With an ongoing credit crunch, and Christmas approaching, many of us are looking at ways to economise. It may just be that you need to stretch your income further, due to the increased prices in the shops, or sadly that you have become unemployed this year. Whatever the reason there are many ways to economise and plenty of them have the knock on effect of helping the environment.

A good place to start is assessing your energy needs, by which I mean your gas and electric, and the like. In the long run it may be worth investing in Solar power or new double glazed windows but for now it will be worth assessing your current use of these expensive resources. Begin by taking a stroll through your home, no matter how large or small it may be and having a proper look at what you use, how and why.

Things You Will Need

A sensible approach.


The means to research.

An honest assessment of your situation.

Step 1

Thermostats, such as those with your central heating can usually be turned down a notch or two. Do not forget to make sure that your refrigerator's thermostat is not set higher than is necessary.

Step 2

Light bulbs can be replaced with the energy efficient kind, which also last longer. These are much less expensive than they used to be and will last much longer than conventional bulbs.

Step 3

When you need to replace any of your white goods aim to buy the most energy efficient item that you can afford. In the long run these modern appliances will pay for themselves by using less energy. White goods are energy efficiency rated in the UK with AAA being the most efficient and G the least.

Step 4

Never leave lights and appliances on in empty rooms. We are all guilty of this at times but with a little thought we can save lots of vital energy.

Step 5

Avoid using the Stand-By modes on televisions, computers and the like. It is better to switch the appliance of at the socket. Consider your home microwave. Often the only benefit to leaving this item on all the time is the clock. We all have so many clocks, around our homes these days, is this really necessary.

Step 6

Invest in a new condensing boiler for optimum use. In the UK you may be able to receive a government grant toward the cost of such a boiler. Even if you cannot, these boilers save so much energy that, they will almost pay for thmselves in a couple of years.

Step 7

Ensure that you prevent draughts especially for the winter period. Basic draught excluders and insulating tape are cheap to buy but will keep you cosier at home without the need for hefty fuel bills. Make some old fashioned snake, draught excluders for the bottom of your doors. These are cheap to make as you can utilise old rags.

Step 8

Check out whether or not you could save money by swapping your energy provider. There are many websites that will help you compare prices and change your provider. Remember though that some sites have a vested interest in encouraging you to swap to certain providers. Make sure that you consult a wide section before you make your final choice.

Step 9

Shower instead of bathing. It is a well known fact that, you use less water taking a shower than having a bath. This means that a shower not only saves energy but saves water also.

Step 10

If you have any dripping taps get them fixed. A leaking tap is leaking money down the drain. Again this has a double benefit of saving precious water.

Step 11

Never overfill kettles. Make sure that they are only filled with the amount of water which you require.

Step 12

Make sure that you use the most energy efficient wash cycles on your washing machine and dish-washer. Most of us always use the same programmes but could really use different ones. Some of the programmes wash at lower temperatures and the like. Remember to try and not use these machines for small amounts. It would be far better to simply wash those couple of cups or pairs of socks by hand.

There are so many ways to economise. Cutting back on the energy you use will help the environment and save you far more money than you may imagine.

Once you have assessed your own home's energy you may find other ways that you can use to economise. Remember to close the drapes, as soon as it is dark in the evening, and, if you are feeling cool, initially consider putting on a sweater or a cardigan, rather than turning up the heating.

Tips & Warnings

Do not sacrifice quality for the sake of economy.

Ensure there is enough light around your home for health and safety.

Do not block your home from draughts, so much so, that it is airtight. This could be dangerous