7 ways to save money on household bills
Paying a fortune in household bills can seem like just another fact of life, but saving real money on everyday expenses is a lot more achievable than you might think.
Now that we’re experiencing an energy crisis in the UK, saving money on your utilities has been temporarily removed as an option. As long as you are willing to put in a little bit of effort to cut costs, however, there are definitely savings to be made elsewhere.
In this guide, we’ve put together 7 tips to help you save some money on everyday household costs. First, though, let’s take a look at why so many people have been struggling to switch energy suppliers recently.
What is happening to energy bills in the UK and why can’t I switch supplier?
A variety of factors have Households with average energy consumption who were on the most inexpensive gas and electricity plans paid about £800 per year on a variable rate plan twelve months ago, while those selecting for the best 12-month fixed term paid £817.
Customers who were formerly nervous about their vendor’s stability now face an anxious wait to see whether it survives. They’ll have to increase prices if it doesn’t, just as the weather begins to get colder.
The anxiety that rises prices have caused in the market has resulted in lots of people looking to switch suppliers and save money. So many people were switching that many big energy suppliers have decided they’ll no longer be accepting new customers, leaving many people paying over the odds.
So how do I save money elsewhere?
Since switching energy suppliers is no longer an option, we’ve come up with a list of 7 ways you can save money elsewhere in your household bills while we wait for the UK energy crisis to settle down.
1. Use a price comparison site
No matter whether you’re looking to save money on your broadband, your electricity, or your weekly shop, you can’t be sure you’re getting the best deal without shopping around first.
Price comparison sites let you compare a range of different suppliers and prices for a product or service. They only take a few minutes to use, and can help you compare prices from hundreds of suppliers at the click of a button.
This allows you to make sure you’re always getting the best deal for you. Sites like Compare the Market, Money Supermarket, and GoCompare can save you as much as £140 per year on broadband and other services.
2. Find a broadband deal that matches your usage
Given that we live in the information age, choosing the right broadband package is essential to making savings on your household bills.
Similar to your utilities, their are fixed-price broadband offers available that will mean you are charged the same amount each month regardless of your usage. A clever alternative, however, is to choose a broadband plan that is tied to your usage.
The advantage of this kind of broadband plan is obvious – you only pay for exactly what you use. The fixed-price model can leave you with expensive charges if you don’t make regular use of your broadband.
By paying for your usage only, you can’t pay over the odds. Some months may cost more than others, but the cost will even itself out over the course of the year, and could save you money overall.
3. Look for family phone deals
If you have a partner and kids, the chances are sooner or later everyone in your household will have a mobile phone. And that means everyone will also have a mobile phone bill that needs to be paid at the end of the month.
If you’re the bill-payer in this situation, it may be time to consider a family phone tariff. Family plans allow you to link between two and 20 mobile phones to one contract, so no matter how big your family is, there’s a mobile plan to cover you.
There’s also a financial benefit to a family mobile plan. Not only is it easier to avoid late fees and penalties from juggling multiple contracts, you can actually get a discount of between 10 and 50% on each contract you add to the plan – the more people you add, the more you save.
4. Talk to your provider over the phone
This tip is simple, but effective. Whether you’re looking to save money on your internet or your utilities, the journey to making savings often starts with you picking up the phone.
In a world of texts and instant messaging, you can forget how powerful it is to talk to another person one-to-one, explain what your issue is, and apply a little (gentle!) pressure to see if there’s any way you can get a better deal.
Your provider is unlikely to offer you a price cut out of the goodness of their heart. But when you take the initiative and deal with them one-to-one, you’ll often be surprised how accommodating they can be.
5. Look into installing a water meter
A water meter is a tool used to measure the amount of water flowing through your pipes, and it’s installed in most properties with piped running water.
When you have a new property built or move into an existing one that has mains-supplied piped hot and cold running water, there will be no need for a separate water meter, as it will be included in the new build.
By installing a water meter on my household bills, I saved money because I was able to monitor how much water we were using each month and make sure that no one exceeded their usage allowance – which would result in expensive charges for exceeding our limits or running up huge tab at the end of the month.
6. Cancel subscriptions you don’t use
It’s often the case that people subscribe to services they don’t need or use. Whether this is due to an initial discount offer, or just a subscription coming as part of your broadband deal – over time you may be paying for things you simply don’t need.
There are probably services you know you could cancel today without it having a negative impact on your life – but it could have a really positive impact on your bank balance at the end of the month.
Many subscription services rely on customers being too passive – you want to cancel that gym membership, but it seems like too much of a hassle.
That’s when you need to be brutal. If you’re not getting any value out of a subscription, get rid of it. Your bank account will thank you.
7. Buy in bulk and batch-cook your food
Eating out can be expensive, and if you don’t properly plan out your meals for the week, eating in often isn’t much cheaper. That’s why it pays to batch-cook.
Batch cooking is the practice of preparing several days’ worth of meals for your family or yourself in one go, to save time and reduce food wastage.
By setting aside one night a week to make your meals for the rest of the week, you can make sure you have a plan for every meal and that you’re not letting good ingredients go to waste.
It will also prevent you from spending as much money on expensive convenience foods like ready meals, which are often more costly than the ingredients you’d need to make them from scratch. A win-win.
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