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10 weird ways to save money on your household bills

Rebecca Rutt
by Lovemoney Staff Rebecca Rutt on 04 December 2012  |  Comments 7 comments

We've all heard about switching the lights off to save money but what else can you do to cut costs?

10 weird ways to save money on your household bills

Household bills have shot up this year, but along with the normal money saving methods like switching suppliers or turning down the thermostat, what else can you do to save money?

From washing your clothes on a lower temperature to having showers instead of baths, there are thousands of ways to save money on your bills

But have you ever considered self-heating pyjamas or tuning your own TV to save money? Possibly not. Here are 10 alternative ways to save you money.  

1. Self-heating pyjamas

These new pyjamas, which cost from £5, have been created by Asda to try and keep us warm through the winter and also save us some money.

The supermarket claims these PJs can knock around £60 a year from a heating bill. What makes them warm is how they’re made. The fabric is weaved with “yarn-based fibre technology”, which is designed to pick up the skin’s moisture and convert it to heat energy, reflecting back into the skin to heat us up.

2. Cook with the lids on

If there are lids on your pots and pans the food will cook quicker because the heat can’t escape. Cutting up food into smaller pieces will also speed up cooking time.

3. Save rainwater

Using empty pots or a water butt in the garden is a good way of saving water. This can then be used to water your plants or car and will reduce the amount you’re spending on water if you have a meter. Bath water can also be saved and used for flushing the toilet or watering your plants.

4. Improve your radiators

Instead of heating the whole house with one setting, set the thermostat on individual radiators. This way you can control how each room is heated so a spare room, for example, which doesn’t get much use isn’t being unnecessarily heated.

Radiator reflectors will also save you money, such as those from Radflek. They work by reflecting heat back into the room which reduces heat leaking into the outside walls by 45%.

5.Only wash with a full load

This rule applies to washing in a dishwasher and your washing machine. If you make sure you only run a wash cycle with a full load you'll not only save water and electricity but this will also help towards reducing wear and tear on your machines.

6. Pay your bills in bulk

Paying your bills in one go is almost always cheaper. For example, paying for line rental with Virgin Media costs £14.99 a month but if you pay in bulk it’s £120 for a year, for new customers, which is a saving of £59.88.

7. Tune your TV

Turning down the brightness and contrast of your TV could save around £100 a year, according to HDTVTest.co.uk.

When you buy a TV the brightness and contrast is normally altered and can be around 40% higher than necessary for most homes. By turning these down you can save money on your energy bill, be more energy efficient and you’re also likely to get a better picture quality.

8. Put a brick in your toilet cistern

This is a bit of an old wives tale but does seem to work. If you put a brick (or any other large object, like a milk bottle) into the cistern of your toilet, it means it stores less water and therefore uses less for each flush.

This can reduce the amount of water you use as a household – which will save you money especially if you have a water meter. If you go for the brick option make sure you wrap it in bubble wrap first to stop it eroding too quickly.

9. Turn the oven off

Just before your food is about to finish cooking turn off the oven. The food will cook in the residual heat and if you get into a habit of doing this it can save you money. Using a microwave also takes less time and uses less energy.

10. Take eco showers

An eco-shower head, which you can use on non-electric showers, costs around £27 and can save a family of four around £72 a year on heating and £78 on water bills, with a water meter. These can be bought at a local hardware store, such as Homebase, or online.

Do you know any better alternative tips for saving money around the house? Let me know in the box below.

More on saving money:

How to save money on your food shopping

How to cut the cost of your cinema tickets

Furnish your home for less

Recycle your things for cash!

Twelve good, cheap Christmas gift ideas

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Comments (7)

  • marram
    Love rating 49
    marram said

    @mike10613, I love your posts! And I totally agree with your gas recommendation. I hate cooking with electricity - it takes so long to get to temperature. Must be more wasteful.

    When I had some work done in the kitchen, I asked them to take away the kitchen radiator but they refused. I've never had a heated kitchen before, it's a waste of time as I cook every single day and the kitchen is always warm when I need it to be, plus it's cool between which is good for the food, don't really need to refrigerate butter etc if the kitchen is cool.

    I don't believe you would save anything like £100 a year as most TVs nowadays are energy-saving anyway. By the way, I think you mean ADJUSTING your TV, not tuning it. You confused me.

    How much does it cost to run an electronic programmable radiator thermostat...? only joking. Good idea. Any idea how long it might be before it is cost-effective? I'm sure some maths whizz-kid can work that out.

    Report on 06 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves
  • PoohBah
    Love rating 23
    PoohBah said

    I save water in my (old) toilet cistern with two 500ml soft drink bottles. Just remove the paper label, fill to the brim with cold water, fit and forget. I agree that in a newer cistern it might not be so effective, and do make sure you don't obstruct any of the workings. I don't suppose it saves me more than the odd few pennies, but it cost nothing to install.

    Don't waste gas or electricity by heating plates under the grill: use them for a minute or so instead of a saucepan lid (but watch you don't scald your fingers when removing them).

    Put the crust end of a loaf back to prevent the exposed cut surface from going stale.

    You don't have to turn a radiator 'stat right off: in a continually unoccupied room such a spare bedroom or boxroom just leave it on the frost setting or marginally above. Internal draught proofing is not really an issue: just keeping the door closed should be quite sufficient unless you are the sort who removes his watch battery at night to save money.

    @JRAY: saving water also implies environmental concern: very important in some parts of the country where supplies can be iffy (not where I live, BTW, but I do have a meter).

    Report on 07 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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