08 Jan

Written by Lizzie on January 8, 2014

January Boredom

January can be hard work. You’re supposed to be eating less, drinking less and recouping money after an indulgent holiday season. With the cold weather to contend with as well, it’s easy to sink into a funk. For a lot of us, a whole month without going out to eat, going to the movies, for drinks or just internet shopping can be a huge challenge. Thankfully, January is rife with sales and reductions, and while clicking onto your favourite store during a sale can be dangerous, play your cards right and you can snap up some bargains to keep you entertained through to springtime. Let’s round up some ideas.

Get out and about. Staying in with nothing to do is a one way ticket to boresville. The BBC website keeps an up to date list of fun activities in locations all over the country. Museums, galleries and parks (yes, even in this weather – just wrap up!) can make fun and cheap days out too. The going gets tough for small businesses during the cold days of new year, so keep an eye peeled for deals and offers at salons, sports centres and cafes. Lastminute.com are currently offering up to 50% off spa days, so if you’ve got a bit of cash to splash you can take advantage of an experience that might usually be out of your budget. You can also use our code for 19% off all orders with Virgin Experience Days to save a good chunk off a fun day out, especially if you have a family to entertain. Go Ape experiences start from as low as £17 without the discount and provide great fun for young and old alike.

Elevate your night in. Leaving the house may be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself. A night in with friends, a film and a pizza or two can be very affordable, especially if you split the bill. Use codes from Dominos and Pizza Hut to save on food. Spend over £35 with Pizza Hut and get 50%, 7 days a week. If you spend less, you can save a fiver off £20 at either place. Local haunts may also have meal deals or a locals discount so do your homework. Movie streaming services like Netflix and LOVEFiLM have 30 day free trials which are ideal for testing if it works for you. With prices from only £6 a month, you’ll be saving even if you continue your account at the end of the trial, with rentals on iTunes coming in at around £3.99 a pop. At Blinkbox, rentals start from 99p and you’ll get £5 free credit with just a £1 deposit. If something more boisterous is on the cards, you can kick it old school and  snap up Snakes n Ladders from Zavvi for a tenner. Hours of fun will soon make the cost per use minimal and the kids will love it. For less of a spend, snag some Domino Cards for just £1.99!

Learn a new skill. Fresh starts, new leaves and resolutions, January is the perfect time to do that thing you’ve been meaning to do for years. Maybe there’s a guitar in the corner of your room that you picked up once and then left to gather dust. Log on to Musicroom for massive savings off RRP on sheet music, how-to books and more. YouTube is bursting with step by step lessons on how to get started so as long as you already own the instrument you won’t even have to spend a penny. A new skill can fill you with enthusiasm for the new year and, who knows, could lead to even more. Alternatively, you can learn to cook. Use the free resources and recipes on sites like Tesco and Sainsburys to pick up skills and create new dishes. Tweak recipes to use what you have in your cupboards to avoid extra cost, or if you must spend, use a code like this £12 off £60 from Tesco to add a few extras into your weekly shop. Social media sites like YouTube and Pinterest will provide hours of inspiration too. Skills like knitting and crochet require a small initial spend and can even start making you money within the year!

Revamp your world. January is the ideal time to plan. Though you may not have the money to do it now, there’s nothing to stop you coming up with ideas of how to improve your life in the long run. Spend a few evenings a week planning out 2014 for your family. Where do you see yourself this time next year? If you’re after a new bathroom, for example, do you research. A little looking around can get you ahead on pricing, design and when to buy. Know what you want ahead of time, so that you know what you can afford when the right time rolls around. Use blogs and sites like Pinterest to gather inspiration and make an online inspiration board of all the things you like. What did you struggle with in 2013? If meal planning was it, Google ideas to help you spend less at the supermarket each week. Print out a free calendar and mark out recipes, cleaning rotas and ideas to make your life easier and cheaper in 2014. Plan your treats. If more of us thought ahead, fewer of us would get into financial tight spots later in the year. Research that 0% credit card, work out the best loyalty scheme or insurance policy. Sure, it may not be fun with a capital F, but you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be thankful come springtime! It might even be as simple as planning a holiday. It may seem like a big cost but with January sales and discounted airfare, you could save a bundle by booking today. Check out loveholidays and lowcostholidays for live codes to help you spend sensibly.

Can you add to this topic? Let’s continue the conversation down in the comments over on Twitter @twit_codes or @LizzieShopScoop.

Leave a Response