With the cost of living soaring, many households are spending a much larger portion of their income just on getting by. The price of essentials like food and fuel are going through the roof. People are also paying more than double to heat their homes when compared with the same time last year. So as more and more people feel the pinch, many of us are looking for neat ways to save money.
But what are the most impactful things we can do to get more bang for our buck when it comes to household essentials?
This article is here to suggest a few little tips and tricks to help everyone save a bit more money this year.
Table of Contents
Shop Around For Your Food
Not all supermarkets charge the most competitive prices for the same products you can find elsewhere. At the same time, there are always deals and value savings to be had no matter where you shop. However, to get the most out of your food shop budget, you can definitely save by shopping around.
One thing we can all do to save on our food shopping bills is to try different brands. For example your loyalty to a particular brand of tomato sauce could be costing you 30% extra for what is effectively the same product as an alternative. OK, there may be some taste differences, but try something new because you may even like it more.
Own brand products are also considerably cheaper than their branded counterparts. The reason for this is largely down to marketing, as opposed to the ingredients that go into a product. With this in mind, try a different brand of whatever staples they buy week in, and week out. You never know, you may find something that you or your family prefers, while also saving a fair amount at the supermarket.
Make Sure You’re Not Wasting Money On Unnecessary Subscriptions
People often think of the obvious subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Spotify when they think about cutting out expenses. OK, these sorts of things can be expensive, but they can also add value to your daily life. If you want to keep your entertainment as it is, why not try getting more from it by sharing a family account between multiple people, or signing up with a new profile to benefit from new customer offers and discounts.
You could also change how you use these services, for example by using them as an educational resource. There are lots of blogs, courses and general sources of information and inspiration on these platforms. Use them to your advantage, as you may discover a new way to make additional money.
Heat Your Home More Effectively
In the age of smart metres, lots of households are more conscious of the amount they spend on heating and powering their homes. It’s possible to save a lot on monthly heating bills over winter by setting temperatures a little lower. Many people could use around 20% less energy by reducing their target temperature to19 degrees Celsius. Putting on a jumper and warm socks could represent a big saving this year. There is no harm in wearing an extra layer of clothing around the house, and snuggling up under a warm blanket is always nice on cold winter evenings.
Automate the times that your heating comes on. There is little point in waking up and turning the heating on before you leave for work if your home just starts reaching temperature as you walk out the door. Many thermostats can be set to come on at specific times. Programme yours to come on before you wake up, so that you actually get the benefit of the warmth while you are at home.
There is a lot of evidence out there that suggests keeping a constant temperature is actually more efficient than boom or bust heating. It is better to automate if you can, but if you do not have a modern enough boiler, it would be better to keep a steady temperature while you are at home.
Keep The Heat In
Little things like draught excluders and insulated, made-to-measure curtains can really help keep the heat in. The little touches are relatively cheap and can make a real difference to the amount of heat you retain in your home. Doing the little things like sealing draughty windows and doors can be pretty inexpensive, but can actually save a fair amount on energy bills.
In addition to helping with the day-to-day stuff, there may also be funding available to help improve your EPC rating by installing things like loft insulation.
Get Financial Support
The UK government is also trying to help people cope with the rise in the cost of living. There are many schemes to help people get by, such as winter fuel payments for people of pension age. You can find out more about the types of support available by visiting the government website, or using a search engine to find more information.