Thursday 23 February 2023

Seven ways to reduce your families energy bill!

74% of parents are worried about paying for gas and electricity according to a recent survey. I know it's true for me, I have spent the last few months worrying about our gas and electric bills. We pay our bills quarterly when they are issued. We're supposed to have smart meters in but the electric one doesn't work, it broke down before the first Covid lockdown and they're in no rush to replace it and the gas one does take monthly readings but only shows them when the bill is issued.

Over the colder months I have been doing all I can to save money and not use as much energy. Our old gas fire was condemned and we had an electric one put in which is hopeless but my dad did give me a oil heater which has been amazing! It is fab to warm the living room when it's just me in instead of putting the central heating on and heating the whole house.

Plug socket

Here are 7 ways to reduce your energy bill!

1. Invest in hot teddies.

While it’s common knowledge switching on the heating regularly can cause bills to surge it can be tempting to give in as temperatures drop. Hot water bottles can be a great option for keeping the whole family warm, I fill mine most days, sometimes twice a day and have it behind me while I am sat on my armchair. They are great for heating up beds before bedtime but one smarter option for parents is hot water bottle teddies, or microwaveable hot teddies. Younger children are sure to embrace snuggling up with a cute cuddly toy which will keep them warm and stop any complaints. Alongside this, hot teddies can be a safer option compared to traditional hot water bottles.

2. Switch to cheaper cooking appliances.

When it comes to the cost of cooking our food, the methods we use can make a big difference. Slow cookers are great to cut the cost of cooking and it’s great news for families as these appliances are often perfect for family staples. Spaghetti Bolognese, Chili Con Carne, curries and other sauce based dishes are perfect for a slow cooker. You can see my five favourite slow cooker recipes here! Also you can always make a couple of extra portions to freeze and then it saves cooking another meal from scratch. 

An air fryer can cut the costs of popular options like peri peri chicken, fish and chips and even lasagne! There’s an abundance of inventive recipes for both of these appliances, so it’s well worth considering investing in one and cutting down on the use of your oven and hob. Katy Kicker is the queen of using an air fryer and has a bazillion recipes.

3. Be smart with food prep.

Many parents are often rushed off their feet, so when it comes to cooking it’s no wonder we often don’t give a second thought to how we’re prepping food. However, some slight changes to the way family meals are prepared could actually save money on bills.

When cooking, consider chopping ingredients smaller as this will reduce the time it takes to cook, reduce the amount of energy needed and thus lower your bill! Another smart hack to reduce energy usage when cooking is to soak some ingredients beforehand. Certain pulses will benefit from this such as beans, lentils and chickpeas resulting in faster cooking times and less energy consumed. 

Alongside this freezing food and ingredients can be a great option to save money but when it comes to defrosting, remember to always leave enough time for food to thaw naturally reducing the need for a microwave and using more energy. 

4. Be mindful of bath time.

While it’s well known that showers are more energy efficient, baths are often preferred by children to showers. But the great news is that there’s innovative products designed to cut down on water usage, and keep children safe. 

Bath buoys and bath dams work to close off your tub and allow for a smaller area of water when bathing your child. These can be great options to cut down on heating and water usage, with some cutting down a whopping 56 litres of water.

If you can convince your child to shower, it’s well worth investing in a shower timer to ensure they don’t hang around for too long. Many come in fun and friendly designs which can encourage kids to use them. Alternatively, for older children, ask them to pick a couple of their favourite songs and aim to shower before they end!

5. Set challenges and rewards.

Rewards are a great way to encourage good behaviour in your children and allow them to learn. Rewards are often used in childcare and education so why not apply this approach when it comes to energy usage?

Educating your children on the effects of our energy use and setting them challenges to use less can not only save you money but also be a great learning tool. Why not consider allowing children rewards for simple tasks such as remembering to turn lights off, switching appliances off at the plug or limiting time in the shower. 

6. Use timers for lights and other electricals.

Parents often lead busy lives, and so sometimes it can be tricky to remember all the small tasks when running a family household. Timer switches can be a great option to ensure lights and other appliances are switched off on time. 

Many will be familiar with the traditional dial timer plugs, but you can also buy options which connect to your wifi for extra ease. Connected apps allow you to turn on and off electricals whether you’re simply too tired to get up or you’ve only remembered after leaving home. You can even set a schedule for when you’d like your electricals on, meaning you don’t have to worry about nagging children to switch products off. 

7. Take time away from screens.

In today’s digital world, it’s estimated children spend 17 hours a week in front of a screen. While this is not only bad for their health, it’s driving up energy usage in family homes.

A great way to cut energy consumption is to focus on time spent outdoors as a family. Children who cut down on screen time are proven to have improved attention spans, empathy and behaviour. Some great options for outdoor family activities in walks, treasure hunts and time capsules. And if you want to also cut the costs of your food bill why not try foraging or growing your own food?

How have you been trying to reduce your energy bill?


  1. I got an Instant Vortex Pro for Christmas. It is an air fryer, 9-in-1 rotisserie and convection oven from the makers of Instant Pot. I no longer use my oven - I save energy, $, and time. Great ideas!

  2. We rely a lot on our woodstove in the winter to try and keep our electric costs down and if we can ever get our solar panels back up that would help tremendously! LOL.

  3. Great ideas Kim, we have opted for wrapping up and hotties rather than having the heating on. In fact we turn the boiler off overnight. (although I would put it on in freezing conditions to stop the pipes from freezing, luckily the weather hasn't been too bad.) We have a good smart meter and take part in the energy saving hours which have taken over £50 off my bill so far. But, it's also made us think about just how much power we are using and we have our own energy saving times too. (we don't get the extra bonuses but we do save more money on power.) xx

  4. Thisiswhereitisat25 February 2023 at 17:36

    Yep all great tops. I I know it isn't a lot but I do take part in the energy light out thing and that helps with some pounds off towards the energy bill, all the little things add up X