Six quirky ways to save money
Let's face it, money-saving strategies can be dull.
The most obvious ones are to spend less than you have and automate putting money aside. We all know we could go out less, take our own lunch to work or stop buying coffees already.
So here are six more inventive ways to save money that, hopefully, are nag-free.
Two questions to answer: do you value other people's rubbish; are there no depths you won't stoop to for money saving. If tick and tick then this could be for you.
"Wombling" is basically finding discarded receipts and claiming the missed loyalty points or price promise guarantees.
It's called "wombling” because the creatures in the 1970s TV show The Wombles (of Wimbledon Common) reused litter to make use of "the things that the everyday folks leave behind".
The craze has been so popular that some supermarkets even have a policy for it. For the perfect example, read: Wombler pays 67p for £41-worth of shopping.
2. Wonky veg
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and beholders think wonky veg is ugly veg.
So, for years, ugly veg has been heartlessly binned. Not any more. Supermarkets have learnt what any market trader knows - shoppers will buy wonky veg if it's sold at a decent discount.
One supermarket chain has even branded a range - the imaginatively named Morrisons Wonky Veg. Their wonky carrots are pretty-much half-priced: 35p for a kilo versus 36p for 500g of non-wonky ones.
Celeb chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are leading the wonky craze. We'd suggest joining them.
And you get to boost your eco-credentials: a recent report suggested fruit and vegetable waste from farms could feed the population of Birmingham or Manchester for a year.
3. Follow the 30-day rule
Impulse spending is a problem of the digital age. Convenience and choice have their downsides. Our social media feeds are full of advertising.
One way to control the urge to buy something is simply to step back, wait, and then see if you still want it later. Make a note of the date, where you saw it and the price.
An old fashioned tip, but thirty days should be long enough to consider if you really want it. You can also research if you could get it cheaper elsewhere.
After a month of waiting you'll be even happier to get your hands on it, or satisfied in the knowledge you didn't need it after all.
4. Rent or swap clothes
Hiring a dress or tux for a wedding or black tie event is an option, and you might be able to wear something designer you could only dream of buying.
There is actually a word for swapping "pre-loved" clothes with a friend if they don't fit you or you fancy a change. Some call clothes swapping "swishing" and have "swishing parties".
And the government's waste advisory body Wrap has launched a Love Your Clothes website to advise on choosing clothes designed to last longer. Three quarters of us bin unwanted clothes instead of recycling or donating them.
Kakeibo is an early 20th-century budgeting technique pronounced “kah-keh-boh”. It is a practice of financial mindfulness where you journal your incomings and outgoings in a book.
The household account book was dreamed up by Japan’s first female journalist, Motoko Hani, in 1904.
You declutter your finances by splitting your spending into "survival", "optional", "culture", and "extra" and note the spending every day.
Then you answer questions about your spending at the end of each week and month to see how you are doing. Read Evening Standard journo Alice Howarth's handy guide here.
6. Get into couponing
"Extreme couponers" such as Holly Smith, who paid for a £1,200 shop entirely with coupons, slash their bills and bag freebies by scouring the internet for deals.
Extreme couponing is serious business and takes time. It's not for everyone, but can save people £100s.
For the more casual couponer, sites such as MoneySavingExpert.com have weekly email alerts for the latest coupons.
Shops do it to attract new customers and encourage impulse spending, so think about whether you really need the discounted products. See tip number three!
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