Saving money this Autumn and Winter
It makes sense to insulate your home with energy bills going up yet again. Some energy companies will do it for free if you apply quickly, some offers end at the end of this month. The offer from British Gas ends on the 30th of November, so be quick to give them a ring, if you need loft insulation or cavity wall insulation. They might even help clear all the junk out of your loft, if you’re on benefits.
You can save on heating costs and keep warmer, simply by wearing more layers in winter. Then turn the heating down one degree. You can also do some draught proofing yourself. Get the kids in a habit of shutting doors after them too, that will conserve heat and save money.
Next weekend, we move the clocks one hour back in the UK at 2 am on Sunday the 28 th October. That will mean it will get dark earlier in the evenings. I have long opposed the change to British summer time in summer. Some people want it to stay the same in winter and put forward 2 hours in summer; that’s even worse. I think we do need better street lighting, this yellow street lighting is supposed to mean less glare for drivers, but many streets seem badly lit now too.
The shops are stocking up on things for Halloween. I am sure there will be parties and children will enjoy it, but be sensible. Most of the stuff in the shops is cheap crap that will end up in the bin a few days after Halloween. Maybe you can make masks and other things for Halloween. I saw pumpkins for sale in Aldi. I was tempted to buy one and carve it to take photos for my blog. I’m not sure if I would like pumpkin soup though, so I passed.
Then we have Guy Fawkes night. Fireworks are really expensive and so it’s worth going to an organised display. I priced the ones local to me. Walsall was £3, Wolverhampton £4, Sandwell £6 and Dudley was £8. Those prices are for adults, but the prices for children and concessions didn’t seem very generous. You might have to shop around for a bonfire and firework display. If you live in Birmingham there is a FREE firework display in Erdington. I had 2.5 kg of baking potatoes from Aldi this week for 1.79; those are ideal for popping in the oven to cook, while you’re out at the bonfire.
Christmas isn’t too far away and you can start shopping now to get the bargains and to save money make up your own Christmas stockings. I’m told they have those in Poundland and you can put traditional things in like pens, notebooks and chocolate coins (under a pound at Aldi). Put some healthy things in too, we had tangerines in our stockings as children. The Chinese wrap apples in greetings paper and tie them with a ribbon and give them as gifts at Christmas. We used to have mice made from sugar when I was a kid. Do they still make those? I saw some yarn cheap in Aldi which might be ideal for some winter knitting. A knitted scarf is a very personal gift and shows you have gone to a lot of trouble to make something special. You can also watch out for gold spray paint and then spray pine cones with it to make decorations. With a little ingenuity, lots of things can be recycled into Halloween or Christmas decorations.
You can get into Autumn and Winter foods now. Those delicious home-made soups and stews can be made easily and are quite frugal. I had a stew pack containing carrots, onions, parsnips and a swede for 1.39 in Aldi and that will make at least 3 litres of chicken stew that will be far nicer than any chicken soup that you can buy. Most processed foods work out quite expensive compared to home-made and now nearly as tasty. Home-made soup with go down well at Halloween or on Bonfire night. If you cook chicken wings, save all the bones; you can make really spooky things from those bones for Halloween!
You don’t want to get sick this winter and so try to get lots of vitamins, vitamin C from blackcurrant and citrus fruits will help protect you a bit from colds and flu’. A good diet can also help protect us against winter depression, as the days get shorter and darker. We need our autumn and winter celebrations to make the seasons, at least seem a lot shorter.
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