I've just received some money off vouchers for Pizza Express during January, and it put me into a money saving sort of mood, so I've updated my links with some handy money saving websites that might be of use to anyone who wanders across my site and hasn't yet visited MoneySavingExpert and surrendered themselves to the very sensible advice of Martin Lewis.
Partly it serves as a reminder to myself to watch my budget around Christmas time, as there are few seasonal dampeners worse than watching the pennies trickle out of your wallet before you're halfway to Christmas.
On the same theme, I was listening to the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 yesterday lunchtime as I trundled about and they had a very odd discussion going on about whether buying presents online made them any less of a present than if you went into the shops and got elbowed, kicked and generally hussled by every Tom, Dick and Harriet.
Now, if it was a present that was only available in a shop in a certain town, they didn't have a website and you knew that the item in question was desperately coveted by the person you were buying for then sure, go for it; but lets face it, most presents that your Sister/Husband/Father wants will in all likelihood come from a high street shop with a website and it won't make the blindest bit of difference to the recipient how you got it.
It's not that I don't get the love of a tangible product. I do, really I do. I love to touch and smell and admire them, but many of the products that are beloved by my family, friends and I are quite unique and in many cases the only way to access these items is through specialist markets or via the web. If you're not located near to the retailers in question, then the web does indeed become your friend.
I'm a great fan of the independent retailer, you see. I love handcrafted work - you can see the quality in them, and the romantic in me tends to think that the love that a person has for making these things shines through. Unfortunately, as premises become more expensive and less viable many retailers turn to the web and ecommerce a feasible solution. Good on them, I think.
So in support of these people, I say that internet shopping does not a lesser present make.