Back To School for £50 Or Less?

Good morning and happy Monday!  We have had a fun filled weekend and are ready for another busy week!  Hope you all had a good one?

I received an email from Pep & Co/Poundland last week and was delighted – anyone who follows me on Instagram will see me posting my #whatostomateswear post most days and know I wear a lot of their clothes.  I swear by their high-waisted jeans – definitely the comfiest I have found!  We also get quite a lot of the kids bits in there.

The Mission…Should You Choose To Accept It

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The email was telling me all about the new school uniform and items they have in their stores currently and set me a challenge – to kit out a child for school for £50 or less!  Any one with children will know how expensive a new term can be and I regularly fork out well over £100 per child so this intrigued me… could it really be done?

Challenge Accepted!

Of course I had to give it a go, so on Saturday we headed to the local store we tend to use at the entrance to the Intu Derby centre.  The store was well stocked with a good range of sizes.  There were lots of different options including shirts and polo shirts, pinafore dresses and tights.

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The items are of lovely quality and do not feel cheap at all.  I find that the boys either grow out of their uniform or get it ditched (irreparably) after a few months, so spending less on items like polo shirts suits me better as I know these will need replacing at some point throughout the school year.  The polo shirts are available in white and light blue and are £1 each!  They can be bought separately or in two packs..

I personally did not pick up any sweatshirts as the boys school asks that they wear the ones with their logo on.  However, they are available in blue, red and black for just £2 each.  A great alternative to the more expensive school branded ones or good to have as a back up just in case.

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Trousers can be the bane of my life.  Both my boys have gone through phases of having tiny waists but long legs!  Leo is more in proportion now but Riley struggles to get a size that is long enough to suit his leg length which aren’t then too big for his waist.  I was really pleased to see that the Pep & Co trousers have adjustable waists in them.  The smaller sizes were just £3 and the bigger ones were £3.50 and were available in grey and black.  Skirts and pinafore dresses were also on sale.

The shoe range wasn’t huge but I loved these ones I picked up for Riley – super smart and he said they were very comfy and made him run really fast!  The girls shoes were cute too.  At  only £8 these are perfect for quick growing feet (and football players) who will need new ones at a rapid rate.

Socks (5 pack) and tights (2 pack) were also available in grey and black.  There were girls socks with a slight frill to the top as well.

The boys PE kits are bought from school too but they are encouraged to take in tracksuit tops and joggers for the Winter and for outside PE sessions.  Pep & Co had these lovely, soft tracksuits in grey, black, navy and blue.  The tops were £5 and the bottoms £4.  They also had PE pumps in a range of sizes for just £3.50.

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Trying It On

As you can see, Riley got right into the modelling game for you all!  He loved taking these pictures, even if he was a little wary at first!  He is wearing size 7-8 shirt, polo shirt and trousers and size 13 shoes.

Stationery

Leo picked up some stationery items too.  There was a range of sets with different characters on containing all the basic items for just £1 which is great value.  Leo wanted to get the separate bits so he chose the ones he wanted, but you could have definitely saved more here by buying a set.

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The Bill

I was dubious heading into this challenge as, like I said previously, I generally spend over £100 on each of boys easily when it comes to school shopping.  However, the quality of the Pep & Co uniform pieces are still great and they were such amazing prices!  I do find sizing up in there is generally better  and you will want your little ones with your to try shoes and things on.

So how did I get on?  Could you get everything you need for £50 or less?

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I did it!!!  With enough to spare for a lunchbox or a little rucksack.  I wanted to also mention the coats they had in there – these were available in khaki and navy and I thought they were lovely and only £12 – definitely something I will be picking up when the weather starts to get cooler!

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I was so pleased with my little haul and really happy to be able to share this with you and hopefully help you save some money too!  Let me know if you try out your local Pep&Co and Poundland and what you are loving in there at the moment in the comments below,

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Autumn Clothing Haul

Thought I would share some of my recent clothing purchases with you as I get ready for the Autumn and the drop in temperature! After first getting my ostomy, I opted for ‘safe’ outfits but over the last few months and as my confidence has grown, I’ve started to enjoy what I wear again and have tried out many different looks. Hope you enjoy having a peek at what I have purchased and it inspires you (ostomy or not) into dressing the way you want to, not just for comfort for example. I’m also on a pretty tight budget so all these purchases are from affordable, high street stores.

First up is this black jumper from Pep & Co with silver zip detail to both shoulders. I love that this looks a little smarter but is still casual, and it’s super soft. It’s also a nice length and over high waisted jeggings/jeans it covers a bulging bag comfortably.

Next up was a super bargain at just £1! I’ve been looking for a plain white t-shirt for ages and just haven’t found a style I liked. Popped into Primark and this little beauty was in the sale section which made me very happy!

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I needed some new basic, cotton underwear and nowhere does it better than Primark! Really liked these colours/patterns and they are really comfy. Unless I’m going out (and I pull out my Jasmine Stacey Collection underwear) I generally wear normal knickers, underneath my bag. There is always a fab range at great prices in Primark (these worked out at £1 per pair), and the styles are changed up pretty regularly too.

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I really loved this top from Pep & Co. It’s grey, thin jumper style material with a black leather look collar on it. The collar just makes it a little different and it’s nice while it’s getting cooler but isn’t freezing yet! I could easily pop a vest top underneath too for added warmth.

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Love this pink, chunky knit jumper from Primark. It’s super cosy, a lovely colour and perfect for this season!

PJs now! Anyone who knows me knows I love flamingos and I couldn’t resist this short set from Pep & Co. The fact is was in the sale section was just an added bonus! Next up are the unicorn leggings, these are really comfy and who can resist a unicorn?! And then finally, I picked up a Harry Potter set. Not only are these super soft but they are just so cool! Gorgeous checked bottoms with a grey top featuring the Harry Potter crest/logo. Both the unicorn leggings and the HP PJs were from Primark.

Next up I have this blue pair of jeggings from Primark. Jeggings are definitely the most comfy thing I’ve found to wear high waisted, over my bag. I also get a size 10 so they are a size bigger than I would have bought before but it gives me that bit of extra room and is more comfortable around my bag. I have a lighter and a darker blue pair but loved this brighter blue and have worn them quite a bit since I got them!

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I bought this long sleeved, high necked black top as I thought it would be perfect to go under my dungaree dresses and to wear tucked in to my burgundy, corduroy mini skirt I just bought. It’s super soft and comfortable and I found it in Primark!

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I got these super soft and stretchy skinny jeans in Asda. I loved the colour and I like the distressed effect. Purchased a size ten again as they are high waisted enough to be able to wear over my bag so I like having that bit of extra room and I can’t wait to wear them!

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Last but not least comes the accessories! I picked up the gloves from Primark and they are pretty basic, in grey with a little detail on them so they aren’t completely plain. The scarf I actually found in the men’s section in Primark but I love this green colour and think it will look great with the right outfits!

Well that’s all I had in this one but I post an #ootd (#outfitoftheday) over on my Instagram account most days which you can check out at http://www.instagram.com/thespooniemummy

I love searching Pinterest for outfit ideas, what do you like to look at for inspiration? What’s been your favourite purchase/outfit in Autumn so far? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Five Friday Favourites

It’s Friday and I’m back! Not quite with a bang but I’m here and doing okay. Not really ready to share my favourite things from the week yet as I still feel like there is a big hole in my daily life but I did want to reconnect with you all so thought I would share my five favourite places to shop for the kid’s clothes. With the autumn/winter fast approaching the kids are needing their wardrobes overhauled yet again! Out go the shorts and summer dresses and in come the long sleeves and welly boots. Keeping this as affordable as possible is important for me as a single mum, but I still want them to look nice. Luckily, the High Street and supermarkets have some great options and in recent years have really upped their game with regards to children’s fashion.

First up is the ever amazing Primark. I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t love a browse in here, for their kids, themselves or their homeware. During the last year or so it has become a favourite of mine to grab a gorgeous home bargain in. Their children’s clothes range is vast, extremely affordable and, especially recently, has become right on trend. I picked up some great Summer bits this year for both the boys and for Layla. They are also great for the little bits like underwear, socks and the pump style shoes the boys like to pop on to play in in the garden, or for a quick outing to the shop or park. The older boys range I was particularly impressed with this year and I got Leo some really cool t-shirts and shorts. Their wasn’t a massive selection in my local Primark for his age but what they did have was really good and I managed to kit him out quite happily in time for our holiday. The girls section always seems to have more than the boys which I feel needs addressing but otherwise Primark is always right on point for me.

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Next up is a relatively new addition to the High Street. Pep & Co opened a stand alone shop in Derby but has recently started popping up in Poundland stores across the country. Their clothes are affordable and look good. I’ve also got some great pyjamas for the boys from here recently. The range isn’t massive but I’m hoping as they become more established this will expand. The sizes can also be a bit hit and miss. Clothes wise I tend to go a little bigger than needed and the shoes I often need to get a size smaller. I would definitely suggest having your child with you if you are getting them some shoes from there if you haven’t before. They have a great range of simple printed t-shirts for children which are super cheap and ideal for Summer or for nursery if you want to send your children in clothes that you don’t mind being covered in paint and mud. They also have a fab, cheap school range with polo shirts for just £1. At that price you could afford to replace them every term and they were not overly thin like some cheaper ones I have seen. The school trousers were only £2.50 and they had checked school dresses for £3. Definitely worth a try I think! Looking forward to seeing what happens with them in the coming year as have definitely made a good impression so far!

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As I said, the supermarkets have also really upped their game regarding children’s clothing and I wanted to give Asda a huge nod for this. Me and Ste went in yesterday and I could have spent a fortune on all the children with their new Autumn lines being released. The clothes were cute, seasonal and really on trend. I especially loved the light pink/maroon/purple colours dominating one of the girls ranges and couldn’t resist grabbing Layla a couple of outfits. We have struggled to get her any shoes with hard soles as her feet are only a diddy size 3 but I managed to grab a pair for her as they have a really wide range of shoes in all sizes. They also have a really great range of winter coats that are reasonably priced. I have also managed to buy the boys some great jeans in Asda this year, from the basics to some more on trend designs that were still very reasonably priced.  I used to find Asda a little bit hit and miss for clothes but have been really impressed this year.

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Next is a little more expensive but I couldn’t not mention it as they do have some gorgeous kids clothes. They also have really great sales on which is when I tend to go in and grab my bargains. I always find going into the shop is better than trying to sale shop on their website, as when I go to purchase most things come up as sold out in my basket! They have a really good range of formal wear for little ones too, perfect for upcoming Christmas parties (oh yes, I mentioned the C word – it is September now after all!).

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Finally I wanted to talk about another supermarket. The Tu range at Sainsbury’s isn’t as big as some of the other supermarkets in my opinion but their clothes are always good quality and have recently become more on trend. I would also always buy the boy’s school trousers here as they are great quality and have the adjustable waists which was perfect for my tall, skinny boys! The white cotton polo shirts would also last well, even after Riley doused them daily in everything you could imagine – paint, mud, crayon, grass etc! They also run a 25% sale every two or three months which is the perfect time to grab the school stuff. The footwear range is nice but is often limited and I struggle sometimes to find the shoes I want in the size I want. The website is very good and you can order things for delivery to you or to collect at your local store.

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Hope you enjoyed my little run through. Please let me know where you like to shop for your kids clothes or what you think of my list in the comments below. And Happy Friday to all!