How to save money on food, essentials and bills

How to save money on food, essentials and bills

by CSA System

Posted on Friday 8th April 2022

After being hit by a pandemic, we are now facing more distressing times that, for some of us, will force us to choose between eating or heating.

This is why, as many homes are being impacted by the cost of living crisis, we thought we would share a few tips on how to make the best out of a truly horrible situation. We just hope this will help make your life a little easier. 

In the meantime, here's what Martin Newman suggests you can do to keep yourself warm, fed, and on top of your bills:

Get yourself warm and cozy:

Martin Lewis’ advice is to try and keep “the human warm not the home”. This is a sensible solution. However, our founder Martin Newman urges people to bear in mind that not heating your home can lead to damage such as frozen pipes, in results leading in thousands of pounds in repair.

He also appreciates that not heating your home can also have an impact on your mental health, so please keep this in mind and think about your well-being first!

Age UK also recommends that older people be as warm as possible as often as possible. Easier said than done, but it could also be interesting for you to double-check with them and see whether or not you can apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

What can get you warm at a lower cost?

A hot water bottle is a good start. Some of them can also take different shapes to accommodate you. As we’re writing this article, Dunelm proposes hot water bottles as cheap as £2.50

You can also go for a heated electric blanket. Prices are around £25 if you look on Amazon

Do you know what TOG is? TOG stands for “Thermal Overall Grade” and is a unit of measurement used to calculate the isolation of a product. The highest TOG is 13.5. That’s one thick duvet.

You can get such duvet from Argos and for £13 for a double (as time of writing).

Another item that does not require electricity is these foot warmers. Simply slide them into your shoes (DO NOT use them barefoot! You need a pair of socks for protection!) after opening and they will start getting warm after getting in contact with air, thanks to their iron, activated carbon and water. It says to last up to 10 hours of use.

You can also use thermal (or ski) socks that will isolate the heat whilst still being comfortable to wear. Decathlon’s socks start at £4 whilst M&S gets you 2 pairs for £10.

Food and essentials:

The idea of not being able to put food on the table is a soul-crushing one. But don’t worry: you’re not alone as your local food bank can do something to help you.

We often think of them as charities that will only provide can food, dry pasta or digestive biscuits. However, a lot of them take dietary requirements into account, i.e., for a medical or belief reason. They also keep in mind that treating people with a chocolate bar or two is often what makes their life a little easier. So don’t feel ashamed in asking for their help.

An app like OLIO can also be used to get surplus food for free. In fact, back in 2020, they teamed up with Tesco so that their stocks would not go to waste. You can download OLIO for Android here and for iOS here.

Another app you can use is Too Good To Go. This app allows you to check the restaurants, bakeries and coffeeshops within your area to determine what surplus meals they have available for you to buy at a heavily discounted price.

If you’ve got Facebook, we cannot recommend you enough to check these guys out! These people are amazing bargain hunters, and they will share their own tips and tricks to get essentials at the cheapest price, or sometimes even for free! You can find them here and here

As we said at the beginning of our article, we hope that these tips can help you make your life a little easier.

In the meantime, should you encounter customer issues after buying anything offline or online, do send us your complaint so that we can help you get a good resolution for free.