There’s just something special about wearing a new dress for your New Year’s Eve party. The cost of a party dress is not so special, though. The average UK household is still facing a tighter-than-usual budget leaving little room for cocktail dresses, but fortunately New Years clothing deals open the door to style on a budget. You might be surprised at some of the great money saving deals retailers are offering around the holidays to clear out inventory to make room for next season.
Your normal routine is probably something along the lines of browsing your favourite shops, dress boutiques and mall after mall in hopes of finding that one chic dress that will turn heads instantly. After several trips, your head is spinning from the outrageous prices leaving you to resort to last year’s dress. Chances are you found a couple dresses that were “perfect” besides the numbers on the price tag—if you could only find the dress before New Years at a price you can afford.
Online Discount Codes
Fortunately, you may be in luck with a little time spent online. Discount codes are a fantastic way to enjoy extra savings on some top brand clothing. Also known as voucher codes, these online coupons are really beginning to flood the online shopping industry as retailers are recognizing the need to reach a broader customer base and get traffic to their online store. Voucher codes are one key way stores accomplish this, resulting in huge savings for shoppers.
Do not give up on the few dresses you found in the stores. You may very well find the same dress (or a similar one) online at a discounted price. If you have a certain store in mind, discount codes are definitely worth looking into. At sites like www.123vouchercodes.co.uk you can browse lists of stores and companies offering discounts on their products, such as Marks and Spencer, Next, Laura Ashley and Kays.
Using a voucher code is simple. Sometimes you just need to click on their link after which you will be directed to their website. At checkout, the savings will be calculated automatically. You may also need to input the letter or number combination during the checkout process. This combination is the “code” similar to the barcode you would use for an in-store coupon. Besides the savings, a bonus about using a discount code is the ability to find a dress for your New Year celebrations without dealing with the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.
Online Auction Sites and Discount Stores
Or, never underestimate the possibility of finding a dress on an online auction site like www.ebay.co.uk where shoppers regularly find top brand name clothing rather cheap. You may even find a new dress you could not find in stores—something unique.
Also be sure to check out online retail stores specializing in discount attire, such as www.BooHoo.com, www.MandMDirect.com and www.very.co.uk where you can find a huge selection of dresses, shoes, accessories and more at savings of up to 75%. You may be pleasantly surprised at the possibilities at these online and auction sites which may result in a New Year dress more fabulous than you could have imagined.
Borrow or Swap with a Friend
Finally, never overlook the possibility of borrowing a dress for New Years especially if you are going to a new place among new friends. Who will know the difference if you are wearing your friend’s dress from last year? It’s at least something to chat about with your friends—who knows, she may have thought of the same thing but was hesitant to bring it up. The more you save on your party attire, the more you will both have to spend during the actual celebration (or a pair of shoes to match!).
Christmas and the holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year. It is the time when retailers look to make their best sales and recuperate the losses they have usually incurred for the rest of the year. Consumers buy like there was no tomorrow and by the time the New Year comes they often face a mountain of debt.
The frugal Christmas shopper knows how to get all the Christmas gifts on their list and still stay in the black. What is their secret? Let us take a quick look at a Christmas checklist for frugal Christmas shopping.
- Be prepared: get your gift list ready and know exactly what you need to buy. This will prevent spontaneous buying, which will increase spending.
- Cash only: This is hard to do but very necessary. Do not use credit cards. If you do you will be tempted to buy things without taking into account the price. This is a sure way to create a mountain of credit card debt to pay off in the coming year.
- Be creative: think of unique Christmas gift ideas. When you buy presents try to make them unique and fitting for the person. It is not necessarily how much it costs but whether it is a worthwhile gift that your loved one will enjoy. Many unique gifts are not expensive but will be much appreciated.
- Sales: There are plenty of sales around the holiday season with chances to get cheap Christmas gifts. Just remember to keep an eye on the paper and TV ads.
- Save big on after Christmas sales: this m ay sound insane but many people save a lot on after Christmas sales. Prices are cut as much as 50% after Christmas because the retailers have a surplus of stock and want to sell it off rather than keeping it for a whole year. You can take advantage of these sales and keep the gifts in a safe place. It will save you time as well as money as you will have to do less shopping in the crowded stores at Christmas time.
- Do it yourself: if you enjoy arts and crafts, knitting and sewing etc. you can make some lovely gifts for people on your list. Making your own gifts will save you a lot of money and enable you to give unique presents to your loved ones.
- Baking: home baked gifts are always popular for many people on your list. This is one of the cheap Christmas gifts you can give but is greatly appreciated. You can look for recipes online or use some traditional family ones.
- Gift cards: rather than giving gifts that the recipient may not like you can always give them a gift card for their favourite shop. This will save you time and you can get gift cards to match your budget.
- Decorations and Christmas lights: when you buy these items always buy them directly after Christmas so that you will take advantage of the post Christmas sales. Decorations and other accessories are usually at least ½ off and can easily be stored until next Christmas. You will save a lot of money by doing this.
- Christmas cards: You can buy these at the January sales and usually save 50% off the regular price. When you make your own you will save even more and delight your loved ones with unique Christmas cards.
With gifts and decorations, the holiday season can quickly add up resulting in you spending more than originally planned. Fortunately, you can still prepare a delicious holiday meal for family and friends without over-spending. There is certainly something to be said for not spending more than necessary. Here are some ideas for Christmas food ideas and cheap Christmas meals to save you a little cash.
Plan and Prepare in Advance
Planning in advance is perhaps the best way to save money on food during the holidays. With some advanced planning and preparation, you can still have an exorbitant meal at a low price. Where many go wrong is waiting until the last minute to decide what to prepare. This results in last-minute, impulsive shopping and can really put a dent in the holiday budget. First, take some time to make a menu of what dishes you will prepare. Then, make a list of all ingredients you will need with emphasis in all. Don’t leave out anything, including drinks and beverages. Check your refrigerator and pantry for items you already have and make a note of which items you need to purchase. For items you have but are running low on, make sure you purchase enough to replenish your stock.
Secondly, start purchasing items in advance. It can be intimidating to go out and buy every single item. The last thing you will feel is as if you are saving money. Not only is it easier on the budget, purchasing items 1-2 at a time in advance can even make the actual meal more enjoyable if money is tight since you will be less likely to dwell on how much the meal cost.
Downsize Meals and Dishes
Think back to past meals and make a note of which dishes were the most popular, and which were not. If you usually have loads of leftovers from your green-bean casserole, it may not worth making this year. If your rhubarb pie is hardly touched, don’t make it. Those enjoying your meals obviously have other favourites. If you insist on including these in your menu, just make less. Or, cut it out altogether. The cost of ingredients adds up quickly. Focus on the dishes that are the most liked. Not only will it save money, it will also save you time and effort. Cutting down on desserts is another great way to downsize your meals without downsizing the joy of holiday foods. The trend is usually far too many desserts. Just keep it simple with a pie and some cookies. You do not need to have a dessert buffet to satisfy your guests. By the time they reach dessert, most are too full to eat most of the desserts anyways.
Take Advantage of Money Saving Christmas Offers
Shortly before the holiday season, food retailers usually have special promotions for on traditional holiday ingredients and foods, such as turkeys, hams, potatoes and stuffing. By preparing your menu and ingredients list in advance, you will be in a much better position to take advantage of these money saving offers. An easy way to overspend on holiday food is to make impulse purchases on sale items, only to find out during the meal preparation that you didn’t need that much stuffing or already had enough potatoes. It is not saving you anything if you purchase two cans of evaporated milk but one sits in the pantry until you finally toss it. This is a fantastic time to find cheap Christmas food.
As you see, it is possible to have a special holiday meal and stay within budget. It is all about sharing and celebrating with family and friends. Planning and preparing in advance is a great money saver and stress reliever, adding to the holiday joy rather than taking away. Keep it simple and always be open to asking guests to bring a small dish. One great way to share the cost is to invite your guests to bring a dessert. Many enjoy making desserts and everyone will likely be happy to contribute.