5 ways to save money this winter

Visiting friends and family, cosying up at home and filling up on comfort food - there’s a lot to enjoy about the winter months. But there’s no denying that it can get pretty expensive. We’ve put together a few tips to help make this time of year more affordable.

save money this winter

#1 Check you’re on the cheapest energy tariff

We know we say this a lot, but that’s because it’s important!

Shopping around for better deals on utility providers could save you hundreds of pounds a year. This includes broadband, insurance, and entertainment packages, but it’s especially true of energy providers. Even after the Ofgem price cap is introduced, you could still be missing out on huge savings if you stick with your default tariff and don’t switch every year. Visit comparison websites such as MoneySupermarket, uSwitch or Energyhelpline to find out how to switch.

Even if you don’t switch, don’t be afraid to haggle for a better deal. Providers sometimes offer better prices if you tell them you’re taking your business elsewhere.

#2 Find out if you can get extra help

Could you get help with the cost of heating your home this winter?

If you’re eligible for Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments or the Warm Home Discount, they could make a huge difference to your winter finances. But almost half of low-income households don’t claim the help they’re entitled to. We’ve worked with EntitledTo to create a free, easy-to-use benefits calculator to help you check if you could get additional help.

The calculator tailors results for you. Just fill in a few details about your circumstances: your income, who lives with you, the local authority area you live in and how much you spend on rent or your mortgage. It’s quick, simple and definitely worth it.

If you or someone you know is really struggling, there is extra help available for people forced to choose between heating and eating. Contact Simple Energy Advice in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, or Home Energy Scotland.

#3 Try some DIY insulation

One huge way to save money and energy is to make sure your home is properly insulated. Loft insulation and new windows make an enormous difference. These are big one-off expenses, so you might not be able to afford them right now. But there is plenty you can do yourself to prevent heat escaping from your home.

Buy double-glazing material to put over draughty windows - or even use cling film! To prevent draughts from gaps under doors, you can make a ‘sausage dog’ draught excluder from a pair of tights and some old socks. (It’s one way to keep the kids busy for half an hour! Or if you’re not feeling creative, just use a rolled-up towel.) Check out the Energy Saving Trust’s draught-proofing guide for more ideas.

#4 Book your festive travel as soon as you can

Travelling by train this festive season? Don’t leave it until the last minute to book your tickets. Advance tickets are almost always cheaper than buying on the day - and the cheapest tickets will go quickly, so buy as far ahead as you can.

#5 Fill up the fridge with home-cooked meals

Cakes, bakes and casseroles are just the kind of comfort food you need at this time of year. And an afternoon in a hot kitchen with the oven blasting will keep you warm, too!

Save time, energy and money by cooking multiple meals at once. Your fridge and freezer work more efficiently when they’re full. And you won’t be tempted by takeaways or overpriced ready-meals when you’ve got a home-cooked meal ready to go in the microwave. Defrost frozen food in the fridge to save even more energy.

Thanks for reading. We hope you’ve found our tips, tricks and links useful. Enjoy the winter months as much as you can – and if you can’t, remember Spring isn’t far away!

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