The cost of living crisis continues to bite with the average UK energy bill set to hit almost £3,000 a year this winter – up from just over £800 a year ago
So we all need to cut back on our spending, but too often that means missing out on the luxuries of life, whether it’s canceling a holiday abroad or simply putting that little snack back on the shelf at home. supermarket.
As part of our Your money matters series, our team of investigators has identified ways to save money that you may not have heard of – and that won’t impact your quality of life.
70,000 people in Norfolk can save £250 a year on broadband
A monthly bill for broadband is as unavoidable as one for electricity or council tax, but most people don’t know that low-income households are entitled to half-price tariffs.
There are around 70,000 Universal Credit applicants in Norfolk, and almost all of them can pay twice as much as they need for broadband, missing out on savings of £200-250 a year.
Those eligible for the BT Home Essentials package can get unlimited broadband for £15 a month, less than half the price of the BT offer for those not on UC, which is £32.99 a month .
That would save £215 a year and which one? research found eligible customers could save an average of £250.
But the scheme has been so under-reported that by February this year only 55,000 of an estimated 4.2 million eligible UK households had signed up.
Other providers also offer social rates, including Virgin Media at £15 and Sky Basics at £20, both for an average 36Mbps connection, like BT’s offer.
Speed promises should be taken with a pinch of salt, however, due to rural Norfolk’s poor connectivity – a postcode check revealed that seekers from Norwich UC would get speeds of 36Mbps, but those from Cromer could only be guaranteed from 1 to 3 Mbps.
The social rate is available to recipients of Universal Credit, the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Employment Allowance and of accompaniment.
Ben Wittams of uSwitch said: “A handful of broadband providers offer social rates… BT is a great choice for Norfolk users as they have great coverage, over 90pc, and offer the lowest social rate. more competitive available on a 12 month contract. ”
But he warned that some companies’ deals are better than others. Compare rates and apply here.
Save £100 or more on prescriptions
Unless you’re under 16, over 60 or on benefit, NHS prescriptions in England cost £9.35 per item – and for people on regular medication for their mental or physical health who can really get accumulate.
But many people don’t know that if you regularly take several medications, you could save a lot by getting a prepayment certificate.
Prepay covers an unlimited number of prescriptions per month and costs £30.25 for three months or £108.10 for 12 months.
By contrast, someone buying two items a month would pay £224.40 a year and someone taking three medications would pay £336.60.
Request a prepayment certificate here.
Buy the same drugs cheaper
We all know that generic ibuprofen costs a lot less than Nurofen capsules – but did you know you can buy identical medications cheaper than branded equivalents?
In Boots on Riverside in Norwich this morning, a pack of 16 Sudafed day and night capsules for congestion and headache relief costs £4.89.
Boots-branded Max Strength Cold & Flu Relief Day & Night capsules, also a 12-day pack of 16 tablets and four night tablets, are 40% less at £2.99.
But the tablets inside are identical.
Both items have the same product license number: PL 12063/0073.
PL codes are proprietary license numbers issued by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for each medicine when it receives its UK licence.
Unique PL codes are issued for each particular drug from each particular manufacturer. The moneysavingexpert website has previously reported instances of identical drugs being marketed differently.
Raj Thakrar, pharmacist at Woodgrove Pharmacy in Norwich, explained: ‘If it has the same PL number it means it is the same medicine produced by the same factory.
“So in this case they produced two batches, one packaged as Sudafed and another batch, in different blister packs, branded Boots.
“It’s the exact same thing – the same active ingredients and the same other ingredients – because it’s the same PL number.”
Make your driving 10pc more fuel efficient to save £160 a year
The average UK motorist drives around 7,400 miles a year at around 36 mpg, according to an analysis of 800,000 vehicles. It takes 205 gallons, or 934 liters, of gasoline in a year.
At January 2021 prices that cost £1,083 a year, but at today’s peak prices it’s £1,784 – meaning a 10% increase in fuel efficiency would allow the motorist way to save £161 a year.
Inflate your tires
Driving with underinflated tires will wreak havoc on your miles per gallon, as extra power is needed to overcome the added friction of having more rubber on the road.
A 2012 US study concluded that 20pc underinflation will increase fuel consumption by 4% – and a tire with 25pc of vented air still feels fully inflated.
And a 2020 study by Halfords found that 23 million UK road users drove with under-inflated tires and only 40% could correctly identify a low tire pressure warning light.
Filling your tires to the correct level is quick, easy and only costs a few cents at the air pump at any gas station.
Tires naturally lose one to two PSI per month (and more as the air temperature drops between seasons), so this should be checked every few weeks.
Lighten that right foot
Accelerating burns more fuel than anything else you do in your car, and when you brake, you’re wasting the car’s momentum energy. And then you have to accelerate again.
So the best way to make your driving more fuel-efficient is to accelerate smoothly, shift quickly, and anticipate road conditions ahead so you don’t brake unnecessarily.
In urban areas, this means accelerating gently and shifting as quickly as possible at the lowest revs possible, probably around 2,000 rpm.
So stick to the lights and your wallet will thank you and your passengers.
Limit your top speed to 60 mph
A 2012 study found that limiting your top speed to 60 mph cuts fuel consumption by 10% but only adds two minutes to the average journey time.
Simon East, CEO of DriveGain, the iPhone fuel-saving app that conducted the study, said: “Unless the roads are completely clear, other traffic on your route will tend to slow down considerably.
“Drivers waste a lot of fuel for very little difference in their arrival time.”
Over 65% of us shop in the UK’s four biggest supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons), while Aldi gets around 9% and Lidl less than 7%.
But consumer magazine Which one? found Lidl to be the cheapest supermarket in May 2022 for the sixth consecutive month, while Aldi took first place in June.
A basket of 52 items costs £75.61 at Aldi and £76.99 at Lidl last month, compared to £85.22-£91.03 at the Big Four.
And a recent analysis of 33 grocery items by The Grocer magazine showed that swapping own-brand Big Four products for own-brand Aldi can save shoppers more than £300 a year.
Since this article is about cutting costs without sacrificing quality or luxury, it might be worth pointing out that Aldi and Lidl products also stand out in taste tests.
In blind taste tests conducted by Which?, Lidl’s baked beans were preferred over Heinz’s, which cost more than double, and Aldi’s orange juice came out on top despite the cost half the price of Tropicana.
For those with a sweet tooth, Lidl’s Mister Crunch Crunchy Peanut Butter (25p per 100g) outperformed WholeEarth, KP and Sun-Pat (63p per 100g), while Nutella’s popular chocolate hazelnut spread (£2.90 for 350g) was beaten by Lidl’s Choco Nussa. spread (£1.09 for 400g).
These are tasty savings.