Winter months mean increased energy bills which is something we all dread. But what about the winter months as a whole? With Christmas, family and friends’ birthdays, plus social invitations the costs can soon add up.
Let’s cover some of the most impactful areas you could save money this winter, but more importantly some other areas that you probably would never think of…
1) Turn Your Central Heating Down
How often do you have your central heating on over winter above 22ºC? To be honest, millions of us often turn the thermostat up a lot higher to increase the heat quicker.
You can save anywhere from £90 – £150+ a year by setting it to a sensible temperature and leaving it to regulate the temperature. Or even turning it down one degree could save a good sum of money.
Anything over 22ºC is too hot and you’ll often feel the need to switch it off and back on again costing you more in the long run.
2) Be Sensible Filling The Kettle and Using Hot Water
It’s commonly referred to when saving energy but it’s essential to mention it in this list. Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need for a cuppa or when cooking.
Too many people fill to the top and boil each time. It generally takes 4x times longer to boil and therefore costs you 4x times as much energy.
Avoid using hot water when rinsing dishes after cleaning as this is a complete waste of energy and isn’t necessary. For the sole purpose of rinsing the washing-up bubbles off, cold water is sufficient and a great way to save money.
3) Batch Cooking Your Daytime Meals
An old favourite yet hugely impactful money-saving tip many of us fail to do is to plan our meals. In winter making chunky vegetable soups, broth and stews is quite cheap on the shopping list and making it in bulk can feed you at lunchtime for the rest of the week.
Just grab yourself some containers with lids at your local home essentials store or online. Just make sure they are suitable for freezing as you can pop a couple in the freezer for later on in the week. The others can be kept in the fridge and consumed within a few days.
Furthermore, you’ll save a heap of cash by reducing energy usage in the kitchen and stop wasting money on expensive lunch trips!
4) Reduce Food Shopping Waste
The elephant in the room! Food waste is purely down to poor meal planning and thoughtless shopping trips where we are enticed into price reduction stickers and yellow labels.
How often do you find yourself unloading the shopping thinking not much of this actually goes together to make consistent meals?
70% of food waste comes from domestic households in the UK. Over 6 million tonnes of food goes to waste per year of which 4.5 million tonnes is actually edible. You can find out more about food waste by visiting this article by The Eco Experts here.
Meal delivery services such as Goustos and Hello Fresh have become extremely popular and for good reason. The amount of food supplied is exactly what’s needed to feed the family. Something they have is the skill and technology to calculate for us when using their services.
Alternatively, plan your meals and freeze meats accordingly. Try not to buy too much veg and fresh fruit as these are one of the main contributors to food waste.
5) Choose The Right Room When Working From Home
Hybrid or remote working has increased significantly in the past few years and looks like it’s here to stay. Finding the right location within your home can have significant energy-saving benefits.
Depending on the layout of your home, choosing a room to work in with the most natural light will eliminate the need to have lights switched on. You will also find that natural sunlight helps heat the room even in winter, therefore, reducing the need to have the heating switch on.
If you are limited to darker rooms due to the design of your home, make sure you have energy-efficient LED light bulbs installed. They save you a ton of electricity and should be installed throughout the home if you haven’t already made the switch.
6) Tax Relief When Working From Home
Many employees don’t know about the HMRC Tax Relief scheme which is there for people who have to work from home and not through choice due to hybrid working perks which cannot be claimed for.
For example: if you live far away from the office or your employer doesn’t have a physical office, you can claim for business calls and energy usage contribution.
It’s certainly worth looking into if you fall into one of these categories.
7) Switch Appliances Off After Use
One of the most obvious ways to save money on energy bills is turning electricals off, yet it’s something many of us do not do enough.
Leaving the television on standby or leaving your mains-supplied computer switched on are the main culprits draining power unknowingly.
Turning them off at the switch is proven to help you save money long-term and is one of the easiest things to do.
8) Use WiFi Calling Or Video Calling Apps
Many households still have physical landlines and phones which is an unnecessary expense in this modern era!
Most of us have smartphones and therefore you should look to use WiFi calling which is free provided you have a good WiFi connection. You can read about the best broadband deals here if you are looking to upgrade.
You should also look at the likes of Google Chat, Zoom and Teams video calling apps. These are free to use that aren’t restricted to business-only use. Give them a try if you’re not using one as they are a great way to keep in touch with an internet connection.
9) Your Wardrobe Habits
Do you really need to purchase another coat, hat or pair of boots for winter or can you make do? Ask yourself this and think about potentially wasted spend that could go towards savings instead.
Another useful tip when doing clothes washing, make sure you are doing full loads. All too often people use the same amount of energy and water to do a half wash more frequently. This is going to help save money on your bills, alone.
10) Think About Your Vehicles In The Household
Unlike countries such as Germany, here in the UK, it’s not a legal requirement to change to a set of winter tyres but if your budget justifies doing so then it’s a wise thing to do as a preventative measure and here’s why…
You are 60% less likely to be involved in an accident with summer tyres in winter which is the last thing you want when you are trying to save money. Cold weather also causes summer tyres to fail in ice and snow.
Summer tyres struggle to grip from a standstill if it’s slippy and will put unnecessary strain on your engine and drivetrain, further increasing the chance of big bills if something breaks.
A pre-winter check also goes a long way as making sure you have sufficient oil and anti-freeze windscreen wash is essential. 1 in 4 recoveries by the RAC last winter saw vehicles with low oil levels and insufficient anti-freeze causing pump failure. Don’t be one of those people.
11) Is Your Home Prepared For Winter?
Checking your roof, guttering and overall condition of the exterior of your home is a great way of managing unwanted expenses as it’s a preventative measure that could save you thousands.
Catching things early such as a cracked roof, or leaking gutter will be easier and cheaper to repair before winter sets in as generally, prices go up. A leaking gutter can be repaired with special sealant, whereas a cracked gutter caused by ice and expansion cannot.
Is your roof well insulated? We recommend checking as having sufficient insulation in the roof helps conceal heat and therefore reduces the chances of heat escaping resulting in higher usage of your heating.
12) Thoughtful Gifts Don’t Have To Be Expensive
Christmas is an expensive time of the year as those with larger families tend to feel the pressure of purchasing gifts for loved ones.
The good news is, small gifts are just as thoughtful as expensive ones. A card and a personal visit to see the family are often far more rewarding than sending something via delivery.
Arrange a social gathering rather than a gift exchange as everybody is going to be feeling the pressure with rising bills and therefore will be far more welcoming of the idea, instead.
What greater gift is there over love and laughter?
Also, as another perk, if you spread your time at relatives’ houses, you’re only heating one house vs two. You can also return the favour by hosting them provided you live within a short distance of each other.
13) Winter Tools & Accessories For The Home
Do you have a bag of salt grit to hand? Nope, didn’t think so. Grab a bag from Wickes or other hardware stores for less than £10 when your driveway access may become icy or covered in snow.
But how does that save money you’re thinking? Go back to the vehicle maintenance and preventative measures. If you have a vehicle and sloped drive especially then avoiding a build-up of ice and snow is key to saving fuel.
How often have you found yourself stuck on the drive over-revving the engine and trying to get traction? If you do this a few times over the winter months then the fuel bills will keep racking up, otherwise.
The same applies to electric vehicles too! You’re just going to waste unnecessary charges and put pressure on components.
A good snow shovel would also be a wise investment to help clear snow and work alongside the salt grit!
14) Recycle Unwanted Assets and Generate Cash
Unknowingly many of us are secret houders who can’t let go of things that are just taking up space. However, many younger generations are rather good at recycling items such as clothes, gadgets or jewellery.
Give it a try as listing on eBay and similar resale apps is easier than ever. If you don’t use it and it may be worth something to someone else then give it a go. You could generate hundreds if not thousands of pounds in extra cash to pay energy bills, for example.
When it comes to saving money in winter, try to think outside the box and tend to the more obvious saving tips to help keep the bills under control.
Some of the recommended tips may not apply to you but picking a couple of money-saving tips and trialling them for yourself could result in some rather surprising energy savings or reductions in your normal budgets for things such as fuel and maintenance expenses!