Thursday, November 22, 2007

The price is right

I have always been good at shopping. I am the person who finds amazing bargains in the sales, or who takes an item to the till to discover that it's suddenly half price and no-one's got round to re-labelling it yet. I am also the person who blags a 20% discount for some barely visible makeup marks on the inside of a shirt. However, yesterday I impressed even myself with my ability to bag a bargain.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I went into Debenhams to browse through their Christmas party dresses. I was immediately confronted with a wealth of beautiful creations, all of which I could have bought instantly given the money and all of which cost £100. Depressed by my inability to afford them, I trudged back to work and lamented being poor. Ever since then I've been doing sums in my head to work out how I could afford to treat myself in time for the work Winter Ball, and had just about become convinced that with a 20% off voucher from a colleague and a bit of extra saving here and there, I might be able to not entirely bankrupt myself.

Yesterday, having returned to work feeling bunged up, snuffly and not at all disposed to go outside for the rest of the day, a colleague casually mentioned in passing that Debenhams were holding a Christmas Spectacular with at least 20% off all clothes. Ignoring the pleas from my pounding head that I remain seated and stay calm, I legged it into town at lunchtime, grabbed the five most beautiful dresses and had a trying on spree which left me hot, sweaty and feeling a lot more ill. The effort was worth it however, as I narrowed down my choices to two. Now I only needed to find these two in different sizes to work out which fitted best, and I was away.

Returning to the shop at 5pm, I settled upon my favourite dress: a gorgeous black number covered in huge purple circles, with quite an unusual shape and netting in the skirt (I love netting in the skirt!). Proceeding to the till in the knowledge that I was buying a £100 item for £80 which I still couldn't really afford, I had the first of my sudden brainwaves. "I know", I thought, "I have a Nectar card in my purse with lots of unused points on". At the till, a second brainwave hit. I could open a store card for this one purchase only, and save 10%! Discounts galore later, I left the shop with a beautiful £100 dress that had cost me precisely £60.21. Bargain.

And, to top it off, I've saved £15 already this week through being ill and not going out or catching any buses for three days. Total amount I have to find from December's budget for my £100 dress? £45. Plus, as a new storecard holder, I have just finished the rather wonderful mini box of Lily O'Briens chocolates that I received free with my purchase. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why girls love shopping.

Now I just need to decide what jewellery to wear with it...


Julia said...

I got a bargainatous dress from Debenhams for the work christmas ball too yesterday, one I'd been drooling over for ages but didn't quite fit properly and I couldn't afford. I bought it and now I'm determined to fit into it in 2 weeks time! I've even just been running.. shock horror! xx

Sarah said...

Ooh, yay for bargainous dresses! Which one did you buy? I'm sure you'll look gorgeous in it at the ball!

Jess said...


I had a similar joyous shopping experience today!

Recently my mother bought some rather gorgeous black patent stilettos from M&S for £40 which I wanted to "borrow" a LOT but sadly they were a tad too big. Booo.

Today I found an almost identical pair in Tesco for £15. And they were having a 20% discount day.

Which all resulted in apair of beeeeautiful shoes (which I'm currently wearing with pyjamas) for £12.

Mummy Hood: "But are they real leather?"
Jess: "For £12, who cares?!"

Naomi said...

Oooh your dress is the lead image for the dresses section on the debenhams website! Very pretty!

And as for the last comment on your last blog - woooo - I'm so happy for you! You truly deserve it :-).

I'm tipsy on white wine for the third time this week - this is good, I'm happy! Mwah! xx

Sarah said...

Jess - fantastic! Who indeed cares when the shoes are beautiful? And wearing them with pyjamas is so the sort of thing I'd do.

Naomi - I know! I was very excited when I went to the website. And thanks very much, it's certainly making me very happy right now! Go for it on the tipsyness - I'm with you tonight on the Tesco reduced price Wolfblass. Hurrah for Friday!

Kelly said...

I love bargains! I seem to remember doing the same thing in Debenhams a few years ago, various money off vouchers and opening an account card meant I saved about £100 I think! And I've never used it again! I also found a debenhams gift voucher card thingy in my purse from my 21st birthday last year with £50 on it! Free money!! :-)

Juicy said...

My shopping senses are tingling...I need a day off to indulge. No more shoes for at least 2 weeks though, this is my solemn promise - I'm already on new pair number 3 this month! But they were bargains!

Kelly said...

Reading this entry this afternoon got my shopping senses tingling too! After reading it I bought nine of my Christmas presents, and several were great bargains! :-)

Sarah said...

I went into Leamington yesterday to look for an Advent candle and there were so many lovely things in all the shops. I can't wait to do my Christmas shopping in a couple of weeks! Yay for shopping and bargains.