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A Sunday best Christmas? #thrifty

In the old days when people went to church, they were scorned and criticised if they didn’t wear their Sunday best clothes. Buying smart clothes for the whole family was phenomenally expensive, especially as they had large families in those days, so the clothes became a valuable possession and were often pawned on Monday.

This requirement by the church helped to keep many people in poverty and encouraged a ‘keep up with the Joneses’ mentality. Charles Dickens noted at the time that fashion descended down from the well to do to the poor. If the well off bought hats, the poor wanted hats too. The poor were often seen wearing boaters which were impractical and even top hats which they picked up second hand at markets. This phenomenon of fashion trickling down to the ‘lower classes’ still persists today and especially at Christmas. The ordinary ‘man in the street’ sees his heroes wearing a particular style of jeans or trainers and they want the same even though they can’t afford it. They strut their stuff in the latest fashions, with a cool hairstyle like Justin Beiber and tattoos like David Beckham and then wonder why they are perpetually short of money. These days keeping clothes for going out in can save money, but you shouldn’t religiously follow fashion or you’ll never have any money saved.

It seems that British people save on average around £80 a month with 25% saving nothing. That’s hardly enough to pay for the annual holiday let alone replace the family car. I suspect that most people buy larger items on credit, lining the pockets of the modern day pawnbrokers.

There were supposed to be new super-six offers at Aldi this week. The super-six fruit and vegetables are the same as last week. They are green beans (220g), baby maris peer potatoes (1kg), red onions (1kg), swede, conference pears and leeks (500g). They are all 59p each and the offers last until the 9th of December.

The special buys today are mostly to keep skiers warm. There are festive products like Christmas jumpers too. There is also an action camcorder to record your adventures when you go on the piste…

The Sunday special buys are mostly for children, but a few things to keep warm too. We need to make sure we have everything we need to cope with bad weather and snow. I noticed the snow shovels and de-icer were in stock at my local Aldi.

Matalan has had a lot of promotions recently and is pushing beanies and bobble hats. I have a Thinsulate beanie that I wear with my parka. I keep warm when I’m out taking photographs.

I’ve started buying food, drinks and presents for Christmas and you can save money if your shop around. You need to be reflective rather than an impulse buyer. Think about what you can afford and what the recipient might like. Buying something practical is good but so too is buying them a luxury that they might otherwise not buy for themselves. If you’re buying gift vouchers, make sure it’s for a popular store that isn’t likely to go out of business.

I usually give Asda gift vouchers, but their offers drive me crazy. They have an offer on Lynx gift packs. That’s shower gel and deodorant. You get 20% off if you buy two. I would rather go to a discount store where they are even cheaper and I don’t have to buy two. I saw them in B&M last week. In fact, I buy Lynx shower gel in Poundland.

That’s all for this week, shop around and get more for your money this Christmas or have a bit left over to go into your savings account. You can subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the space at the top of the sidebar or you can follow me on Twitter for updates.

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