The rising cost of living is having an effect on households up and down the country. While there is no end in sight to rising prices there are a few small things that you can do that can make a big difference to your outgoings. Give these ideas a try.
Heat the person
Paying to keep yourself warm instead of the whole house can save you a lot of money. Electric blankets and heated throws can cost as little as 2p an hour to run. Adding an extra layer of clothing can also be enough to let you turn the thermostat down by a degree without even noticing it.
Heat the room
If you dislike the idea of layering up to keep warm then just heating the room that you are in instead of paying to heat the whole house can also produce significant savings. To do this simply turn off radiators in rooms that you are not using or consider investing in separate thermostatic controls so that you can control the heat in individual rooms.
Leaving devices on standby is estimated to cost the average household £147 a year so make sure that you switch chargers and appliances off at the plug when you have finished using them. It’s a hard habit to break and a minor inconvenience in some cases but well worth it for the potential savings.
Light them up
LED bulbs use 85% less energy to run than a traditional 60W bulb. The upfront cost may be high, but as they also tend to last much longer than traditional bulbs, they can pay for themselves in just a few months.
Turn it down
You can save up to £128 every year just by turning your thermostat down by 1℃ according to Uswitch. It is universally agreed that indoor temperature should be between 18-21℃ for optimum health and comfort, the actual temperature depending on the age and overall health of the individuals at home. So, try turning the thermostat down, even by 1 degree to benefit all round.
If you have thermostatic radiators, you shouldn’t have a need to have them set to 5. Like you use the thermostat to set the max temperature of the heating, your radiators should be used in the same way. Energuide.be have a handy chart that illustrates the valve setting, the temperature this can produce and which rooms each setting can benefit from.
Don’t just accept renewal quotes
Comparison websites make it easy to check that you are being offered the best quote possible for things like car or home insurance. You can also check that the energy tariff that you are on is the best one for you.
Insurances is a competitive market and they want your business, so you may get other perks like significant cashback (look to Honey, Topcashback and Quidco) for using one comparison site or provider over another, extra treats like shopping vouchers, discounts at restaurants and movie vouchers. It’s worth spending the little extra time to find the best prices and offers that can help you save in other ways.
These save you from paying to heat an empty house by automatically turning the heating down when you leave your home. They also allow you to remotely control your heating so you can take control when you’re out and about, like turning it back up when you are on your way home so you don’t have to worry about coming home to a cold house if you have an unpredictable schedule.
Stop the heat escaping from your home and cold draughts blowing in by using draught excluders to block any gaps that you may have around your doors, and using sealing strips for any gaps around your windows.
Drying your clothes in the home
If you are unable to dry your washing outside, consider investing in a heated airer so that you can dry your washing inside without having to use your tumble dryer, which can be a cost saving exercise too.
If you do decide to use your tumble dryer then make sure that you pop some dryer balls in with your clothes as they dry. They help to separate the washing allowing air to circulate better which helps the water to evaporate quicker, reducing the overall drying time and saving you a little bit of money.
Don’t overload it
Putting too much in your washing machine or tumble dryer can actually cause it to use more energy to run as it has to work harder and your clothes are less likely to be washed or dried as well. This may mean running more cycles to get them thoroughly clean, or dried, and end up costing you more in the long run.
Wash your clothes at 30℃
Washing at 30℃ can use up to 60% less energy than a 60℃ cycle and most clothing can be washed at this temperature without any effect on cleanliness. However, if you’re washing underwear, bedding or towels, which should be washed on higher temperatures to kill any bacteria, you can instead add a couple of capfuls of laundry disinfectant and still continue to wash at lower temperatures.
Night time savings
Check your bill or contact your energy company to see if they charge less for energy used at particular times of the day. Many companies charge less for energy between 10pm and 5am which can offer significant savings. It’s not the most ideal time to do laundry or run the dishwasher, but adjusting your routine to benefit from these savings can make a huge difference.
These are labelled as eco cycles for a reason; they may take longer to do the job, but they do use less energy to run than a normal cycle and will ultimately save you some money.
Look down the shelves
We know that own labels are often cheaper than brand named products, supermarkets always put these cheaper versions of products on the lower shelves. So, next time you do your food shop, look to the bottom shelves first.
Cooking a week’s worth of meals in one go and then reheating them in the microwave each evening saves lots of energy as your oven only has to go on once a week. It is much better to use the microwave to reheat them as it is far more energy efficient than the oven.
Use frozen vegetables as a substitute for 50% of the mince in recipes like spaghetti bolognese and lasagne, not only will it be more nutritious and healthier by cutting down on your meat intake, but it will also help you to save money on your food shop too.