With the cost of living rising and winter approaching, it might be time to make some cutbacks in your household. Check out our top tips for saving money and energy this Autumn and Winter. Have you got any top tips for saving money? Email us on email@example.com to add yours.
- No scoop for your washing powder? You might be using too much… and however tempting it is just to tip some in the drawer, measuring out concentrated powder will help it last longer. Take a look at the box to find the amount of powder that’s recommended. Weigh it out on your kitchen scales and mark the correct level on a tub or plastic cup.
- Fill up the freezer. It uses up much more electricity to keep an empty fridge or freezer cold. If you have some gaps, scrunch up some newspaper or packing paper and pad it out.
- Stop using the tumble dryer. Buy an additional clothes airer to cut down on the number of times you use the tumble dryer as the weather starts to turn. Tumble dryers typically use a lot of electricity.
- Switch off the lights and auto-standby. They might seem like small changes, but switching off all the lights you don’t need when you’re at home and turning off appliances at the socket rather than placing on standby, will all help save the pennies. Apparently, it costs between £16 and £27 a year to have your microwave showing the clock. The time on mine is never right anyway, says Jennie in Harrogate!
- Oil-filled heaters also munch through a lot of electricity. Try switching to using a panel heater as a good investment this Winter; as they use at least half the amount of electricity.
- Check your lightbulbs. Old-style incandescent lightbulbs are slowly being phased out and replaced with energy-saving LED bulbs. Check your light fittings (especially if you live in an old house) and switch to LED bulbs.
- Check for subscriptions in your Direct Debits. Did you subscribe to a gaming platform or streaming service that you’re not really using? Check your Ts and Cs before cancelling.
- Check your bank charges. Are there any red flags? Perhaps you’re paying for a service you’re not using.
- Have your kids got the TV on but aren’t really watching it? Play the programme on a tablet instead, which uses less electricity.
- Use cashback sites like Quidco. They’ll pay small amounts like a couple of % on general shopping sites e.g Currys, The Range and Mountain Warehouse but larger lump sums on car insurance, breakdown cover, home insurance and several providers are offering over £100 back on broadband packages, says Chelle in Bournemouth.
- Always check your bills are at the lowest rate, says Vicky. My mobile & broadband provider always seem to have a special ‘deal’ when I ring up and say I might cancel!
- Follow Money Saving Expert! Even when you think you’ve tried everything he comes up with another idea that you haven’t heard of. Click through to Money Saving Expert here.
- Broken zips and missing buttons can be repaired at very low cost. Find a local seamstress who will be able to take of this for you if you can’t sew.
- Buy second-hand clothes. Clothes – especially kids’ clothes that aren’t worn for very long – in charity shops and at pre-loved markets such as Mum2mum markets (click here to read more) are quite the bargain.
- Take your own lunch to work. You can save at least £2 a day by making your own sandwiches and taking them to work with you, instead of buying lunch from the supermarket or canteen.
- Cook meat in a slow cooker. If you cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker, you will get all the meat from the bones, plus have some ready-made stock to go! Stock can be frozen and used in soups and casseroles.
- Make your own butter. Apparently, it’s quite easy to make your own butter! Take a pot of whipping cream, add a pinch of salt, put it in a container with a tight lid and shake until the butter forms. Butter can also be frozen until needed.
- Use anti-food-wastage apps such as Olio or Too Good to Go. They offer discounted bags of food that would have otherwise been thrown away by local shops and restaurants in your local area.
- Batch-cook and plan. Use a meal planner app, calendar or printout to plan out family meals for a week. Then only buy the ingredients you are going to use. This will stop additional trips to the shops. Batch-cooking on one day a week will also help plan, cut down on food waste and also save you time in the weekday evenings!
Have you got any top tips for saving money? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add yours here.