How to cope with a freezing winter on a budget
You may have read in the press or heard on the news that the UK might be in for a big freeze this winter. If your budget is already stretched or you’ve had a recent financial emergency, you might be worried how you’ll cope. Read on for our top 5 tips for coping with a cold winter on a budget without breaking the bank.
If you want a quick summary, why not watch our video post and then read on for more info?
1. Weatherproof your home
With it being mild for the last few years, you might not have noticed how leaky your home is. Start with your windows and make sure they aren’t draughty. The cheapest way to fix a draughty window is to use windows seals. You can get 10 metres of seal for under £4 on eBay and it’s easy to fit. It comes in plenty of colours and you’ll notice the difference to your heating bills in weeks. It could make the difference between getting through winter or resorting to a short term loan for heating bills.
2. Insulate the attic
This is a bit harder than the window seals, but well worth doing. If you have no insulation in your loft, a quarter of the heat of your home passes through. Think of how much that saves on your heating bills! Loft or attic insulation is often free from your energy supplier or by government grant. Get in touch with your electricity or gas provider and arrange a free survey.
3. Lower your water temperature
This one depends on your boiler but most in the last ten years have a setting for the hot water temperature. Why not try lowering the temperature one setting for the water and one for the radiators. Wait and see how much it saves on your bills after one month. If you need a quick loan for a new boiler then contact your energy supplier. If you’re on benefits or on a low income, there might be grants to help with the cost.
4. Wear a jumper!
You’d be surprised the difference a jumper or some warm socks make to feeling cold at home. Rather than turn the heating up, pick up a cheap jumper at Matalan, Asda or Primark and wear it in the house. Do the same for the kids and make it a fun thing by choosing crazy Christmas jumpers. They only cost a few pounds but could save you much more than that on your heating bills.
5. Cook at home
It’s easy to get into a habit of eating out or have takeaway but while it’s a bit daunting, cooking at home can save you a fortune. There’s an added bonus, the heat of the cooker will heat your house too. There are loads of online recipes for stew, roasts and pies and all are great in winter on a budget. Cook a roast on a Sunday but buy a joint bigger than you normally would. You’ll get a second meal of curry or at least sandwiches out of it on Monday and even make soup for Tuesday and Wednesday. Always try to buy big bags of rice or potatoes, you’ll find the price comes right down per meal and you can feed the family for a week on a sack of vegetables and a joint of meat and some fish. Pick up sauces and seasonings in the discount supermarkets when they’re cheap to help out.
Help if you need it
If you find yourself really struggling to pay the heating or energy bill, help is out there, try the citizens advice website for advice.