I’ve got all my Xmas presents from charity shops people think it’s cheap but I don’t care because I’ve saved thousands
A THRIFTY mum revealed all she spent is £30 on all her presents this year after scouring charity shops – saving herself a fortune.
Alix Shaw, 31, rarely buys anything new for herself or her son Casper, who she welcomed last year.
Alix, from Norfolk, reckons she’s saved thousands of pounds over the years with her frugal ways, despite people thinking her lifestyle looks ‘cheap’.
The mum used to shop on the high street, but as she grew up she turned her back on shiny new items, and decided to embrace pre-loved goods.
She said: “There used to be a bit of a taboo around buying secondhand.
“People still worry that they’ll look cheap – but there’s no shame in being thrifty.”
Now everything from her son’s toys, her wardrobe, homeware and Christmas decorations have all been bought second-hand.
Alix, who shares Casper with partner 31-year-old Tobias Geddes, a landscape gardener, said: “I have quite a big family, and used to get everyone a Christmas present, which could get really expensive.
“I would buy a mix of secondhand and new gifts, but have increasingly found that there are such amazing preloved things on offer.
“Last year, I made little giftsets out of things like old books and unused, good-as-new toiletries I’d picked up.
“This year, we are doing a secret Santa in the family, so my budget is much less. Presents will cost me just £30, plus whatever I spend on Casper, who I have some great secondhand toys and books for.”
Even her Christmas decorations have been passed on from other people or come from charity shops – as well as her tree.
She said: “There’s loads of amazing vintage decorations out there that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.”
Alix, a graphic designer, also reckons she’s saved herself a fortune on shunning new items for Casper.
The mum scoured eBay for clothing bundles for one or two quid, bought a £2.50 play mat from her local charity shop and a £5 high chair at a car boot sale.
Alix said: “I must’ve saved hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds on clothes for Casper.
“He’s growing all the time so I don’t see the point in getting him a £50 pair of shoes, or expensive clothes, that won’t fit him in a few months.
“I’d rather take that money and spend it on experiences, or save it.
“I’ve got things like baby Converse trainers that are about £25 new for just 50p, and some amazing wooden toys for a couple of quid.
“I prefer buying wooden toys when I can, but if I get him something plastic, I’ll make sure it’s secondhand so that nothing new is being made.
“I also give away his old toys and clothes – either to charity, or to friends with babies. It’s all one big cycle.”
Nearly all of Alix’s wardrobe – apart from her underwear – is secondhand, with her incredible buys including a pair of Dr Martens she found for £1.50.
And she decked out her house in vintage gear – including her furniture.
The mum revealed: “Almost everything in my house is secondhand – my sofa, my bookcase, a chest of drawers, lamps, and even plants.
“I wanted to furnish it all eclectically, and for everything to have a story.
“That’s what’s so special about buying secondhand things – everything is unique and has its own past.
“I have a vintage suitcase that I absolutely love, as it has someone’s name written in it. When I saw that, I thought about who that person was, and where they’d been.
“To me, that’s much more special than something on a rail in a high street shop, that anybody could have.”
Alix, who shares her vintage finds on Instagram, says she’s sharing her love of second hand to try and inspire people to shop more sustainably.
She said: “If you just open your mind up to give secondhand shopping a chance, you’ll be surprised. You’ll find things you didn’t even know you wanted.
“It makes me so sad to think of things just ending up in landfill.
“People may not like the idea of secondhand shopping, but most things you’ll find are in perfectly good condition, cleaned and pressed.
"Everyone is happy to try clothes on in a high street store, or go to a hotel and sleep in sheets and use towels that other people have used – why is this any different?
“Not only am I saving money this way, but I am also being kinder to the planet.”
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