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How to save money on your household bills

Senior woman holding a smart metre showing her home’s energy rating while trying to keep warm by a radiator.

Are you feeling squeezed by soaring living costs? If so, you’re not alone. The rising cost-of-living can put a strain on your finances, forcing you to stretch your budget further than usual.

While it’s easy to cut back on non-essential items to save money, it can be trickier to save on the essentials. However, with some planning, you can stretch your money further than you think and find ways to reduce your household bills.

To help get you started, we’ve pulled together some top tips to help you save money on your utility bills and other living expenses.

How to reduce your water bill

According to Discover Water (External), the average annual water bill is £448 a year, which is around £37 per month. Although you can’t switch water suppliers, if you have a water meter, there are various small changes you can implement to reduce your water bill with relatively little effort.

If you don't have a water meter, and you live in the North West, you can apply for a free water meter through United Utilities. Managing your household budget can be made easier by adopting a ‘pay-as-you-go’ method for your monthly bills. 

Most customers who switch save at least £100 a year and, once they’ve fitted your meter, you have up to two years to see how much you save before deciding whether to stay on meter charges. You can find out more by visiting the United Utilities website (External).

With a water meter installed, the below tips could help you reduce your bill over time. 

1.    Look out for leaks

Checking for leaks around your home is important to avoid watching your hard-earned cash go down the drain. Even small leaks, such as a dripping tap, can add up – in fact, it’s estimated that a single leak drips up to 10 drops of water every minute. That’s around three litres of water wasted every day!

By fixing leaky taps and toilets, you can not only save money on your water bill but also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing your home’s carbon footprint.

2.    Call time on your showers

The reason this tip is so popular is that it’s one of the most effective ways to reduce your water usage. Cutting down on baths and taking shorter showers can help make significant savings in your monthly household bills. You can also install low-flow showerheads to reduce the amount of water used per shower – a tiny change that can have a big impact.

3.    Turn off the taps

A lot of people tend to leave the tap running while washing dishes or brushing their teeth. It's important to conserve water by turning off the tap whenever possible, and only using what's necessary.

4.    Only wash a full load

It may be tempting to throw a few items in the washing machine or dishwasher when you’re in a hurry, but it's best to avoid doing small loads. Whether you're washing a half load or a full load, you'll still be using the same amount of water and energy, which means a smaller load won’t reduce your household bills. If possible, try and wait until you have a full load before switching on the washing machine or dishwasher.

5.    Buy a water butt

Ditch the hose pipe and take advantage of the UK’s rainy climate. Hosepipes use a lot of water, so buying a water butt to collect rainwater is much more cost-effective for watering your plants on warmer days. Both your budget and the environment will thank you.

How to reduce your energy bills

Switching energy companies has previously been a go-to step for reducing your monthly energy bills but in the current climate, it may be unlikely to save you money. However, there are a few easy changes you can make, and schemes you could apply to, that may help you cut your gas and electricity bills.

1.    Use your appliances efficiently

Whilst it may seem obvious, you’d be amazed at how often people leave their electronic devices on standby or fail to utilise energy-efficient settings. To maximise the performance of your appliances and reduce your energy costs, consider some of the following tips:

  • Wash your clothes at 30ºC, rather than 40ºC, as modern detergents can clean effectively at lower temperatures. This simple change can help you save money without compromising on cleanliness.
  • Wash bigger loads less often. Not only will this help cut down your energy use, but it can also help preserve the life of your clothes as over-washing can cause fading and misshaping.
  • Only run your dishwasher when full and stacked properly.
  • If your appliances have an eco-setting, be sure to use it!
  • Fully turn off appliances when not in use. According to Which (External), wireless speakers and sound bars alone can cost households around £6 per year if left on standby. Whilst it’s a small cost, this will soon add up when all your devices are left on standby.
  • When the weather permits, avoid the tumble dryer and dry clothing outdoors. You should also tumble dry different fabrics separately as they take different lengths of time to dry.
  • Finally, keep your appliances clean to ensure they run as efficiently as possible. For example, you should be descaling your kettle, defrosting your freezer and clearing your tumble dryer's lint filter regularly. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the current cleaning procedures.

2.    Take advantage of government support

The government is investing £12 billion in Help to Heat schemes to make sure homes are warmer and cheaper to heat. This includes the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and Home Upgrade Grants. You can find out more about the schemes available on the government’s website (External).

If you aren’t eligible for a scheme, there are other ways you can save energy and lower your bills, including draught-proofing windows and doors, and being savvy in the kitchen. The Energy Savings Trust website is a great place to start if you’re looking for useful tips and advice.

3.     Check your Council Tax band

According to MoneySavingExpert, thousands of homes are thought to be in the wrong Council Tax band, so it’s worth making sure you’re not being overcharged. You can read more about why you might be overpaying and how to challenge your Council Tax band on the MoneySavingExpert website (External).

4.     Pay your bills on time!

Make sure you pay your bills on time, as late payment fees can add up. To stay on top of your bills, consider paying by monthly Direct Debit, and keeping a note of your payments and when they’re made so you can make sure you have enough money in your account. If you’re really struggling, then talk to your provider as soon as possible.


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