GET HELP WITH THE RISING COST OF LIVING
Many people in South Yorkshire will be affected because of the rising costs of things like energy, food and other bills. But there is support available to help us get through this.
The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, and local councils, are here to help those most impacted. The Government is offering national support to help households cope.
Helpful tips to save money
During the cost of living crisis, it’s important to try and cut costs where you can to help you cope with bills. Below are some practical tips for everyone in South Yorkshire to use to help save as much money as possible.
Check if you or a family member have unclaimed benefits
Billions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed each year so it’s really important that everyone in South Yorkshire is checking if they’re entitled to more financial help. The majority of benefits are also a gateway to the cost-of-living payments that the government is distributing so you may also be entitled to more money on top of anything you aren’t already claiming.
If you think you need to check this, Entitled To and Turn To Us can help you figure out if you’re entitled to more.
Try to limit use of energy in your household
There are small changes that you can make that could have a big impact on your yearly spend.
- Buy a draught excluder. Draught excluders, which are only around £3 each, will make your rooms feel warmer and more comfortable, meaning you won’t feel as much of a need to turn your heating up.
- Wash your clothes at 30 degrees. Changing your laundry habits can make a big difference. You can also use economy settings or quick wash settings to reduce energy.
- Use a microwave or air fryer instead of an oven. If you’re cooking a baked potato, not only will it take longer in the oven, but it will also cost more.
- Take a shorter shower. In an average household, around 12% of your energy bill is made up of the cost of heating water for your baths and showers. Shortening your shower time will reduce your bills.
- Switch to LED lightbulbs. LED bulbs can cost more than standard bulbs, but they last longer and will cut costs over time.
- Say no to standby. Encourage everyone in your household to turn off all electrical appliances when they are not being used.
If you’re renting, check your house meets the minimum energy efficiency requirements
Your landlord is responsible for making sure that the energy efficiency of their property is EPC rating E or above. Ask your landlord for the energy efficiency certificate for the property and if the rating is below E, then they legally have to fund the improvements needed to raise the rating, unless they have a valid exemption in place.
Save money with food
Food prices are rising meaning many people are having to cut back or even use food banks for the first time. Here’s some tips to reduce the impact of rising food prices:
- Plan your meals. Having a weekly plan for food can reduce waste and help you stick to a budget by stopping those last-minute dashes to the convenience shop.
- Use your freezer. If you have a food item that you won’t eat before it’s use-by date, you can always freeze it and save it for later. Some items are also cheaper and more convenient to buy frozen, such as meat and vegetables, and will last a lot longer than fridge items.
- Try budget recipes. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of resources and recipes that can inspire you to cook at low cost. This BBC budget recipe fed a family of four for £1 per person per day.
- Use what you have. Most of us are guilty of having old jars or tinned items at the back of the cupboard. Before your next food shop, check what you have and try to make use of items in your cupboard before replacing them with new ingredients.
- Shop the reduced sections. You can grab some real bargains when you shop the reduced items at the supermarket. Shops tend to reduce their food in the late afternoon or early evening to try and reduce their waste. If you go to the same shop regularly you can work out what sort of time they start this process, so that you’re more likely to get a good bargain.
There is also a dedicated national cost of living website full of information on the package of measures for households in Great Britain.
Mayor Oliver Coppard wants to make sure everyone in South Yorkshire is helped to cope with the cost of living crisis, so please check what help you are entitled to and share these practical tips with your friends and family.