Frugal Family

Cut Your Home Living Costs With These Easy Changes

Having a family can be pretty expensive, and the bills just seem to rack up sometimes, especially throughout winter. It’d be good to have a bit more money in the bank, though. Compromising on treats isn’t necessarily the best way to pull that money back- but believe me it definitely works. But there’s more to saving money than cutting back on bottles of wine and expensive puddings! Cutting living costs and seeing the rewards all starts at home. If you’d like a bit more in your bank account at the end of each month, give some of these great money saving tips a go.

Go energy efficient

Switching from generic halogen bulbs to LED light bulbs can make a significant saving. Obviously, the upfront cost is a bit more, and the bulbs themselves are a tad more expensive, but the benefits outweigh this by far. LED bulbs last for years longer than halogen bulbs, and they take significantly less energy to work, and they even light the room more brightly, so you require fewer of them. In the long run, LED bulbs are a great investment.

We’ve started swapping the bulbs in our home with LED versions. The brightness is extreme, which I’m not a huge fan of. I chose large lampshade to dull the brightness down a touch. A small price to pay for long lasting results.

Don’t let the heat escape

In the winter months, we pay hundreds of pounds to heat our home, only for some of that heat to escape into the atmosphere. This expenditure is obviously completely unnecessary and is significantly cut by improved insulation. Better sealant around windows can account for huge savings, as can new loft insulation. Stopping heat from escaping through roofs is really important. Conservatories with corrugated plastic roofs are particularly prone, so replacing it with something like these Guardian Warm Roof styles solid roofing can make a huge difference. If you’re paying for the heat, you might as well keep it in your home for as long as possible after all!

You can read my full blog post about keeping heat inside of your home here.

Unplug unused electrical items

It’s a common myth that electrical items have to be in use for them to draw electricity, but actually they can be using small amounts, even when they’re on standby. Mobile phone chargers are particularly bad for this, and could be hiking up your electricity bill even when there’s no phone plugged in. Turn off any appliances which aren’t in use and see how much your bill drops by. Just one little red standby light needs power to stay alit. Turn it off when it isn’t needed. If you’re off on holiday make sure you turn everything off. Things like Wi-Fi and ovens all take electric (oven clocks I’m on about here) even when not in use. It will also reduce your risk of a house fire.

Lower your hot water temperature

Many of us have our hot water set to a temperature which is far too high, meaning that our boilers have to go into overdrive to heat the water, using energy as it works. Turning the thermometer down by just one degree could save you 10% on your heating bill, so it’s totally worth it.

Bulk cook meals

We have to feed our families, that’s a given. But cooking a fresh meal every day can be time-consuming, energy-consuming, and costly. Bulk cooking huge meals, such as chilli con carne, hearty winter stew, and spaghetti Bolognese can save you loads on your weekly shopping bill, and a whole lot of time as well. A slow cooker is the ultimate investment for bulk cooking – you’ll never look back. Also keeping your freezer fully stocked with quick and easy pre-prepared dinners, keeps your freezer working effectively. An empty freezer has to work harder to keep cool!

Cutting living costs doesn’t mean freezing in the cold days of winter, or cutting out all the fun things – just a few choice changes can do the world of good… and save a few pence too!

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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