22 August 2012

Tell me I'm your national anthem.

I often find that summer time leaves me more or less penniless for many reasons, but a main one is the amount of friends whose birthdays are during the summer. I absolutely love giving presents, but I find it really difficult to be able to afford any, let alone decent ones. Bought cards tend to cost around £2/£3, smellies can range from £5 to £20, clothes.. well clothes and shoes are basically a no-go due to there being very little that you can buy that's good quality for under £20 (or so I though). So I find it difficult to decide how much to spend and what to buy for people. Until recently..

A few weeks ago it was my gorgeous friend Grace's birthday. I really wanted to get her something but as always, money was running low. But then I thought, (and wondered to myself why I stupidly hadn't thought of this before) there are a few places I buy shoes and clothes that are VERY cheap, and would make perfect presents! I suppose I immediately think that when buying for other people, the gifts must come from 'proper', high street shops, when in fact the shoes I buy from cheap places are just as good if not better quality!

And enter everything5pounds.com! For those of you who don't know this shop, it's simply a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin shop. The name's Everything 5 Pounds, and everything is 5 pounds, nifty eh? I've bought quite a few pairs of shoes from here before and every single one I've been so pleasantly surprised with them. They're such good quality and look far far FAR more expensive than £5 (well usually £8.50ish including P&P, BUT STILL!). I'm planning on doing a post purely about them soon, so if you're interested keep a look out!

So I searched on there for a nice pair of shoes for Grace and hey presto, I found a lovely pair of beige strappy cork type heals.. for only £5 ;) (£8.50, shh, you know what I mean).

I was really pleased with them, but I wanted to give her just another little thing. Unfortunately I only had a couple of pounds left from the budget (I tend to have a £10 budget for each person I buy for, stingy I know, but hey I'm a student!). I had a think of things but couldn't come up with any ideas, so decided to leave it. But you know how it is, as soon as you stop thinking of something it comes straight to you, and in this case it came to me through Stumble Upon (look it up, it's really cool). I was stumbling one afternoon and came across a how-to of body scrub and decided to make this for Grace as her second present (I read a few of the how-tos but ended up mixing a few recipes together to make my own).

It was so simple, I mixed about 3/4 of the jar (plus maybe a tiny bit more) of brown sugar with a few table spoons of honey, mixed it up and plonked it in the jar. So. Simple. I then added a few little pretty things like the material bonnet, string and label to give it that extra home made feel. Over all the body scrub cost about £3, shoes were £5 plus postage, so about £8.50 and I made a card so all together came to approximately £11.50 (only £1.50 over my budget, but it's Grace, so I don't mind ;) ). I then wrapped the shoes up with some old paper and ribbon I had (use stuff you already have, makes the wrapping free).

I have to say, this is far from the best wrapping I've ever done, but I had to rush. It all goes in the bin in the end anyway.

So there you go, how to get lovely but cheap or free presents for people! Sorry for the length of this post, I have such a tendency to ramble, I'm trying my hardest to stop.


  1. thank-you for the comment alex, (this feels so strange!)

    i demand some homemade sugar scrub please! it sounds so yummy! i love buying presents for people i could easily spend £100+ but i love how thoughtful these are!

    lots of love,

    lily from red brick lipstick

  2. Hey Lovely
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