to treat the little ones in our life to a few little gifts each this time of year, the bigger children prefer some spending money (no surprise there)  so for us it’s really important that we stick to a budget when celebrating Easter.

You could argue that to be really frugal we could buy them one Easter egg each, some are as cheap as £1 but as I’ve said in previous blog posts I love seasonal celebrations they make life fun and as long as I plan, save and budget for these occasions I’m more than happy to treat the children.

I’ve tried to stick to a £5 budget per child and I think I’ve done really well only going slightly over on one purchase, I can only share with you what we have bought for Daisy and Jake as I don’t want to spoil any surprises for anyone else as I know they like to read my posts.

For the past few years I’ve bought similar things for the little ones, a small Easter egg, a t-shirt, a book and some smaller Easter themed treats.

IMG_9205[1] IMG_9208[1]

The books were amazing value and cost me either 99p or £1 from Home Bargains and B&M Stores, Daisy love ‘Little Princess’ books, I once spent an hour going through every book in the children’s section at the library to find every Little Princess book they had so Daisy could borrow them so she’s going to be delighted.

IMG_9207[1]

The t-shirts were a bargain at £2 and £3 from Asda, I tried to choose something Spring themed for them both.

The bunny biscuits were 59p from Home Bargains, they also had chicks and Easter egg shapes and the Thorntons small chocolate bunny bars were on offer for four for £1 also at Home Bargains making them 25p each which I think is fantastic value.

FrugalMrW and I don’t really bother with buying Easter eggs for ourselves, we already eat way too much chocolate already.

One of the best things about Easter for us is the extended bank holiday weekend as FrugalMrW doesn’t have to go to work, this year we have a car and are planning a couple frugal days out to local parks and nature reserves, we also have a free family ticket to a National Trust property that I won last week so we are hoping to take advantage of that weather permitting.

At home we will be doing some Easter crafts, playing in the garden and watching some Easter themed movies so it’s going to be a fun packed weekend for us.

What are your plans for the weekend ? have you picked up any Easter bargains ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

 

 

 

Freebies, Bargains & Charity Shop Haul

I love being nosey and seeing what bargains and freebies other people have managed to snag so I thought I would share a freebies, bargains and charity shop haul with you.

FrugalMrW had sometime off from work recently and I took the opportunity to go for a much needed eye test and take advantage of a few child free hours to have a mooch around the bargain and charity shops in town, I also took the opportunity to pick up some freebies using my O2 priority app.

Freebies 

IMG_8802 IMG_8783 IMG_8789 IMG_8790

FrugalMrW and I both have an O2 priority app so we took advantage and doubles up on some of the freebies that were available, we had a code for a Graze snack box from Boots but both stores we tried had sold out.

IMG_8827

FrugalMrW used the profit he’s earned from matched betting and bought us a second hand car, it’s been almost a year since we had to scrap our old one and it’s so wonderful to have one again, the car sales man gave me this beautiful little bouquet so I’m counting it as a freebie.

Bargains

IMG_8788

Lunch cost us just £1 from Boots using the O2 priority app on Monday, there are a few places that you can redeem this offer at every week, it’s a great saving.

IMG_8798

I’m so glad I checked the reduced to clear shelf at Boots, I’ve just started collecting Pop’s and this was an absolute bargain at £5 !

IMG_8800

I was quite well behaved at Poundland and only spent £3, it’s my favourite of all the bargain shops, I love the amount of branded good quality products you can buy for just £1.

Charity Shop

IMG_8799 IMG_8801

I’m a little rusty when it comes to charity shops, I visited about six but could only find a couple of things this time.

The dinosaur t-shirt is originally from Next and is in fantastic condition, I paid just 49p.

Daisy loves Topsy & Tim and all five books were just 20p each and in immaculate condition, she was delighted when I gave them to her.

I’m hoping to visit charity shops a bit more often this year I forgot how much fun it is having a good old rummage around for a bargain.

Have you found any good bargains lately ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

A Little Shopping Haul Of Bargains

It’s been a while since I shared my bargain buys with you, if you are like me and love seeing what bargains other people have bought then this is the blog post for you.

I may be frugal but I also love shopping so bargain hunting is the perfect compromise for me, last weekend I had a little treat money to spend so I joined the Saturday shoppers and searched out the last of the January sale bargains.

IMG_8592 IMG_8594

Excuse the creases in the photos above, we shoved everything in the same bag to save on buying extra carriers, I scoured the rails in H&M for these long sleeve bargains, the grey jumper is so slouchy and soft, it’s really light as well so ideal for Spring.

I very rarely wear light colours and definitely not pink but I couldn’t resist the style and butterfly print on this top, two tops for under £10 now that’s what I call a bargain.

IMG_8595

I never need an excuse to stock up on stickers, Daisy and I are big sticker fans we use them in our journals and for crafting activities, the ones priced at £1 and 50p actually scanned through the till at 25p, don’t you just love it when that happens !

IMG_8596

This was a total impulse buy, I’m a sucker for a gimmick and the candy apple on the front enticed me, it cost 50p from the reduced tub in Primark.

IMG_8597

I picked up these joggers from Primark for £5, they are so comfy and soft and ideal for relaxing in at home, the original price was £8 so not a bad saving.

IMG_8608

Another impulse bargain buy from the till points at Primark but how could I resist at £1 each, they are a fantastic size and have a shimmer effect on them, the Star Wars one is FrugalMrW’s (don’t tell him I told you).

IMG_8610

I picked up these slippers for Daisy from Deichmanns shoe shop, with a 75% saving on the original price they cost £1.74, how amazing is that ?

IMG_8618

Yes I’m 38, yes I have too many phone cases already, but Batman for £1, I couldn’t not buy it, and it looks fantastic on my phone, I bought it from Primark, they had loads of phone cases, accessories and other little knick knacks on clearance.

I think I did pretty well, there’s nothing like having a good old mooch through a clearance bin or a sales rack, hope you have enjoyed looking at what I bought.

If you like these sort of posts and would like to see more of them in future then leave me a comment below, I would love to hear about any bargains you’ve found as well.

Angela xx

 

 

Free Sample & Prize Haul 15.9.13

Hi Folks

Just a small haul here this week, but I have won a couple of prizes this week so looking forward to those arriving.

I’m targeting voucher & gift-cards at the moment in preparation for Christmas, what’s better than shopping ? Free shopping ! that’s my motto.

This TK Maxx card has £60 on it, I won it from an Pinterest competition they were running. Competitions on Pinterest or Instagram are often lower entry as are most effort competitions, they are also lots of fun to do.

There was a competition on the voucher booklet included in the goody bag that my cousin kindly picked me up from Liverpool Food Festival, you can win a lovely garden set from Ocean Spray where you need to enter the promo code GARDEN it closes on the 30th September 2013.

Happy Freebie Hunting & Be Lucky x