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Winter money-saving tips

Mum And Daughter Wearing Bobble Hats And Scarfs In Snow

During the winter months, our wallets can often feel the strain of seasonal spending in lots of different areas. So, we’ve gathered a bunch of money-saving tips to help you spend less this winter. We'll cover everything from practical tips and creative ideas for the home and festive period to saving money on bills.

This time of year, may bring a chill, but with some planning and by following tried and tested tips, you can enjoy the season without breaking the bank.

Jump to:
Keeping warm on a budget
Cutting Christmas costs
How to save money in winter at home

Keeping warm on a budget

Heating expenses often rank among the highest bills, especially during the autumn and winter months. To reduce rising costs and become a more energy-efficient household, consider the following tips:

1. Layer up your clothing:
Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, opt for layered clothing to stay warm without relying solely on the heating. 

2. Embrace cosy alternatives:
Use heated blankets, hot water bottles and heated hand warmers to provide warmth and comfort without cranking up the thermostat. If you do choose to use a hot water bottle or electrical heaters, make sure you follow our tips to safely keep warm this winter.

3. Energise with exercise:
Find free online exercise classes to boost circulation and generate internal warmth. Physical activity contributes to personal well-being and helps regulate body temperature.

4. Seal out the chill:
Draught-proof your home by identifying and addressing any gaps where cold air can leak into windows or doors. We’ve got a full guide on draught-proofing tips for your home so that you can prevent cold air from infiltrating your spaces.
5. Strategic heating:
Keep your heating system on a low setting to maintain a comfortable temperature without unnecessary energy consumption. Adjusting the thermostat wisely can significantly impact overall costs.

6. Research for resources and support
Check with your local council or the Government website as you may be eligible for various types of support to help you and your family keep warm and safe this winter.

In response to the significant demand for support last year, Places for People has compiled a comprehensive list of winter help, resources, and support. As part of our commitment to supporting those in greatest need, we’re offering Heating Vouchers for eligible Customers. For more information, contact our Customer Contact Centre on 01772 667002.

Mugs Of Hot Chocolate With Marshmallows

Cutting Christmas costs

Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive to be special. Before diving into spending, it can be a great idea to establish a budget and allocate funds to cover the gifts and festive treats you want, to help keep your spends on track.

Have a go at making your own decorations - use dried oranges, foraged pine cones, ribbon or homemade pom poms for garlands and wreaths to hang around your home. 

Consider opting out of extensive gift-giving to extended family and friends and keep a lookout on sites like Money Saving Expert, Vinted and Groupon* for tips, funky second-hand pieces and discounts. Take advantage of slashed prices when you spot them, but remember to only spend what you planned to and don’t be too tempted to buy items that weren’t on your original list just because they’re discounted.

Resist the urge to overspend on premium holiday foods. Stick to trusted favourites rather than succumbing to the hype of pricier brands and make sure you’re not buying larger quantities of food than you need. It’s so easy to add extra items to your shopping trolley at this time of year, but having a meal plan and sticking to a list when doing the Christmas food shop can make a big difference to how much you spend. 

When shopping online, ensure you're happy with your purchase before wrapping it. Testing that it works or looks as expected can be a good idea. This is because the standard 14-day return period offered by many retailers might expire by the time the recipient opens their gift, so be mindful of store policies and potential extensions during the gift-giving season.

If you're travelling by train for the holidays, book your tickets well in advance to secure the best prices. Sign up for alerts from rail companies to stay informed about ticket releases.

Read more of our top tips for saving money at Christmas.

How to save money in winter at home

Ceramic House Wrapped In Red Scarf

We’ve already mentioned some cost-effective ways to stay warmer at home without spending more on heating bills, but there are other ways you can save money and energy at home too. These include:

  • Wait until washing machines or dishwashers are full before running a cycle, and use eco settings (if available) whenever possible. You might also want to take a look at our clever ways to dry your clothes indoors.
  • Save leftovers from meals to eat another day, but make sure you let them cool fully before putting them in the fridge or freezer, so the appliances won’t have to work any harder than necessary.
  • Make changes to the way that you make your meals, such as using less meat and more lentils and pulses so that you still get the protein you need. Vegetarian mince and other meat-free alternatives can often be cheaper than meat and taste great in bolognese, casseroles, chilli-con-carne, stews and soups. These are all great meals for cold winter days.
  • Planning your meals ahead of time and using economical methods to make them can make a big difference. Our guide on how to save energy when cooking might be helpful.
  • Use apps to save on food costs. There are several apps available that can give you access to heavily discounted or even free food, which reduces waste and can also help you save money. Two of the most popular are ‘Too Good To Go’, which involves buying a ‘surprise’ bag of discounted food from a shop or restaurant near you that would otherwise go to waste, and Olio, which is an app that shows you if any of your neighbours or people in your local Community have unwanted food or other goods to give away.*
  • Consider buying refurbished or second-hand goods. If you’re in the market for new electronics as festive gifts for loved ones or for yourself, many retailers now offer refurbished goods (usually products that have been previously sold and returned) that can bring big savings on the standard price, and you still get the benefit and peace of mind of a warranty. For clothes and accessories, buying second-hand is becoming more and more popular, as it not only saves money but is also a much more sustainable way to shop. You can also sell on marketplace apps and websites as well as buy, so it can be a good way to make a little cash if you’re having a clear-out this winter at home. 
  • Rent winter party outfits rather than buying them. Many people buy new party clothes during the winter for things like work Christmas nights out, New Year’s Eve, costume parties and other social occasions, but the chances are that you’ll only wear the outfit once. Renting party clothes instead can be a great way to save money and create less waste. Take a look at sites such as HireStreet or HURR, which offer rentals of designer party clothes for people of all shapes and sizes.*