When Christmas became January – from splurge to save.

It’s over. I feel rather bereft and a little lacking in January ooomph. I know it’s somewhat cooler to deride the excesses of Christmas; the vulgar overspending and the frantic preparing for, what amounts to a humble 24 hours or a week at most if you have a big family.

But I love it! The joyous buying of things I would never normally entertain – how many small felt robins can a girl really need?! The wonderfully gluttonous ‘big shop’ when tins of chocolate replace packs of mince and milk and juice take a back seat to fizzy stuff, and there’s always a jar of picalilli in my trolley – something I absolutely love but, god knows why, never eat the rest of the year.

It comes at a price – I won’t look at my bank statements until well into January and I know that’s not a good thing. I know January can feel like the longest month in the world and quite genuinely, after paying bills, mortgages and nursery fees I’m not quite sure what we’ll be eating, but hey ho, I’ll dine out on sparkling memories and beans for a few weeks.

Me and my boys have had a fab time and I hope I’ve given Arthur some magical moments with Santa steam train rides and lots of loud, rambunctious,wonderfully over the top family time.

One area I did save some cash was on myself. I love to have a new outfit or two, get my hair ‘one’ and buy some new makeup and I have discovered  George at Asda’s amazing range of purse friendly make-up. It’s just fab – I created a whole new make-up bag for less than I’ve paid for a a single item from expensive brands.

Here’s me with some of the lovely products including the amazing Highlite stick which make’s your face ‘pop’ and the lovely tint, which adds a lovely pinched cheek effect. Particularly helpful after a heavy night. George’s High Lite is just £4.50! This is at least a tenner cheaper than some of the other expensive brands.

Me all made up with my new makeup. Now the weirdo in the background is my wonderful other half.

Me all made up with my new makeup. Now the weirdo in the background is my wonderful other half.

George's High Lite - a steal at just £4!

George’s High Lite – a steal at just £4!

I’ve also used George’s lovely sparky, Glitter Avalanche nail varnishes. At just £2 a pop it’s lovely to be able to buy a few festive colours and enjoy a few moments once the small person is in bed doing my nails and feeling good about myself.


As I said earlier I like to get my hair cut and coloured before Christmas but maintaining it can cost a fortune. Jonathan is often left in a bewildered trance when he opens my ‘hair’ cupboard – yes indeed a ‘hair’ cupboard, filled with oils, serums, volumisers and some products I’m not entirely sure should actually be in the hair cupboard – like the tin of tuna that stayed in there for a few months until I had a clear out.

This year I tried some of Asda’s Andrew Barton products and literally saved a fortune – their heat protection spray is the best I’ve tried and really left my hair feeling amazing and a couple of times over the festive season I substituted my hair conditioner for the Leave-in, Gloss Boss, Andrew Barton spray condioner and it has worked a treat. Really light, a lovely fresh fragrance and at just £3 it’s a bargain by anyone’s standards. Normally I’d be spending at least £10 on something like this so not only has it saved me cash over Christmas but also into January – and let’s face it any money you can save in the new year is a bonus.


Andrew Barton The Straight Answer Heat Protection Spray – just £3!

Andrew Barton's Leave in Conditioner - another bargain at just £3

Andrew Barton’s Leave in Conditioner – another bargain at just £3

So here’s to a frugal January where I will splurge on time and puddle splashing and save on all these lovely products – perfect.

During the Christmas week we organised a small party for Arthur and his friends to bring a little Christmas cheer and raise a few pounds for their playgroup. What a lovely time we all had – little people all wide-eyed and amazed and some lovely party food from Asda aswell – another great way to save a few pounds. We bought some of Asda’s celebration cakes in the Chosen By You range and at just £5 each we were able to buy plenty for everyone for far less than anywhere else, and we made sure we shopped around. The chocolate cake was delicious with a really good flavour and the kids and adults devoured it! The vanilla tray bake also went down well. Congratulations Asda on making yet more accessible, delicous and good quality food.

Top tip: Have a child with a birthday in the first part of the year. After a frenzied and somewhat violent attack on the shops pre-Christmas I realised there was no way Arthur needed all this stuff and so I’ve saved loads for his birthday in early March – it’s my own warped sense of cost-efficiency. Quite brilliant.

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