Saturday, 26 June 2010
I had a fabulous couple of hours bargain hunting this week. I got my best haul yet! I went to about 7 shops and spent around £30. That's what most women would spend on a 'cheap' pair of shoes or a 'bargain' dress. People queue from 5am for the Next half price sale-'next'? 'half price'? 'Bargain?' Most people don't know the meaning of the word! Let me tell you what a real bargain is...in my humble opinion!
My mini spree (If you can call £30 a spree) started in an hour after work on Thursday. I started in Scope which helps people with Cerebral Palsy. I bought a Guess denim jacket for £4.99. It's worth around £125. I also snapped up a VINTAGE Christian Dior 100% silk scarf worth a staggering £120 for just £3.50! I then walked across the high street to Marie Curie Cancer Care where I bought a Guess designer tshirt-cost £3.50 worth £35 (10% of what I'd have paid I'd have bought it in the Guess store).
I then wandered over to British Heart Foundation where I got the following booty! A pair of Ralph Lauren Jeans for £4.55-worth around £120 and a pair of gorgeous 'I-want-to-wear-them-every-day' jeans by Versace. I did pay a rather expensive (for me) £9.99 for these but they are worth every penny since they would have cost me £200 if I'd walked into a department store to buy them! I can tell you now that If I had £200 to spend, I certainly wouldn't spend it in an overpriced department store. Let me also tell you this...If I spent the £600 this lot would have cost me, in a department store then no one other than the fat cats at the top would be benefitting from that money! I thought I'd done very well for myself getting £600 worth of designer clothes for under £25- you can't even buy a mass produced sweatshop outfit from Primarni for that these days!
However, yesterday just made the day before pale into insignificance! First stop was the British Heart Foundation in another town. In here I found a stunning purple boho top by Jasper conran for just £4.80. Worth £40-almost 90% off! Across the street in British Red Cross I found a pair of Ralph Lauren sexy black trousers. I paid just £3.75 for them and they are worth a tidy £85. I also found a super stylish Karen Millen skirt for just £3.75 which is worth around £90. With that £7.50 British Red Cross can provide a couple with Mosquito nets to prevent them getting Malaria after their home was destroyed in the Haiti earthquake. (I also have an additional £167.50 in the bank).
Again, I thought I'd done pretty well getting £215 of clothes for just £12.30. Then I stumbled upon The Elleanor Lions. They had a sale on where everything was £1! Queue angels singing in my ears and my happy soul floating up to cloud nine! So was it full of old ladies' cardigans and battered shoes....oh no! Try armfuls of designer clothes at £1 each-yes that's right not £1000, not £100 not even a bargainous £10 each, but £1 per item-10 designer items, worth around £300 for just the price of a £10 mobile top up. You can't say fairer than that-and to top it all the money I spent gets to help people in the community.
This is my hoard: A Calvin Klein men's shirt and a Jeff Banks men's shirt worth around £50 each. (Just so you know it's not all for the ladies). A pair of Rocha John Rocha ladies' trousers worth about £45, a Jasper Conran floral shirt worth around £35, an FCUK silver sparkly top worth around £35, a McKenzie casual top worth around £30, a DKNY top worth around £35, A John by John Richmond black shirt worth around £55, a Diesel black long sleeved top with red stitching, worth about £35 and finally a stunning Fenn Wright Manson dress worth around £100! That's nearly £400 of designer clothes for just £10! That's a £390 saving!
I can shop with a clear conscience going into charity shops knowing that I'm living within my means, (unlike department stores that encourage overspending with store cards charging obscene amounts of interest). I'm helping the environment by keeping clothes out of landfills. For example British Heart Foundation Shops prevent over 25,000 tonnes of textiles going to landfill each year. I'm also helping the community because for every £10 I spend aproximately £8.50 goes to help those whom need it most. (http://www.smallcharitydirectory.co.uk/what-percentage-of-donations-go-to-charity.html)
That means that when I come home with more bags than I can realistically carry I know that my hard earned wages are going to help buy safe water for 15 people in Africa-equivilant to £20 spent in Oxfam (or a pair of Ralph Lauren trousers and a few designer tops). I tend to spend at least £10-20 a month in Scope. Just £10 a month will help toward the running costs of Scope response, whose staff helped nearly 10,000 disabled people last year. So now you have some idea why I can spend so little, get so much and feel so good at the end of the day!