Cost of Living support and advice.

 

Save money, save the environment

There are lots of things we can all do that can benefit the environment whilst also helping to reduce the cost of living.

We’ve provided some great tips and advice of how you can make everyday changes to your lifestyle to help you save money and save the environment. Which you can find in the categories below.

If you are in need of further support due to the rise of cost of living you can find more information on our cost of living pages.  

Home Energy

There is lots of information available about how you can save energy at home, Energy Saving Trusts quick tips to save energy has some great ideas to help you reduce your energy use and costs.

Heating is a big part of our overall energy costs, so making your home more energy efficient can be a good way to help reduce you energy use and bills.  

The governments ‘Simple Energy Advice’ service is a good place to look for energy efficiency advice, it includes an online tool to help you understand your homes energy use and how you can make your home more efficient. You can also search for grants and schemes that you might be eligible for to help you reduce both your energy use and your energy costs, including any help from your current energy supplier.

The Heating Hub also provides a good guide to show you how to adjust combi boiler flow temperature settings that can help reduce running costs by 8%.  

Council backed schemes

The council also regularly bids for funding and develops schemes to help local people improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their energy costs. Current schemes are set out on our home energy page.

These special funded schemes are often time limited, they can have different criteria and change periodically, so it is worth checking back regularly to see if we have added any new schemes you might be eligible for; or you can join our climate and environment mail list and we can let you know when any new schemes open, by contacting us at climatechange@melton.gov.uk.

Food

Households waste an estimated 6.6 million tonnes of food in the UK each year, an estimated £400 of food is thrown away by each household every year. By reducing our food waste we can not only help the planet but save money too. Local food retailers including Morrison’s, Spar and the Co-op use Too good to go to sell food bags made up unsold food that is close to its sell by date at a reduced cost to help reduce food waste.

You could also consider growing your own food. It's not just money you will be saving by growing your own fruit, herbs and veg. Home-grown produce tastes better, as it can be cooked within minutes of harvesting, and there are no 'food miles' involved. See Which’s guide to saving money by growing your own.

You do not need a big garden to grow your own food, containers and hanging baskets can work well. You might even consider renting an allotment or perhaps join a community allotment scheme such as the Melton Mowbray community allotment.

Melton is lucky to have such great local markets, where you can buy only as much as you need and often save money too.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Buy buying less and trying to fix and reuse items rather than throwing them away we can help reduce the environmental impacts as well as save money.

If you have any broken or faulty items which you would like to try and repair, consider visiting one of Melton Space’s regularly ‘fix it’ sessions rather than throwing them away.

Buying second hand can be a great way to reduce costs and help the environment. Options include charity shops to online marketplaces through to manufacturer refurbished items. You can even get things for free from local Freecycle groups.

The Melton and District Furniture Project can help with bigger items, it collects good quality furniture, electrical goods, and bric-a-brac for re-distribution to people with low incomes but also sells to the general public too.

You can also consider making money by selling (or donating to charity) things that you no longer need which are still in good condition.

Buying more energy efficient appliances, when you need to replace them can save you money too. While some of the most efficient appliances may be more expensive up front, they can end up being much cheaper over the product’s lifetime thanks to lower running costs. See Which’s guide to switching to more energy efficient appliances.

How we use our appliances can help reduce energy use and costs too, check that you are using ECO settings, see if you can reduce wash temperatures and ensuring your dishwasher and washing machine are full before switching on can all help to save money and energy. Perhaps consider ditching your tumble dryer and line dry your clothes or using a heated airer in winter, they are cheaper to buy and run and use much less energy.

You can also save money by borrowing or renting rather than buying outright things that you will only need to use a few times, from power tools to evening gowns. Melton Space operates a local borrowing service and shared workshop space that might interested you.

Simple swaps can help to both save money and help the planet, like swapping your shower gel for a bar of soap. There are loads more great ideas online to help you cut costs by reducing, reusing and recycling, Money Saving Expert has some good tips.

Water

Saving water saves money, especially if you are on a water meter. Installing simple devices such as water-efficient taps and showers will save both water as well as the energy required to heat hot water.

There is lots of tips to save water, Waterwise provides a good guide to saving water use at home.

Your water supplier may also be able to help. Severn Trent’s ‘Get Water Fit’ online tool can help you save water, energy, and money and it can also provide you with free and discounted water saving devices for your home.

You might be able to save money, particularly if you live in a small household, if you switch to a water meter if you don’t currently have one. Try the water meter saving calculator to find out if you can save.

Transport

Transport is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the Melton borough and the Energy saving trusts guide to low carbon travel offers lots of information about how you can travel more sustainably and save money in the process.

Walking and cycling are low cost activities and can also be a great way to get some exercise and improve both our physical and mental health. Cycling need not be expensive; you can often find good quality second hand bikes online for sale locally or ask your employer if they offer a cycle to work scheme.

There is also the excellent Choose How You Move website which offers practical local information about walking, cycling, using public transport and driving across Leicester and Leicestershire.

Cars can be expensive; not just to purchase or lease, on average, vehicle tax, maintenance and insurance alone costs around £1,000 per year. You can save money and help the environment by giving up or reducing the number of cars in your household, if you can. But we know that in rural areas like Melton borough giving up your car completely might not be practical for you, but every journey we can swap from our cars to public transport, walking or cycling will benefit the environment and often our wallets too. For the average person, reducing your car use by a quarter could save you around £200 in fuel costs and over half a tonne of CO2 a year.

You can also help the environment, save fuel and drive down the costs of running a car by making a few small changes to how you drive. See the Energy Saving Trust’s efficient driving tips. Sharing a car journey with other people is another way to cut both transport costs and emissions, Liftshare provide a free local journey matching service that you could try.

You might want to think about buying an electric car if you need to replace your current car, although they can be more expensive to purchase they are cheaper to tax, maintain and run across their lifetimes.

If you want to find out more about climate change locally go to; www.melton.gov.uk/climate

Last updated 29 July 2022
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