Friday, 31 August 2012

Frugal Friday - Girls' Day Out

Little Bear and I had a "girls' day out" today!  We hit the stores and had a great time - but we didn't spend much money!  How?

Well, there are a few strategies you can use, when you have a shopping trip, that can help to make sure you don't go over budget.  This is what we did today ...

Before we went, we decided what we wanted to look at, where we wanted to go, and perhaps buy, if we found what we wanted.  Little Bear needed to get some new nightclothes, and I wanted to see if there were any autumn scented candles available yet at the Yankee Candle store.  We also planned to look in the Lakeland cookware store, and stop at a coffee shop for a drink.  We worked out how much we could spend on the things we wanted to look at, and how much we wanted to spend at the coffee shop.  We then made out a shopping list, so that we knew exactly what we would be buying, and where.  And then we set off!

It was great fun.  We don't go "shopping" like this very often, and it was lovely to spend some time together as mother and daughter.  We started off by going to the clothing store where Little Bear planned to buy her nightclothes.  Rather than browsing round lots of different stores (and putting temptation in our way) we just looked in the specific store we had planned to go to, where we knew there would be lots of nice things to choose from.  Little Bear picked out a couple of sweet items to try on, then we went to the changing room and she tried them on.  We both agreed that they were gorgeous, but Little Bear had only enough budget for one of them, so we picked out the one that was closest to what she needed (something warm for the cooler weather).  And that was the one she bought!  It was hard not to buy both of them, but she didn't need both of them.

Next stop was the cookware store.  Oh my goodness there were so many lovely things to see!  Lots of different bakeware and tools for decorating cakes.  We enjoyed looking at all of them, but we hadn't budgeted for anything from this store as we didn't need it.  So we just enjoyed "window shopping" and getting ideas for birthdays and Christmas!  There was a lovely box of icing tips that I especially liked, and a special pizza stone for baking home-made pizzas in your oven.  Little Bear loved the cute cupcake cases, and the gadjets for making donuts and such like at home.

All that looking at bakeware and cake decorating goodies made us hungry so we stopped off after that at the coffee shop, where we had capucchinos and shared a slice of spiced apple cake.  The cake was delicious!  I am going to try to find a recipe to see if I can re-create it at home.  I'm sure there will be one in one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks!  We really enjoyed ourselves in the coffee shop, and it was so good to sit together and chat.  Afterwards, we wandered up to the mall where the Yankee Candle store is - only to find that it had gone!  It had closed down since we last visited the mall.  We were very disappointed - that store use to always smell so delicious.

Rather than look around at other shops we hadn't planned to, we decided to go home after that - so we did - having not overspent our budget at all!  It was a lovely day out and I'm so glad that we were able to share that time together.  The key to having a good day out shopping is not to focus on what you are buying, but on the people you are with, and enjoy the experience of sharing the time together, rather than hurrying about spending money.  It's hard when there are so many temptations in the shops - but it's much better to keep within your budget, and only buy things you planned to.  That way the good feeling will last long after you get home! 

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