My first Nearly New Baby Sale

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A few weeks ago we attended a nearly new baby sale I found out about via Facebook. This was the first time I’d been to one of these sales and I didn’t really know what to expect before we got there, but I love a bargain, so I was quite excited to attend.

We were some of the first people to arrive and were given a goody bag each on arrival. This contained little samples of baby shampoo, baby bath, laundry products, a few coupons and a bundle of leaflets for local baby groups and shops.

Although some of the stalls appeared to be business sellers, most seemed to be private sellers having a clear out of their unwanted baby items – it was kind of like a car boot that only sold kids stuff. Most of the things on sale were very reasonably priced, although I felt some sellers expectations were a little unrealistic. I recently bought a few baby toys online when Amazon were having a toy sale and there was one lady there selling some of the things I had bought, for more than I had paid for them brand new!

We didn’t stay too long in the end. It got very busy and there was a lot of pushing and shoving from crazed bargain hunting mammas! I get claustrophobic and anxious in crowds at the best of times, but add to that being pregnant and very hot, I wasn’t too happy being jostled about and I think I freaked out a bit and just wanted to get home!

My loot!

My loot!

We did come away with a few bargains though. I’d gone through the baby clothes we had bought a few days earlier and realised we had virtually nothing in 0-3 months. Although I often read that this is the age range people will buy for you most as gifts, strangely so far all of the clothing gifts we have received have been for 6-9 months. I managed to find seven vests, four sleepsuits and a little outfit consisting of leggings and a top in 0-3 months. The total price for all of them? £3.50! That’s just under 27p per item. Not bad, huh?

Despite not liking the crowds, I’d definitely go to another one of these sales. I think maybe it is best to go with something specific in mind, so that you can hunt it out and grab hold of it, as browsing can be a bit difficult when there are so many people crowded around such a small stall. Have you ever attended one of these events? I love to hear about other people’s bargains, so please leave me a comment to let me know what you bought!

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The Christmas Tag!

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It’s officially less than a month until Christmas (yikes!), so I thought now would be a good time to do something a little bit different and take part in the Christmas Tag post. I’ve seen a few beauty bloggers taking part, so I thought I’d take it upon myself to join in. The tag was started by Makeup-pixi3, if you’re into beauty products, please check out her lovely blog!

1.  Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or synthetic?

We’ve only ever had a synthetic tree, but I’d love to have a real one at some point in the future. I remember as a child my auntie would have a real tree and it always smelled so nice and somehow felt more magical than a synthetic one!

 

2.  You’re in a coffee shop, it’s December, what do you pick?

A Starbucks gingerbread latte. I’m not much of a coffee person, but it’s the one coffee drink I make an exception for. Every year my husband and I make a date one weekend to pop into Starbucks so I can get one. I’ll probably only be having the one this year as I’m pregnant, so I’m watching my caffeine intake.

 

3.  What’s your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?

I really like traditional red and gold. Either that, or a real mix with pinks, yellows and blues – sort of like an 80’s tree to remind me of my childhood! When we bought our tree, we went for a more unusual pink, purple and silver theme, the reason being the shop had one on display and it looked amazing. I do sort of regret it and wish we’d gone with something more traditional, but it would be too expensive to change all the baubles now, so that’s something that is on hold for a while!

 

4.  Giving or receiving?

I enjoy both! Seriously though it’s great to see someone’s face when they open a present you’ve put a lot of thought or effort into, so I’d say giving.

 

5.  To mince pie or not to?

Not to! I’m really not a fan of mince pies…or Christmas cake or Christmas pudding for that matter. The only Christmassy treats I tend to like are either gingerbread or chocolate Yule log.

 

6.  What’s your traditional sunday lunch?

We usually go to my mum’s and she tends to do a big joint of beef. It’s usually accompanied by potatoes (both boiled and roast), Yorkshire puddings and veg – carrots, cauliflower and sprouts (which no-one actually likes!). She never does pigs in blankets which my husband gets upset about so I have to make those for him at home on Boxing Day! If I was making it myself I’d probably do chicken as I prefer it to turkey and I’d do roast potatoes, honey roast parsnips, yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankets for my husband, carrots, peas and cauliflower – whatever I could fit onto the plate basically!

 

7.  Christmas day fashion

I’ve always intended to buy something special to wear on Christmas day – preferably something with sequins or a festive print. The reality is, I don’t usually make a huge effort, it’s normally a casual dress with thick tights or jeans and a top. This year I’ll be massive and pregnant (!) so I don’t care as long as it’s comfortable! I do always make more effort with my make-up on Christmas day though and I almost always do glitter nails too.

 

8.  What’s your favourite Christmas song?

All I want for Christmas by Mariah Carey. I think I start listening to Mariah’s Christmas album (the first, not the second!) in late October most years!

 

9.  What’s your favourite Christmas film?

This is so hard, I love so many of them! I adore Love Actually – in fact it’s my favourite film ever, not just for Christmas – but I also like to watch Home Alone near Christmas and Bad Santa. I always cry at the bit in Bad Santa where the kid says ‘I know you’re not Santa, but I thought you were my friend’. Gets me every time! Oh, and The Santa Clause with Tim Allen, because I remember as a kid my dad rented it from Global Video (remember them?!) to watch on Christmas Eve which was a huge treat for us back then! It felt like the best Christmas ever!

 

10.  Open presents before or after lunch?

Usually both! If it’s just me and my husband then before lunch. If we go to family, my sister likes everyone to be there when the presents are opened, probably so she can have a good nose at what we all got! It’s usually afternoon before everyone turns up, so we open them then.

 

If you have done this tag or want to do it, then please tweet me or leave a comment, as I’d love to have a read. I’ve really enjoyed reading them so far, I think it’s fascinating reading about other people’s traditions! Merry Christmas everyone!!

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Charity Shop Bargains

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I used to be a regular in charity shops, but over the last year or so, despite still popping in now and then, I’ve really struggled to find anything worth buying. Just lately my luck seems to have changed a little, so I thought I would share a few of my recent finds.

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Marks and Spencer Baby Sleeping Bag – £1.50

Baby bedding is so confusing to me – do I swaddle? Use sleeping bags? Blankets? Do I use a Moses basket or put the baby straight into a cot? The worst part is that everyone I ask for advice gives me a different answer! I didn’t want to spend a lot on one particular thing, as I want to find what works for my baby once she’s here, so to find this sleeping bag so cheap and in such beautiful condition (it’s near perfect, unfortunately it got a bit creased as you can see on the picture), was a real stroke of luck. Definitely my best bargain in a long time!

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That’s Not My Train touch and feel book – 70p

I’m obsessed with children’s books, thoroughly obsessed! I had actually bought a brand new touch and feel book from the That’s Not My… range and been impressed with the quality, so when I saw this one in great condition, I snapped it up. A word of warning if you’re buying books with touchy-feely pages second hand, do have a flick through first. I’ve seen lots with felt or fur patches that have become quite mucky from sticky little fingers!

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Best-Loved Winnie the Pooh Stories – 90p

I had seen a beautiful Winnie the Pooh book online containing all of the Winnie the Pooh stories and costing around £20. The thing that held me back was that as a child, I had Winnie the Pooh books, but wasn’t particularly interested in them. It was only as an adult I began to appreciate the stories and the same goes for Beatrix Potter, which I love now but didn’t really see what all the fuss was about when I was a kid. When I spotted this, I felt that for less than a pound it was a good compromise and should my baby develop a love for Pooh and his friends, I will think about buying the complete works nearer to the time!

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Next Santa Dress – £1.50

I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I just couldn’t resist! How cute? Hopefully my little girl will be the right size for it next Christmas. I’m already planning Christmas photos with her surrounded by baubles to give out to family!

 

Do you shop in charity shops? Have you had any good bargains lately? I’d love to hear about them! Please leave me a comment below! Can’t see the box? Click ‘Read More’ and it should appear.

This is my first week linking up with Magpie Monday

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Extreme Couponing UK: How to get coupons

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Couponing is something I have written about here before and so I thought it is about time I shared some tips on how to get coupons in the UK.

How I get my Coupons

  • Supersavvyme.co.uk – This website has printable coupons for cleaning products, beauty brands, nappies and pet food amongst other things.
  • Tesco Clubcard – If you have a Clubcard account and don’t get your vouchers through the post, you can print them online through the Tesco website.
  • Freestuff.co.uk – Updated daily with printable vouchers. You can also sign up to receive a daily email.
  • Magicfreebiesuk.co.uk– Also worth signing up for daily freebies and money off coupons.
  • www.caringeveryday.co.uk - This website has lots of printable coupons for Johnson’s products.
  • In Store Magazines – You know those free Supermarket magazines at the counter? Pick one up next time you’re in store, they often have the odd coupon in there (Tesco magazines are especially good for this).
  • Price Promise Vouchers – Most supermarkets give you a voucher at the checkout if you could have bought the same items cheaper elsewhere. In the case of ASDA you will need to go to the website listed on your receipt.
  • It is also worth checking out the following blog: http://ukcrazycouponingmom.moonfruit.com/
  • …and the following Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/couponshopuk
  • …or give them a follow on twitter: @couponshopuk
  • Another way of getting coupons is to write directly to the manufacturers. Complimenting their products, giving feedback, making a complaint (genuine only, I’m not advocating making things up to get coupons!) or sometimes just asking them a question can result in a coupon.

Other tips and tricks

  • Once you have your coupons, head to mysupermarket.co.uk and do a price comparison. Find which store is selling the product you want for the lowest price and if possible use your coupon there.
  • As I wrote about here, it’s worth knowing a stores coupon policy. Since writing that post, the same thing happened to me in Tesco. I complained to Tesco just as I had done with ASDA, and to my surprise,they were amazing. They called me within 10 minutes of the complaint, wrote me an apology letter and sent me a £10 gift card, as well as telling me to take the refused coupons to customer services to have them refunded. So, if you do run into any trouble at the checkout, I’d suggest not causing a fuss and writing a complaint when you get home.
  • Finally, it’s not strictly couponing, but you can sometimes increase your savings by earning cashback on your purchases, just by submitting a picture of your receipt online. Check out Quidco Click Snap and Topcashback Snap and Save.

Do you have any more couponing tips? Is there a coupon you’ve seen that you’d like to share?  If so, leave me a comment or tweet me @LemonadeBudget

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Review: St.Ives Moisturising Olive Scrub

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Months ago, I asked the beauty bloggers on Twitter to recommend me an affordable face scrub. Every single person came back and said ‘St. Ives’. A lot of the recommendations I got were specifically for the apricot scrub, however when I went to Superdrug, I noticed this, the Moisturising Olive Scrub and thought it might be the best choice for my dry skin.

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The scrub contains olive oil and ‘100% natural exfoliators’ and is also paraben free. The tube recommends it is used daily for best results, which I find strange for a facial exfoliator – I have been using it twice a week and have found this to be more than enough for me personally.

The product itself is a rather unattractive green colour, however it has a light, floral scent which I find pleasant. To use, I squeeze around 2cm of product from the tube and massage it into damp skin. I find the exfoliator to feel quite nice to apply – it’s almost like applying a thick balm or moisturiser to the face rather than a scrub. Don’t get me wrong here, I can feel the particles on my skin, but they feel very gentle and not scratchy or harsh at all.

Once the scrub has been rinsed off, it leaves my skin feeling absolutely amazing. I suffer dry patches, especially on my forehead and these are always buffed away and my skin looks radiant a smooth. It also feels really smooth to the touch and like I’ve just applied a light moisturiser. It’s perfect for leaving my skin in great condition prior to applying foundation.

I’ve been using this scrub for around 2-3 months now and can’t imagine using any other brand now, so it gets a huge recommendation from me.

A 150ml tube costs £4.99 from Boots and Superdrug, but Superdrug currently have it at half price, so just £2.49 – what are you waiting for?

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