Now this is quite the reality check to someone who is used to living with parents and being able to spend what I want, when I want, on whatever I want. At first the change took some getting used to but I've now learnt is that you can still have the things you want and love, you just have to be a little bit wiser with your pennies.
I thought I would share with you some of my favourtite buys, and some thing's I've been doing to help me save the cash but still treat myself this winter.
I've realised that Topshop and Zara aren't the be all and end all. Don't get me wrong I still swoon over some of their things but there's no way I can justify spending £40 on a top anymore. So what do I do? Enter eBay. You are now looking at a bidding war queen. Oh yes I'm that bitch that swoops in at that last second and beats you by 50p. I bagged myself these lovely Alvin boots last month for half the price they are in Topshop. They were brand new and in the box. I was more than a little pleased with myself I have to admit. Sorry they are slightly dirty in this pic, but what can I say, I like to wear my shoes! :)
I also find myself heading to Primark occasionally in the morning to beat the rush and pick up a few bits. (Trust me the earlier you go the less horrendous the experience will be) I got these gorgeous jumpers for just £8 each. They are lovely and snuggly, and I spotted an almost identical version of the beige one for £42 in Topshop last week. Madness. I also like to stock up on stud earrings, and super cosy tights - a given in the cold miserable weather we have to endure in England in winter.
Some other recent Primark wins have been in the shoe department. Now the sizing is more than questionable but I think it's worth trying on 3 sizes to get the right fit. I picked up these studded loafers for £10 per pair. The look nice and do the job just fine.
I also got these Pixie Boots (and a back up pair) for just £8. Yes £8. They are adorable, they go with everything and are super comfortable. I've had lots of compliments on them and people asking me where they're from. They do them in an array of colours too, teal are next on my list if I can track down a pair.
Finally Primark is also great for winter scarves and woolys. They have them in every colour going and these two cost around £4 each. Lovely.
I couldn't do a post like this without giving a special mention to VIPXO. If you havn't seen her eBay posts you are missing out. Big time. Victoria regularly post's eBay finds, with links to some amazing goodies on eBay that you may never find if she didn't point us in the right direction. All of the things she finds are lovely, often designer inspired, but at affordable prices. They are my go to posts and I would highly recommend you all check them out.
In the beauty department, I have been trying to "shop my stash" and use up products that once upon a time I may have overlooked (Mac Patina I'm looking at you) I've rediscovered loads of products that I love and have been enjoying using without having to splash out on the never ending stream of beauty products on the market. Admittedly sometimes you do have to replace essentials, but what's life without your favourite moisturiser?
Other bits and pieces I do to save the pennies is try to take my lunch to work with me, although I struggle with this more than I like to admit. On these cold days I want a warm lunch and a salad or a sandwich just won't cut it. I also take a hot drink to work with me in the morning in a travel mug, instead of buying a cup of tea every morning from the cafe when I get to work. For Christmas presents I've shopped online on places like Amazon, and taken advantage of the boots 3 for 2 offers. I've also realised that although I love buying gifts for people, I don't have to go mad. Look for presents that you think people will love, put a little bit of thought into it and you will realise you really don't have to spend a fortune at Christmas.
So all in all I don't think I'm doing too bad at this being frugal malarky. Do you have any tips for watching the pennies? If so I'd love to hear them in the comments below :)