As the warmer weather draws closer your heating bills will start going down – but there are many other ways you can save money on your energy bills and living costs. Whether you are saving for a summer holiday or for home improvements, here are some ideas to make every penny count.
Crack down on food waste
Food waste costs each household £470 a year on average in unnecessary food costs, rising to £700 for families with children, according to the anti-waste campaign lovefoodhatewaste.com. UK homes throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year in the UK, half of which is perfectly fit for consumption – try and plan your meals and freeze leftovers to save throwing it away.
Consider a pay-as-you go mobile
If you hand over £50 a month to your mobile phone company, that's £600 a year - or around £1,000 of your gross salary. But you can buy phones for less than ten pounds and top up with pay- as-you-go vouchers for not much more. If you don’t use all the minutes, texts and band width provided by your monthly tariff, swapping to pay-as-you-go might save you money.
Find out about cashback
If you are looking to make a purchase online, check with one of the big cashback websites to see if it can reward you for spending with the retailer. The rates vary but you can receive anything from 2 to 15 per cent cashback. Before you sign up to any sites check if any fees apply.
Change your light bulbs
Lighting accounts for about 3% of electricity usage, according to The Cambridge Housing Model. By swapping your existing light bulbs to energy-saving ones, you could save up to around £100 over the bulb’s lifetime. Remembering to turn lights off when you leave a room can also make a big difference.
Get the best from your appliances
Investing in energy-efficient appliances can save you money. You could reduce your electric oven costs by 40% by choosing an A* rated electric oven, according to the Energy Saving Trust. You could also save money by turning down the temperature of your wash cycle and the settings on your fridge and freezer.
Cut your energy bills
Despite the warmer weather, many homes will still need the heating on for a few more months this year - simple changes, such as turning down your thermostat by just one degree, can save you up to £90 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Similarly, turning appliances off when you’re not using them, could save another £30 a year on your electricity costs.
Change energy supplier
You can make real savings by switching energy provider and snapping up a cheaper deal. One leading comparison site suggests that by doing so you could save as much as £567 a year. If you don’t feel like phoning around then a comparison site can save you time and give you an idea of savings.