Easy ways to cut your fuel bills

Easy Ways to Cut Your Fuel Bills

For many families, keeping the bills paid is a bit of a headache. In the winter, the fact that you need to have the heating on makes things even harder. With this in mind, I thought I would save a few ways you can potentially use to keep your heating bill down. After a bit of research, here are the best ideas I have found.

Shop around for the best deal

Without a doubt, shopping around for the best deal is the most important step you can take. For those of you who heat your home using gas or electric, there are plenty of comparison websites you can use to find the best tariff for you. If your boiler uses heating oil the ´save even more´ section of the Super Saver Oil website contains guidance on getting the best deal.

Insulation is key

Insulating your home properly is the key to keeping your heating bills down. The latest studies show that the owners of an average three bedroom family home can save around £310 just by insulating their loft and walls. You can find out about the various kinds that are available, by reading this article. It also covers the subject of floor insulation.

Stop heating space you do not use much

If you have rooms you only use for storage, turn the radiators off. There is no point in heating spaces that you do not use. However, it is wise to periodically open the door and check that turning that turning the heat off completely is not leading to mould problems. If the room starts to smell musty, turn the heat on low for a few hours, once or twice a month.

For some families, a smart thermometer that can be controlled remotely may be a good investment. You can still set your heating to come on and turn off at certain times of the day. But, if you have to stay late at work you can remotely change the time your heating comes on to accommodate this fact. Being able to do this ensures that you do not waste money heating an empty house.

Sort out your draughts

Even if your home has been insulated you can still lose a significant amount of heat from the gaps between your windows, doors and walls. Therefore, every winter, it makes sense to go around your home sorting out any draughty spots. The materials you need to sort out most issues need not cost you a lot of money and you only need minimal DIY skills to do the work yourself. So, you will not have to worry about labor costs.

Once you have filled any gaps between your exterior doors, windows and walls you can move on to sorting out the draughts inside your home. This is particularly important if you do not heat certain rooms or your hallway. You do not want heat leaking from your living room into the corridor or hall.

Ensure the heat can move freely around the room

If you have large items of furniture located in front of your radiators, move them back a bit. This will ensure that you make the most of the heat that is available by ensuring it circulates rather than getting absorbed by a large sofa.

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Surviving the perils of the festive season

Surviving the perils of the festive season

The Christmas and New Year period is a time of highs and lows. We go into it with such high expectations, and although most of us succeed in bringing some of that Christmas magic that the TV tells us about into our homes, when things go wrong, they do so in big style.

Speaking of the TV, everyone’s favourite soaps, EastEnders and Coronation Street are seen as something of an exaggerated or intensified reflection on real life. And there you see it all distilled – families united in love, laughter, happiness, tears, divorce, murder and train crashes. And it all happens on Christmas day.

Of course, in your home or mine, the divorce and murders are muttered threats, and the train crash is of the metaphorical variety, but there is little doubt that many of us come out the other end of the holiday period needing a holiday. Here are some survival tips to keep you going.

1) A little space

Some disclosure, here, the phrase “me time,” is one that makes me cringe, but you definitely need a little space to yourself from time to time. I had a friend who went to a construction sign company and bought one of those free-standing DO NOT ENTER signs that she was able to carry around with her to block doors to the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and so on. It was done in fun, but I think it’s the best £20 or so she ever spent!

2) Share the joy

A phrase that I’m much more fond of is many hands make light work. When you are trying to get things done with the kids under your feet, you get grouchy, they get needy and it all ends in tears. Even the smallest ones can put those tiny hands to good use if you find them something interesting to do – and if it helps you to get the job done, that makes it a win / win! Mixing ingredients in the kitchen, looking up a “useful” recipe tutorial for you on YouTube or creating that perfect dance routine to show the grandparents when they turn up are all highly valuable tasks that they can take from your shoulders!

3) Prioritise

There’s lots going on, we all know that, but if you try to do everything, you will be exhausted, the kids will be over-stimulated and nobody will end up having a good time. Take a step back and think about what is really important. Saying “Sorry, we really won’t have time,” is not going to make you sound like a miserable person or a bad parent – after all, at this time of year, you’d quite understand if someone said that to you, right?

Rest, sleep and downtime are even more important over the Christmas and New Year period than at other times, so make a point of including them in the schedule – for the adults as well as the kids. Have a wonderful, and peaceful, holiday season.

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