Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.
Tips needed to keep warm and a moan!(35 Posts)
I can't afford to put my heating on for more than a few hours a week,usually for an hour or two before kids baths and showers just to take the edge off.I have a gas cooker too which is on for a few hours in evening so it all adds up,i have quite a big house with tiled/wooden floors which seems to make it colder,carpets always seemed warmer.A few years ago I didn't have to think about turning on the heating in the morning so we were all warm and as soon as were home the heating was on till bedtime,how times change!I feel terrible when the kids say they are freezing and have to put extra clothes on all apart from my 3 year old dd who says she is hot bless her, she don't understand,I go round in my dressing gown all evening to feel warm.I do have an open fire in sitting room which I usually can't afford to buy wood/coal for but dh bought some yesterday but car will do without petrol now but at least we can have a warm sitting room for a few days until it runs out.I know the recession has affected us all but going cold just sucks..I feel like a nag moaning that we can't afford to put it on,turn the lights off etc ,etc....how do people cope with this cold weather when money is tight
Sorry you are feeling like this. Are there no other areas you can economise on, even just for the next few months? Could you cancel sky, Internet etc if you have these at the moment? Keep an eye open for people giving away rugs on freecycle - if you have cancelled your Internet most mobile phones offer free Internet use or can use your local library for no charge. I think it's normal to put an extra layer or 2 on rather than turning the heating on but not to the extent where you are still cold.
What has changed so dramatically in your circumstances over the last few years that you used to keep the heating on most of the time, and now can't afford it at all? Obviously heating bills have gone up, but surely there's something else that's changed to go from one extreme to the other?
Could you forage for wood locally? That would give you a free fuel source.
Wearing thick socks and warm slippers (and putting hoods up on jumpers/dressing gowns) is good for keeping warm.
Fingerless gloves keep hands warm while letting you use your fingers normally.
Why is your oven on for several hours a day? Ours is on perhaps 30 minutes a day, and not even every day. How about batch cooking, portioning and freezing the extra, and using a microwave to reheat meals. That's more fuel efficient.
Energy saving trust have lots of tips to save energy, through insulating, draught proofing, and smarter energy use.
But as a PP said, could you cut back anywhere else? You have young children, I'd say a room temperature below about 16C daytime/14C bedrooms is too low for them. What temperature do you keep the thermostat?
Hi rockchick,yes things have changed alot I suppose,dh was made redundant and was out of work for a good part of a year(didn't get much money and what he did was ran out by the time he got work as we lived off it ) but thankfully got a job although money not half as good.We are certainly not on the poverty line compared to alot of people but have to draw a line somewhere so unfornately that line is with the heating costs as it is so expensive and has just gone up again,also try to be careful with turning lights ,tv off etc..I don't have sky couldn't afford that,have freeview so it was a one off payment thank god!I do a few hours work from home(work is hard to get here so lucky to have a few hours) so need the internet,don't go out ever which I don't mind,mortgage gets paid and food bought (aldi has become my best friend) so they are the main things.All bills get paid and apart from the mortgage we don't have any debts but so hard with less money coming in and 4 kids.Not living in the uk and things are alot more expensive here than the uk,house tax has just took a huge chunk of our money,have the susposed voluntary contributions for 3 schoolkids to pay(they keep texting me to pay!),school books have to be paid for here and believe me it would make your eyes water at the costs and I have them hounding me for the last 50 quid.What with christmas and 2 dc birthdays coming up the belt is tightened so I cannot afford to heat the house every day..I know plenty of people are in the same position and I shouldn't moan but its getting so cold now I wish I didn't have to worry about turning it on
I was brought up in a house were it was freezing and my parents were allergic to heating.
Big heavy curtains help, look for free give aways or salvo army may help you out. Blankets, blankets and more blankets! Try to make one room warm, ie the kitchen at night if the oven is on. Don't try and heat the whole house. Warm food and hot drinks. Loads of layers on the beds and get dressed in bed if you can. Hot water bottles!
I second the go looking for free wood and free food(maybe a food bank could help).
If you get really cold, go out somewhere where it's warm, shops, pub (one coke between you for half an hour), library, leisure centre, free museum.
sorry you are feeling so rubbish.
Coal tends to last longer i find in a fire, and feels much warmer than wood.
natural fabrics will keep you warmer...wool, silk etc..layer up and tuck everything in so you dont get gaps.
if the cooker is on, can you batch cook stuff for a few days, or cook a warming afters whilst your main course is cooking...ie casserole, jacket potatoes and a rice pudding? then you can leave the cooker door open when you are eating to warm the kitchen.
do you have slippers? a big pile of blankets? make sure any gaps around windows are taped up (you can use sellotape!) and that draughts under doors are blocked with rolled up towels etc..
take care now.
INMYSPARETIME..when I say cooker is on for a few hours it could be anything from an hour to 2 hours depending on whats getting cooked..always use microwave for reheating though,but will have to cut back on cooking usage and cook more meals at once to freeze.Fingerless gloves are a good idea,have raynauds so my hands do suffer.Room temps are 18 at the moment but sun is streaming in the windows..
Can you warm part of the house and just close and not use any other rooms? We didn't used to heat the spare bedroom in winter until it became DS's room, we just turned the radiator off.
I also know we lived in one room of our house when we were little, as Mum couldn't heat it all. We kids thought it was exciting, not a problem at all!
I am wearing fingerless gloves as I type (Brora, bought v v reduced in the sale, but TK Maxx sometimes has similar). Travel rugs & draught excluders help. I have been known to work at my desk (north facing window) in DS1's old Scooby Doo snuggle sack up to my waist.
We have the heating on for an hour and a half in the morning and an hour in the evening. During the day, I work with a hot water bottle on my lap. Husband regularly skip-forages for wood as all the banker/lawyer types who are moving in round here rip everything out and refurbish.
Lots of layers indoors, hat even? fleece blankets on sofa, cheap rugs for the floors (look on ebay) and the cling film type stuff for the windows if you have sash type windows?) We are just about to put it on for our windows. Bubble wrap is a great insulator, we have just out that up on a window which we need to open for ventilation (so no cling film) but don't mind not seeing out of.
Cut back on presents, or charity shops if possible.
Hot water bottle near your belly if sat at computer, that is where heat gets best distributed around your body, fingerless gloves and wrist warmers.
There was a thread a while ago about this, maybe a year ago, loads of good ideas about leaving oven door open after cooking, not using gas to cook pasta and rice as it will cook in boiled water with a tight fitting lid... will hunt for it.
We are in same position. British Gas are providing a new meter for us which will show what we are using and which will take readings and send them automatically, that is what you could do too, change supplier and ensure all readings are actual and not estimated?
Cheap duvets on the sofa for snuggling work here.
I use Asda smartprice 13.5 tog ones
Fleecy socks from Poundland. Very warm. Fleecy dressing gowns. Fleecy blankets. Generally lots of fleece!
Hot water bottles. Warming stews and hot puddings. Shop cheaper - if you buy Finest, drop to store's own. If you shop store's own, drop to value. Also Lidl and Aldi. Bulk buy when on offer.
We live in a crumbling droughty heap of a home. To stay warm I dress everyone in layers. I found many things at charity shop, but also maintain vigil for extremely cheap stuff at end of winter sales. Imperative to keep feet warm, always in extra thick socks or slippers. Just before bed, I slip hot water bottles in bed, as not to suffer that horrid cold sheet feeling. A warm bed also seems to help my little misses drop off to sleep. Tea pot always on, a cup or two always seems to dissipate cold (hot choc for Lo's) Soup is a major component of tea during winter, warms inside and outside..
Good luck, Op...I hope things improve for you..
Sorry not been on here over weekend but thanks to everyone for the tips..still got some wood left for a couple more days so happy days! been leaving the oven door open so have a warmish kitchen for a while and a warm sitting room for a few hours..only feel it upstairs but extra layers help
I'd second everything that the other posters have said but I am curious that you say Aldi has become your friend but you're " not living in the uk" Can I ask where as there may be other things that are relevant ?
Bit radical, I suppose, but if you have a large house couldn't you sell up and downsize to something a bit smaller, more modern and better insulated? Seems like your outgoings and income are out of step on a fairly regular basis
The details the OP gives indicate she is living in Ireland. Things are very tough there at the moment.
OP, my suggestion is that you look at your windows as you will be losing a lot of heat from them. Secondary glazing film is cheap and will stop a lot of draughts. Also if you have draughty gappy floorboards, as I do, I put down this gapseal stuff after it was recommended on here a few years ago and it has made a massive difference in my living room (old floorboards with huge gaps and DH refuses to countenance a carpet or rug as he likes the look of the boards). Buy cheap fleece blankets and duvets for wrapping up in when sitting still (I wear a dressing-gown indoors all day).
And look on the money saving expert website, there are great tips on there for all sorts of stuff.
Cog - if OP is in Ireland as I suspect, selling up is not an easy proposition at the moment.
Maybe not the easy proposition but surely it has to be a consideration? If the OP's income is falling regularly short of what they need to have a good standard of living.... and heating your home in a N European winter and running a car are not luxuries .... and there is no chance to increase income, then they have to reduce costs. The most prudent thing to do may be to retrench, downsize, take a loss on the property short-term, significantly reduce overheads and then build back up from there when times get better.
I intend to silicone seal all the gaps between floorboards and under the skirting boards when we buy a house.
The energy saving trust advise people to do so.
Themumsnot..Thanks,am indeed in Ireland! are you here too? your right times are tough here alot more expensive than the uk as you know and nothing is selling here therefore selling up is not an option as suggested by cog..I have a large modern new build house and we don't have a huge mortgage as thankfully had a big deposit ,love the house,love where we live its great for the kids living here but who hasn't the recession affected especially here.Nothing and I mean nothing is selling, I know of someone who has a similar house to mine and it was on the market for 2 years and kept being reduced and still couldn't sell, in the end they took it off the market as they couldn't afford to sell it if a buyer came along..Dh is thankfully working,I do a few hours which is more than alot of people have here so we are lucky,we never lived it up in the good times apart from not worrying about putting heating on from morning to night.As themumsnot seems to know there are more expenses here we have to pay 55euro to see a doctor and thats for adult or child,medincines are very expensive I just recently paid 45 quid for prescription medicines for one of the kids,dentists are very expensive have just had that expense too so this is why I have to cut back somewhere.There is bintax here and you pay to put your bins and bags for recycling out each week , all of this has to get paid and it does but as I said there is less income coming in at the moment as dh was out of work for a while and has took a drop in wages now just so he can work and provide.Looking for an evening job too but absolutely nothing doing,times are tough.. was just looking for a few keep warm tips and you all did that so thanks tips appreciated!
MissNappy - I live in the UK, but I'm Irish and my family all live there so I am very aware of what is going on at the moment. I think people here in the UK assume that things are basically similar but the scale of everyday expenses for things like visiting the doctor, schoolbooks, and the high cost of everything in the shops means that day to day living costs are vast compared with the UK.
Gosh sounds bleak... I live in Italy so we dont as yet need the heating, but in terms of the recession i get where you are coming from. I was in the uk last week though and was amazed how life seems to be going on as normal there... The shops were full of people. Initially i was a little bit envious but after an hour i felt slightly sickened by the needless consumerism of it all.. Who really Needs a novelty santa candle??!!! The Italians are big savers and you would never see them part with very hard earned cash on such unnecessary tat!!! Anyway, heating... I grew up in n ireland in a house without heating and it didn't do me any harm. We only heated the kitchen/living area and then it was up to bed with sweatshirts, socks and water bottles. We all did our homework inside sleeping bags! . Running around outside helps too... Gets the metabolic rate up. Cut down on meat, and eat more pulses... They fill out soups and add protein and are surprisingly well received by children and cost nothing. Get outside as much as you can... It sounds like it is all getting on top of you-justifiably- but a good walk outside will always lift the spirits! And try to remember good things- you are all healthy and have a house and food, so you are still lucky, even if living in straitened circumstances. All the best.
Ps get a steamer... Then you can cook say fish or chicken over your spuds and also veg!!!
Join the discussion
Please login first.