Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014: let’s shop!

Black Friday | www.angeliquelee.co.uk | wetzkaz/123RF

But where do I start, you ask? Here’s a list of some of my favourite retailers that have jumped on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday bandwagon:

1. Retailers selling a range of products

Amazon UK: Amazon launches multiple deals with differing number of stocks and prices every 10 minutes between 8am and 9pm. Head over to their website to see all available and upcoming deals . While you’re there, you might also want to check out the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Tablet – you can get up to £100 off all week, subject to availability.

Asda: Asda offers a range of discounted products in stores only, on Friday and Saturday. Sale starts at 8am on Friday. Check their Black Friday’s site to get an idea of the deals on offer and which stores are participating.

Marks and Spencer: M&S offers up to 30% off certain products online and in stores. Starts at midnight on Thursday until midnight on Monday, 1 December.

Sainsbury’s: Sainsbury’s offers a range of discounted products in stores only. Starts at 1am on Friday in its 24-hour stores and from normal opening hour in all its other stores.

Tesco: Tesco offers discounts of up to 70% on a range of products online and in stores. Starts at 00.01 on Friday. Go to Tesco Direct to see the deals.

Marks and Spencer

2. Fashion and beauty

Benefit Cosmetics: Benefit Cosmetics offers 15% off everything online from Friday to Monday, 1 December. Use code SAVE15 for your purchases.

Cath Kidston: Cath Kidston offers 15% off everything online and in stores from Friday to Sunday. Use code SNOW15 for online purchases.

Hunter: Hunter offers 20% off everything online and in stores. No codes needed and expiry date unknown.

L’Occitane: L’Occitane offers a number of deals online starting on Friday until Sunday, 7 December. Use the following codes for your purchases:

  • Escape to Provence gifts for £15 when you spend £30: BLACK (valid from 9am until midnight on Friday)
  • Weekend exclusive gift free when you spend £180: SPOILME (valid from 9am on Friday until midnight on Sunday)
  • Buy 2, get 1 free, on a gorgeous selection of travel kits: 3FOR2 (valid from 9am on Friday until midnight on Sunday)
  • Get a £10 gift card for your next purchase when you spend £50: GATE1 (valid on Monday, 1 December)
  • Free hand rescue collection when you spend £25 or more: GATE2 (valid on Tuesday, 2 December)
  • Pampering collection free when you spend £50 or more: GATE3 (valid on Wednesday, 3 December)
  • Expert care collection for men free when you spend £50 or more: GATE4 (valid on Thursday, 4 December)
  • Free 250ml shower gel when you spend £40 or mor: GATE5 (valid on Friday, 5 December)
  • Weekend essentials collection free when you spend £40 or more: GATE6 (valid on Saturday, 6 December)
  • Create your travel kit free when you spend £45 or more: GATE7 (valid on Sunday, 7 December)

On top of that, you’ll also get free standard delivery on all orders until Sunday, 19 December.

Mango: Mango offers 30% off everything online and in stores from Friday to Sunday. Use code 5BLACK4 for online purchases. It’s also offering free return until 15 January 2015.

Sweaty Betty: Sweaty Betty offers 20% off everything online from Friday to Sunday. Use code BLACK20 for your purchases.

Sweaty Betty Cath Kidston (UK)

Everything at 30% OFF!

3. Gadgets and electrical

Carphone Warehouse: Carphone Warehouse offers saving of up to £200 online and in stores. Starts at 8am on Friday until midnight on Tuesday, 2 December.

Currys PC World: Currys offers a range of “black tag” deals online from 8am on Friday until midnight on Wednesday, 3 December. Most of the offers are also available in stores. Rumour has it that it’s knocking £80 off Apple MacBooks and iMacs.

Game: Game promises big discount on… well… games. In stores only, and stores will open until 3am on Friday. Check their website for details.

John Lewis: John Lewis offers a range of deals (mostly electrical), which starts at 00.01 on Friday on its website and 8am in stores. It’s also offering price match on a range of products found elsewhere (including £100 off all MacBooks!). Check their website for details.

Happy shopping!!

Disclosure: this is a non-sponsored post; it does, however, contains affiliate links.

For those bargain and freebies hunters out there

“Nobody says having a baby is cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to break your bank account!”

Budget Conscious Shopper | www.angeliquelee.co.uk | eyematrix/123RF

Yes, nobody says having a baby is cheap. In fact, everyone is aware of how fast it can drain your bank account. So, whenever I have the opportunity to save some money or get my hands on freebies, I’d grab it without thinking twice. Who doesn’t like a good bargain, right? Especially when time is on your side (you’ve got 9 months to plan after all!) and it doesn’t involve too much effort on your part. By spending just a tiny bit of extra time online, I’ve managed to save around £1000 (spending around £700 instead of £1700) in buying these items:

  1. Babies R Us cot that can be converted into a junior bed;
  2. Claire de Lune palm moses basket and stand;
  3. Angelcare baby monitor;
  4. Britax baby carrier;
  5. Graco Symbio 3-in-1 travel system: pram, pushchair and car seat;
  6. Angelcare nappy disposal;
  7. Babies R Us changing unit;
  8. Babies R Us changing mat;
  9. Philips Avent electric breast pump and breastfeeding starter set;
  10. Philips Avent newborn bottles starter set;
  11. Philips Avent 3-in-1 steam steriliser;
  12. Johnson & Johnson baby essentials box;
  13. 6 Pampers jumbo box nappies (with 74 nappies in each box) for newborn; and
  14. 3 sets of Babies R Us sleepsuit

And I haven’t included all the freebies I’ve gotten yet! So, for all you bargain hunters out there, I thought I’d share with you the two sites that I always check out before making any purchases (there are, of course, many more out there, like VoucherCodes, Groupon, Living Social, etc, (and I do use them quite often), but these two are my favourite and I use them all the time):

  1. Hot UK Deals (hotukdeals.com)

A user-contributed bargain hunters’ forum. There’s literally everything on that site, mainly because, when somebody spots a bargain anywhere in the UK, online or offline, they can post it on the site alerting other users on the existence of the deal. What you have to do is do a quick search on the item you want to buy or the name of the retailer you want to buy it from and if an offer exists, you can count on it that it’ll be on the site. My husband and I have discovered many deals through Hot UK Deals; our two most recent discovery (which led us to purchase the items) were (1) the Britax baby carrier (for which we paid £29.99 instead of £58.99); and (2) the 6 jumbo box Pampers nappies from Tesco (for which we paid £35 instead of £72). Don’t you just love bargain?!?!

  1. Top Cash Back (topcashback.co.uk)

Like Quidco (if you’re familiar with that site), it gives you cashback on everyday purchases from over 4000 online retailers, such as Babies R Us, Marks and Spencer, Argos, Tesco Direct, etc. All you have to do is access the retailer’s site through Top Cash Back and your visit will be recorded accordingly. Once you’ve accumulated enough cashback, you can opt to get the ‘pay-out’ in cash (in which case they’ll credit your bank account) or convert the amount into vouchers that you can use at any of the participating retailers (including Babies R Us, Amazon, etc). What I always do is convert the maximum amount I can into Tesco Clubcard points (currently, £50 per year) and use the Clubcard boost to double my Clubcard voucher value. I then convert the remaining balance on my Top Cash Back account into either cash or Babies R Us or Amazon vouchers. It’s easy money, really! Three of the biggest cashback I’ve received so far were (1) around £60 from PC World (when I bought my HP desktop computer); (2) around £60 from Car Phone Warehouse (when I signed up to EE Samsung Galaxy S5 plan); and (3) around £25 from American Express (when my husband and I signed up to the British Airways American Express card, which in itself is a great card to have but I shall talk about that another time).

Of course, when it comes to baby’s stuff, it doesn’t hurt checking out the offers from Bounty as well – I bought my Claire de Lune palm moses basket with a Bounty offer for 50% off the RRP. Most importantly, before making any purchases, you might want to compare prices from all the major retailers like Tesco, Boots, Amazon, Babies R Us, Mothercare, etc – it’s how I managed to get my hands on, for example, the Angelcare baby monitor for £19 from Tesco instead of £59.99 (Amazon and Mothercare) and £69.96 (Babies R Us).

And for all you freebies hunters out there, this site provides a list of sites that offer freebies to mums-to-be: http://www.cloudfreebies.co.uk/2013/05/baby-freebies/. So far, I’ve personally received these items:

  1. A Bounty mum-to-be pack (redeemed from Boots), which is full of very useful items for mums-to-be, mums and newborns – you don’t have to do anything; you should be given your Bounty pack and vouchers at your first antenatal appointment;
  1. A mum-to-be pack, bump-to-baby pack and new family pack (redeemed from Boots), which like the Bounty pack, are again, full of very useful items and money off coupons worth £200 from Argos – by signing up to Emma’s Diary;
  1. Vouchers worth £100 from Mothercare – by joining My Mothercare Club online;
  1. A £5 money off coupon from Sainsbury’s to be spent on the Sainsbury’s Little Ones range – by signing up to the Sainsbury’s Baby and Toddler Club online;
  1. Goodie bag and money off coupons from Babies R Us – by signing up to the Babies R Us Gold Card and Mother and Baby Club in store or on their website (I signed up online and was given the goodie bag in store when I visited them);
  1. A cuddly cow and pregnancy diary from C&G – by signing up to the C&G Mum and Baby Club on their website; and
  1. A huggable polar bear from Apta – by signing up to the Aptaclub Baby Club on their website.

I’ve also signed up to Boots Parenting Club (I believe you get a goodie bag out of it, which you should receive by post within 6 weeks of signing up – I’m still waiting) and Tesco Baby and Toddler Club (from which you’ll get a free Tesco Parents parking permit and emails about the much loved Tesco baby events).

Last but not least, don’t forget to pile up those points when you shop for more savings and freebies! Here are some of my favourite schemes:

  1. Tesco Clubcard (just because I do most of my shopping at Tesco and I love their Clubcard boost, especially since I’ve always converted my points into British Airways Avios – you get 600 Avios for every £2.50 worth of Tesco voucher, which I think is really good);
  1. Boots Parenting Club – you’ll receive 10 points for every £1 spent on baby products when using your Boots Advantage Card (accumulate enough points and you can pay with your points instead of cash when you shop at Boots);
  1. Babies R Us Gold Card – I just signed up to this and so can’t really comment on its usefulness (except that I love the freebies they gave); and
  1. Amazon Family – you get 20% off nappies subscription and a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, which entitle you to a free one-day delivery on purchases made on Amazon UK (personally though, I’m not quite sure about this since I don’t have to buy nappies yet and you might be able to stock up on nappies for cheaper from other retailers when they’re running a promotion; Amazon Prime itself is not cheap and I always have problem with the delivery mainly because I’m working and never at home – I prefer to use their free first class delivery with Royal Mail to be honest; at least, I can always pick up my item from my local Royal Mail branch instead of having to contact Amazon and re-arrange another delivery. But, my husband is a Prime member (because we use the movie-streaming service), so we thought, why not?)

I hope you find this post helpful!

Disclosure: this is a non-sponsored post – I was not financially compensated in anyway by any of the retailers whose names appear on this post, save for Top Cash Back from which I earn a small referral fee should you decide to set up an account with the link that I’ve provided.