Coping with the rising cost of living

Coping with the rising cost of living


Fri 08 April

With the soaring cost of electricity, fuel, food and other essentials impacting so many families across the UK, we've put together some top tips to help you. 
Money Saving Expert recently published a "Cost of Living Survival Kit", with 90 different ways to save money and keep your bills as low as possible. 

Below, we've picked out some of the most useful top tips shared in the guide to help you keep as warm and eat as well as possible during this crisis.

Heating

"Heat the human, not the home". It is much more expensive to heat a whole room, as the heat has to cover a much larger space, than it is to warm up just your body. So follow these tips and tricks to keep yourself warm without turning the central heating up.
  • Many households can get up to £350 in Government support to help with rising energy prices – for more info click here.
  • Electric blankets cost approximately 2p-4p per day to run, which can save a lot of money if you turn your heating down or off.
  • Pop your hot water bottle inside a sleeping bag, and put this over you when you are sitting down to keep cosy.
  • Ventilate and turn the heating on for just a little while each day to avoid damp, and frozen pipes which may end up bursting and costing you more money to fix!
  • Put your feet up – as simple as that! Every little helps and the floor is always colder.
  • Gentle exercise like walking can warm you up from the inside. YBTC offers free Wellbeing Walks at beauty spots across Yorkshire every month. We pay for your drinks in the café after the walk, and if you need help arranging transport to the venue, just contact us.
If you have health issues, you should speak to your GP first before turning off your heating and taking these alternative steps, as being cold could be dangerous if you are vulnerable. You should also ask for support if you start to notice that being cold is having a negative impact on your mood and wellbeing.

It's worth noting too that if you rent your home, you should check your contract, as some landlords will require you to provide some heat in the property to avoid damage. 

To read the Money Saving Expert's full guide on Heating the Human not the Home, click here.

Clothing
  • Simple layers can work just as well as pricey thermals and outerwear. Layers closest to your skin should be tight-fitting to lock in heat (avoid materials like cotton to reduce sweating). Outer layers can be looser – the air in between your layers of clothing warming up and circulating is what will take the chill off.
  • You can buy thermal tops and leggings from around £4 from places like Sports Direct, Decathlon and Mountain Warehouse. Lightweight fleece jackets and second t-shirts work well as a mid-layer.
  • If you have tights that are laddered or bobbly, don't throw them away – cut the feet off and wear them under trousers to keep extra cosy!
Eating
  • Your local authority may also be able to help with food; even if you are not claiming benefits it's worth checking whether you are eligible to get some support.
  • Get discounts by using apps like Too Good To Go which offer up leftover food which cafés and restaurants would otherwise throw away.
  • If you are struggling, charities like The Trussell Trust can help – check their website for your closest outlet.
  • Try to eat at least one hot meal a day. Soups and porridge are great to keep you warm and full, and are reasonably priced too.
To read the "Cost of Living Survival Kit" in full, with extra tips on affording broadband, buying fuel, claiming benefits, applying for bursaries, finding cheap alternatives to everyday products and more, click here.

Remember – your mental health and wellbeing should always take priority.

You might be able to cut costs in other areas, or reach out for financial support, to allow you to keep the heating on for a little longer.

YBTC can help with grants of up to £500 for patients diagnosed with a brain tumour, or for parents taking care of a child with a brain tumour, to help with household costs, bills, transport and installing equipment. Our grants are not means tested and never have to be paid back. To find out more about our grants, please click here.
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