Creative Ways to Save Money from Wescot

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.


At Home

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.

How to save more money

Whilst looking for ways to save money might not seem like the most exciting task, it can make your life considerably more enjoyable. A little extra money in the bank can help you in many ways, not least of which is paying off some of your debt. Companies such as Wescot are regularly approached via their page on the site Yell, by people who are finding it hard to keep up with their loan repayments. Addressing this type of issue can be quite stressful, and as such, it’s always a good idea to do what you can to save some extra cash, and put that towards your debts. Of course, additional money can also be useful for things like home renovations, car maintenance, holidays, birthdays, Christmas, as well as unforeseen costs which could result from things such as major vehicle or property repairs, or unemployment.

If you want to save money on a regular basis, it’s important to adopt the mindset of a saver; this means maintaining an awareness of your personal finances at all times, and regularly looking at ways to cut back, or get a better deal. If you’re naturally more of a spender, you might struggle with developing the saving mindset at first; to help you adapt, why not enlist the help of a frugal friend? Create a saving competition, and see which one of you can save the most money each month or week. If you know a group of people who want to join in, you could take it a step further, and set up saving teams, in order to make it more competitive.

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly savvy when it comes to money, there are lots of easy ways to start saving. One of the simplest is to leave your debit card at home, and only use cash when you’re out shopping. This will ensure that you stick to the limit you have set yourself. It’s also important to stop viewing shopping as a way to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down; ‘retail therapy’ will only provide a short-term boost of happiness, and will leave a big dent in your wallet over time. There are plenty of free ways to pick yourself up if you’re a bit stressed out; examples include getting a new book from the local library, taking a relaxing bath, or watching your favourite television show.

Of course, whilst it’s a good idea to cut back on frivolous shopping trips, being frugal doesn’t mean that you have to give up on fun days out entirely; just make sure that you look for events and activities which are affordable, and preferably come with a sizeable discount. Make use of discount websites like Groupon and Voucher Codes to source special deals on things like holidays, restaurants, beauty treatments and entertainment events.

In order to save, you should also take a close look at your current spending patterns. Creating a spending diary, and using a personal budget spreadsheet, is a great way to become more aware of how much you spend on a weekly or monthly basis. After you’ve gotten to grips with your habits, look at which shops and brands you tend to stick to, and consider whether you might be better off shopping elsewhere instead. Loyalty rarely pays off, and you might find that you can, for instance, save a lot of money by using the supermarket version of certain branded foods.

Whether you’re shopping in person or online, it always pays to compare prices before you make a purchase; particularly if you’re buying something quite expensive. There are plenty of comparison websites which can show you where to buy the cheapest broadband, insurance, or phone contracts. Some of these websites also allow you to compare supermarkets, and see which one will help you to save money on your weekly shop.

A lot of the time, a weekly shop ends up being costly, simply because of those little extra things that you’ve popped into your trolley; items such as cut basil and rosemary can often be surprisingly expensive. If you’ve got some time to spare, you might want to consider growing your own herbs in your kitchen. These potted plants often cost no more than a pound, and provided they are well cared for, they can provide you with delicious fresh herbs for months on end.

If you discover that some food items that you use regularly on special offer, you might want to consider buying the in bulk. Provided you’re confident that you will actually consume the food in question, doing this can save you quite a lot of money over time. However, even if an item is on special offer, you may still be able to find it cheaper elsewhere, so make sure to compare prices before committing to buying them. It’s also important to check the items’ expiry dates if you’re buying a large quantity, as otherwise, you may find that they go off before you have a chance to use them.

When buying products or services online, don’t forget to make use of cash-back sites. All you need to do is sign-up, and then click through the cash-back website to get through to your online shopping destination. When you then make a purchase, you’ll receive a small percentage of that money back. Do bear in mind that it can take anywhere from a few days to a few months for these savings to be made available to you.

You may also be able to make some extra money by selling the discarded items you have lying around in your home. A number of websites offer cash for clothes, CDs, DVDs and old mobile phones, which they then recycle. You might be surprised at how much cash you earn, simply by clearing out some of the clutter in your house.