We are only days away from lifting most of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions.
July 19th, known as “Freedom Day,” marks the date when life will go back as far back as we have seen since the pandemic.
Face masks will no longer be a legal requirement, capacity limits for events will be removed and shops such as nightclubs will finally be allowed to reopen.
Read more: Lakeside sets rule changes for the mall
The lifting of restrictions means that many of us have been planning our first night out since early 2020.
If ever there was a reason to buy a new outfit, this is it.
Think of all of the birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations we missed – it’s going to be a big night.
However, after a tough year, many of us need to be careful about what we spend.
The night itself can get expensive, so setting a budget for the outfit is important.
If you need a cheaper outfit, Primark is always a good place to go.
So I put myself on a £ 30 budget and drove to Primark at the Lakeside Shopping Center to see what I could find.
When buying clothes, I don’t always know when to stop.
I can easily fill my basket with new clothes, shoes and lots of accessories.
I’ve never bought a specific outfit and set myself a budget so I was interested to see how I was doing.
For £ 30 I thought I could get a dress, a pair of high heels, and maybe a bag – if I’m lucky.
However, my trip was far more successful than I could have imagined and I managed to spend exactly 30 pounds.
I had a rough idea of what I was looking for before I went shopping.
Since the weather should be warm and sunny for Freedom Day, I wanted to get myself a dress.
Since the dress was the most important part of my outfit, I decided to pick it first.
I was really impressed with how many dresses Primark sells.
There were some beautiful floating sundresses, but they weren’t quite what I imagined for one night.
I found a beautiful multi-colored sequin dress – part of Pride’s Primark range that would be perfect for a night club.
However, it was a little too expensive for my budget so I had to move on.
I found two dresses that I really liked, both for £ 13.
One was a bright pink smock dress and the other was a baby blue bodycon with a gingham pattern.
After much discussion with myself, I decided on the blue one because it just looked more “club” -like.
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The search for shoes
Next, I wanted to choose my shoes.
I set myself a budget of around € 10 so that I still had some money for a bag.
The shoe selection was a bit disappointing. It was just full of lots of nude and black heels.
I’m a BIG shoe fan so that wasn’t great
I picked a pair that I liked and noted the price – all £ 10 or more.
I found a nice pair of 4 pound sandals that I was considering, but I never go out without heels.
Since none of the shoes caught my eye, I decided to go and look for a matching bag.
A lucky find
Since I thought I was going to spend £ 10 on shoes, I had £ 7 on a bag – easy right?
I was really struggling to find a bag within my budget.
Annoyingly, all the small handbags that would have worked were £ 8, £ 1 over my budget.
I decided to keep trying and walked the store with my thumbs crossed.
Aside from the bag section of the shop, there are a few others that are strewn with clothes.
My search didn’t go well and I returned to the main bags area.
Just as I was about to accept that the budget wasn’t enough, I caught a glimpse of a small black bag behind some larger ones.
It looked perfect so I went in.
It was simple, a black shoulder bag and had a gold chain on the front – perfect for an evening out.
I took a deep breath and flipped the label over to check the price … £ 5.
Fortunately, I was aware of my surroundings, otherwise I could have let out an excited squeak.
There was only one left and it was mine – I would call that a success.
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A little sparkles
With my dress and bag in my basket, and after already looking around the shoes, I knew I had 2 pounds left so I thought the accessories were worth a look.
€ 2 isn’t a lot so I wasn’t too hopeful.
I saw a nice headband that I liked and that was on budget, but I thought I should give priority to a necklace.
When I went to jewelry, I discovered the perfect necklace – a gold chain, just like the one on my bag.
Amazingly it was 2 pounds – just what I had left, it was like it should be in my cart so that it went.
Just as I was about to get back to shoes, I discovered the perfect pair of earrings.
The earrings were gold chains, as were the bag and the necklace – I had to have them.
However, I was already on my budget.
They were on sale for £ 1 – how could I resist.
Feeling a little naughty for going over my budget, I checked them in my cart and moved on.
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Bang on the budget
I went back to the shoes with a pair in mind.
As I was waiting for another customer to pick up her pair, I saw a discount sign.
I must have missed it the first time as a whole shelf was cut down with wedges.
They were 12 pounds before but were reduced to 9 pounds – I had 9 pounds left.
A pair in black popped out that goes perfectly with my outfit – and that in my size.
When I put them in my basket I no longer felt bad about getting the earrings, it was clearly meant to be.
With a dress, shoes, a bag, a necklace and some earrings in my arms, I went to the checkout.
Slam down to 30 pounds which is pretty impressive.
How I found it
Really enjoyed shopping on a budget of £ 30.
In the past, I’ve just picked up everything I saw – but spent a little too much.
Having a budget really helped me think about what to buy.
I can’t remember ever going into a store and walking back out with a whole outfit – it usually takes hours in many different stores.
I had to be more organized than usual in Primark and had to go through the store several times to put my outfit together.
On a budget of £ 30 I found a complete outfit and accessories perfect for Freedom Day.
Based on this experience, I will definitely budget myself more often and would recommend everyone try the same.
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