Cost of living support Reducing your utility and food bills

Small changes can help reduce your gas, electric, water and food bills.

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Tips to reduce your utility bills

The best way to save money on your utility bills is to use less. Follow these simple tips to reduce wasted energy and water in your home.

  • Turn your thermostat down by one degree. This can save a typical household £100 a year.
  • Turn your heating off 30-45 minutes before you leave your home. The radiators will stay warm until you leave.
  • Install radiator panels to reflect heat usually lost into the wall back into the room. Radiator panels could save you £20 a year.
  • Move furniture away from radiators to improve heat distribution.
  • Keep the doors to rooms that you don’t use often closed. This can keep other rooms warmer for longer and reduce wasted energy.
  • Keep your curtains open during the day to let sunlight heat your home. Remember to close your curtains at dusk to help keep the heat in.
A person changing their boiler settings
  • Turn appliances off at the wall before you go to bed or leave your home. Turning off standby mode can save you around £55 a year.
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs. Each bulb can save you around £6 a year.
  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room to save around £20 a year.
  • Only use your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer when they’re full. A full load will use less electricity than two half loads.
  • Set your washing machine to eco mode or reduce the temperature to 30 degrees. Lower temperature washes use between 35-60% less energy than hot washes.
  • Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need to save around £11 a year.
  • When you need to replace appliances, try to choose energy-efficient models.
A chrome double plug socket with one black plug
  • If you have a dripping tap or leaking toilet, report it. A dripping tap can waste up to 80 litres of water a week and leaking toilets can waste between 200 and 400 litres a day.
  • Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you need.
  • Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth. A running tap can use 6 litres of water a minute.
  • If you can, take a shower instead of a bath. You can save more water by fitting an efficient shower head.
  • Install a water butt in your garden and use rainwater to water your plants.
  • Wash your dishes in a bowl instead of under a running tap.
  • Claim and install free water-saving devices from your water supplier. Visit Save Water, Save Money to find out what your supplier offers.
A hand holds a glass that's being filled with water from a kitchen tap

Tips to reduce your food bill

  • Plan your meals and write a list before you go shopping so you know exactly what you need to buy. This can help reduce impulse purchases, food waste, and stop you from going over budget.
  • If you have space, consider buying some items in bulk to save money. Things like tea, coffee, pasta, rice, toilet roll, washing powder/capsules, fabric conditioner and dishwasher tablets are often sold in bulk and work out much cheaper in the long run.
  • Consider eating less meat. You can make huge savings by swapping meat for plant-based protein sources like lentils, beans, seeds and nuts – even if it's only once or twice a week.
  • If you're buying premium or branded products, try supermarket brand alternatives. Paying more doesn't always get you higher quality.
  • Keep track of what you're throwing out each week and adjust your shopping list to reduce food waste.
  • Use a price comparison website like Trolley to make sure you're shopping at the cheapest supermarket.
  • Take advantage of supermarket loyalty schemes. The consumer website, Which, recently found that you'll save between 50p and £10 for every £100 you spend with the loyalty schemes on offer today. Read their guide to find out what loyalty schemes are available and how to get the most out of them.
  • Consider buying your fruit and veg from a local, independent shop – they're often cheaper than supermarkets.

Struggling to pay your bills?

You could be eligible for financial support from the government, your local council, your energy provider, and charitable organisations.

A woman using her laptop, while a man and young child are in the kitchen behind her