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Most Popular Mother’s Day Presents

mothers day

With Mother’s Day this weekend, the Complete Savings blog is taking a look at how people around the world like to pamper their mothers on this special day. A recent comprehensive survey by the American National Retail Federation (NRF) examined Mother’s day shopping trends in great detail, including average spend and the most popular presents. Americans love to go all out, with the average consumer spending $168.94 treating their mother! In the UK, the average spend is £27.37. We couldn’t track down the average spend in Ireland, but the cult of the Irish Mammy is strong, and no matter what your budget, we know you’ll do your best to make her smile.

flowers firm favourites

The clear winner in the NRF gift survey was flowers. 68.2% of respondents said they’d be giving their mother a bouquet for the occasion. Carnations are especially associated with the holiday, a tradition that originated in 1907, in American, when Anna Jarvis established the celebration in that country.

The runners up for most popular gifts were: gift vouchers (41.5%), jewellery (34.4%), and clothing/accessories (33.3%).

nothing beats a handwritten card

The most popular gesture remains a greeting card, with 81% of respondents saying that they would be buying a card. That’s lucky, because a thoughtful card is popular with mothers, too! Over in the UK, the Royal Mail invested in research to find out what really makes Mam’s day. They partnered with an independent research lab to run an experiment. Volunteer mothers were hooked up with a cap and electrodes which measured their emotional response to handwritten letters and cards vs. emails and social media messages. The handwritten messages generated a greater positive emotional response, as you might have guessed.

So there’s no excuse! Remember your mother this Sunday, and you’ll make her whole year. What are your Mother’s Day plans? The Complete Savings blog would love to hear all about it.


Image: ANP

Irish Food Festivals in Spring 2014


This week, the Complete Savings Blog is looking forward to brighter days ahead, and the beginning of festival season around the country. Ireland is famed for its festivals, and they are a driving force in the economy. The Irish retail sector is beginning to show signs of life again, and these events are fun and exciting ways to boost the recovery. They invigorate local business, bring in tourism, and most of all, give us a reason to celebrate and enjoy the very best of Ireland. You’ll find food festivals popping up year-round, but here are the first two on the calendar this year.

tastes of sea and land in the harbour town of Dungarven

For a little seaside community, Dungarven punches far above its weight with the West Waterford Festival of Food. The small, scenic town of 9000 residents has come together to showcase the culinary delights of the area since 2008. This year the festival runs from April 10th to April 14th, with a huge range of free and affordable events for the whole family. Past years have included demonstrations from Michelin star chefs and a “Bus Bia” bus tour of local food producers’ farms, workshops, breweries, and kitchens. Special package deals with accommodation and festival tickets offer great savings for savvy foodies.

discover “the best of the west” at the Galway Food Festival

Spanning the long Easter weekend of April 17th to the 21st 2014, the Galway Food Festival is in its 3rd year. There’s a flourishing gourmet scene in the coastal city, and the festival is a joint effort by local food artisans, suppliers, and restaurateurs to highlight the unique character of Galway’s dining scene. Cookery classes, special tasting menus, outdoor events (including foraging trips), and much more are planned to take place in Galway city and the surrounding area. Most events are free to the public, though some require pre-registration. Thanks in part to a very savvy social media presence, this young festival is growing in strength and popularity. 2014 promises to be the best year yet. Keep your eye on the website for special offers and online booking as the festival approaches.

Food shopping is a constant in our lives, but beyond your usual lap around the grocery shop there’s a whole world of exciting food experiences to be had. While you wait for the weather to warm up, check out the local producers and suppliers in your own area. You may uncover a new favourite just around the corner. Do you have a favourite artisan food shop, market, or website you’d like to suggest? The Complete Savings Blog would love to hear about it!


HMV to re-open store on Grafton Street

Photograph: Alan Betson /Irish Times

HMV is to re-open on Grafton Street in Dublin a year after it was forced to close the flagship store further up the street.

Hilco Capital, the owner of HMV since last year, announced today that the new store will be located in the old A-Wear premises, currently occupied by clothing retailer Massimo Dutti. Hilco Capital acquired 141 HMV stores in Ireland and the UK for an estimated £50 million (€59 million) deal back in April last year.

HMV’s return to Dublin will lead to the creation of 35 new jobs, and should be up and running within three months.

The new shop will be the seventh new HMV outlet in the country, together with the 37 joint HMV-Xtra-Vision outlets.

Hilco Capital Ireland’s chief executive Larry Howard said today that HMV returning to Dublin’s Grafton Street “has been a priority for Hilco Capital, and we’re delighted to have secured this premises. We’re looking forward to bringing this iconic brand back to its spiritual home in Ireland.”