My Favourite Loyalty Cards – Why You Need To Join The Love Your Body Club From The Body Shop

Continuing on from my recent post about how much I love the Boots Advantage Card and its accompanying app for saving money I decided to feature The Body Shop’s loyalty card which although I don’t use anywhere near as much as my Boots card I think it is definitely worth having, read on to find out why.

Love Your Body Club details

  • 10 points for every £1 spend
  • Free £5 voucher on your birthday month that can be used in store or online
  • 500 points = £5 voucher to redeem
  • refer-a-friend-scheme offering both parties discounts (friends have to be new customers)
  • You can earn points in their outlets where most products have good reductions
  • 20% student discount through Unidays in store and online (at time of posting)
  • If you leave a product review you often get a discount code towards your next shop online

My love for The Body Shop started around 2014 when they had a promo offering £25 off a £50 spend which I used to invest in items like make up brushes, eye pencil sharpeners, a body brush etc – all of which are still going strong. I used to buy virtually all my toiletries from TBS including skin care, toiletries and gifts as a few years ago O2 Priority used to always offer 30% discounts with no minimum spend. Their receipts always used to include a save £10 when you spend £25 coupon which I would then use to buy their heavily reduced box sets in the sales which were fantastic value for money. If you’re a fan of their products I’d hugely recommend buying this way as the boxes include multi-save offers anyway and when reduced are often quite a bit cheaper than buying the 1 individual product you may have wanted.

Nowadays I don’t buy anywhere near as much as I used to but would still say this card is worth having if you like freebies. You get special member offers and TBS often give away samples of products via social media adverts that you can pick up in store, I’ve always been asked for my Love Your Body Card when collecting these. I’ve been able to pick up face mask sachets, 2 mini bottles of shampoo (which when empty are great to refill for travelling), a mini hand cream and others in the past. The best perk is the £5 voucher within your birthday month and it is easy to use this to get completely free products.

I’m fully aware that lots more eco-friendly toiletry companies are out there but for easy accessibility I think TBS is a better choice than most other high street options in Boots or Superdrug. They’re owned by Natura & Co, an ethical, cruelty free company and TBS do lots to raise money for charity and protecting the planet. They promote in store recycling, make packaging from recycled waste which improves working conditions for plastic pickers, have some refillable products as well as plastic free options like bar soap for body and face with options for different skin concerns. I used my birthday voucher last month to pick up a free bar soap to make an eco swap away from buying shower gel. Their packaging like plastic tubs and glass jars look great when upcycled into plant pots and their gift boxes are great to reuse for presents (after covering the logo with a ribbon etc) or organising around the house. I’ve stored sandals in boxes to make them stackable and even used an empty clean body butter tub to store jewellery.

Comments welcome.

My Favourite Loyalty Cards – Why You Need A Boots Advantage Card & The App

Several years ago I used to be a dedicated Superdrug shopper and purchased virtually all of my toiletries from them. I didn’t bother getting a Boots Advantage Card as I thought if I shopped in both stores I’d never earn enough points on either to make it worthwhile but I was wrong. I signed up for a Boots card about 3 years ago as at the time they were the only high street retailer selling La Roche Posay which are my favourite skincare brand. As the products start around £12 I figured it was worth earning points on things I was going to buy anyway and whilst signing up the sales assistant recommended I download the app. I am endlessly glad I took this advice as combining the app with the loyalty card makes it so much better as you can earn so many more points which in turn save you money.

Boots Advantage Card info –

  • 4 points for every £1 spend – one of the best rates of any loyalty cards
  • Free magazines every couple of months with promo vouchers in
  • Downloading the app gives you personalised offers with easy ways to hugely boost your points
  • You have to use your entire points balance to pay for items – you can’t spend half cash half points
  • 10% student discount with a valid student card
  • Free samples via the app

In Superdrug you’re able to use points to knock £1 off your shop at the till which meant I never saved up for a treat as it was easy to just cheapen my usual toiletry shops. I had no complaints with this but it didn’t feel like I was seeing a huge benefit. As Boots requires you to use only points to pay for an item I found it much easier to save them and as they stock brands like Benefit, Clinique and Clarins etc I’ve often used points to claim discounted designer make up in the January sales. New designer beauty brands seem to be added to Boots by the month with Nars and Mac being the most recent additions which for me makes this even better as I’d normally not be able to justify designer brands like this. Saving up my points and waiting for offers or promos with Boots as well as collecting beauty freebies has enabled me to spend virtually nothing on make up now in 2 years.

The points really do add up very quickly with the app without me having to go above and beyond with my spending. These days Savers is my local toiletry shop and I pick up most basic bits in there yet at the time of writing I still have over £22 worth of Boots points. Boots is my go-to for skincare when on promotion or I buy their own brand products so I never feel like I am overly spending just to get the points. I’ve seen offers in the past via the app for 200 extra points with any shower gel spend so was able to claim this by paying 75p for an own brand one – without the app this wouldn’t have earned me anything. I love as well that the personalised offers on the app are often stackable so when I buy an item of skincare by loading points with the app I can claim multiple deals. For example – 200 points for spending £15 on beauty, a further 150 points for spending £15 in one transaction as well as the original points for the item. So 200 + 150 + 60 = 410 points. Most offers can also be redeemed in store and online. In the last couple of months I’ve also noticed via the Boots app the opportunity to apply for free samples of beauty products which has enabled my to try highlighters by BECCA, IT Cosmetics CC Cream and Estee Lauder advanced night repair serum.

Boots have triple points events through the store on occasion and the extra points with £15 spend offer via the app seems to be very regular so I tend to shop for things I need ahead of time or all in one go rather than picking up odd bits here and there as it enables me to collect more points for things I was going to buy anyway. During my birthday month I was offered double points throughout the entire month on top of these other points offers.

Last month I noticed money off coupons on the app like 50p off a particular suncream making it only £3.50 for 200ml which I was really pleased with as I needed a new bottle. In the last month £10 Tuesday has become a new feature with Boots offering heavily discounted products from a huge range of brands across different departments with huge reductions. These work along with store promotions like 3 for 2 so there are some amazing deals to be had.

My only criticism is that even with an Advantage Card if you’re ordering online you have to spend over £30 for free home delivery. Superdrug offer their loyalty card holders free delivery with a £10 spend which turned out to be a life saver when we went into lockdown but all told I am a huge fan of the Boots Advantage Card and its accompanying app.

Comments welcome

Saving Money At Home – I Won A £50 IKEA Voucher!

I’ve never won a competition. I recently signed up to Super Savvy Me to claim Proctor and Gamble free samples which meant a mini Oral B toothpaste and Lenor fragrance booster dropped through my letterbox which was great. Whilst logged into my account without giving it much thought I entered 2 of their competitions to win store vouchers and miraculously won a £50 IKEA Voucher with no expiry date. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

Since the start of my student years I’ve always lived in furnished rented properties relying on them having well stocked kitchens and decent enough furniture as I own virtually nothing in the homeware department. It was so bad that my first landlord in London actually lent me freshly dry cleaned pillows and a duvet as well as a bed side lamp, bin and mirror. To give you an idea, I’m in my mid-20s and I have 1 pan, 3 mugs, 2 bowls, 1 plate and 2 gifted glasses to my name when it comes to kitchenware. That’s it! I have 1 bedding set, 1 blanket, 1 gifted cushion, 1 large bath towel – you get the idea. Ultimately I’m fine with what I’ve got and never been able to justify a huge homeware spend as I can comfortably get by. I intend to be a homeowner one day in the future so know that this will involve a fair bit of spending when the time comes as I currently have so little which is another reason I’m so grateful to have won this prize.

This voucher will be used for treats I previously wouldn’t have splurged on as well as lots of basic essentials like a set of tumblers and a long extension lead to overcome poor socket placement in my home which has become more apparent since working from home. I’m holding out a lot of hope for a small cheese plant which I’ve wanted for a good few years and intend to treat myself to a fancy room fragrance. Before going I plan to make a list of items that would be most useful so I get as much benefit as possible from this voucher rather than just picking up any old items. I honestly cannot wait but am hanging in there until I can safely visit a store without having to queue outside for several hours to make the most of this experience – and hand pick my plant of course! I plan to gift petrol money and / or some of my freebie collection to a friend with a car to make this trip even more enjoyable and save me wrestling a monstera and more on public transport!

Unsurprisingly given my small selection of homeware, I’m a huge IKEA novice so comments are particularly welcome for things I should look out for or bargain products loved from this store!

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My Best Beauty Bargain Haul – How I Got £27.45 Worth Of Superdrug Products For 89p With TopCashBack

Prior to lockdown I rarely shopped online but as items were getting harder, if not impossible, to find locally I began online shopping. This led me to looking into cashback websites where you can earn a % of your purchase back through websites like QuidCo or TopCashBack. Basic accounts are free.

I did some research via Money Saving Expert r.e cashback sites and it advised it was best to only use the sites for things you intended to buy anyway as cashback was never 100% guaranteed. I needed some basic toiletries and noticed TopCashBack had a deal with Superdrug offering new TCB customers up to £15 cashback on their purchases so decided to give this a go.

I signed up for TopCashBack and through their website I made my Superdrug purchase. Everything I purchased was either on offer or own brand items meaning I paid £15.89 for £27.45 worth of products. I bought whatever was closest to my typical basics that were available for home delivery:

  • 2 x Head & Shoulders Shampoo 250ml – £3.98 total (RRP £2.99 each)
  • 2 x Loreal Elvive Rapid Reviver Conditioner 200ml – £5.44 (RRP £5.50 each)
  • 2 x Superdrug lip balm – £1.49
  • 1 x Garnier Ultimate Blends Body Lotion 400ml – £2.99 (RRP £5.99)
  • 1 x Nivea Hand Cream Intensive 100ml – £1.99 (RRP £2.99)

I was able to log into my Superdrug account when checking out so also earned 15 points on this transaction and delivery was free as I spent over £15.

It took a couple of days for the purchase to appear in my TopCashBack account which initially made me very nervous but I did read it can sometimes take up to 7 days – if it doesn’t track after this time you can contact them easily via a form system where it will be investigated. I placed my order with Superdrug on the 18th May and received notification that my cashback was approved within 3 weeks – I believe this is because you have to wait for the returns period of 28 days to pass as if you get a refund you’re ineligible for cashback. I was then able to withdraw this money into my bank account where it takes up to 3 days to appear. The website does say it can take up to 3 months for cashback to reach the payable stage, it depends on the retailer.

All told this was a brilliant success for me. If you need toiletries anyway I’d say it’s definitely worth trying your luck. I’m still so thrilled with this and think it’s one of my best bargain hauls to date!

Signing up via this TopCashBack referral link means we’ll both receive an extra £5 bonus once you’ve had £10 cash back from the site. I’m not a huge online shopper but have found this website easy and handy to use to get some bonuses from purchases I’d be making anyway. There are often new customer deals of extra cashback from certain sites which really helps bump up your earnings with even eBay being registered for cashback. Although I’ve had some problems with cashback tracking, so not showing up in my account, it’s been really easy to ask for this to be looked into and purchases have then been added to my earnings.

Comments welcome.

Tips On Savvy Book Buying and Free Reading From An Avid Book Worm

I am a huge reader, I absolutely love books and e-reading does nothing for me. I read very quickly so can never justify buying new books full price for around £8 a pop. Below are some of the ways I’ve saved lots of money over the years when reading or buying books. Please note – growing up I read around 10 books a week borrowed from a library and owned next to none. Over the last 3 years I’ve been collecting favourite titles so tend to buy books I’m familiar with or authors I’ve previously enjoyed. When buying books I don’t tend to gamble on any title for that – instead I borrow “randoms” from a library… When choosing books I pick a random page and read 2 to see if I get on with it, if yes I buy and if not I try again.

Join A Library – It is free to join your local library and anyone who lives, studies or works in the area can join, all you need is proof of address. The average time you can borrow a book for is around 3 weeks, you can set up email reminders to return or renew them and even access free eBooks and audio books. Libraries also offer cheap DVD rental and you can order in and reserve books. It’s definitely worth popping in to see what’s available for you if you like reading, especially in London as I have 2 libraries within 15 min walking distance from my house. Belonging to a smaller library growing up definitely pushed me to read a wider range of novels and pick up titles I would previously have ignored.

Library Withdrawn Book Sales – You don’t even have to be a library member to enjoy these. Every now and again libraries withdraw books to clear space and tend to sell them off very cheap. I once visited a library sale where you could fill a bag full of books for £1 so I picked up 6. There’s usually a good range of reference books, crime novels, romances stories and sometimes children’s fiction.

6 books for £1 from a library withdrawn sale

Visit Charity Shops – The cheapest I’ve ever picked up books in charity shop is 50p each or 3 for £1 which is an absolute steal. I find charity shops are really good for picking up popular books from the last few years. I regularly see series like Fifty Shades, Me Before You, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo etc. The most I’ve paid is £2.50 for a large hard back which had an RRP of £18 so there are some amazing deals to be had.

2nd Hand Book Shops – I seem to end up searching for and visiting a 2nd hand book shop in every new place I visit as they’re a great opportunity to search for particular titles I’ve been after. For about a year I held off ordering 2nd hand books online for as long as possible for the sake of my bank balance and I enjoyed the lottery of what I might find in these shops instead. Most of the second hand stores I’ve visited have different sections for each genre and are usually quite quirky. They tend to be a bit more pricey than charity shops but there’s typically a much bigger choice and I find them a really fun trip out.

Book Swaps – Some cafes including a few branches of Nero I’ve visited have book shelves where it it free to take a book providing you leave one behind. It’s a great way to switch books you weren’t that keen on for something new free of charge.

Book Exchanges – In London I found a second hand book and magazine shop which allows you to trade in unwanted books for either money or a higher value of store credit. Their books are cheap too with some paperbacks at just £1 so by trading in things you wont read again you could easily get replacements without having to spend anything.

WH Smith x O2 Priority – A couple of years ago O2 Priority Moments teamed up with WH Smith to offer a particular title weekly for £1. I used these codes to pick up David Nicholls’ “One Day” and Steig Larsson’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” among others. Once this series of offers ended they began offering half price new releases enabling me to pick up a Lisa Gardner crime thriller paperback for £4. As she’s my favourite author I was really excited by this find.

Amazon / eBay

Given that the UK is currently on lockdown and the vast majority of my book collection isn’t with me I resorted to buying some new titles online about a month ago. I stuck with my tradition of buying second hand but didn’t like that it was harder to gauge the condition of the titles as I like my used books to look smart still. I’ve listed both sites here as I actually found cross referencing both websites enabled me to save money. Buying 2 books on eBay with “buy 1 get 1 15% off” deal actually saved me £2 compared to purchasing on Amazon and I only spent £3.98 including postage. Amazon Prime offers free reading of some titles to customers as well as magazines.

Free Magazines

I really enjoying flicking through magazines but never buy them. Living in London it’s usually really easy to collect copies of Time Out, Stylist and others. Boots offer a free glossy to loyalty card holders and Tesco have free magazine with recipes, homeware and style features. Both also have discount coupons in.

If you have any money saving or free reading tips please let me know in the comments.