With the surge in everyday prices the cost of living has seen the price of everyday items increase exponentially. Research shows that more than 9 in 10 people are now concerned about the higher cost of living, with 89% already noticing the effect on their finances.
The major price surge has been in energy and grocery bills where people are particularly feeling the pinch and nearly 6 in 10 anticipate that they’ll have to change their lifestyle to combat these price increases. Read on as we give our top tips on tackling the cost of living crisis with practical savvy ways to save money that can make a real difference.
Shop Wisely On Groceries
As food prices go up, grocery shopping has become the main concern for 57% of the population, and many people are already changing their behaviour to avoid those nasty shocks at checkout.
Cutting down on your food expenses:-
Planning meals in advance to save waste and stretch food further
Batch cooking and then freezing will help with this and save much-needed time on busy days
Have an organised fridge
Never go shopping when you’re hungry
Buy store own brands
Become loyalty card member
Make sure you are using every trick in the book as you shop to help bust inflation
Typical household energy bills expected to rise from £2,500 this winter to £3,000 next
Save on energy at home
Finding cheap energy tariffs has become virtually impossible at the moment but it doesn't mean you can not save on ways to use less energy that are also great on the environment, try the below and see your pockets increase that little extra.
Use Dimmable LEDs which are great on the environment too
Turn your thermostat down by one degree which will cut your bill by around 4% or £65 a year
Draught-proofing your home is another great money saving tip that will bring down your energy bill for a typical home by £30 a year
Reduce how much you use appliances and switch them off when not in use, try these little tips:-
Wash more clothes less often and on a cooler setting in the washing machine
Cut time spent in the shower
Avoid using the tumbler dryer
Fill the dishwasher completely before putting on a new wash
Watch out for ‘vampire devices’, like your Sky Box. These drain power even when they’re on standby
The Energy Saving trust estimates you can save £55 a year by switching them off when not in use.
Save money on fuel
With the increase talks about the cost of petrol lately which is at a record high, with fuel reaching 164.42p per litre and diesel reaching 189.02p per litre, means it costs around £90.43 to fill a 55-litre family car with petrol. An equivalent size diesel car would cost around £103.96 to fill, has seen a lot of people are stressed about how to get to work or drive the children to school without breaking the bank.
While an increase in fuel prices is unavoidable, there are small things you can do to make the fuel you buy go further:
Drive slower! Reduce your speed from 70mph to 60mph on the motorway could save you up to 25% in fuel. Trying to drive more smoothly, with less hard accelerating or breaking, will mean that your engine doesn’t have to work as hard, using less fuel as a result.
Lighten the load- Don’t use your boot for storage! If you have bikes, packed boxes or furniture kicking about in the boot, you could be increasing the amount of fuel your car uses. And of course, getting your car services regularly so it runs efficiently makes a big difference.
Track down your cheapest local fuel - Get into the habit of checking the prices on the board at all the petrol stations on your usual runs and make sure you fill up at the cheapest that day. The savings soon stack up. Download a petrol prices app too, then you can compare wherever you are. It really can make a difference – our researcher found petrol for 175p a litre within half a mile of another selling it at 166p!
If you're worried that you won't be able to pay your bills or cover the cost of essentials, there are resources available that can help you. Nick Hill, senior advice manager at the Money and Pensions Service, said:
“Now is the time to start checking whether you can manage, before you use credit for things like Christmas or everyday bills. If your income still falls short, you’re worried about your finances or credit commitments are becoming overwhelming, seek free help and guidance through our MoneyHelper service.”
Money Helper has tools that can help you manage your bills and find out what additional support, such as benefits, you may be entitled to. If you're already falling behind, their debt advice locator tool can help you find a debt adviser.
Listen To Podcast: S4 E8: The Cost Of Living - Are People Really Feeling The Pinch?