2016 has been a crazy year for bargains, coupons, and opportunities. I’ve discovered my favourite charity shop, taken part in a documentary, enjoyed family days out at rock bottom prices and even passed my bargain hunting skills on.
Here are some of my top highlights from this year.
Chessington World of Adventures
By far one of the best moments this year has to be the weekend we spent at Chessington World of Adventures. It wasn’t somewhere we had been before so when The Sun ran a promotion for two free tickets I thought why not.
The promotion couldn’t have been simpler. Collect ten tokens, choose your date band, post and wait for your tickets to arrive. The tickets arrived for June and the weather couldn’t have been nicer. There were even surprise coupons included with the tickets one of which was for 50% off a night’s stay in one of the onsite hotels.
As Chessington was quite a distance from where we live, it was something we were considering anyway but at £150 for the night I was looking at cheaper options. The coupon arrived at a perfect time and as we had stayed the night, we could get tickets for the next day for just £14 for the 4 of us.
My boys had so much fun and still now some six months later JJ is still talking about it. He absolutely loved his time there and if the promotion runs again it’s definitely something I’ll be doing again.
A highlight from this year has to be the discovery of my favourite charity shop. I’ve never come across one that is so cheap but so full of quality items. Week on week I have been finding branded clothing at just 99p an item, quality kids clothing at three items for 99p, homeware and many more.
Half way through the year the prices changed. It wasn’t expensive to start with – £1.99 here £2.99 there never more than £4.99 but one day they changed to 99p for any clothing item and I was in my element.
Top Shop, Next, Calvin Klein to name just a few are brands I’ve picked up for just 99p. There is one item that sticks out among the rest though and that has to be a pair of black mid-calf length boots with a chunky heel. I picked them up for £6 because I loved them but after a bit of research I discovered them still on sale on the brands website for £250. I couldn’t believe it.
I was advised to resell them but I just couldn’t, never in my life would I own a pair of shoes worth that much money, I just couldn’t justify spending that kind of money but at £6 it’s a different matter so I decided to keep them and wear them with pride.
There have been so many highlights and great buys this year it’s difficult to name just a few but Christmas sticks out to me. This Christmas is the best saving I’ve ever managed to achieve.
I brought some big expensive gifts for my husband and boys and I’ve paid next to nothing for them. I had to start a running total of the savings as I was finding so many good deals I just had to track it. I’m not quite finished yet but I’m at a £1300 total with only a £530 out of pocket spend and I really have got some fantastic presents including an Xbox one and games, a Star Wars fighter, expensive minions items and many many more.
Some of the biggest savings came out of the blue from Clinton Cards. I happened to notice some sales bins and went in to browse. I picked up The Good Dinosaur cuddlees, big Christmas Olaf’s, jungle book teddies and lots more. Altogether it should have been over £180 and I paid just £24, I really was in the right place at the right time.
This year has been great and I’m hoping next year will be even better.