According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 5.1% in the 12 months to November 2021, up from 4.2% in October. The cost of petrol, mortgages and energy bills is also soaring, meaning that if you haven’t already started to dip into your savings, you could find yourself doing so this winter.
Here’s are seven ways you can cut costs this winter and offset the impact of rising inflation.
1. Eat out less
Eating out can be pretty expensive these days. In fact, Scottish Friendly surveyed 2,000 Brits and found that 46% have decided to cut costs this winter by eating out less often.
If you can’t avoid it, try to minimise the number of times you eat out or find cheaper places to eat. You could also try taking homemade food with you if you know you’ll need to eat while you’re out.
2. Find cheaper brands, stores or supermarkets
It’s no secret that your favourite brands are likely to be more expensive than alternatives you’ll find on the supermarket shelves. Switching to cheaper brands can have a big impact on your weekly shopping bill.
You might need to do some research, including visiting different stores physically. Make a list of staple items you frequently buy and compare their prices. You’ll undoubtedly find that a particular store, supermarket or brand is cheaper, and that switching could help you save your hard-earned money.
3. Cut back on luxuries or treats
Though luxuries give us a short-term sense of satisfaction, we can live without them – especially if they harm our finances.
Christmas is around the corner, and it’s common to spend on luxurious items. If you’re finding that money is increasingly tight, try to look for cheaper ways to enjoy the festive season. Examples include cutting down the amount of food you buy – let’s be honest, there are always mountains of leftovers to get through – and agreeing a budget for Christmas gifts with friends and family.
4. Turn on the heating only when necessary
It’s important to understand your home heating needs. This means knowing how much energy is required to heat your home. Experts at the Energy Saving Trust recommend having the heating on only when you need it and not longer.
This could mean experimenting with switching the heating off an hour earlier in the morning or evening and seeing if the temperature remains high enough until you go to work or head to bed.
5. Switch to cheaper energy and insurance providers
You’ll need to compare deals from different suppliers before you switch. A comparison website can be an excellent place to start, but you could also phone different suppliers. However, before you switch, it’s usually recommended that you first ask your current supplier to match the better deal you’ve found. It could save you time and effort.
6. Cut unused monthly subscriptions
It’s not uncommon to find that you’re paying for something you don’t really use or won’t need for a few months. Examples can be entertainment services or gym membership.
Review the services you’re currently paying for and determine which ones you can cut back on. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save during these challenging times.
7. Reduce your regular savings and investments
Evaluate your financial position to find out how much you can reduce your regular savings and investments without severely impacting your goals. You can even opt for irregular payments for a short period of time while you focus on more immediate financial needs. Then, when things improve, you can return to regular payments.
The post 7 ways to cut costs this winter as inflation continues to rise appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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