Money Saving Tips.
A bit of a change of plan to the intended blog this week. With so many households struggling with bills, including those who never thought that they would have to worry about the cost of heating their home, I asked my friends and followers for money saving tips and have brought them all together into one place for you. With so many mouths to feed at home, we have been watching our budget closely for years, but are definitely stepping it up a gear in this most recent squeeze. Like many homes in rural areas, we are heated by oil, and the price has shot up from 40-50p/l in the summer to £1.30/l yesterday morning.
Thank you to everyone who contributed tips towards this!
Turn the thermostat down. If needed, this can be done gradually so that you don’t notice it so much.
Put an extra layer on – an oldie but a goodie. I was talking to a friend over the weekend who was telling me about getting dressed under her duvet as a child (she can only be late 20s!). We’ve all got used to warmer homes nowadays, but I have turned the thermostat down by several degrees and put a thermal vest on. I also have snuggly neck warmers and wrist warmers – it’s amazing how much they both help. Slippers are incredible and the Oodies that I bought (on sale!) for Christmas are currently looking like an epic investment… The blankets on my sofas are not just decorative – I cuddle up under them to keep warm in the evening too.
Keep the heat in.
Keep doors closed and draw the curtains. If you have radiators in front of windows, tuck the curtains behind them to make sure that the warmth isn’t escaping.
Use draft excluders to keep the drafts out!
Any other insulation that you can add is great too.
Don’t heat rooms you don’t need to. Turn radiators down or off and keep the doors closed.
You actually sleep better in a cool room, so bedrooms are prime candidates for this. Extra blankets on beds and a hot water bottle are useful. When we had no power after storm Arwen, my youngest slept in bed with me – she was very toasty! Hive systems were mentioned as a way of saving energy (they turn rooms on and off as needed), which is fab if you can afford something like that, but obviously hard to do if you’re already struggling.
Consider different heat sources.
Some comments on the post were talking about solar panels and biomass boilers. Obviously these are a large investment and a bit of a long term solution, but it may be possible to get grants. Here at HCoo, we have an enormous woodburner in the kitchen that was pretty much condemned when we moved in because it hadn’t been fitted properly. In a world of central heating, we hadn’t bothered to put it right again, but after a winter of power cuts and oil rises, we’re getting it up and running again. As a longer-term solution, we will probably get it plumbed into our heating system too.
Heated throws came up in the suggestions too.
Make sure you top up your oil in the summer! Not super helpful right now, but in the summer after silage but before the harvest is the best according to an inside source!
Menu planning was the top tip here so as to not waste food.
Do a fridge/freezer/cupboard inventory to make sure that you know what you have.
The fewer trips you make to the shops, the less you spend (on extras mainly!), so cut back on trips out and shop from a list.
Batch cook to save time and energy.
We have been shopping at Aldi for a long long time. Yes, we can’t always get everything we need there and may need to top up at one of the bigger supermarkets, but we halved our food bill by getting the majority of our food from there.
Bulk buying was another suggestion if you have the space, but do make sure that you only do this if you are actually going to eat it. As a declutterer I often come across food that has been bulk bought and has then gone out of date. However, it is possible to keep some food bought in bulk, such as flour, in a freezer to prolong its shelf life.
Lentils are cheap and bulk up food nicely.
Aim to buy fruit and veg that is in season as it will usually be cheaper.
The “wonky” veg in many supermarkets is cheaper and you’re not losing out on taste or quality, just the look of it.
Air fryers were mentioned as a way of cutting down on cooking costs (not needing to put the oven on so much). We had an airfryer, but didn’t use it, so sold it on Social Media – keep your eyes peeled for bargains if this is something you choose to do.
Don’t speed! Most cars are at their most efficient at 50mph. Accelerating and braking hard wastes fuel, so just drive steadily.
Plan and bundle your trips up – living rurally we do this already, but just have a look at what you need to do in the week, and see what jobs can be done together.
A friend has switched to an electric car and says that the savings in fuel and road tax more than cover the cost of the car. I appreciate that this may not be feasible for many, but thought that I would mention it at least.
Keeping money in your pocket
Make sure that your lights have energy efficient bulbs in them.
Freezers cost less to keep cold when they are full. Apparently scrunched up newspaper to fill the gaps if you have gaps saves money (who knew?!).
Budgeting. I can (and will later in the year) write an entire blog on budgeting, but as a short answer, if you don’t already, this is something that you need to do. Start by figuring out where your money is going.
Set up a second account to pay your bills from.
If you have credit card debt, look for interest free balance transfers.
Try to avoid the tumble dryer! We bought a heated airer before the winter and it has saved us heaps of money. That, along with an overhead drying rack means that we pretty much don’t need the dryer (although because I am a softie, I still use it for my towels). Others have suggested using a de-humidifier for drying clothes. And, of course, as we come towards the warmer months, get the clothes outside on a line if possible.
Avoid washing clean clothes. Does it really need to be washed? I wear clothing several times before I chuck it in the basket, and I wash towels just once a week and the sheets fortnightly.
Hair turbans can cut down on using the hair dryer.
I stopped dyeing my hair last year, not to save money but because I wanted to embrace the grey, but it’s definitely cut down on that bill!
Turn off everything at night, especially the WiFi. Apparently it takes a lot of energy to boost the signal around the house, and only takes a couple of moments to turn on again the next morning.
Shower rather than bath, and doing a “boat” shower (turn the water on to get wet, turn it off to lather up, turn it back on to rinse) were suggestions.
Only fill the kettle with the amount you are going to use and/or fill a flask with hot water at the beginning of the day.
Cancel anything that you don’t use – things like Netflix and Disney plus.
Cut the tops off things like toothpaste when it appears you’ve come to the end - there’s often quite a lot more in there.
Phew, I hope that you got to the end of that and found some tips that you can use!