Whether you’re a first-time buyer and have little cash to spare, or you have a family to feed and care for, monthly expenses can become a little daunting. However, making small changes around the house and in our daily routines can have a significant impact on our financial situation. Being wise with your money can go a long way, and that’s why you should seriously consider thinking about how you are going to spend your money to figure out ways to save. To lend you a helping hand, we have found the best money saving tips to keep your monthly bills low while you can still go out and enjoy yourself!
The Best Money Saving Tips: Ampower’s Top 6
Particularly when you own a home, there are a stack of things each month that require you to put your hand in your pocket. Everything from your monthly bill and weekly food shop, to treating yourself and finding an expensive leak in the roof. While some things may be unpredictable and out of your control, making adjustments here and there can help you to save money for when the unexpected happens.
Small things like taking your time to find the best deals and checking reviews before you purchase expensive items, can have a good impact on your finances. Why not consider our top six money saving tips:
- Save On Energy Bills
- Use Price Comparison Websites
- Loyalty Cards
- Plan Expenses
- Budget Food Shopping
- Lower Vehicle Expenses
One of the most terrifying things as a homeowner is to have your monthly energy bill come through the post to find that you have overdone it on the long showers and heating up your cold home. However, there are plenty of ways to not only keep your energy bill down and help the environment, but also to help you manage the amount of cash you have to spend at the end of each month. Here are some handy ways to save on your energy bill:
A lot of homeowners don’t have the time to be searching through hundreds of energy providers, so often stick with the same one each year. This can be damaging in terms of the amount you are spending, as your provider may have increased their rates, or the energy that they use isn’t efficient or cost-effective. Before your energy plan is up for renewal, it is always important to make sure that you spend just 20 minutes looking around the internet to find the best deals suited to your needs.
Ampower provides both home gas plans and home electricity plans that allow clients to monitor the amount they are spending to make good decisions and change the way they use energy. These plans are customised for every client, ensuring that they can make the most out of their energy bills. Not only this, but clients see on average of around £250 savings on their annual energy bills, which could be saved for moving house, or treating yourself to a few new wardrobe items. The reason Ampower can provide lower energy bills is because we mostly use renewable energy. Renewable energy is produced through natural elements, such as wind, water or solar power. To save you even more money, Ampower can also provide clients with solar panels a battery, which stores all of the energy that your home doesn’t use, and saves it for those rainy days when solar energy is less efficient. Feel free to contact the team if you would like to know more about our energy and how we can devise a bespoke plan for your home.
There are hundreds of energy-saving products available and at a fairly reasonable price. Some of these products are simply to replace ones that you may have around the house, but can make a significant difference to your energy bill. Some examples of the many energy-saving products you can purchase include:
- LED Lights – While they may be a little more expensive to purchase, LED lights can last up to 25,000 hours, which is pretty impressive compared to their fluorescent counterparts only lasting around 7,000 hours. Luckily, you don’t even have to compromise on styles or brightness, as LED lights come in various shapes and sizes, as well as colours!
- Plug Timers – How many times have you left the house and forgot to turn off your appliances or unplug your phone charger? Well, thanks to plug timmers, you can now set timers for electricity to stop transmitting to your appliances, allowing you to save money.
- Radiator Reflector – A lot of heat can be wasted as it doesn’t project across the room; this can cause you to turn up the heating and, therefore, increase your energy bills. Radiator reflectors are a great way to push the heat across the room, making it feel warmer.
- Shower Head – The shower head that you have can be wasting water, but did you know that you can purchase a water-saving shower head that is just as powerful, if not more, as the one you have now? Water-saving showerheads can help you to reduce your water bill, which is handy if you have lots of people in the house taking showers.
- Energy Star Appliances – If you don’t already, then you should try to purchase Energy Star Appliances; this is everything from your microwave to your fridge. These appliances use less energy and can, inevitably, save you a lot of money in the years to come.
One of the hardest things is to monitor the amount of energy you are using, whether this is a simple app to show you how much energy is being used throughout the day, or one that actually helps you to set times for heating to be turned on. During the winter, the last thing you want is to come home to a freezing cold house, but turning your heating on lower throughout the day is going to cost you. Devices such as a smart thermostat allow you to set a temperature for your home at a specific time of the day, turning off as you leave work and back on an hour before you return. Take a look at Tech Hive’s reviews for the best thermostat for your home.
While you may not realise it, draughts can have a significant impact on your energy bills. If you’re feeling a little chilly, then your first thing to do is turn up the heating, which can be damaging when in lockdown, as you could be spending all day with the heating on. Locating draughts can help you to identify where your warm air is escaping, and fixing these draughts can help you to keep your energy usage low. For a quick fix, you can use draught excluders to add some decor to your home, or purchase some foam tape to place around the areas you can feel a slight breeze.
Once lockdown is over, or measures have been relaxed, you can then contact your local window installers to help you find the perfect window for your home. If your home hasn’t had new windows fitted for a while, then you could find that they are the source of your problems. Older homes tend to have single-glazing, which can cause noise to enter the home as well as allow heat to travel out the home. Ensure that you purchase good quality windows such as those found on Crown Windows & Doors, and make sure that they also have double glazing technology for maximising energy-saving results!
Your plumbing may also cause your energy bills to rise, and it is important to make sure that you have repairs made and even a new boiler installed if necessary. When boilers become old, they do not work as efficiently, which can cause more energy to be used in order to heat up your home. We would advise having your plumbing and boiler systems checked by a professional so that they can gauge whether a full replacement is needed, or simple repairs are required. Luckily, reputable plumbers such as Bishop Plumbing & Heating are still operating services such as boiler repairs in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.
Although it may be a little tedious, using price comparison sites for any insurance can help you to save a lot of money. While you don’t necessarily have to purchase your insurance through these sites, it can give you a good idea of how much you can save by switching your insurance provider. For example, Compare The Market has all sorts of insurance services such as pet insurance or business insurance; not only this, but they also have comparison facilities for loans, mobile phones and mortgages. The Money Advice has put together a helpful guide on how you can use comparison sites to your advantage. We would highly recommend taking a look at various sites, as you will be surprised how much money you can save simply by looking.
Whether it is your favourite beauty shop or local supermarket, loyalty cards are a great way to save up some points for later use. Most, if not all shops, will have a loyalty card system, which usually works by scanning a card when you make a purchase, which will add points that you can save up to spend later. Not only this, but many loyalty cards will give you a discount when you first sign up or member-exclusive discounts. For example, The Body Shop will give you £5 vouchers on your birthday when you sign up, and Superdrug offers free delivery when you spend just £10 as a Health & Beauty card member, which is ideal during the current circumstances.
Planning and staying organised is key for a stress-free experience, particularly when having to shop during the lockdown. Everything from monthly bills to your food shop should be planned so that you know exactly how much you have to spend and how much you will have leftover. It is always important that you factor in accidents or emergencies, as you will need to leave money aside in case the worst-case scenario occurs.
We would suggest making a list of all the things you know you will need to pay for throughout the month and add up a total of how much it will cost you the day before you are going to be paid. Remember also to include any payments that while you may not need to make them monthly, will pop up during the month.
SaveAndInvest.org has a helpful article about how you can monitor your finances to help you predict how much you will be spending and how to save money.
Food shopping has become the highlight for many while in lockdown, as it is often the only chance that you can get out of the house for a change of scenery. While making sure that you keep your two-metre distance from others, you can also save a considerable amount of money when doing your food shop. Supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi, for example, are perfect for budget shopping, as a lot of their products are own brand and at a lower price. Speaking of own brand, you may be used to getting your luxury items, but these can often cost twice, if not more, than own-brand food. Things such as biscuits and pasta practically taste the same as those big brands you pay for, and according to The Money Page switching to own brands can save you around £1,200 a year, which is astonishing.
There are also a number of ways you can make sure that your shopping trolley doesn’t end up costing you a fortune. Some handy tips and tricks for food shopping include:
- Make A List – plan your meals before you head off to the supermarket and make a list of all the things that you actually need; this will help you to buy unnecessary things, or items that you already have at home.
- Loyalty Cards – as we have already discussed, loyalty cards can give you a huge advantage when saving money, so be sure to sign up online to your local supermarket membership cards.
- Make Your Own – fakeaways are taking the country by storm, with millions trying out new recipes and baking up some delicious cakes. Buying premade products, particularly ready meals, can add up to a lot of money, which you can easily save by trying to make it yourself – and it will taste a lot nicer and healthier.
- Don’t Always Go For Discounts – annoyingly, supermarkets can often put discounts on products to catch you out, so make sure to take your time when shopping and look at the different prices. Often, multipacks have discounts, and while it may look appealing, it can actually cost you more than if you were to buy multiple single packs.
Please remember to think of others when purchasing food, as while there may no longer be restrictions on the amount you can purchase in some supermarkets, there will be others that also require the same products as you. If possible, buy for those in your neighbourhood that are unable to leave home, as we can fight this virus by working together!
Lockdown has had one good impact on your outgoings, as vehicles are hardly used due to working from home, you have probably noticed that your monthly outgoings have dropped as you no longer have to pay for petrol. However, there are also some other ways you can save money with a car after quarantine, including:
- Switching to a greener car – they’re environmentally friendly, cheaper to run, have a lower tax rate, and in some cases, the government will give you incentives for purchasing a green vehicle.
- Use cheaper car parts – when a vehicle model has been out for a few years, cheaper parts are allowed to go into production. Instead of opting for the expensive parts, look around to see if you can change a headlight for a fraction of the cost.
- Dont buy the most expensive car – you can always upgrade the car yourself by purchasing a sat-nav rather than opting to have one installed with the car.
- EV charging providers – make sure that you find a cost-effective EV charging for your green car, by opting for a provider that uses green energy.
Saving Money During Lockdown
While it may be a daunting time, lockdown is the perfect opportunity to try and save some money and look for good deals. It may seem like a tedious task to change all of your light bulbs and look online for the best insurance and energy providers, but it will be well worth the while when you save hundreds, if not thousands on your yearly outgoings. For a range of home electricity and gas solutions, please feel free to speak with the team, who are working hard during lockdown to ensure that you can still make the most out of your energy usage and lower your energy bill.