Monday, 30 September 2013


Its the dreaded word that no one wants to wants to hear at the end of September but with just 85 days to go its catching up with us- and fast! Christmas can be expensive and stressful but with a little preparation and starting earlier than usual it can be fun to hunt out the right gift for someone. There is lots of advice on the internet for getting through Christmas but it is mainly aimed at those organising for a whole family (I luckily wont be buying or cooking the food!) so this is a little bit of advice from a student to help you spend as little as possible!

Make a list 
Not just for yourself but for the people you want to buy gifts for. Look at the list and then think about who you really need to spend money on. Grandparents and aunties and uncles might be just as happy with a gift that you have handmade rather than something you've spent a lot of money on. Once you've cut the list down instead of thinking about how much you would like to spend on each person think about the limit. This stop you having a target to spend and you focus more on how much the present is actually worth.

Make the most of freebies
Freebies are everywhere if you look hard enough and although you know you haven't paid a penny for them no one else needs to! If you are a student freshers fair can give you lots of bits that someone else might like. This year ours gave out boxed Gillette razors which I wont be using but the males in my family might.

Charity shops
I can't talk about charity shops enough, they are the best for getting presents through out the year but especially at Christmas. Most shops have a section at the back of non clothing items where you can find some great things. I picked up a brand new guitar hero DS game for £2.50 for my cousin and lots of small things that can be added to other gifts. Also look for containers for other gifts such as flowers or biscuits you can make yourself. Its worth having a quick look at the clothes to see if you can spot anything someone would like!

Christmas is an amazing time of year and with a little bit of planning presents don't need to be stressful!

Monday, 16 September 2013


My new obsessions are Freegle and Freecyle and anything free! Its a great way to get rid of old things without hiring a skip or travelling down to the dump which helps in the environment too. We have got rid of all sorts of things such as cake making bits, wicker baskets, rugs, suitcases and even a roll of lino ripped up from the kitchen!

As well as giving stuff away you can also collect items that other people offer. If there is something in particular you are looking for you can request a 'wanted' and if someone has that item they can message you. I have picked up a few bits from Freegle including a DVD players, toe rings, craft books, a new pack of nappies and this sauce pump which will be a present for my friend for Christmas. I have told them they will all be getting something free!

To get the most from websites like these I have a few tips:
  • Check them regularly. When you sign up you will get lot of emails which you can opt out of but check them as often as you can, especially when you want something in particular. 
  • Ask for what you want! If you really want it then ask, there have been occasions when we have gone to throw away things because we thought no one wants them but then someone posts a wanted for that exact item!
  • Give and Take. On freegle you can see how many 'Offers' and how many 'Wanteds' someone has given. I am much more likely to make the effort to give someone something if they have made offers. You also might find you have something to give each other on collection!
  • Have a way to collect. It really helps if you have a car or someone who will take you to get things. If you are looking for something large like a sofa then make sure you have a van to pick it up in!
  • Be personal. When replying to someone be nice and explain why you would like the item. If I get more than one reply on something I am far more likely to give it to the person who started a conversation and showed they are going to put the item to good use.