‘Downsizing is the only alternative’: Telegraph readers’ money … – The Telegraph

‘Downsizing is the only alternative’: Telegraph readers’ money … – The Telegraph

The cost of living squeeze and energy crisis have forced people across the country to tighten their belts in any way they know how.

As we approach the New Year, Telegraph readers have been sharing their inventive money-saving tips to bring into 2023.

From layering up and hanging curtains, to downsizing homes and even moving abroad, readers reveal how they are cutting costs come the new year.

Read a selection of the best reader responses below, and join the discussion in the comments section.

‘We are currently reluctantly looking at downsizing our home’

@Martin Kiernan:

“We are currently reluctantly looking at downsizing our home, as the cost involved in heating a three-bedroom detached house will be financially restrictive in the coming years. Allied to the increase of council tax, which is reaching £4,000 per year, it appears that there’s no escape from increases in cost of living for people over the coming years. Downsizing is the only alternative open to us to allow us to live within our budget.”

@Eileen Abell:

“Being only on the State pension, I have little choice but to cut back the hours my gas central heating is on to three hours a day. Electric fires are unused. An ancient SuperSer bottled gas heater is being used when I’m in the high-ceilinged living room of my Victorian village house. 

“Over my old skiing clothes I have put on my large fleecy dressing gown which has big sleeves and is dangerous when cooking! I use my electric blanket for one hour before I go to bed. I miss my large hairy Alsatian dog who used to climb, slinky-wise, onto the bed when it was freezing.

“I wish I were still working in an over-heated office, but now I’m 77 and very skinny (eight stone) I do feel the cold more, but hey, we have to carry on… I appreciate that I have it luckier than most Ukrainians this winter, so I am not complaining. I feel so sorry for them all.”

‘I encourage my cats to sit on me and keep me warm’

@Naama Kaplan: 

“I didn’t really think about heating costs the last three winters since arriving from Germany to the UK. If the house was cold, I would warm it. This year, though, I’ve decided to look deeper into reducing our energy consumption.

“I have hung old curtains in front of our two main doors, one that has a single-glazed window, to block the cold air while keeping the heat in. I did the same for the single-glazed window in the living room – where I work from home. This way, I can use the radiator to warm up only one room. 

“For the bedroom, I have an electric blanket – this is used just for around 20–30 minutes a day, otherwise I wear my fleece robe at all times. I encourage my cats to sit on me and keep me warm. It is a two-way street, as they want to be close to my warm body as well. 

“We eat dinner with our hot water bottles on our laps that were used for camping last year. The low temperatures these last few days in December made us use the central heating a lot more, thinking constantly about our money down the pockets of the energy suppliers.”

@Rachel Royce: 

“I’m refusing to have anyone in the house who works from home – the heating needs to be off in the day! Away with you back to your office or go and find a council-run warm hub! Personally, I drive around as much as possible in my nice warm car.”

‘In 2023 I will buy a place in Normandy’

@Johnathon Mantle: 

I live and work from home, wear layers, leave the gas central heating off and go out for a walk three times a day to feel warmer when I get back home.  I also have and recommend an electric ‘throw’.  In 2023, I shall save money by abandoning the inflated UK rental and retail housing sector and buy a place in Normandy, where I can live and work, shall have no rent, shall have broadband internet, a train service that works to get me to and from my children in London, and lots of logs.”

@Valerie Herbert:

“I installed a new log burner. Bought a pallet of dried kiln logs (64 bags). Not immediately are we saving money, but equally we’re not turning on the gas central heating, and it’s lovely and warm.”

‘I’m wearing several layers and sleeping with three fleece blankets’

@Jacqui Perrat:

“I presently have no heating or hot water, but I do have a gym membership where I can shower and wash my hair. My husband died last month and I have no idea with whom our emergency insurance is placed, and until the inquest and probate I cannot afford to pay for it. 

“I changed the kettle for a smaller one, so it uses less water, and the remains are flasked, to go back in for the next boil. At least I have a Freedom Pass so am able to go to Warm Hubs nearby. I’m wearing several layers and sleeping with three fleece blankets.”

@Michael Challis:

“I have previously replaced windows in my bungalow, and have now replaced the rest at the cost of £2,000. My bungalow is warmer and costs less to heat.”

@Paul Atherton: 

“All light bulbs have been replaced with LED lights – including string lights all around the room. We burn pallet wood on the multi-fuel stove in order to save money – which keeps us nice and warm and avoids using the central heating. We had a water meter installed in March that cut our water bill dramatically from £53 to £20 a month. We also save water by collecting shower water in a tub and using it to flush the toilet.

“We don’t watch TV any more, but instead watch TV programmes on our laptops. Most TV is rubbish anyway these days, but we do like YouTube. We have stopped going out to buy coffees at Costa, Nero and Starbucks as the prices are ridiculous. We either go to Wetherspoons or brew a flask of coffee and drive a couple of miles to a nice spot and drink it there. 

“We use the small hatchback we own which does up to 65mpg instead of my beautiful diesel pick-up truck which does 40mpg, as diesel is 30p a litre dearer than petrol.

“‘Thinsulate’ clothing is a must in cold weather. Try it!! We have forgone the annual holiday in Cornwall or Devon as one week’s Airbnb plus diesel there and back is nearly £1,000.”

How are you saving money in 2023? Let us know in the comments section below

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