Sainsbury’s Double Up Promotion: How I got £64 worth of clothes for £2

Sainsbury’s is not my main supermarket, but I still have managed to get £10 of points on my nectar card (with nearly £5 spare) through a series of deals and manipulating offers to my benefit.

Sainsbury’s have normally done two ‘Double Up’ promotions each year, where you have a week to double £10 worth of points (up to £40) for a coupon for a particular category (sadly not food). There are many, many restrictions, so many that in order to get today’s voucher I had to do a week of preparation. Basically, there is only one Sainsbury’s I can walk to in Cardiff that stocks clothes. But I had to have shopped there within the last 6 months, which I haven’t, so last week I trekked to Sainsbury’s to buy groceries, swiping my nectar card at the till, which meant I could go there today to get my double up voucher.

(I could go into detail about the restrictions, but there is a very good blog post about it from a site I follow called ‘Be Clever With Your Cash’, and they would do it so much better than me. You can read the link here)

So, bam, I had £20 to spend on clothes. I generally really like Sainsbury’s clothes and as I saw it as a way to get free/nearly free clothes I wasn’t too fussed about finding a dream item, and thought I would just stock up on basics. The clothes selection was tiny, but I still found a long sleeved white shirt (I love a long sleeve white shirt), a yellow sweater vest and 2 skirts.

All the items were on sale, full retail value was £64, the total at the till was £22, so bam, I only spent £2 on four items of clothing. Yes, none of them are exactly the sexiest things in the world, but they are all fine basics for work. (Ok, so I’m currently unemployed, but I won’t always be).

I have decided that since I want to lose weight, I am not going to buy any clothes full price (other than under garments and shoes) until I reach a healthy BMI. In theory this is because I don’t want to invest in clothes that will hopefully be far to big for me in a years time (I hope), so expect more posts like this until I reach my target weight.



I just got a new item of clothing online for free, let me show you how

Head to

Select a £5 item from the Promotional section (admittedly I didn’t find this at first and it was only when I put invalid items in my basket and tried to apply the code that it showed me the promotional items link)

Apply the code FREEBIEMSE and you will get £5 off and just pay postage.

I am not sure how long this deal will last so give it a whirl whilst you can.

When you place your order you are also given a link to give your friends £5 off and when they make a purchase you get £5 off.

Here is my code, if it works:


I swished my way into high society

Have you heard of ‘Swishing parties’?

Of course you have, even I have.

Today I went to my first one.

Just in case you haven’t and don’t know what a swishing party is I’ll explain. It’s where you donate old clothes, accessories, and the like, and in return you are usually given tokens or something similar which you can then use to ‘purchase’ new items.

So I walked all along the lovely Roath Park in Cardiff, past the lake, to a little Scout hall, and then I plonked my 10 donated items at the little counter and got 10 little tickets, the sort you get at a funfair.

Then we had 30 minutes to ‘browse’ so I was just picking up things and was all set to purchase them once the 30 minutes was up, but then I (and most of the other people there too) found out that we couldn’t just purchase them, instead we had to leave the clothes we had our hearts set on back on the rails, then go outside and wait. Whilst outside the organisers made sure no clothes were hidden behind radiators or something, and then it was a mad scramble to get back in and get your booty.

What annoyed me is I put down a dress I really wanted, and then I saw someone pick it up and basically hide it before the organiser sent us outside. Cow.

But, I was lucky. No one seemed to want the pieces I had selected and I got 8 of my originally selected 10 items, and then replaced the missing two items with a suit, which was probably a more sensible option.

Today I acquired the following:

1 Maxi Dress

1 Blazer and Trouser Suit Set

1 Kimono (brand new!)

1 Swimsuit (brand new!)

1 Jaeger dress (designer! lush)

2 Woolen scarfs

1 Christmas Jumper!!!!

1 Oasis woolen shawl thing

1 Pair of ballet pumps

This has all saved me money, not just in the sense that I have new clothes for free, but I was going to have to buy a new swimsuit, I needed new shoes, and it is a tradition of mine to get a new Christmas jumper each winter.

So all in all I think it was a success. Huzzah!

Clothes for 38p

8 days ago on my birthday the boy gave me £40 bonus birthday money for me to buy ‘unessential purchases’ with, such as clothes. Because even though there are some items of clothes it is fair to say I need rather than want, I still would have felt like I had ruined the No Spend Year if I had bought them.

I have so far spent £1.38 of the birthday money. £1 was on a bunch of hair bands as my hair is ridiculously long, in need of tying back and for some reason I had NO HAIR BANDS!

To be fair I used to have really short cropped hair once upon a time, so the most common thing I hear from people when I see them now is ‘LOOK HOW LONG YOUR HAIR IS!’ so hair bands weren’t really needed. But I couldn’t help but feel a little that I had somehow failed at being female by not having hair bands.

And yesterday I spent 38p on a pair of jeans and a white shirt.

But How!? But Why?!

Well it was a long time in the making I can tell you.

First, I had been saving all year my ‘points’ on a shopping research ‘thing’ I do. I have a little laser scanner and a shopping book with barcodes in. Each week I scan the barcodes in the book relating to the shop I shopped at and the cost of the shopping, then I scan the barcodes of the items I bought. I also take a photo of all the receipts and upload the scans from the scanner and the receipt photo on my app.

I’ll admit it is very labour intensive, but when you have as little money as I do you will do anything to stretch your money as far as it will go. It also means that whenever the boy and I do shopping we will get home and I will scream ‘DON’T PUT ANYTHING AWAY, I NEED TO SCAN IT!!!!’

So I had £30 in points that I could exchange for vouchers at certain retailers, such as New Look, one of my favoured shops.

The vouchers, complemented with a 20% online voucher code they will send you on your birthday via email meant my £37.98 shopping order was 38p.

I also arranged to collect the shopping in store and thus I saved £3.99 on my postage and packaging.

As long as the clothes fit I feel this will be a very successful shopping trip!