Family support advice

Family Support Blog #7


Now that Christmas is over, and the reality of spending a little more than we expected can really hit home.   January can seem like a long month, especially when we are all looking after our finances, trying to make Decembers salary stretch that little bit further.

person holding phone

If you are worried about paying bills this month, here are a few tips to follow to ease these:

If you don’t think you can pay your Gas, Electric or bill…

Contact your energy supplier, credit card company and speak to someone who may be able to work out a new payment planty or credit card company, don’t just put the bill in the cupboard,

Contact phone and internet company, negotiate a new payment plan.


There are simple changes you can make in your home to reduce your electricity and gas usage

How to save electricity:

Buy energy saving lightbulbs

  • Try to phase out any incandescent or halogen bulbs still hanging around your home. You can replace them with LEDs.
  • LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are the most energy-efficient bulbsavailable, and are much cheaper to run.
  • Turning lights off in unused rooms
  • Why not use a timer switch to set lamps to come on and off. These plug straight into the wall and enable you to programme in several time slots.

Appliance and gadgets energy saving tips

The appslider_switchoffliances around your home can make your life easier. Whether they help you cook, entertain you, or something else. But they can also increase your energy usage.

Turn off standby appliances



Make sure radiators are not blocked by curtains or furniture

Turning down thermostat

  • Turn down your thermostat.
  • Moving furniture just a few centimetres away from radiators can help boost the temperature of your room. Do this, and you could turn your thermostat down and save money, without feeling the temperature difference.


Kitchen energy saving tips

The small changes below will help you cook delicious meals at home, whilst reducing your usual energy usage. Check them out:

  • Use a slow cooker

If you own a slow cooker, you’ll know that they’re a great alternative to the oven. Particularly for stews, tagines and curries, which need time for flavours to develop. And the bonus, using your slow cooker is also a very energy efficient way of cooking.

  • Cook in batches.

If you have a busy household, try to cook together. This can reduce the amount of time with your oven on, which can lower your energy bills. And it will make you feel more sociable too!

  • Only fill the kettle with what you need.
  • Don’t pre-heat the grill.

Put your food under the grill as soon as you turn it on – don’t wait until it has heated up. That way, the heat your grill creates as it is coming up to temperature helps the food cook. Which reduces the amount of wasted heat, and wasted costs! And it is quicker too.

Laundry energy saving tips

Laundry basket filled with clothes and a washing machine

Your favourite chore likely isn’t laundry. And costly washing machines and tumble dryers don’t help.

  • Wash clothes at a lower temperature

A 20°C wash will often be good enough for your clothes. And this will reduce running costs by up to 62% compared with a 40°C wash, according to consumer group Which?.

  • Air dry your laundry rather than tumble drying

If there’s a tumble dryer in your home, try to resist the urge to chuck your laundry in there straight from the washing machine. It is more environmentally friendly to hang your clothes on a clothes horse or washing line (if you have one). And better for your energy bills too.


If you are really struggling with energy bills contact Citizens Advice Bureau.

Our Family Support Team are here to offer support and advice and are running workshops in your school throughout the year so please get in touch if you would like more information contact

We are #here for you if you need advice, guidance or support – you can contact us via the contact information on our Team page.