Is it just me or do you find your utility bills seem to skyrocket during the winter months? It’s important that we do what we can to keep these bills down. Which is why I’ve created a list of 15 frugal ways to save money on utility bills. These simple tips and tricks can save you a lot of money and reduce your carbon footprint. They also help you feel good about yourself without making radical changes to your everyday life. It’s a win-win situation.
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My eldest son has an obsession with turning on the lights – even if he’s not actually staying in the room. I seem to find myself constantly going around the house switching off the lights behind him. If you’re not in a room the light doesn’t need to be on. You’ll be surprised how many people leave lights on in empty rooms or in corridors for long periods.
Whenever you need to replace an appliance in the home – in particular, high energy consuming appliances such as your washing machine or dishwasher, opt for the green options which have high ratings for energy efficiency. Not only will this save you money on your electricity bill, but it’ll also save you money on your water bill.
Guilty, guilty, guilty! My husband is always telling me off about leaving taps running but it really is difficult to break habits of a lifetime. I leave the tap running when I’m washing the plates, brushing my teeth and washing my hair. There have even been times where I’ve actually left the taps running after leaving the bathroom. If you’re not using the tap turn it off. It doesn’t need to run continuously while you’re brushing your teeth, only switch it on when you’re actually using it.
When you leave a room, close the door behind you, this will help keep the heat within the room you’re in. This is something we don’t do so much at present, but I’m going to be more mindful about doing this from now on. We’re currently spending a fortune on gas each month so I need to reduce this cost.
Ensure that your windows and doors are properly sealed. If necessary, you can use draught excluders to prevent heat from escaping under doors and keep your rooms nice and warm and cosy.
One of the easiest ways to save money on your utility bills is to go online and switch to a different provider who offers better value for money. There are quite a few price comparison websites where you can do this such as uSwitch and Compare the Market.
When you’re not using appliances turn them off at the switch. I remember when I was a child my aunt used to go around all the rooms of the house turning off all the plug sockets before we went to bed. At the time I thought she was crazy but I totally understand why she did this now! That phone charger left plugged in by your bed all day is costing you money, as is the television and PlayStation you’ve left on standby.
In order to adopt a new energy efficient lifestyle, it’s vital to know where your energy is currently going. An electricity usage monitor tells you exactly which appliances are using the most electricity, and you can then regulate your usage accordingly.
It goes without saying that this will only work on clothes that just need to be refreshed after a days’ wear, I wouldn’t for a second suggest doing this on stained clothing as you’ll end up rewashing the whole load! A cool wash will freshen up the clothes without costing as much money and is also better for the environment.
I’d like to believe that most of us shower daily – some people even shower twice a day, which is why I recommend reducing your shower sessions by a few minutes each time. Just spending two minutes less in the shower every time you shower over the course of a year adds up to a lot of water and energy saved – which in turn means more money in your pocket!
I’ve developed the bad habit of keeping the heating on all day when I’m in the house. I’ll casually be in shorts and a t-shirt with the heating turned up to 23 degrees Celsius. My husband is constantly telling me to at least turn it off for periods of time throughout the day. I’ve started doing this reluctantly, so instead of keeping the heating on all day, I wear my bathrobe and thick socks during the day to keep warm and reserve the heating for the evening when temperatures outside usually drop.
Similar to point 11 above, in addition to wrapping up warm, if you’re feeling cold during the winter, rather than turning on your heating, it may be a lot more cost-efficient to invest in a few thick blankets and Snuggies. I would also recommend getting hot water bottles as they’re actually amazing for keeping warm during the cold winter nights.
While this may seem like common sense to you, growing up I remember for the longest time we had our three-seater sofa directly in front of the only radiator in the room. I laugh about it now, but you don’t know, what you don’t know! Lower your gas bill by moving any objects away from your radiators, this will include anything that is blocking the hot air from circulating around the room and actually heating up the entire area.
Drink a lot of coffee, tea and hot drinks in general to heat yourself up from the inside, doing this will help keep your body temperature up and hopefully make you turn the heating thermostat down and save a little on your energy bill.
Following on nicely from point 14 above, did you know that if you turn down your thermostat by just one degree that you can save a lot of money on your gas bill each year? Neither did I, it was my husband who is a Gas Engineer that taught me this! Now, instead of turning the heating up to 24 degrees (don’t judge me I like to keep warm!), I now only turn it up to 21 degrees and my house is still nice and warm.
I’m sure there are so many other things we can do to save money on utility bills. If you know of any more tips and tricks be sure to share them in the comments section below so that the rest of us can start applying them to our lives and save even more money.
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Wife and mum of three boys on a journey to achieve financial freedom. Earn more, spend less and invest the difference.