Queen of the bargain shoppers

So the January sales are finally here, and it is always a subject very dear to my heart.

I say that because I am a bit of a shop-a-holic, but before all those public relations executives from big fashion brands beat a path to my door (I wish), you should be aware that I am strictly in the bargain basement end of things.

My mother has been trying to teach me all my life her mantra that it is better to spend a bit more on something nice, than to buy any amount of cheaper stuff which won’t last the year.

She is right, of course, but do I listen? No, of course not.

I simply cannot resist the lure of acquiring more bling for my buck, more booty for my looty and more dash for my cash.

I just never learned the lesson that if something is half price and you buy two, then you have spent the same amount of money as if it had been full-price – even if it does mean you get two fluffy pink toilet roll covers for the price of one.

In fact, you could say that I am the undisputed queen of the buy-one-get-one-free, the doyenne of the deals, or, to put it another way, the idiot who parts with her hard-earned money far too easily ... shop-owners see me coming and rub their hands in glee.

That ace seller Arkwright from the TV sitcom Open All Hours would hardly have to make any effort to sell me anything – just put a discount ticket on it, and I’m hooked.

So you will see me in the next few weeks, scouring the local shops for the discounted Christmas stuff, (am I the only person who buys festive wrapping paper a year ahead?) then taking it home and putting it on proud display to my long-suffering hubby.

He has long since perfected the art of raising his eyebrows heavenwards while asking the question only men have been known to utter: “What on earth do you want that for?”

My usual response is, of course: “But it was an absolute bargain.”

There is one area, however, where I do part company with my fellow bargain-hunters.

Last month’s so-called Black Friday saw people fighting and abusing each other – just to get their hands on cheap TVs ahead of Christmas.

The scenes reported on the news bulletins of people literally walking over each other and grabbing items out of each others’ shopping baskets made for fascinating, but gruesome, viewing.

It is a sad indictment of human nature that we are prepared to sink to such depths.

I could possibly understand it if food or drink were being fought over, because that is basic survival instinct – but, last time I checked, not having a new TV was not a life or death situation.

Yes I love a bargain, but not at someone else’s expense, only my own.

In fact, I was so sickened by it all that I refused to buy anything all day, which was actually quite a sacrifice for me, as I am sure you will appreciate.

How about next year, we all boycott this stupid high-pressure sales tactic and make a donation to charity instead?

It would be much more in the true spirit of Christmas and we would all feel better in ourselves for it.