My last post of 2020 is somehow upon us! As per usual I’m choosing to look on the brightside of what has been an incredibly tough year. I’m thankful that at least 2020 finally gave me the push towards starting this blog. I’ve loved the experience and am so pleased to feel like I’ve found my voice for this site.
I want to say the biggest of thank yous to all those who have supported my little blogging adventure so far. It honestly does mean so much. Never in a million years did I expect in over 7 months or less to hit over 1,300 Instagram followers or have people from over 92 countries read posts I’ve put out into the big wide world. Some have been me wanting to share thrifty tips and others I realise have been skin related rants I’ve therapeutically shared and clearly had a lot to say about! It’s blown my mind slightly to see the stats of this page and my Instagram grow and I honestly am so grateful.
Highlights for me on my blog have been reading comments from others who mention they can relate to my acne journey as its always lovely to be reminded we aren’t alone, others sharing thrifty tips and so much more. Sharing my first guest post with In My Piggy Bank Blog felt like a real moment of triumph for me as I’ve read so many blogs over the years doing this and it was something I’d always wanted to do. I’ve also connected with some wonderfully supportive accounts on Instagram who are either absolute geniuses at bargain hunting and freebie nabbing or empowering individuals within the acne community who truly have helped me to stop hating my skin after 6 years and enabled me to accept it which has been life changing.
So what does the future hold for Forever Saving For A Rainy Day? I fully intend to keep blogging, expect plenty of skincare reviews as heaven help me I still have quite a hoard to get through from 2020 but fear not of course I didn’t pay full price for any of the products! No doubt January will include some very savvy money saving tips as I appreciate we’ll all be feeling the pinch post Christmas. I’d like to broaden out into sharing more of my preloved finds and tips for saving around the house.
I’m fully aware that this New Years will definitely be one to remember as it is the end of a very strange year as opposed to perhaps the big parties most are used to! I wanted to sign off 2020 wishing anyone who has interacted with Forever Saving For A Rainy Day in anyway and wish you all the very best for the next 12 months. Here’s hoping the new year brings us lots of happiness, togetherness when allowed and no national toilet roll shortages!
2020 has been a tough year for the vast majority. Lots of fundraising events for charities have all been cancelled this year due to Covid, small businesses have been forced to close their doors and lots of individuals have faced redundancy. I wanted to put together a list of ways to help support local communities, individuals, charities and more without spending loads of money.
Support Independent Businesses / Shop Local
A lot of the huge retail giants will be fine for Christmas this year whereas lots of smaller businesses may not see another festive period without support. I’m all for buying the occasional treat coffee from a stand alone coffee shop as opposed to global chain and other similar small purchases. With most physical shops closed there are still ways to support smaller individuals such as buying from creatives on Etsy. If you’re intending to buy something anyway why not try to shop small if the price is very similar? Asking around friends and family is also a good way to find small businesses, you may find a friend who is a The Body Shop representative, another who makes cards etc.
Whilst charity shop doors may be physically closed there’s a lot of charities which have eBay accounts and sell items on their to raise much needed funds. Admittedly prices tend to be a bit higher than in the shops but fairly equal to what lots of private sellers are listing things for. Other ways to help can be collecting donations and keeping hold of them until the stores are allowed to reopen. I see lots of goods just dumped on the street which is such a shame and a waste. It you sell on eBay yourself you could consider donating a percentage to charity. This is very easy to do via eBay and can be as little as 5% which although sounds small all adds up.
Giving To Local Food Banks
Earlier this year I signed up to a cashback app called Shopmium which either partially or totally refunds your purchase on a specific item bought in a specific store. It’s possible to get free food products and I think it’s a lovely idea to claim these and donate to local banks. Most bigger supermarkets have collections for these near the entrance or exit. What with supermarket value ranges it’s so easy to contribute to these without spending a lot of money. For example 50p could easily cover 2 bags of pasta in Tesco.
Asking Friends And Family When Having Clear Outs
I’ve been very lucky with relatives having clear outs giving me items which have saved me money. I’d estimate a good third of my work wardrobe is second hand and passed along to me which has helped me out a lot. I’ve previously done book swaps with friends, given a keen plant mum some empty plastic pots I wouldn’t use etc. Small actions like this can do someone a good turn without ever costing any money and it reduces waste too. I once had a landlady gift me a beautiful winter coat that was destined for the charity shop when she realised I was struggling in exchange for me listing some items on eBay for her, it worked out well for us both.
Giving Your Time
I appreciate not everyone has the time to spare but asking friends or family you intended to buy Christmas gifts for if there’s anything you could do to help instead could make a world of difference. It could be really simple, cost next to nothing but be a huge help to them. Before lockdown 2.0 a friend offered to take me by car to a Tesco superstore every 2 or 3 weeks to stock up as I only lived near tiny shops and deliveries were impossible to come by. It made my life so much simpler, I didn’t have to worry about physically carrying it all home and was able to actually stock the cupboards properly.
This marks my 100th post on my blog, I honestly can’t believe I’ve hit this number already! The last round up of best beauty bargains I posted was around my birthday month so decided a post like this was long overdue. I got very lucky with beauty bargains and freebies just before Lockdown 2.0 kicked in so decided to share them with you.
I purchased this straight away for a gift with a specific recipient in mind who loves high end beauty and I love a bargain so it was perfect! L’Occitane were offering a free tin with 2 mini hand creams in worth £7 with any purchase and 15% off. I purchased one of the cheapest items on the website and with the discount code it was £3.40. Delivery into store was free and I got incredibly lucky that this arrived the day before we went into Lockdown 2.0. Gift wrapping was also free and the parcel included a card with personalised message as well as 3 skincare samples all in a lovely bright yellow bag. I couldn’t be happier with this for a present and almost wish I’d order 2 lots now!
Charles Worthington Full Size Hair Products – Boots
I’ve got into the habit whenever I’m in Boots or Superdrug and time allows to just have a good browse. Last month I saw full size bottles of Charles Worthington hair conditioner with an RRP of £7.99 for just £2. I took 2 bottles to the till and was told they were on a 3 for 2 offer so I grabbed a 3rd. With 10% student discount I paid £3.60 for £23.97 worth of hair product. These will make the perfect addition to some beauty hampers I’m making for friends and also for me to keep the price of hair washing super low!
House Of Fraser – New Loyalty Club
I saw HoF were offering free beauty bags to those who signed up in store to their new rewards scheme. Images of the bags I saw online included a full size can of dry shampoo and as I needed a bottle of this anyway decided to claim whilst picking up my L’Occitane order. Inside was a dry shampoo, 2 full size lip balms, a box of beauty wipes and a Guerlain sample. I needed a new lip balm as well so was really pleased with this considering they had an RRP of £5 each. The whole bag of products was worth around £16 and some items will be added to Christmas gifts.
Feel Unique Beauty Kit
I was so impressed with this I wrote an entire post on it with the details of the huge savings I made. I was also pleased that the packaging was entirely recyclable as an added bonus!
This will forever be a brand close to my heart as their Double Wear foundation transformed my confidence when my acne was at its worse and thought of leaving the house without make up terrified me. I paid a grand total of £5.50 including shipping for everything in this image. The pencil sharpener I purchased, the bag and deluxe samples a gift and the 2 sachets were an addition at the checkout.
Ever since I started my blog I’ve loved the idea of guest posting so am really pleased to have collaborated with Kat from In My Piggy Bank Blog for a festive themed blog post swap. Below you’ll find some brilliant tips from her on saving money around Christmas time. Clearly great minds think alike as I do quite a few of these myself!In My Piggy Bank Blog can be followed here:
GUEST POSTFROM IN MY PIGGY BANK BLOG
I’d like to say a big thank you to Forever Saving For A Rainy Day for inviting me to collaborate on this exciting guest post and to all of her readers for having me here! The festive season is rapidly approaching and many of us will be tightening the purse strings this year. However, it is still very possible to treat the ones we love on a budget. We have both compiled our top tips on thrifty gifting and I hope we can inspire you to have a fabulously frugal Christmas.
Buy- As – You- Go When I started buying throughout the whole year for Christmas it was a complete game changer for me. The most obvious benefit being that the cost was spread out across many paydays. Aside from Christmas shopping, a ‘normal’ December springs so much extra expense on us –drinks out with friends, a new dress for the office party (not at all essential but come on, so many of us do it). That’s a lot of financial pressure for a short space of time. So why don’t I just use a Sinking Fund instead? Sinking funds certainly ease the financial burden and may be exactly what you need to put in place. For me though, buying throughout the year also eases present buying stress. We all have at least one person that we struggle to think of ideas for. If I see a gift that a tricky person may like I will always pick it up if I don’t expect a further discount soon. I have left people to the last minute in previous years and ended up spending far too much money on something I wasn’t certain they would like, just because I ran out of time. Another issue that so many of us face is the unexpected Christmas gift. How many times have you ran out to the shops and bought something overpriced and unexciting just so you can reciprocate? By taking advantage of sales throughout the year and picking up small bits whenever I see them, I have a small stock of more generic gifts. When I am surprised with a gift I can raid my stash for something suitable with no panic and know I haven’t broken the bank. Having said that, be realistic with what you pick. Are there at least a couple of people in your friendship circle that this would be suitable for? You want the gifts you put away ‘just in case’ to be as versatile as possible.
Homemade Gifts Now that we’re all facing lockdown in the run up to Christmas, depending on your work situation, you may have a fair bit of extra time on your hands. Using this time to not only pick up a hobby but to get your Christmas gifts sorted at the same time is a fab idea. Pinterest is your best friend for inspiration but I’ve included some below to get you started: Sweet Treats – gingerbread, hot chocolate stirrers, cupcakes, cookies. Needlework – Knitting, crochet, embroidery, or cross stitch. DIY Spa – Candles, soaps, bath bombs, pillow spray. Crafty – clay trinket dishes, macrame keyrings, Christmas fabric bunting, personalised ornaments.
Reuse and Repurpose This tip isn’t only great for your wallet but for the environment too – yay! Throughout the year keep hold of any boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper, shredded paper and jiffy bags from your online orders. These will be very helpful when it comes to the gifts that you have to send in the post – also handy for anyone that sells online to keep p&p costs down. When it comes to wrapping the gift, it’s so easy to hold onto any ribbons from the presents you receive. Christmas cards can also be repurposed into gift tags by simply cutting the design off and writing the message on the blank side. A colleague of mine uses larger Christmas cards to create small boxes for jewellery which look absolutely lovely. Magazine pages, fabric scraps or brown paper can also make for funky gift wrap! Loo roll tubes and patterned napkins (which go incredibly cheap in the Christmas clearance) can be transformed into decoupage pillow boxes. I recommend watching this tutorial from Dainty Diaries on YouTube which made me fall in love with the idea.
Cashback & Discounts Even if you don’t buy early, try to keep a list of gift ideas as they come to you. During the big discount periods (Amazon Prime day, Black Friday etc) search directly for these to see whether they have been reduced. Don’t forget though that many retailers will have sale and discount periods throughout the whole year. Using an extension like Shoptagr will alert you to any drops in price with no effort required. When you finally go ahead with that purchase make sure you go through a cashback website like Quidco or Topcashback so that you can earn something back from your Christmas spending. Post-Christmas Sales I very rarely buy Christmas items such as novelty stocking fillers, cards, wrapping paper, gift bags and ornaments full price. I like to work a year in advance and take full advantage of Christmas clearances. Circumstances this year might make it more tricky to shop sales safely, but even if you only have a look at the supermarkets during your January food shop you might pick up some excellent bargains. This tip allows me to buy nicer things than I could usually afford and you get the excitement of rediscovering them all when you bring them down from the loft next festive season!
That’s a wrap on my tips but you’ll find plenty more from Forever Saving For A Rainy Day in her blog post. Thank you again for having me – it’s wonderful to connect with more members of this lovely community. Wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas time!
Thanks again to In My Piggy Bank Blog for her tips and our blog post swap – be sure to follow her!