There’s unlikely to be a homeowner around who wouldn’t like to save a pound or two on their household costs. Whether it’s regular utility bills, or the family food shop, there are a number of small changes you can make to have a big impact on the price.
Stop the draft
Rightly so, we all pop the heating on when we’re cold. If the draft is eliminated, the chill will be too. You can invest in some fetching draft excluders (sausage dog styles come highly recommended) for internal or external doors, and get thick curtains with thermal linings for bigger windows.
Control your heating
Try and avoid putting the heating on until necessary – but make sure you still wrap up warm with lots of layers. Your radiator use can help you save too; regularly bleeding them will make them work more efficiently, and turning them off in the rooms you don’t use can help you out as well.
Identify your water habits
Do you bath rather than shower, or leave the tap running? The key to keeping your water bills low is knowing what you’re using in the first place. You can get a great gauge from the Cistermiser Water Savings Calculator, which uses the information you input to assess how much you could save on your water bills.
Reduce your water use
You can reduce your household water usage in lots of ways, and most are quick and easy to implement. Make sure to only use washing machines and dishwashers when they’re full, check taps for leaks, have fewer baths (and more showers), and turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Or, if you want to go the whole way, the Cistermiser Easyflush controls the cistern flush and fill valve from within your toilet, creating a part flush – conserving 6.2 litres of water with every flush in the process.
This one’s all about habit: leave a room, switch everything off. Whether it’s computers, lamps, televisions or games consoles, while they are on – or on standby – you’re paying for them.
Bin the bulb
This is a tiny change that can pay in the long-term. If you haven’t made the switch to energy efficient light bulbs yet, now is the time. Lasting 3-25 times longer than regular bulbs, and using 25%-80% less energy, these bulbs can save you £3 a year, or £70 over the bulb’s lifetime.
Make a list
We’re all guilty of snaffling a £1 box of one thing, or a two for £5 of the other, but do you need it? It’s easier said than done, but ten minutes of planning before your food shop will make a huge difference. Cover all your meals and all your treats, but remember not to diverge. Better still – shop online and avoid the walking bargain temptations altogether.
You might be fond of a certain type of baked bean, ketchup, or top-shelf wine, but is it worth the increase? Why not try making the switch to the own brand and see the cost difference? (This downshift tool from MoneySavingExpert.com might help.) Many supermarket brand products are made in the same factory, so you may not notice the difference. Only you can decide, but the saving could be even more appealing.