Simple Tricks to Save Big Cash on Your Utility BillsThursday, August 11, 2016
Household bills are expensive, and along with your rent or mortgage chances are most of your wages are taken up by them each month. And while bills are an inevitable fact of life, it doesn’t mean to say you have to pay well over the odds. There are plenty of things you can do to reduce your bills, and free up cash for the things you’d rather be spending it on.
Save on Your Gas Bill
Getting your windows double glazed and having wall and loft cavity insulation is a great start to saving money on your gas bill. But there are things you can do that don’t involve getting builders in- if like me you’re renting you can’t exactly start changing things like this and so have to work with what you have. So to save money on your gas bill, turning off radiators in unused rooms is a good idea (as well as keeping the doors shut to those rooms!) You could also have your heating on a timer so it’s not being left on all day, and get plenty of cosy throws for your sofa to cuddle up with in the evenings. That way you’re not having to put the heating up so high all night too.
Save on Your Electricity Bill
So much electricity is wasted every day just from leaving products on standby. The Energy Savings Trust claims that up to £80 a year is wasted in most homes due to appliances left like this. It’s not difficult to switch something off properly when you use it, so try and get into the habit as much as possible.
Save on Your Water Bill
In the UK the prices for your water bills are set, and there’s nothing you can do to haggle a lower price or ask them to reduce it. Between 1973 and 1990, the Valuation Office of the Inland Revenue put a valuation on all homes, and it’s based on these valuations that the water companies work out your bill. Of course this is crazy, the value of a property can change drastically in that time (for better or for worse). The Valuation Office no longer changes these rates either, and so you’re stuck with the water bills you’re given. However there are a couple of ways around this. The first one is to have a water meter installed, this means that you only pay for the amount of water you use instead of a set bill. However this does mean that your bill could end up being higher if you use a lot of water, and is only really worth doing if you’re a single person living in a property (or are a particularly thrifty household when it comes to water). The second way is to get your own private water supply. This can be achieved with borhole drilling, it saves you money and also means you’re not at the mercy of the water companies for things like hosepipe bans. Boreholes can be done even in small gardens, and gives you access your own clean private water source.
Save on Your Shopping Bill
One of the key ways to save money on food shopping is preparation. Draw up a weekly meal plan, and then write a list based on exactly what you need. Then follow the list religiously, if you’re easily suckered into deals and things you don’t need at the supermarket then consider doing your shopping online. When you know what you’re eating for the next few days you can be prepared, you’re never caught short wondering what to make and won’t end up resorting to expensive and unhealthy takeaways. If you’re strapped for time during the week, batch cooking at the weekend can be helpful. Make a big meal and portion it into freezer bags or tupperware boxes ready to grab and reheat when it’s late and you’re tired. Another great way to reduce waste and make your money go further is to add some store cupboard recipes to your weekly rotation. The kinds of meals that can be made cheaply using the dried and frozen food you already have on hand- no need to run out to the shops to buy more fresh ingredients. Think things like chicken pasta using dried wholemeal pasta, frozen chicken breasts and homemade tomato sauce using tinned tomatoes and herbs from the storecupboard.