Today, I ventured into the lion's den: I visited the shops in Oxford Street in the middle of the summer sales. I wasn't there to go shopping. I hoped to get away without spending any money. My main purpose was to collect my boots from the RM Williams shop in New Bond Street.
I'd had to send them back to Australia to be reheeled and resoled. They've come back looking brand new. I reckon they're good for another 3 years of constant wear. (The picture comes from their website. )
After RM Williams, I ventured into dangerous territory - the yarn department at John Lewis. My motive was mainly pilgrimage; for many years, John Lewis was the only place you could buy yarn in Central London. There was no-where else. Back when I worked nearby, I was a regular customer. Back then, I didn't have a stash - I didn't need one - I used to buy per project because I could always pop into John Lewis for some more.
<- cough ->
I wasn't shopping; really, I wasn't.
<- cough ->
I wanted some sock yarn in pink/blue/lavender to make some socks as a thank you for a colleague in the States who does loads of work for me. Those are her favourite colours. But I wasn't planning to buy anything else.
I found the perfect colourway in Wendy's Happy; it's called Aquarius. And then something else fell into my shopping bag. (Honest!)
Two hanks each of Mirasol's Chirapa Crystal in Spearmint and Hacho in Verde Ripple. The Mirasol was half-price in the sales. I should get a pair of socks out of each colourway. The Happy will make at least 3 pairs of socks: 2 pairs to give away and 1 pair for me.
Next, I ventured into Debenhams to replace a belt I'd received as a gift and returned (it was far too big for me). Walked in, found the belts hanging in the accessories department, picked the only one in my size, paid for it with the gift voucher I'd received for the last one and walked out within 10 minutes.
Finally, I wandered into Boots, in a vain attempt to find their clearance shelves. I've found some wonderful bargains on their clearance shelves: makeup base in my shade at 50p a bottle (bought 6); cleanser at 50p a bottle (ditto) and body lotion at 40p (bought 2). But not today. Instead, I got ambushed by an Estee Lauder saleswoman determined to sell me lipstick. I resisted, then sent her on a futile attempt to find the elusive shade of dark-red I've been tracking for years. Defeated, she let me escape.
Even with my little yarn slip-up, I think I did very well resisting the siren call of the Sales. No browsing through the sale racks. No "little purchases". No lipstick in a shade that I'd never wear.
The first law of saving money is Don't Spend It. The second law is If You Have To Spend It, Make Sure It's In Your Budget. At least, with my yarn slip-up, there was money in my Sanity fund to pay for it.