My contemporaries who regularly mail newsletters always advise having

one in the bag’.

It’s for the times when you simply can’t think of anything to write.

Or you have a technical mishap and for some reason you just can’t get your words to screen.

This has never appealed to me, as I’ve always believed a newsletter really should be as current as possible – newsworthy.

Having said that, I am writing this one a week ahead of schedule (it’s July 1st as I type) because I’m taking some time off and I don’t want to be distracted.

I have no idea whether England are still in the Euros.

I don’t know if we’ve had a heatwave or a freak flood.

And who knows, my Bitcoin might be worth a billion (unlikely as I don’t own any).

Maybe having a few things in the bag could be helpful.

Here are some that spring to mind:

–  A little cash saved now ready for Christmas? You know the festive season is always going to cost more than you planned.

–  A couple of favourite meals in the freezer. For those days when you fancy something special, but you really can’t be bothered to cook.

–  All the birthday and greeting cards you need for the next 90 days. I know someone who does this four times a year. The amount of stress it removes by having all the cards written and lined up in date order makes me smile (even though I love to take the Mick about how overly organised she is).

–  I’ve always booked my next haircut before leaving the hairdressers. That way, I’m not panicking when I start to look like Leo Sayer and my hairdresser doesn’t have an appointment for two weeks.

Having one in the bag removes stress.

In fact, knowing I’ve written this newsletter and set it up to auto send next week gives me a strange sense of achievement.

Now should I have put a tenner on England getting through to the final?

Be Brilliant!


What do you do to have ‘one in the bag?’ I’ll send a copy of my book ‘How to Save an Hour Every Day’ to our favourite. Share your ideas below.


  1. July 8th 2021 by Lesley

    I plan what I’m going to wear the night before, get meals made and frozen for the week (and further), save regularly for Christmas and birthdays, have planned how to pay for house repairs when I retire, bought clothes for the next 10 years or so, stockpiled enough wool to knit, am working on h tho e material for sewing, buy curtains in sales for cushion covers, and have 25kg of soya beans to make my own tofu!

  2. July 8th 2021 by John peters

    In Toastmasters we have “back pocket speech”. If a speaker suddenly cancels any of can step up and present a timed and practiced speech (our Back pocket speech). Once used I have to prepare a new one but if we don’t use it we can perfect it and keep it ready for months.

  3. July 8th 2021 by Marie Howarth

    Apparently I have enough clothes for every possible eventuality! It’s not so much a matter of having one in the bag, but a fair few! They have to be bagged and seasonally rotated as the wardrobe is groaning. Perhaps I should put one or more in that Charity bag!

  4. July 8th 2021 by Dee Holley

    I have an account that automatically checks my printer and sends me printer ink so I never run out! Plus a secret stash of children’s presents so I don’t get caught out when kids spring a birthday invite on me. On top of that we buy our kids presents throughout the year as it’s expensive … just have to remember where we have hidden them :).

  5. July 9th 2021 by Karen McCann

    I think I might be a a bit OCD inclined! Cards. I have enough birthday, birth and blank cards to last a lifetime. Enough Christmas cards to open my own shop! Pens, pencils, candles…. Dinners in the freezer, wool to knit 20 jumpers… the kids say it’s hoarding – except for the 15 bottles of Brandy (for Christmas Cakes) and 2 bottles of Champagne, because they’re always handy for school PTA raffles. Or just for the school PTA! It’s good to be prepared….

  6. July 9th 2021 by Sue Trusler

    Tropical shower curtain in its own little bag, kept in car boot. Perfect for staycations when the grass or sand is damp. Super lightweight to carry. Can be used to sit on damp benches, walls, fallen trees infact anywhere. If the heavens open its great to shelter under whilst waiting for the sun to shine again.

  7. July 18th 2021 by Michelle Green

    Always start Christmas shopping in advance, particularly the sales in the summer. Buy boxes of biscuits / chocolates when on offer / particularly after Christmas so that I have spares available for gifts / thank you presents.

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