Don’t leave it too late when shopping for school shoes

Many parents will have to get new school shoes for their children at some point in the year but often this coincides with the start of the autumn term but as some parents have discovered leaving this until a week or two before school starts means lack of choice in the shoes and possibly limited availability in certain sizes.

As children have growth spurts at different times of the year there is nothing more frustrating than buying a pair of shoes only for the child to have outgrown them in a couple of months however this is a risk that will need to be taken. The dilemma about whether to choose cheaper shoes and replace them more often or pay more in the hope that the shoes will last longer is one that should be kept in mind if your child has been the same size for a while because the chances are they are going to have a growth spurt soon. Choosing a style of shoe that will fit your child now but allow for some growth is a good idea and generally lace up, buckle or Velcro fastenings are better for younger children rather than slip on varieties.

As soon as school ends in July it is sensible to start the school shoes search so that you do not get caught out in late August when demand is high.

How to avoid the Christmas rush

Christmas is likely to be a big deal for many people this year following on from the disappointment of last, when we were very restricted as to what we could do and when. The shops are already full of Christmas decorations, gifts and foods and many people have already started to buy what they need for the festive period.

If you do not want to get caught in the Christmas rush, then you may wish to start buying your gifts early this year. Many people have already started and if you leave it too late not only may you find that the items you want are not available but also that you have hours of queuing to contend with.

To avoid spending too much or coming away without everything you need, why not make a list. You may decide to make several lists such as one for food, one for gifts and one for decorations. Decorations are likely to be bought first followed by gifts and then the food last. If you are wanting got get a turkey for Christmas, then you may need to put your order in at your local butchers soon to ensure you get one.

Getting carried away with buying accessories

If you have recently done up a room in your house, you may want to go out and get some accessories to go in it. Accessories definitely do have their place and they can make a room look more homely, but you do need to consider how much extra it is going to cost you.  

Buying cushions, table clothes, kitchen storage cannisters, rugs and mats can very quickly add a couple of hundred pounds on to the cost of the renovation of the room.

IF you want to buy next accessories then why not have a look on your local Facebook marketplace. You may be surprised as to how much you can save by buying second-hand items. Often people even sell new items on there but at a fraction of the cost.

Make a list of what sorts of items you want for your newly decorated room. Then put them in a priority order of what you need and then what you want. You can then budget and start off by getting the items you need. Once you have gotten all those items you can start to buy the item you want. You can spread the cost over a few months so it is not such a big outlay all in one go.

You may even be able to upcycle items you already have such as recovering chairs rather than replacing them.

Shopping trips to the city

As lockdown restrictions start to be lifted and many more shops are now allowing you to try clothes on, shopping trips can resume. Although you will need to do them with your household bubble or with up to five other friends, shopping can be a great way to spend the day. You do need to be careful that you do not spend too much money when going on a shopping trip which is why it is always a good idea to set yourself a budget first before you go.

You can also break the day up a bit by going out for lunch or even for drinks and cocktails or mocktails!

Often the best places to go on a shopping trip are the cities as these have the most choice of shops. If you are into your designer clothing and accessories then you may want to head to one of the designer outlets such as the ones at Cheshire Oaks, Cannock or Bicester Village. These retail parks often have a mix of designer, high street and boutique stores so there really is something for everyone.

If you do not want to buy clothes then you could instead shop for accessories as accessories really can completely change the look of an outfit.

Shops have reopened but still shopping is not the same

Many of the high street and independent shops have now reopened to the public again and although you can now go in and browse, not many have reopened the changing rooms. Unlike before where none of the changing rooms were open, lost of shops are making their own judgement on whether to open them up or not. If they are opening them up then they are giving them a very quick wipe over the handles etc before allowing the next person it, so queues are likely.

Shoppers are expressing their disappointment at how the shopping experience that they used to get simply does not seem to be the same anymore. Lots of shoppers say they feel like they are being watched and that there is a lot of pressure to buy something that they have tried on or touched. It can be hard to concentrate on shopping when you are also trying to ensure that you are socially distancing from others and be sure that you are adhering to all the rules.

Unfortunately many of the high street stores and independent retails have not survived the pandemic and have closed their doors for the final time. This is a sad sight to see and many other retails are struggling to make their money back.

Sales are on in lots of places, but not being able to try items on it still putting a lot of shoppers off. It is very hard for some people to go and pick something up and know if it will fit them, especially when sizes vary so much from shop to shop. Someone can quite easily be a lady’s size 10 in one shop and a 12 or 14 in another. This makes it virtually impossible to be sure if something is going to fit you and look ok without purchasing it and taking it home.

Working it a shop is not an easy task at the moment either. They are trying to get back to some sort of normal and let shoppers have an enjoyable experience but there are so many rules and regulations in place that it seems impossible to do so. Many are reporting that some members of the public are being quite rude when they are having to enforce rules regarding trying on clothes etc. and that the whole job role has completely changed from what it sued to be a few years ago.