There are many ways in which the average household can save money, and most of us are familiar with being told to forgo our morning take-out coffee or buy store’s own rather than branded goods. As one of the leading debt collecting agencies in the UK Wescot realise that there are many far more creative ways than these to save money and avoid getting into unnecessary debt. The team at Wescot have therefore put together a series of creative ways to save money that are outside of the obvious and many of them are actually fun.
Grocery Shopping and Household Essentials
Everyone knows that good ways to save money include looking out for special offers and discount vouchers, buying store’s own products instead of branded goods and only buying what you actually need on each shopping trip. Here are a few suggestions for more creative ways to save money on your groceries and household essentials:
- Buy in bulk to make savings wherever it makes sense. If you have the option to shop at a wholesaler then do so, otherwise get together with friends and neighbours and sign up to online wholesalers to increase your purchasing power by shopping together. Focus your bulk buying on household goods and food items with a long use-by date such as dried and tinned products.
- Use comparison websites to work out the cheapest supermarket in your local area for your typical shop. Alternatively, the new Morrison’s Match and More card price matches your entire shop automatically with the same goods in all other major supermarkets including budget options such as Aldi and Lidl and gives you points worth the cash equivalent of any difference that can be cashed in as store vouchers every time you reach £5.
- Buy herb plants rather than bagged herbs and create a window ledge herb garden that will last a long time.
- Make a meal plan for the week or month before you do the grocery shopping to ensure you don’t waste money on non-essential items.
- Have a weekly ‘no-spend’ day as a family. Get each family member to commit to not spending a single penny for just one day of the week. Make meals out of store cupboard food and put off any treats for another day of the week.
There are myriad ways in which you can save money in the home simply by planning more and reducing waste.
- Make twice as much food as you need each meal-time and freeze the leftover half in single portion sizes to create home-cooked ‘ready-meals’. This not only saves on the price of buying pre-packaged food but also cuts down the amount of energy you use to cook.
- Try swishing or swap shops with friends and neighbours. Organise a day or evening for everyone to get together and bring all their unwanted clothing, shoes, jewellery, books, DVDs etc. to trade. Everyone gets to clear out some junk and take home something that is more useful to them.
- Get into homebrew. Making your own beer or wine is more cost-effective than buying it from the off-licence and it can be a lot of fun too.
- Host a decorating party rather than paying someone to decorate for you. Get friends and family in to help to get the job done in a matter of hours and pay them with a home-cooked meal when finished.
- Unless you really feel you need to watch shows at the time they are broadcast, ditch the TV licence. You can still watch catch-up television online for free and watch DVDs and you don’t need a licence for services such as LoveFilm or Netflix.
Luxuries may count as non-essential, but anyone who tries to cut all luxuries out will quickly tire of living to such a strict budget. Cut down on luxuries rather than cutting them out altogether and research ways of making savings on those that you really want.
- Use professionals in training. Opt for the student hairdresser or beautician rather than the owner. Contact colleges and universities to see if there are students willing to work for free to fill out their portfolio for things such as wedding photography.
- When you want to buy new items such as CDs or DVDs, purge your old ones first by selling them online through sites such as Music Magpie, Amazon or eBay to fund the purchase.
- Use a Terramundi Pot (a money box you can only get into by breaking it) and put all your spare change in it. Once it is full, break it open and use whatever funds you have saved inside to buy yourself a special treat.
- Have an ‘at-home’ spa day with soothing music, a relaxing bubble bath and a nice glass of wine rather than paying for expensive spa treatment centres.
- Organise a series of ‘host-at-home’ nights with friends rather than going out to expensive restaurants and bars. Rotating hosts means that for each week a household has to pay for food and drinks they get several nights out in return absolutely free.