I have ‘wombled’ over £2000 this year.
Now, I bet you are thinking ‘What is wombling?’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Is wombling some sort of weird British sex game?’
You may have heard of a lovable British children’s book series and later a television show called The Wombles. The Wombles were little furry, pointy nosed creatures who lived in Wimbledon and they aimed to help the environment by collecting and reusing and recycling rubbish in new and creative ways.
The Wombles TV series became so popular that they later released pop songs, and grown up performers and musicians would dress up as The Wombles and perform on Top of the Pops.
This is an important part of British history…maybe.
Anyway, originally ‘Wombling’ became a term for people (like me) who are obsessed with a bargain and saving money and may do slightly legally ambiguous things to save some cash. It has come to mean a lot more than that, but I will just explain it’s origins.
It all comes down to receipts.
Receipts can earn you money.
So, I will give the example of a certain big chain supermarket. If you find a receipt for certain big chain supermarket and it has the magic words ‘If you had a (store loyalty card) you would have earned X points with this transaction’ on it.
And any money saver will have that loyalty card, so they can take this receipt to certain big chain supermarket’s customer service desk and say a little story of how they recently did a shop and ‘forgot’ their card and could the points be added on.
So it is recycling…to a degree.
You can make serious dosh with another big chain supermarket who do a price match guarantee, so if you find one of their receipts and enter in the special code at the bottom on their website, you may find the person that did the original shop could have gotten their shopping cheaper elsewhere, and thus big chain supermarket number 2 will give you a voucher for the difference.
So that is what wombling originally meant (outside the context of the TV series), but it has come to mean (at least on the Money Saving Expert website) anytime you get a bargain/money off/get given something.
So no, I did not make over £2000 in ‘wombled’ receipts (most supermarkets have cracked on to us wombler’s and thus a discarded receipt is very hard to come by anyway). BUT, I have used coupons, vouchers, special offers, promotions, discounts, and free gifts (such as my recent OLIO squashes) to have effectively retained the value of £2000.
So, if I had paid full price for everything this year, it would have cost me over £2000 extra.
I’ll give an example of today’s wombles.
I went to have an eye test done, I had a voucher for a free eye test at Vision Express. Their eye tests are normally £25, therefore that was a womble of £25.
The boy bought some ciabatta rolls that were on offer for £1. They are normally £1.96, therefore that was a womble of 96p
Wombles, my friends, wombles.
Next time you have a deal like that, take a moment to register that you have saved money on it, maybe make a note of it (to be honest I am very surprised I don’t have a a spreadsheet for it). It does get a bit addictive after a while.