The Utterly Inessential Sales Shopping List: From Britain’s finest shops to refreshing your house in the name of charity

Utterly Inessential is back with the things which you‘d rather have received for Christmas itself, but have resigned yourself to purchasing in the January sales.

Before I begin rounding up all of the wonderful savings which I’ve spied this New Year, I’d love to mention, if you’ll let me, all of the charity sales happening around the UK. January is a time for clean-ups and clear-outs, making charity shops a virtual hotbed of deals and bargains. Unwanted Christmas presents are often donated too; new items in perfect condition, reduced in price simply because they weren’t to someone else’s taste.

So before you invest in something new, consider popping into your local charity shop to spy something pre-loved. The British Heart Foundation have made great strides in matching their stock to the needs of those who want to freshen up their homes, while Sue Ryder runs sales which have ‘new’ sections, if you prefer not to buy pre-worn clothing – here’s the list of their sales in support of the South Oxfordshire Palliative Care Hub, Nettlebed, which run into March.

Now, onto the new stuff.

Up to 70% off fabrics and wallpapers

Colefax and Fowler

Heard one too many negative comments about the decor in your downstairs loo this Christmas? Luckily for you, Colefax and Fowler’s annual January sale on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th at the Royal Horticultural Halls, SWI, is here to help.

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Up to 70% off Colefax and Fowler,

Up to 50% off at John Lewis

John Lewis

The John Lewis website team have put together a handy page of all available offers so that I don’t have to. There are deals in virtually every single department, but keep a keen eye on the 50% off offers in the Womenswear and Home & Garden sections. Bedding is an area where you can invest guilt-free without looking for pre-loved items first, and nothing is nicer than slipping into some new John Lewis sheets (I lead an exciting, varied life).

Up to 50% off at John Lewis, browse at

Half-price furniture, lamps and more at Oka

Oka’s beautiful stuff is always enormously tempting, and at the sale prices  all the more so with up to 40% off — this gorgeous Aragonese armchair is down from £1,495 to £895, for example.

Discount cashmere

Men’s Cashmere Quarter zip Navy_Front_TO SEND copy

If you’re in the market for a new wardrobe, The Oxford Shirt Company is a great place to start, especially their sale section. Keep an eye out for their cashmere in particular for some great deals.

Cashmere ¼ Zip in Bordeaux, was £149.95 now £119.95,

Something you actually need

If you were given money or Amazon vouchers for Christmas, use them on something you actually need and will not throw away for a very, very long time. Furi’s East West knife set is a kitchen must-have, especially if you’ve been making do with sub-par knives for a while. In a set of two complete with a sharpener, they’ll make your cooking life a lot, lot easier, and they’re better than the eighth jumper your mother has given you in as many years.

Pro East/West Santoku & Diamond Fingers™Set, now £46.99 on Amazon,

Get your boots on and run to the sales

chelsea boot

Probably the chicest boots I’ve seen so far this year (I know it’s only the 9th. I’ve still seen many), these are £39 off and also a good place to invest Christmas money.

Chelsea boots, was £195 now £156 from Fairfax and Favor,

Have a whale of a time browsing

Whale of a Time clothing is always comfortable, and now even more comfortably in budget for people in the market for a very special jumper to sale away in. Designed to keep you warm on the high seas, your new cosy clothing will have no trouble keeping you warm in your two-bedroom London flat, where you’re too scared to turn on the heating having received your electricity bill for December. Or so I’m told.

Whale of a Time clothing sale, up to 50% off, visit

A better-than-half-price Sodastream

The issue with liking sparkling water is that you can’t get it out of a tap, unless you’re in a Yo Sushi. If you’re starting to feel guilty about the number of plastic bottles building up in your recycling bin, swap to a Sodastream. This January you can get over £60 off one from Currys.

Sodasteam, £39 from £99.99, Currys,

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