Christmas is one of the most joyful times of the year, where we get the chance to spend time with the people we love, eat heartily and drink merrily. We are also a nation who loves to swop presents, getting great pleasure out of seeing our children’s faces as they open their much desired gifts. However, this all comes at a cost and many people are left with hefty bills and credit cards to pay off in the New Year. The Money Shed want to help take the pressure off and over the coming weeks, in the lead up till Christmas, we’ll be offering you various ways to save, make, improvise and help others during this magical time.
This week’s topic centres on saving money during the winter months, so that you have more available money to spend on Christmas. Some of these ideas are simple and easy to implement, whilst others are slightly more extreme and might not be for everyone.
Top 6 ways to save money at Christmas
De-clutter your car:
In winter it’s important that you carry survival essentials such as a blanket and spade, however too much weight can use up expensive petrol. So if you have anything in your car that you don’t need on a daily basis, get rid. This could be things like roof racks, tool boxes or unused prams.
Cook on the cheap:
Everyone loves a warm home cooked meal to return to in the winter months. Investing in a slow cooker could in the long run save you a lot of money. A slow cooker whole chicken UK, although left on all day, actually uses much less energy than other cooking methods. You can also go and salvage all the products in the clearance section of the supermarket to throw in it. Also, many people choose to use cheaper cuts of meat, because these will always come out tender and tasty.
Insulate your house:
At the simplest end this includes putting curtains up over windows and doors that have a thick lining. Also tucking your curtains behind your radiators means that heat comes into your home rather than straight out the window. At its most expensive insulating your home means getting wall and loft insulation and double glazed windows. However, the government do offer a lot of schemes that can help towards the cost, or on occasion pay for it all.
Cut energy costs:
Most people know to turn lights off in rooms that aren’t being used, but did you know that new LED lights are much better at energy conservation that energy saving bulbs? Other tips are to only fill the kettle with as much water as you need, unplugging adaptors when not in use, turning the TV off at the wall and not leaving it on standby and charging your phone at work. Also, the government are rolling out free Smart Meters for gas and electricity which tells you how much money/energy you are using at any given time.
Turn the heating down:
It is important that your heating is high enough to avoid frozen pipes meaning it needs to be at 12 degrees minimum. To keep you warm in your home add extra layers of clothes, sit under a blanket watching TV and use hot water bottles in bed. Also using a portable electric heater means you can heat one room to a good temperature, without the costly price of heating your whole home. If you do put the central heating on, turn off all radiators in rooms you don’t use.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
An American tradition of selling products at very cheap prices is hitting our shores again this year. On November 28th big companies like Amazon will have massive reductions online. To take advantage you need to keep checking what items are coming up, the time they are released, and quickly adding it to your basket and checking out once live. If you plan ahead and get organised you can save a LOT of money this way.