Happy New Year.

It’s a strange start to the new year with most of the country in Tier 4 with only essential shops open.  I’m lucky that my area is one of the few to start the new year in Tier 3 so most shops are still open, but like a lot of people I’ve been avoiding going to the sales to avoid the crowds.  I tend to go shopping later in the day, and so far it’s been limited to places selling food or toiletries.  The only bargain I’ve seen so far are some lovely soft pale pink face cloths in Asda reduced to 45p.  They are more expensive than those in Wilko but are softer.  John Lewis now do their basic wash cloths in packs of 4 rather than packs of 2 but they are still good quality and work out at 35p each – but no so good if you are only doing 1 or 2 boxes!

So now the whole country is in lockdown and only essential shops are open and we’re asked to only go shopping for basic necessities, or to provide voluntary or charitable purposes…

Dunelm are doing click and collect and do have a couple of good offers, though it seemed less clear if they were available for delivery and then you need to factor in delivery costs.  Click and collect is free – but the collection should ideally be tied with a visit to pick up your basic essentials from a nearby store.  The items which I’ve seen on offer which would be good for shoeboxes are flannels and candles, both on the essentials list.  They do have a pack of 4 flannels for 50p however they aren’t available in my area or near to Link to Hopes offices – they do look quite thin from the photo.  I’ve purchased some packs of 4 anti bacterial flannels for £1.05.  They seem to have white, blush, light grey, dark grey and mustard – but only 3 of the colours were available in my local store, but as they work out at just over 26p each I’ve bought a few packs!  If you search on their site for ‘face cloths’ and sort ‘low to high’ there are also some individual face cloths for 35p if you only need one or two,  scroll further down to find the ones I purchased or search for ‘face cloths pack of 4’. 

The other item is a chocolate orange candle in a glass container.  It’s 9 cm high and about 8cm wide so a reasonable size to go in a shoebox.  The burn time estimate is 25 hours and it’s on sale for 25p!!!!!!!!!!!!  That works out cheaper than the Ikea unfilled votive and a single tealight which at best would burn for 8 hours but more likely 2-4 hours. 

I haven’t seen many other shoe box essentials on offer but with lock down I’ve been following the Government advice so haven’t been in many shops.  I think Poundland have hats and gloves for £1.00 but I haven’t been in recently to check.  I may need to knit some beanie hats this year 😊.