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Christmas is not a competition #thrifty

Many people treat Christmas as if it is some sort of competition. Christmas is not a competition. You have nothing to prove, you just need to enter into the spirit of Christmas and spread the goodwill. You don’t need to buy gifts that are more expensive than the ones your friends are buying. You don’t need to throw a bigger party than all your pals. Take a donation to your food bank and if there is a Christmas Fayre at the church go and support it.

Christmas is not a competition

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Preparing for Christmas #thrifty

Like most people, I’m preparing for Christmas and buying presents and food for guests. There is a temptation at Christmas to spend more than is necessary because we often feel ashamed that we can’t provide our family with the best. The best Christmas is one that will be remembered, so if you can’t afford expensive gifts, give your family a Christmas to remember by decorating the house and organising little events that will make it warm and memorable.

 preparing for Christmas

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Preparing for Christmas #thrifty

Christmas is less than 3 weeks away and so like most people, I’m preparing for Christmas! I have been buying Christmas gifts for over a month and only have one left to buy. Gift vouchers can be an easy option and I buy one every year from the supermarket I know the recipient uses all the time. It is a good idea to avoid buying gift vouchers from stores that might go out of business before the voucher can be used.

preparing for Christmas

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Thrifty shopping for Christmas #thrifty

Yes, I have started my Christmas shopping and already have most of my Christmas presents. It is thrifty shopping as usual and I will be buying some alcoholic drinks in for Christmas. Aldi is great for wine and spirits and my local Asian supermarket does 24 cans of the beer that I will drink through the Christmas period for just 19.99. Thrifty shopping means shopping around!

Thrifty shopping

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Deals on big items #Black-Friday #thrifty

There are lots of deals on big items around this week. The more expensive the item, the bigger the reduction in many cases. The online Black Friday deals appear to be the more attractive ones with popular online retailers Amazon who tend to lead the race to take your money.

Black Friday deals on big items

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Black Friday countdown #thrifty

It is Black Friday next week but it lasts a whole week in this country. If you are in the market for a new television or white goods this could be a good time to grab a bargain. With the magic of the internet you don’t even need to leave your armchair to do it.

Black Friday #thrifty #frugal

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Black Friday deals #thrifty

Black Friday is a US import for us in the UK and is a pre-Christmas sale time. In the past, we have had January sales to sell off unwanted stock but now we have special deals and sales in time for Christmas. Most retailers will start the special deals next week but AO.com started yesterday. I have another special code for you today. This one will get you an extra 10% of a washing machine. Find your bargain deal and

use code WASH10 at the checkout.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more thrifty and frugal ideas.


Black Friday deals #thrifty

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a Bluetooth speaker from AO.com. They are now starting their Black Friday deals. Today, you can get an additional 10% off the deals on televisions with this code:

use code BFTV40 at the checkout

There will be another code tomorrow for washing machines.


Preparing for Christmas #thrifty #frugal

It might seem too early to prepare for Christmas but bargain hunting takes time. I needed a new tray and basket for my air fryer which I’ll be using a lot over Christmas. The parts were really expensive but I found buying directly from Philips was cheaper than buying from many of the stockists. It is useful to buy extra when you’re doing your weekly shop as well. Things for my Christmas buffet are already going into the food cupboard. Preparing for Christmas takes time and a last-minute rush can be very stressful. Start now and take your time!

preparing for Christmas

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Value for money #thrifty #frugal

My Thrifty Thursday post is usually about saving money by shopping around but being frugal can save you even more. I watched a TV programme yesterday evening about a woman learning to cook to save money. She was spending a fortune on food and much of it was loaded with sugar and salt. The BBC has lots of fairly frugal recipes on their website and so check it out and learn to cook a few meals. You can get value for money and enjoy your food more.

value for money ideas

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Interest rate rise? #Thrifty #Frugal

With just 59 days to Christmas, many pundits are predicting an interest rate rise next week. The sensible thing to do would be to wait until January but how often have we heard of people being made redundant and other heartless decisions being made just before Christmas? An interest rate rise could mean higher mortgage repayment costs as well as interest rate hikes on loans and credit cards.

Will interest rates rise next week?

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Dodecagon pounds and polymer notes #thrifty #frugal

Dodecagon pounds

Yes, the old pound coins have been consigned to history and we have shiny new dodecagon shaped pound coins to go with our polymer fivers and tenners. The old fivers have been consigned to history as well but the paper tenners will be around until next spring.  There are still hundreds of millions of pound coins still out there. Imagine how many £20 notes will still be out there when they change those to polymer in 2020. The drug lords with their suitcases full of them will have to get a move on and change them. They could change them to Bitcoin, couldn’t they?

Dodecagon pounds

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Saving and interest rates #thrifty

It seems likely that interest rates will rise in the near future but although that will probably mean higher mortgage rates it doesn’t always follow that savers will get a higher interest rate. Interest rates are at a historic low now but interest rates on credit and store cards are still high. Most people find it hard saving for a home and so a mortgage makes sense but for other things like a car, it is better to save to buy things that will depreciate in value. Lenders rely on our reluctance to wait for new things and so in developed countries a large part of people’s incomes goes in paying interest on loans of some kind.

Saving money

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Coupons and cash-back #thrifty #frugal

I read a couple of blogs recently where they claimed they could save me money with coupons and cash-back. The lady ‘saving’ money with coupons was spending large amounts of money on branded products each week and spent hours of her time finding and using the coupons. I used a coupon in Matalan last week but it was a 20% off one on the Matalan app on my phone. I bought a couple of sweaters for £26 and with the 20% off and so paid £20.80. That is a real saving and very little messing about to get it. I didn’t have to buy an expensive designer label to save money.

coupons can save you money

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88 days to Christmas #thrifty #frugal

Yes, I know. It is a bit early to be thinking about Christmas but besides all the hassle of buying presents there is also the cost and we want to find the bargains and get value for money. Don’t we? Autumn has only just begun but that 88 days will fly by now!

88 days to Christmas

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Housing and money #thrifty #frugal

Property prices keep going up and rarely go down. Demand constantly outstrips supply because demand increases with the increasing money supply. This sends up housing costs for everyone but particularly for those who are renting. There isn’t much you can do to reduce your housing costs if you’re renting, except to move house or consider applying for housing benefit.

housing and money

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Increasing your discretionary income #thrifty #frugal

Discretionary income is that money you have left after paying for all the essentials like housing, food, heating, essential transport, clothing and communications. These days what is essential is quite different from years ago. We consider communications as essential because it allows us to access services in an emergency such as a medical emergency or when our car breaks down.

discretionary income

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DIY and save money #thrifty #frugal

DIY can save you pounds.  Whether it is car maintenance, home decorating, gardening or cooking. DIY (Do It Yourself) is the way to go. You might not be able to do all the maintenance on your car but just checking basic things before it goes in for a service like fluid levels and maybe checking the tyres and wiper blades can save a little.

DIY can save you money

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The age of falling incomes #thrifty

There was more evidence this week that people are less well off. In the public sector, there is a pay freeze and while the incomes of the highest paid seem to continue to grow. So for many people being thrifty and frugal is not a choice it is a necessity. We are in an age of falling incomes because when inflation is taking into account many incomes are falling leaving families struggling.

falling incomes

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Habitual savings #thrifty #frugal #habits

If you make being thrifty and frugal habitual, you can save money without too much effort. Don’t treat yourself because you’ve just been paid. Make some things a challenge. Can you cook a delicious but frugal meal on pay day instead of splashing out? Some people ‘treat’ themselves to a takeaway on Fridays. I tend to cook egg, chips and peas. Besides being an old favourite, it is also a cheap meal! Acquire some habitual savings to save money without even noticing it.

habitual savings

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Splash the cash? #Thrifty #Frugal

Splash the cash? Yes, even though I watch the pennies and watch the pounds I do sometimes splash the cash on something expensive. This involves parting with large amounts of money without an anaesthetic. Believe me, I have needed a bit of pain relief just lately. I changed my car and that was more expensive than I had expected and this week I had the awful experience of changing my insurance. I was insured with the AA who were very nice about losing my custom. I switched to Saga via a price comparison site. I decided to have the breakdown cover but would have preferred to stay with the AA. I had the home-start before but now I have a car a couple of years old instead of 20 years old. I didn’t bother with that. When I rang the AA they said they would have cut the price for me and done a cheaper deal. It was too bloody late by then!

splash the cash?

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Bulk buying and other strategies

Some warehouses allow the public in and bulk buying can save you money. Asian supermarkets will often give you a discount on bulk buying as well. You can also do a bit of bulk buying when there is a promotion such as buying half a dozen T shirts for the summer when there is a promotion. The 2 for £6 and 3 for £10 offers in Asda can save you money and although it isn’t exactly bulk buying it is the same principle.

thrifty bulk buying

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Have a nice day #thrifty #frugal

Just driving to the supermarket these days is stressful and so isn’t it a relief when to find the checkout person is pleasant and helpful? Well run companies know this and train their staff to de-stress us at the checkout knowing we will do almost anything to avoid stress. Stress costs us money because as we walk around the supermarket we are tempted by sugary foods like chocolate and by alcohol. It is worse for smokers who will gasp their way to the cigarette kiosk and then hurry outside to light up.

Have a nice day

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Bargain hunting odd items #thrifty

Sometimes we bargain hunt for the unusual item. We are going to a fancy dress party and need some vintage clothing. Where do you start looking for those odd items? One great place is your local charity shop and you can also look at Oxfam’s online shop for great bargains on good quality clothing and other pre-loved goodies.

 Looking for those odd items

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