I’ve been thinking about Christmas planning recently and wanted to pick up some bits and pieces before then.

Books are always top of my thoughts as they’re so handy for N to have a few new ones for his stocking or just under the tree.  I’d already put in an order with The Book People – in preparation for the numerous birthdays we’ll be having coming up (or for party bag items for N’s party – if I get round to doing one) I ordered some sets of mixed activity books, as well as a couple of recipe books.

Unfortunately I quite often find the books I’m after are out of stock there which is annoying when they’re sending me reminders about offers they have on.

Today we popped into town for a few things, and I remembered I’d got 3 different coupons for WHSmith.  It totally slipped my mind that the ‘Books are my Thing’ campaign was going on today, and should have gone to the independent book shop in town, but when coupons are burning a hole in my purse, that’s what draws me in.

Straight by the door, their half price book was one by an author I always like, then there were buy one get one half price offers.  Or so I thought, until I got to the checkout finding that it rang through as buy one get another for £1.  Bargain.

I also picked up some children’s books for N on a 3 for 2.  I do find it hard to find different books in stores for him.  Once you’ve got most of the Julia Donaldson books, and have ignored the duplicates (we have Pirates love underpants, I’m not sure we need the dinosaur versions too), there never seems that much choice.

Add to that my coupon, and overall I’d saved £30 buying the below books.  One thing I found out is if you’ve several different coupons, and haven’t/can’t worked out which one is best for you, WHSmith will put all through the till and it automatically works out the best for you.

Bargain books
My bargain books haul.

Actually, I tell a lie.  The top 2 children’s books were The Works.  Their children’s books are a bit of a weird choice, but I couldn’t resist The Night Before Christmas, and at buy one get one for 1p…it’d be rude not to.

All in all, I’ve been very pleased with my book buying over this week.  They’ll definitely keep me busy with only 9 books to read before I hit my 50 books challenge for this year.

Other than books, on a random trip to Argos, I did a quick flick through the clearance section on toys, and found a great Happyland takeaway police set bargain – previously around a tenner, down to £3.  That’s a Christmas present sorted for my godson, and because it’s light and not too small, it shouldn’t be too extortionate to post up to him as well.

The clearance section isn’t one I’d usually check, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on that in future, especially when it comes round to Christmas and birthdays.

What bargains have you found recently, and what tips do you have for thriftiness at Christmas?

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