Money saving tips for the winter months
By: Claire, redwigwam
Budgeting for the winter months always seems daunting – alongside heating your house and drying clothes, Christmas is coming up, and this year, bills in the UK are rising faster than ever.
We thought it would be useful to put together a few tips on saving money over the winter months – we all need a little financial inspiration to save where we can – and every little helps.
We’d love to hear any other tips you’d add to the list.
Use the 30-day rule for non-essential purchases
This is a brilliant tip if you’re a bit of an impulse shopper or find it difficult to save. And it is so easy to follow.
The rule is simple. If you find yourself considering an impulse buy or a non-essential purchase, stop, and think about it for 30 days. If you still want it after that time, brilliant – go for it.
This works because but forcing yourself to wait, it takes emotion from your purchases. It works brilliantly for children too – prevents them buying stuff in the heat of the moment and then forgetting about it two days later.
Or save the sum first…
An alternative to this is to ‘save the sum first’.
The theory is the same, to prevent impulse purchases, but this way, there’s no time limit. Instead, you need to save the amount of the purchase first. So don’t buy a coffee, miss a night out, walk instead of taking the bus.
Save all the money you don’t spend towards the item you want.
Like the 30-day rule, this gets you into the habit of thinking about what you buy rather than making impulse decisions, and allows better budgeting for purchases.
Turn the thermostat down
Most of us are debating whether we’ll have the heating on at all this year – but for those times when it really is needed, turn the thermostat down. Even tweaking by 1 or 2 degrees makes a difference to bills – and it’s unlikely you’ll feel the difference overall.
If you’re feeling the chill, try an extra jumper, wearing warm socks, or even a hot water bottle.
Make sure you draw your curtains to keep the heat in your house, and tuck long curtains down the back of the radiator so the heat isn’t trapped behind them.
Make your own lunch and batch cook
If you go out to work, it is so tempting to buy lunch rather than make your own. But a daily lunch purchase soon adds up – think about it, you are probably spending at least £5 a day.
The simple solution is to make your own lunch. Take last night’s leftovers, make some soup, or even just make a sandwich. Not only will it save money, but it will also be healthier!
On the same line, batch cooking is a great way to save money – and ensure healthy family meals (especially on the days when you’re in a rush after work and school). Buy in bulk, cook up a storm and divide it down into meal sized portions for the freezer. Just don’t forget to label the containers to avoid freezer roulette!
Shop around if you can and make sensible swaps
There’s a huge difference on prices of goods between all the supermarkets. So, it can pay to shop around for your weekly shop. Everyone has their own opinion on where is cheapest, so we won’t add to the debate! What I do find though, is I spend more if it’s not my ‘regular’ supermarket – something about wandering the aisles of a shop I don’t usually go to!
Remember though, time is valuable too, so don’t panic if you don’t have spare time each week to trawl round different shops looking for the best prices. And remember you’ll be paying to travel between shops, so while you might save on a tin of beans, you’re spending more on petrol or bus fares.
If shopping around isn’t practical, swapping branded items for supermarket own is a great way to save pennies. There’s often very little (if any) difference in the taste, but a big difference to your wallet.
Don’t forget to join supermarket loyalty schemes too, as you’ll often find additional savings and special offers through them.
Swap your baths for a shower
Nothing quite beats a long soak in the bath after a hard day at work, but if you swap this for a quick shower, you’ll save money on your energy and water bills.
And apparently the optimal time for showering is just 4 minutes to really make the most savings.
Switch appliances off when you have finished
We’re all conscious of rising energy bills – and while it may not seem very much, turning off lights and other electrical devices when you have finished with them will save pennies from your bills. There’s no need to have lights on in rooms when no one is in them, or the TV blaring if no one is watching.
And energy bills aside, it’s also a good habit to get into as it’s much better from an environmental point of view!
Cut your fuel costs
Although petrol prices have dropped a little from their recent highs, filling your car is still a huge drain on your finances.
So, think about your journeys. Do you need to use the car, or could you walk? Plan journeys too, so you do all your errands while you are out rather than nipping back and forth.
It’s always worth shopping around when you do need to fill up – use an online tool like Petrol Prices to find the cheapest place nearby to fill up – you could save up to £10 on a tank of petrol.
Think about your washing…
You can’t stop washing clothes, but you can do so in a more economical way. Set your machine to wash at 30 – you won’t notice a difference in performance, but it will save pennies each cycle.
A tumble dryer is one of the more expensive household appliances to use, so think about reducing how often you use it.
Clothes will dry outside, even in colder weather (although obviously not on rainy days!) If you can, plan your wash days for when you can get it hung out on the line. Then use the dryer to ‘finish’ drying the clothes if they are a bit damp. Or better still, pop them in the airing cupboard, or invest in a heated clothes area, which will dry them off in a couple of hours and is cheaper than using a tumble dryer.
Understand your spending habits
When was the last time you looked at every payment going out of your account? Are they all essential? Are you paying a monthly subscription for something which you really don’t use?
It’s worth having a regular thorough on all your spending and cutting or downgrading any services you really don’t need.
Have a weekly ‘no spend’ day
With shops at our fingertips and practically anything available at the click of a button, it’s so easy to spend money without even realising it.
So once a week have a day where you consciously don’t spend anything. Be strict about it – and when it becomes habit, make it two days a week!
We all lead busy lives, but meal planning saves both time and money. Before you do a weekly shop (and a weekly shop is essential to make this a success), look at what you already have in and incorporate that into your weekly plan. This also helps cut down on food waste of course.
Then fill in any gaps with meals, factoring in time to prepare and cook them around work/family life.
When you go shopping take a list of what you need – and ONLY buy what is on the list!
This is a great activity to do as a family – and if you have older children, they can even make one of the meals. The other bonus is everyone knows what’s for tea and no one can complain!
Earn some extra money
While we’re aware this isn’t really a solution to the cost-of-living crisis, it may just allow you some breathing space. The great thing about finding flexible work with redwigwam is you are completely in control. Whether you want a more regular second source of income, or the opportunity to earn money as and when it suits, we’ve got you covered.
Some of our most popular side hustles include, mystery shopping work, hospitality jobs, retail work and merchandising, but there is so much more to choose from.
Have a look at all our latest jobs here. Or click below to sign up and get started.