PRACTICAL IDEAS TO HELP YOU THROUGH THE COST OF LIVING CRISIS
Claim your energy subsidy – make sure if you are a pensioner that you do get the extra fuel allowance this winter and under the governments price cap, that you either get the payment or you energy company might be processing it for you. Virtually everyone is eligible. The citizens advice bureau has all the information https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills/
Your energy deal – make sure you are on the lowest tariff possible and if there is a low – locked in option, change to it as the energy crisis is likely to last a couple of years. Some energy companies are also saying they will pay you up to £4 (a credit on your bill) if you do your washing during the night. You’ll need to ring them to see if your company offers this.
Clothing & Bedtimes – Layer up this winter, the more thin layers you wear the warmer you will feel, so it’s fine to not do the normal thing, but keep plenty of clothes on. Bed is for bed, so again make sure you have some thick blankets and a duvet. If you are able to switch off or turn down your heating over night during the winter do it.
Home Heating – many families will use one main room in the house and have a small space heater there while keeping the general heat of the house down. The best type is an oil filled or ceramic portable radiator, which heats up and then cuts the power off.
Make sure you have a small gas stove, candles, matches, flash lights, a lantern and some good books. If there are power cuts you will be prepared.
Bathing or shower – In times of war or through families used to share the same bath water and it would be a quick in and out from the cleanest to the dirtiest person in the house. Showering can be a game, of who can shower the quickest, have a bit of fun, while saving water and energy. Don’t be embarrassed, if this is what you have to do – do it.
Appliances – Dishwashers, Washing Machines and Tumble Dryers have loads of settings. The lowest temperature and quickest time settings are usually for washing things clean which weren’t terribly dirty to start with. Use these settings and for really dirty plates rinse first under the tap and then finish off on a quick low temp wash in the machine. This will likely save you the most. Also if you can get an in door clothes horse and dry them naturally.
Neighbour engagement – why not get seven neighbours together, to do a rotation of going around to each others home for an evening meal. Everyone can bring something little, you have fun and a meal and you’ll only heat your home and use the cooker once a week!!
Community spaces – Churches, community centres etc. will be opening through the winter, to give you the option of meeting people, getting free tea, coffee & cakes and staying warm and fed. Ask around your neighbours and friends, which Churches and Centres in the area are offering this.
Asda and a few other supermarkets are offering incredibly low priced breakfasts for children and the elderly – just £1 a meal in some cases. Take advantage of that and stay longer to benefit from their heat, not heating your home.
Snuggle up – If there are a few at home, you could watch a film, all snuggled next to one another on the sofa, you’ll all share each others heat, most people who do this, end up turning the fire down.
Be vigilant – if you see anyone struggling, cold, under fed, do something immediately. If you are cooking food, make an extra plate for a neighbour, if you are doing washing and can afford to tumble dry offer to add a little bit of a neighbours into your cycle. If you are going somewhere, take a vulnerable neighbour with you.