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  • Save money this winter

    16 October 2015

Winter can be an expensive time of year - the dark, cold nights can add unwanted costs to your utility bills whilst the holiday season means saving up for Christmas presents and nights out. To help you stretch those pounds without missing out on the fun, we’ve listed five of our favourite winter savings tips.

1. Stay in, don’t go out

It sounds pretty straightforward and it is – stay in and don’t go out. Instead of splashing out for a meal at a restaurant over the weekend, save your money for the Christmas party or for special events! When you’re in the comfort of your own home, try out new recipes. Cooking can also be a great way to keep the children entertained. Websites like ‘Netmums’ and ‘realsimple’ provide a wide range of recipes to cater for all tastes. Celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, also lists his family-friendly, cheap and easy-to-cook meals online. Alternatively, head to a charity shop and purchase used cook books for less than half the original retail price.

2. Shop online

We’ve all been tempted to add a few frivolous items to our trolley when strolling through the supermarket. So, to prevent you throwing your pounds down the aisles, try online shopping instead. When shopping online, it’s easier to stick to a list and limit purchases to the essentials and ingredients you need rather than throwing everything in the trolley. You can also scour the internet for discount vouchers to help you at the checkout!

3. Reduce your energy bills

The winter weather tends to push up energy bills, putting another strain on the finances. To keep energy use under control, here’s some things that might be worth a try.

  • Turn appliances off from the mains – even the most technologically advanced gadgets will use power in standby mode
  • Bleed your radiators – a quick and easy trick to ensure your heating system is working at its optimum level
  • Turn the heating down by a few degrees – you may not register the difference in temperature but your but energy bill will
  • Have a shower rather than a bath – the classic have a shower and save water tip. It’s been passed on for years and that’s because it works
  • Invest in a smart meter. Smart meters give you the opportunity to change a vast array of settings from temperatures, time patterns, which rooms get heated at what temperature and more!

4. Put your loyalty cards to work!

If you’re a member of any of the big supermarket loyalty point schemes, you’ll know they often offer boost schemes in the run up to Christmas that increase the value of the points. Check your account to find out how many points you have, what they’re worth and whether there are any special offers coming that will help you stretch your budget further over the festive period.

5. Review your contractual TV services

It is also worth exploring the possibility of cancelling and replacing your contractual TV subscriptions. Monthly subscriptions with online streaming services such as Netflix are readily available to any household with an internet connection for less than £10 per month and provide entertainment for all the family without any contract obligation or installation fees. Sky also operates a Now TV service, providing all the Sky associated channels for a fraction of cost, including their sports channel.

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Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551