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Affording a little luxury #thrifty

If you are thrifty, then you can save money and at times enjoy the odd luxury, even champagne for a celebration. However, buying champagne needs a little knowledge, you need to still be able to distinguish a good champagne from a cheap champagne. It pays to learn a little about the goods you’re buying and how they are made. For a celebration, I wouldn’t choose a very dry champagne, for example, because it probably wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste. In fact, to save money, I would probably serve champagne cocktails.

luxury

A luxury Christmas

Christmas is a time when we often feel we deserve a little luxury, but it is also a time of waste. We buy or get bought Christmas sweaters that will only be worn once and pull expensive crackers that provide only a moment of muted excitement. You don’t have to be a genius to get better value for money. The luxury mince pies in Aldi do well in tests years after year, despite being discounted, so they are a good choice. Even the cheapest mince pies can be made more luxurious with the addition of a squirt of cream.

Luxury clothing

Famous name designer clothing doesn’t always mean quality. Some designer brands even source cheap clothing from low pay countries to supplement the genuine designer clothing and then you really are just paying for the name and the label. Checking the weight and quality of the fabric as well as the styling and examining the stitching can provide some clues as to the real quality. If you are buying a tee-shirt for your holiday, consider what you would look good in, but also which colour would fade most in the sun? Black might look cool on a biker weekend but it will absorb the heat of the sun and not feel at all cool then quickly fade to a dark grey.

Real Leather?

Look for the real leather tag on shoes and bags that tells you the product is likely to last longer. You should also feel the quality of the leather, cheap leather is thick and tends to crack after a while as it flexes. The finest Italian leather is soft and flexible. Try shoes on too, some styles can be a very tight fit as can some sizes that are not quite the equivalent of UK sizes.

That luxury fragrance

Perfumes and deodorants are made with essential oils. The oils can be expensive but give expensive perfumes a distinctive fragrance. You can often buy really expensive perfumes in charity shops or get samples in certain stores. Watch out for fake perfumes, the brand name doesn’t always mean a quality product. For expensive perfumes go to a store with samples and try before you buy.

Diamonds are forever

The days when people wore their wealth are over. The plastic in your wallet is worth more than the ring on your finger. Jewellery has long been a status symbol but it has also made people a target for thieves. You can choose to wear costume jewellery and hope the thieves know the difference. Mostly these days jewellery is symbolic and can be used to signify an engagement or wedding or just brought out to say an occasion is special. Beware of people selling cheap jewellery, selling fake diamonds is a century old tradition and ‘real’ diamonds can now be manufactured, even the highly prized coloured diamonds. For a touch of luxury, think about the appearance of jewellery rather than the status. A simple string of cultured pearls can look far more elegant than  garish diamonds. Look at second-hand and antique jewellery too.

As always, buying luxury goods is about really knowing what you are buying and being able to recognise quality as well as fashion.

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