Black Friday – Hints and Tips

As you all know I LOVE shopping and this week all our inboxes are being bombarded with Black Friday sales and offer deals, desperately trying to get our cash. But how do you know whats a great offer and whats a dud? I’ve pulled together a few tips below to help you get the best bargains this Black Friday.

But first – what is Black Friday?

Black Friday is an annual discount shopping event held the day after Thanksgiving (which is always on a Thursday), first starting in America as a way to ‘cheer people up’ from the comedown of Thanksgiving as most people would have that day off work also. Originally a one-day event, many retailers now offer sales and deals in the week leading up to it thanks to its huge success (and the fact it caused riots when it was just the one day!). You may of seen footage of people fighting over TV’s and the like…yep, that was during Black Friday. This year Black Friday falls on Friday 23rd November.

How to get the best deals this year –

Sign up for newsletters and keep your eyes on each brands social media

Yes, lots of spammy emails can be annoying but if there are brands you love or items you want to save on, sign up/follow their social media. It will be through these all their deals, codes and offers will be revealed. You can always unsubscribe afterwards.

Plan your attack

Write a list and stick to it. Double check all prices to make sure they are actually the cheapest and utilise ‘price matching’ if you want to buy from a particular retailer. Look at reviews – it might be cheap but is it any good?

Dont pay delivery costs if you can help it

It can be worth finding a cheap filler item to get free delivery to take your basket value up to the stores free delivery amount or use their collect at store option if there is a store near to you. If you buy from Amazon, opting into Prime for free 1 day delivery is definitely worth it, plus you get a great TV/movie/streaming service too!

Can you use a cashback website to cut the cost even more? 

Once you know where’s cheapest, check Quidco or TopCashBack for further savings – buying via their links can often save you up to 20% or gain you a single one-off payment (although you will have to wait for this – sometimes up to 12 weeks).

Need a code? Theres an app for that…

Check websites such as HotUKdeals.com, VoucherCodes.co.uk or VoucherCloud.co.uk where people share discount codes they receive as well as great bargains they have found. Some of these codes will work on top of Black Friday offers so its always worth trying them.

Be careful of scams

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. In the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday the following week scams, phishing emails and credit card fraud increase dramatically. Be careful using your mobile phone to place orders and only buy through sites you know are real and have a secure ‘https’ connection (look for the padlock in your url bar). Use a credit card if in doubt as this gives you extra protection (but pay it off afterwards!)

Don’t wait for Friday

Many retailers will start their offers early and on Friday stock will sell out and websites often crash. Miss all the mayhem by buying on the days before or if the offers are only on Black Friday shop early in the morning or late at night when website traffic is reduced.

You can always change your mind

If you get carried away, remember most of the time you can always return your items. Check out each companies return policy and make sure they accept unwanted items as well as faulty ones and keep your receipts. Don’t delay though, the sooner you process your return the better!

And finally remember the money mantra always given by Martin Lewis, financial expert at MoneySavingExpert.com – before you buy anything, ask yourself: ‘Do I need it, is it worth it, have I checked whether it’s cheaper elsewhere?’ If the answer to any of those is no, don’t buy it. And even if it’s yes, ensure you can afford it.

Remember no ‘bargain’ is ever worth getting into financial difficulties for.

There will be some great offers around this week – so are you ready to spend or do you think its a complete waste of time? I’d love to know…

My top 10 January sale buys

So we are now at the end of January…how did that happen?!? There isn’t that much to be cheerful about in January but I find a trip to the sales is always able to fix those post Christmas/New Year blues. So sale shopping throughout the month is a must for me! Heres my 10 favourite sale purchases I made…

1) H&M LOGG jumper £15 (from £29.99)

This pale grey jumper is so soft and fluffy I couldn’t resist. The high turtle neck is easier to wear than a roll neck and it is oversized so hangs beautifully (I’m a size 10/12 and went for the small). I’ve worn this loads already with both skinny jeans and wet look leggings. 2) H&M fine knit jumper £5 (from £19.99) 

A super cute fitted jumper with a slogan I’m going to use as a mantra in 2016! A total bargain too.

 3) H&M long cardigan £7 (from £24.99)

I love the colour plum in the colder months and liked the long line of this cardigan. At 70% off it would of been rude not to buy it… 4) New Look jewellery / necklaces £2 each (from £5.99), earrings £1 (from £5.99) 

I can’t resist bargain priced accessories and these 2 necklaces look much more expensive than they were. The tasselled necklace has a real vintage feel to it and is very unusual and is definitely different to anything I own already. 5) New Look shirt bib £3.50 (from £8.99) 

I got the white formal shirt version of this as part of a Christmas present so when I saw this checked flannel version reduced I grabbed it.  Its such a clever idea and is great to place under more fitted items such as dresses and tops to create the illusion of a shirt underneath, without the bulk.

6) Primark blanket coat £10 (from £23) 

OK, this coat is an acquired taste but in the grey, black and winter white colourway with a faux leather trim, it looks great. It came with a belt (which I removed) as I am going to wear it as a more laid back waterfall style coat or use a large kilt pin to fasten it. Its suprisingly cosy for a car coat (as its not lined) too.7)  Claires Accessories floral crown, diamante headband, pearl and stud necklace and lurex braces – all £1 each (from £10 – £5)

Because you can never have to many acccessories….8) ASOS patchwork dungaree dress £22.50 (from £38)

I have been on the look out for a dungaree dress since the Autumn and tried loads on but couldnt find one I liked. This one with the different colored denim sections is cute without looking too young and where I didnt like the raw hem (really ASOS?) and just hemmed it to make it look neater.  

9) Monki via ASOS sunglasses £3.75 (from £15)

Is it too early to buy sunglasses? I say no! I loved the cats eye shape of these combined with the gold metal frame. 10) River Island suedette bib £9 (from £15) and bow collar £4 (from £8)

Yes, it’s another shirt bib! I really think theyre fabulous. I also liked this cute bow which fastens like a choker and will be a great substitute for my normal statement necklaces.  

So what bargains have you been treating yourself to? I’d love to know…

Primark January sale buys

The other day we had to pop into Primark to buy a couple of bits for our sons and a few other bits. Being a lover of Primark I couldnt leave without quickly rushing through womenswear and grabbing a few sale bargains. What do you think of what I got?

Green batwing top £5 (from £10)

I love green and think the classic shape of this top will look great with skinny jeans, a statement necklace and heels. The zip detail on the back is also a nice touch.

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NASA t-shirt £2 (from £6)
I’m a bit of a geek and love space and sci-fi stuff. Now I can pretend I attended space camp back in the 80’s – best of all its a really loose fit so the size 8 fitted!

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Print and lace top £2 (from £5)
I bought this top first of all with the idea to maybe wear in bed with black leggings but its actually too pretty for that. Its very fine, lightweight jersey so I’m waiting for Spring to warm things up until I wear it.

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Clutch bag £2 (from £4)
I love pop art and basically can’t resist anything comicbooky like this. At £2 it would of been rude not to! I think its a really fun addition to my novelty bag collection.

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Sequin shorts £3 (from £6)
These are from YD the kids area! The size 12-13yrs would easily fit if you are a size 10-12 and the length isn’t too short either (although to be fair I’m 5’2″). I’m going to wear these with opaque tights and a top for nights out, in place of my usual play suits.

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A whole bag full for £14!!! What have you bought recently from Primark?

My Sale Buys

Have you been partaking of some retail therapy at the sales? I have! I love getting a bargain!!! In todays blog, let me show you some of what I have been spending (or as I like to think of it, saving) my money on…

New Look faux fur cossack hat and scarf

Ok, I bought the scarf full price (£17.99) with some Christmas money because it was goung to sell out but the hat was £6.50 (reduced from £12.99). These are gorgeous quality and so warm and cosy, plus I love they match exactly.

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Primark PU biker jacket
Primark metallic oversized clutch bag
Select oversized scarf

The Primark jacket was reduced to just £15 (from £25) and is a lovely wine colour. The clutch bag was reduced to £3 (from £6) and the Select scarf was just £2 (from £6.99) – I love the hot pink with grey.

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Very.co.uk Resort bikini

I am aiming to get somewhere hot this summer if it kills me and due to recent weight loss have had to replace all my bras (and therefore my swimwear). Black is always good for a curvy girl and I loved the sheer panel and slightly wet-look look of the top. It total it was £11.00 (from £28.00) and is a really confidence boosting piece.

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New look earrings

More accessories but at just £2 a pair (from £4.99/£6.99) I had couldn’t say no…

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New look novelty clutch bag

I umm’ed and ahh’ed about this beauty before Christmas – I have developed a thing for novelty bags but lets be honest they are not practical. When it was reduced to £5 (from £12.99) I could not resist!

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What did you buy in the sales this year?