Monday, 2 June 2014

"Can we go thrift shopping?!"

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love a bargain. And anyone who says they don’t is clearly a fibber and cannot be trusted. However, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start for a true bargain. So, as a seasoned bargain hunter myself, I thought I would share 5 quick pearls of wisdom…

Anyone who knows me knows I am absolutely OBSESSED with charity shops. Once you get over the stigma (one of my housemates last year seemed unable to hear the word “charity shop” without informing me that my someone will have died in my latest purchase… sigh) then a world of bargainous beauties awaits! If you have a “granny chic” style, which I do, they are incredible. I have more cosy cardigans than I would dare to count from charity shops, which people always compliment and assume I spent £45 on in Urban Outfitters or Topshop. Try £4.99 from British Heart Foundation! They are also amazing if you can’t decide whether or not you should buy that yellow polka dot dress… even if you wear it once and decide it’s not for you, it will probably have only been a few pounds to a good cause! You can also find some amazing designer goodies if you look hard enough. I have a Dolce and Gabbana sweater (£5.99), a Vivienne Westwood jacket (more expensive at £50, but still not a bad price for a jacket – and 10x less than what you’d pay in Selfridges!) just to name a couple!

2.   Designer outlets
Unlike charity shops, which are all over the place, you might have to have a bit of a drive to an outlet. But often they are really nicely laid out, and you can make a nice day of it! Since I go to University in Manchester, one of my favourite outlets is Cheshire Oaks. It’s set out like a huge square around the carpark, so you’re almost following the yellow brick road of shopping – and it means you don’t miss anywhere! They have an amazing range of shops, from Next to H&M to Burberry. Last time I went with my boyfriend, my bargain of the day was finding a classic Burberry mac, reduced from £995 to £250! Nearly 75% off! Luckily it was coming up to my 21st birthday ;). Designer outlets are like charity shops – you just have to have a good rootle!
Cheshire Oaks - it's so pretty!

3.   Swap clothes with friends
This is an option that doesn’t involve spending ANY MONEY. So it may be veering off a bit, but I thought I’d slip it in anyway because I just did this with one of my best friends J Sometimes your friends clothes that you might love, they will have worn one too many times and got bored of, so it’s time for a switcheroo! It leaves you some room in your wardrobe, as well as giving you new bits for FREE J

4.   Take advantage of promotional offers
Moving slightly away from fashion to beauty, it’s always a good idea to stock up while there’s an offer on. If you’re a fan of drugstore beauty, it sounds obvious but stock up when there’s a 3 for 2! If you’re more into high end bits, sign up to Debenhams and House of Fraser. They often have 10% off for a week, which makes a big difference at some of those prices (I’m talking about you, Chanel.) Alternatively, often counters like Lancome and Clinique have offers where you get a goody bag when you buy 2 or more products. Sometimes the goody bag will be worth more than what you’ve bought! However, don’t be suckered in and buy something just for the sake of getting the freebie… I speak from so, so much experience.

5.   Car boot sales
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Yes, car boot sales can be full of old tat, but if you scour hard enough you can find some incredible bargains! I’ve found brand new make up bits and bobs before, as well as no end of trinkets for my bedroom that just brighten it up. It will add an individual streak to your house as well :) and you never know.. you might accidentally  grab a piece of value!

Where do you find the best bargains? Have you got any tips?
Let me know!

- Jacintha xxxxxx