Ok, I like my luxuries but I am not one to waste money on essentials. I'd rather take that money and spend it on a holiday or nice meal out. That's why when I was asked if I wanted to work with Contact Numbers UK to promote their #ChallengeMyBills campaign I said yes.
The Challenge My Bills campaign looks at ways to save money on your utility bills. We all want to save money don't we, but sometimes it seems like a hassle to do it. Here are my top tips on easy ways to save money on your gas and electricity bills.
1. Wrap up
An old tip but a good tip is to wrap up when it's cold. Instead of putting the heating on, use your thermals, add an extra layer, put a cardigan on, pop your socks on and slippers. Why not get a blanket out if its exceptionally cold? You will be surprised at the difference this will make to your cosiness and your heating bills too.
2. Turn off
This means turning off the lights when you are out of a room, and turning off and unplugging electricals when not in use. When your phone is charged unplug it, you don't have to fully charge it at every moment. The Energy Saving Trust estimates you can save at least £30 a year but turning off appliances on standby.
3. Conserve water
A shower uses a third of the water of a bath, and this, in turn, can save you £18 a year on heating the water. Another way to conserve water is to use make sure any dripping tap is fixed as soon as possible. If it's dripping hot water think of it as pennies going down the drain, and those pennies can turn into pounds. If you are on a water meter this can cost you more too.
4. Draft proof
A simple but effective way to draft proof your home is to use old fashioned draft excluders on doors to stop the drafts and draft proof strips around your windows. In your loft, having effective and thick insulation can really help to stop heat escaping and save you money too. A quarter of your heat is lost through the roof in an un-insulated home. You may even be eligible for a grant for insulation so be sure to Google it!
5. Lower the temperature
Wash at a lower temperature, lower the thermostat on your home heating and rather than use a tumble dryer to dry do it the old fashioned way by using your line or a clothes airer. All this will save energy and in turn save you money.
6. Light the way
Energy saving lightbulbs although more expensive initially can save you money in the long term, as they last much longer and are more efficient. According to Which, replacing just one 60w bulb with a CFL bulb can save you £7 a year. If you think how many light bulbs you have in your home you can see how savings can be had.
7. Use your cooker effectively
Match the pan to the correct size hob, use all the layers in your steamer so your dinner will all cook at once, and batch cook your food so you use up all the oven shelves. I'm a big fan of my slow cooker which uses the energy of a lightbulb and makes tough cheap cuts of meat tender and delicious.
8. Question your tariff
Ring up your service provider and ask if you are on the best tariff. The Contact Numbers UK website has phone numbers for all the main service providers including British Gas, Southern Electric, NPower and more. They can tell you if you are on the right tariff for your usage, give advice on saving energy and help you set up a monthly direct debit which is the cheapest way to pay. If you have gas and electricity with the same provider that can save you money too so ask if they have any special deals.
Check out more energy saving ideas for your home on my blog post here. Do you have any tips on how to save money on your gas and electricity bills?
* in collaboration with Contact Numbers UK