One of the biggest causes for poor mental health is debt and the stress of being in financial difficulties. This wouldn’t normally be an article I’d write about. But given the circumstances many people are finding themselves in, I think it’s an important one to cover. The cost of living crisis (cost of greed crisis) is likely to get worse as it gets colder.
This makes it a perfect storm for people to turn to gambling and door step lenders as a way to cope. I get it. When you’re desperate, there often aren’t many options. Hopefully, this article will help you avoid such desperate measures. Basically, this is an article to help avoid people’s mental health suffering as a result of the cost of living crisis.
Cost Of Living Tips
These are basic cost cutting and carbon footprint efficiency tips. They should help lessen the blow of the cost of living crisis, but government intervention is what’s really needed to get everyone through this. So please bear that in mind.
Turn your central heating down by just one degree
According to Open Money, lowering your heating by just one degree will save you a surprising amount of money. They estimate that if you often have your heating on, then lowering it by just one degree could save you about £80. A one degree change in your heating is something you’re not likely to notice either.
A lot of boilers and thermostats allow you to set timer controls for when your heating turns on and off. Take advantage of that feature to save money (Age UK).
In the UK, a landlord has to make sure the property they’re letting meets the minimum level of energy efficiency standard (EPC band E). Thus, if the property you’re renting is less than that, then your landlord is legally required to make improvements.
You can find out more about this by visiting Gov.UK by clicking here.
Filling the kettle
Growing up, it was drilled into my head to only fill the kettle to the level you’ll be using. Which is ironic for someone that doesn’t drink hot drinks. It’s a waste to heat up water you’re not going to use. It’ll also mean you can have that hot drink a little quicker, so win-win.
Eating out at work or when out in general is something we can cut back on. Yes, it’s convenient, but it’s also expensive. Same goes for buying a drink from a coffee shop. Pack your own lunch and you can do more with your lunch time (don’t use that extra time to work), while saving yourself some money.
Picking your work spot
If, like me, you work from home, then where you choose to work can have an impact on your wallet. That’s if you’re lucky enough to have choices. The room with the most natural light will mean you don’t have to have the lights on as much this winter (Open Money). You can also benefit from the solar energy of natural light heating the room up. Another thing to consider is the size of the room. The smaller the room, the less energy it’ll take to warm up.
Switching things off
This is often a running joke about what dads do, but it does stop you from wasting money. Turn your appliances off, your lights off, and anything that’s not being used, off. Don’t leave things on standby either, as that still costs you money. It’s also a good idea to have your radiators turned off in the rooms you’re not using (Age UK).
I grew up in a very poor household, as it was only my mum and I. If we were lucky, we had the heating on in one room of the house. So it was all about clothes. Layers are your friend. To keep your heating off or as low as possible for as long as possible, rely on layering up to keep you warm.
In the age of the dying landlines, most of us likely never make a call using a phone. But if you do, you may want to switch to making your calls over the internet instead. Zoom and other app like it exist for a reason. This might not apply to everyone, as people often get free minutes for their landline and their mobile phone.
Bleeding your radiators
One thing that often gets overlooked is bleeding your radiators. However, before you do this, make sure you know how to increase your boilers’ water pressure afterwards. If you know how to top up your boilers’ water pressure, then bleeding your radiators can improve their lost efficiency.
To get the maximum efficiency out of your radiators, don’t put furniture in front of them and don’t cover them with items like your wet washing (Age UK).
Just like how bleeding your radiators can improve efficiency, so can making sure your boiler is within the right pressure range. According to Which?, the gauge should be between 1.0 and 2.0. Although it’s advised to check your boilers manual to confirm its optimal range.
Ditch the bath
As nice as baths are, especially if you want to sit and relax in one, they’re not the most efficient way to keep ourselves clean. If you want to save money, then switch to showering. And if you further want to save money, turn the shower off throughout your shower session.
What I mean by that is, I will get under the shower to get my body wet, and then turn it off. I’ll then soap up my body and apply shampoo and the like. I’ll then turn the shower back on to rinse off. A simple way to save a little extra money, and it’s better for the environment.
Another simple tip for saving a little money is to match the saucepan to the size of your hobs (Love Money). So ditch your favourite hob for the most appropriate hob.
On the rare occasions when I do cook properly, I like to batch cook. Something I believe I talked about in my depression meals article. Batch cooking is a great way to have easy re-heatable food for when you’re too depressed to cook, but it also means you can save money as it’s cheaper to re-heat food using a microwave (Mirror).
You can use your curtains to help reduce energy wastage. On cold days where the sun is out, you can benefit from having your sun facing curtains open so you can use the solar energy to warm those rooms (Startups Magazine).
Closing your curtains when there’s no direct sunlight can help with heat loss through your windows. The thicker your curtains, the better. Plus, if you tuck your curtains behind your radiator, you can further help avoid heat loss (Age UK).
Get a home energy check
Age UK offers a home energy checks service. They’ll send a trusted handyperson to your home, who will evaluate your home energy efficiency. And, if needed, they’ll provide free equipment to help you save money on your bills.
A lot of laundry products now work at cold temperatures. Almost all of them can work at 30°C. But some can get as low as 10°C. It might not seem like much, but that can save you money as you don’t have to heat the water as much with each wash (Love Money).
Government Cost Of Living Support
Energy saving grants
The UK government has a couple of energy saving grants that you might be entitled to. To find out more about these grants, click here.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
The UKs Warm Home Discount Scheme could net you a one-off payment of £150 paid directly to your energy supplier. This is aimed at helping people who are collecting a pension or are a low-income household. Click here to find out if you’re eligible for this support.
Child Winter Heating Assistance
Child Winter Heating Assistance is a once a year payment made by the Scottish Government. You can get £214.10 to help with the costs this winter. To find out more, click here.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant
According to Which?, the ECO has grants for energy efficiency measures, such as cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. To find out if you’re eligible, click here.
Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS)
This was designed to help the country reach net zero by 2050 (Which?). Successful applicants will get a one-off payments of up to £6,000 towards the cost of the installation. However, this isn’t something you can apply for directly. Instead, the installers will apply for the grant. This option won’t benefit a lot of people, but it might help someone get through the cost of living crisis. And if nothing else, it’ll help save the environment.
Nest learning thermostat
C&T ECO Consultants can help you apply for a free or reduced cost Nest Learning Thermostat as part of the UK government’s Eco3 scheme. To find out more, click here.
Other Cost Of Living Support
A credit union is a co-operative whose members pool their savings to provide each other with credit at a low interest rate (Citizens Advice). This means you can get loans at a much lower rate, potentially, and they’re more likely to lend to people who can’t get support else where. Handy in a cost of living crisis.
To find a credit union near you, check out the following links:
The Citizen Advice service has kindly created a list of other cost of living support that’s available. If you’d like to check out that list, then click here.
Cheap Energy Club
This is an energy price comparison site that was created by MoneySavingExpert.com. It also comes with loads of energy savings guides. If you like to check this club out, then click here.
Claim tax relief for your job expenses
One was you can save a little extra money is to claim tax relief from the UK government. You can also benefit from this if you’re working from home, although not as a result of covid. I believe you can save around £6 on your taxes per week if you’re working from home.
Click here if you’d like to find out more.
According to Age UK, if you’re receiving the following state benefits, then you can apply for a budgeting loan.
- Pension Credit.
- Income Support.
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related.
- Employment and Support Allowance.
Click here to find out more about budgeting Loans.
You can find such services in a lot of countries, but in the UK the largest food back operator is The Trussell Trust. But you’ll be able to find ones that aren’t part of The Trussell Trust by visiting your local council’s website. There’s no shame in using a food bank. When I was a child, my mum often had to rely on one. I now try to donate to these much needed services as often as possible. Although in an ideal world, they wouldn’t need to exist.
You can get a referral to a find bank through the Citizens Advice. You can also use The Trussell Trust’s website to track down your local hubs. Click here to be taken to their website. You can also try using the Food Bank Finder by clicking here.
The cost of living crisis is a tough time for all of us. Too many people aren’t getting paid nearly enough, all while everything costs significantly more. This crisis isn’t just affecting the UK, but the UK is struggling more as a result of Brexit.
Obviously, the methods of saving money I’ve listed in this article aren’t nearly enough, but as Tescos says, “every little helps”. So if you’re worried about how you’ll get through the cost of living crisis, then I hope these tips will reduce your stress levels.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with the cost of living crisis and helpful tips in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, you can make a donation of any size below. Until next time,
Unwanted Life readers.
47 thoughts on “Cost of Living Crisis: How To Save Money This Winter”
Some great tips here, thank you.
Great tips, batch cooking is key for me and layers, though it is bloody awful it’s come to this
Indeed it is
Excellent suggestions. It’s surprising how many of these small simple tips will add up. Here in Canada, turning off our heating in winter isn’t an option but, a programmable thermostat makes a big difference in our heating bill. And, as you say, just adjusting the temperature by a degree or two makes a huge difference. Thanks for these helpful tips.
Very nice tips!!! Thanks for sharing.
These are some really helpful tips to help save money as we are all struggling especially in the Winter. We have been trying more things like this. We have been batch cooking, as well as wearing extra layers and we have been putting heating on for short burst to take the edge off. Thank you for sharing your tips!
Same. The heating at home comes on for short bursts when I can’t feel my toes
I try to call alternative to something lower in price. I’m trying to practice these things to save money. The government cost living support does help a lot as well.
Good luck with getting through the cost of living crisis
Currently working inside in a sock hat.. because we’re afraid to turn on the heat
The things we’re forced to do
Winter and it’s various stresses can be very tough. Great suggestions and including links to find help is a great service to those in the UK. Keep writing great content.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share these tips.
Thanks for commenting
We are certainly living through an inflation that is driving cost of living sky high. You shared some pratical tips on how we can save money. Sure we can benefit from some of them here in the US.
Thanks for commenting
Currently renting a house with colleagues. We’re currently trying to reduce our electricity wastage
Every where in the world there’s cost of living crisis. Yeah, it’s high time for us to recognise or needs and wants. And spend our money on needs only.
Everyone will likely be making some cut backs where they can, that’s for sure
You gave so many different options I love it! I will definitely apply a lot of them this winter, it’s especially hard with the inflation!
I hope they help
These tips are very interesting and I shall be leaving my curtains closed on cold days and nights. I also want to find ways to reduce using the oven and only heat rooms I am in.
I hope you’re able to find ways to help with using the oven
i totally understand why my parents would tell me “there’s food at home” when i was a kid. it really saved money.
Yeah, but professionally cooked food always tastes better, and that’s part of the problem
Fantastic post! The state of the country is worrying at the moment, so any small ways to save a little money go a long way. I think switching off appliances is key- it’s a money-saving stereotype for a reason. I work from home, so I make sure to put on extra layers as much as possible 🙂
Thanks for commenting and for sharing your experience
These are great tips. I love the one about the jobs! Thank you for also including great advice organisations for people who need it.
I’m guessing you meant hobs, but was autocorrected to jobs? Thanks for commenting
I have rubbish small radiators, so often we use a oil filled radiator to wheel from one room to another, only heating the one room needed. Hot water bottles and a sofa duvet or lots of blankets X
It’s a shame your radiators aren’t good enough on their own. I had to rely on a portable heater at my last place, due to no roof insulation and the boiler constantly breaking down for months at a time
This sounds like my house, it’s rented privately had a new roof but installation wasn’t done and it still leaks at times. Nightmare trying to get it done x
Landlords can be the worse when it comes to providing homes fit for habitation
So true x
I agree with you about the heater and layering clothes. Also, about saving water. Great tips.
Thanks for commenting
Love these tips and also how you start with mentioning the greed crisis. Because we should be able to do without a lot of the things we now think as necessary. The tips you describe are surprisingly obvious but perhaps that’s why we overlook them. Lowering the thermostat with one degree, how to use the kettle and not covering the radiator, just a few to mention. It’s also good that you show people where they can find assistance. But a lot can be done just by ourselves. Cooking in bulk and then freezing it will help you save money and time. I do that whenever I can.
Energy companies are making record profits while the everyday person is struggling to pay for that energy. Things would be a lot easier if corporate greed didn’t dictate our lives when it comes to necessities. Thanks for commenting
As a college student trying to save up for grad school, these are fantastic! I also try to focus more on blankets and warm socks rather than heaters. Layers clothes is great also. I live in a colder area, so that’s been a big focus.
Thanks for sharing
This is a must read for the winter ahead and beyond that. The tips shared here are so easy to apply, that they are often overlooked. Lower you thermostat with one degree, check your radiator, cook in bulk. You’ll be surprised with the effects. Excellent article, thanks
It’s often the simple things that get overlooked. Thanks for commenting
The ‘cost of greed crisis’ is the cold hard truth and it makes me so sick to my stomach, BUT I try not to dwell on the things I can’t directly impact. AND we can all be mindful of where our money goes. Some great tips in this post (many I already do… I hate lights/wasted power running for no one to use). Thank you for sharing and addressing a current issue for so many. Be well. ✌️
Leaving lights on and wasting energy is one of my pet peeves too. Something that can be annoying when sharing with flatmates. Thanks for commenting