There are ways to save money on bills as inflation soars to worrying levels. The cost of living crisis is looming for Brits and there are some simple hacks that can help you save on food costs
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Inflation is on the rise at a rapid rate amid a worsening cost of living crisis for struggling Brits.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced his spending plans in the Spring Statement, which was carefully scrutinised as people continue to struggle with bills that are set to get worse in April.
As the Chancellor announced a 5p cut in fuel duty, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves mocked the statement, saying Sunak had taken inspiration from Alice and Wonderland.
Reeves said: “We are presented with increasingly incredible claims. Perhaps the Chancellor has been taking inspiration from the characters in Alice in Wonderland. Or should I say – ‘Alice in Sunakland’.”
Sunak also announced £500 million for families in poverty, but was met with calls of “is that it?”.
These are worrying times for amid a cost of living crisis and this morning it was announced inflation hit a 30-year high of 6.2% and the February rise in food was the largest in 10 years.
With this proving such a problem, how can Brits save on bills and beat inflation?
How can save money on bills with inflation?
Inflation will make it harder for people to save money on bills going forward.
With people’s spending power reduced, they may find it harder to budget for essentials like food and energy costs.
There are some useful hacks that can help people save money.
How can I save money on food?
Food writer and activist Jack Monroe shared her trick to try and save £20 per on food bills, by doing a full stocktake of what she has at home.
The simple idea is that people should make meals out of what they already have at home, rather than going to the supermarket each time.
Monroe explained on Twitter : “I get an A4 sheet of lined paper and divide it into 4 vertical columns: proteins, carbohydrates, fruit and beg, and the end column is split into two, flavours and snacks.”
After looking at what is in their cupboards, people can plan their meals by looking at which items of food are set to go off first and then use ‘gap filling’ where items need to be bought.
Jack said: “It’s genuinely revolutionised the way I cook and shop and reduces a lot of my anxiety around food, impulse purchasing things I don’t need, reduces food waste, and keeps the food bill low. It also helps me plan balanced meals, and sparks off all kinds of avenues of creativity.”
How can I save money on energy?
People can save money by trying to reduce how much energy they use.
Lowering the thermostat by one degree can save around £45 every year according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Making sure appliances are switched off, using slow cookers instead of ovens and keeping warm through the use of blankets instead of heating can all keep costs of bills down.
The main factor behind the rise in inflation is the energy crisis, which has sent bills skyrocketing by an average of £693 per household this year.
Even before the war in Ukraine broke out, the world was experiencing oil and gas shortages and the problems look likely to get worse. It is also helping to drive up the cost of food and other general products.
How can I save money on petrol?
Oil prices are at record highs and could go even higher as the war in Ukraine makes the demand for it even worse.
Saving money on petrol and diesel in your car is therefore very important for coping with inflation.
Shedding some weight in your car can help with lowering the amount of times you need to fuel up over time. The heavier your car is, the more power is required to move it forwards.
Compare The Market said: “Removing any roof rack or roof box will also reduce wind resistance, and hence fuel consumption, too.”
When filling up, avoid using branded petrol stations if you can as supermarket garages are cheaper. It is estimated people could save up to £74.10 a year this way.
You should also regularly check you car to make sure you are stuck with a big bill for a broken part own the line and you should also avoid using premium fuel.
Choose between saving and investing if you can
One thing inflation can directly affect is a person’s savings. Investing instead of saving your money should be very carefully considered, particularly as many struggling Brits may soon come to rely on savings.
Of course, most people are unlikely to have some small savings to fall back on and may find it increasingly hard to set money aside in the coming months.
If they have already, then they should carefully consider if savings accounts are the best thing at the moment, according to money experts.
Some savings accounts are linked to the indexes that track inflation which means that they won’t keep up with other interest rates.
As result, the savings may not actually beat inflation and your money may not be protected.
Money Helper explained: “The only rule is that cash savings accounts are generally not the best places to put your money long term – the interest is almost always lower than inflation, so your buying power is reduced.
“If you’re planning to put money aside for five years or more, it might be better to invest.”
Barclays said: “Savings are ideal for short-term or unexpected expenses such as holidays or the boiler breaking down. But if you’re looking to build your wealth for the future, it’s worth considering investing because stock markets tend to perform better than cash over the longer-term.”
Am I eligible for benefits?
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Plenty of people are eligible for benefits without them knowing and some extra funds will be vital in the months ahead.
It was previously estimated more than 7.5 million households are missing out on £15 billion a year of means-tested benefits.
This is most commonly child tax credit, working tax credit, council tax support and housing benefit.
You should check if you are eligible for each benefit and Money Saving Expert has a 10-minute calculator to check if you are eligible here.