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How A New Freezer And Front Door Could Save You £100s Each Year

  • Inflation is leading to mobile phone contracts, food and energy bills increasing
  • However there are ways to avoid or minimise the upcoming changes in March and April
  • Consumer expert Tom Church reveals his top tips for making huge savings each year
  • Ideas include getting a chest freezer, haggling for cheaper broadband and buying a new door

Inflation is impacting the cost of living across the country this year, with food, energy and mobile phone bills just a few of the areas affected. In a few months’ time, new prices will be in place for everyday products and services such as heating bills, mobile phone contracts and grocery shopping.

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Every year, we are left at the mercy of inflation, with prices going up for millions across the UK. It can make those who are already on a budget feel the pinch even more. However, there are some ways you can avoid or reduce the impact of these unpleasant price increases - from investing in a chest freezer to getting a new front door fitted. Here are some of my top tips.’

Avoid 10% Mobile Phone Bill Increase With 30-Day Rolling Sim-Only Contracts

April isn’t a good month for mobile phone bills, as they’re set to rise by up to 10%. Charges for customers with BT Group, Virgin Media O2, Three UK and Vodafone are all going up. Virgin Mobile is rising its airtime prices by 3.9% as well as the 7.1% Retail Price Index Rate, and O2 is also increasing its prices by the RPI rate for those who became customers after 25 March 2021. BT customers - which includes those on EE - are slightly better off, as they will have bills increased according to the lower Consumer Price Index, which is 5.1% at the moment.

If you’re in the market for a new mobile phone, consider buying it separately instead of buying a contract phone deal. It’s generally much cheaper to buy a SIM only deal, as you won’t be paying for the additional cost of a handset. Furthermore, instead of being tied into a 12, 18 or 24 month contract, you can go for a 30 day rolling contract if you go SIM-only. This means you can switch to a better deal in just a few weeks if you’ve found one elsewhere.

Think about what you actually use your phone for. If having unlimited data appeals, but you’re within range of WiFi networks most of the time, you probably don’t need it. A smaller amount of monthly texts and picture messages is also better if you’re more likely to get in touch with friends and family over email or social media.

Invest In A Chest Freezer To Reduce Impact Of 5% Food Price Inflation

Food prices have slowly been on the rise in recent months, with December 2021 seeing annual inflation up at 5.4% - the highest for around 3 decades. Unfortunately, the worst could be still to come, as the chairman of Tesco has warned that another 5% surge is possible in spring (which officially begins on 20 March) due to increasing energy prices which impact suppliers. That means that now, more than ever, it’s important to shop smartly for food and store it well.

Food waste is one of the biggest reasons why Brits have high food bills, with data from the BBC indicating that the average UK household will waste up to £600 worth of food per year. To avoid wasting even more money on leftover food thanks to the upcoming inflation, why not invest in a chest freezer? There are plenty of foods which can be frozen, from egg whites to leftover wine. Many chest freezers are available for under £200, so you could save £100s in food waste each year with this purchase.

Haggle For A Cheaper Broadband Deal - Dodge Inflation, Grab A Free Router

Just as mobile phone bill costs are set to go up, the same is the case with some broadband packages. From April, consumers should be prepared to potentially pay more on their monthly direct debit. What’s more, it may not always be possible to get out of your contract if you’re partway through, as such price increases form part of the agreement you will have signed when you first set up the service.

If you’re at the end of your contract, it will be worth trying to haggle over the phone so you can get a cheaper deal. Providers won’t want to lose business with you, especially if you’ve been a long-term customer or never defaulted on your bill. Some key phrases to use are ‘This other provider can give me the same deal for less’, ‘I need some time to think about this’ and ‘The maximum I can afford is X per month’. Try getting through to the customer retention team, as they are trained to retain customers and will do their best to keep you on board with the company. Even if you can’t get a better deal, you could see what freebies may be available, such as a higher data limit, better router or increased speed.

Dodge 3.8% Annual Fare Increase With A Season Ticket Before 1 March

For those of us who commute via train or travel a lot on the rail network, getting a season ticket makes sense. However, the prices are set to increase in March, as they do each year. There is some good news - according to the GOV.UK website, costs are going up 3.8% compared with the retail price inflation of 7.1%. Furthermore, the Book with Confidence scheme has been extended to 31 March, which means that if you need to change your travel plans, you won’t need to pay an admin fee if you change it by 6pm the day before travel. That said, we’re about to experience the biggest price hike since 2013, so it’s worth locking in cheaper travel costs while you still can.

All hope is not lost, as there are some good ways to find cheap train tickets despite these unwelcome changes. For example, if you know when you’ll be travelling more than 12 weeks in the future, you can set up an alert on the Trainline. Try to choose off peak fares when possible to save on the cost, and see if you can split your fare using sites like Trainsplit and Split Ticketing. What’s fare splitting? It means you pay the lowest price for each part of your journey instead of an overall cost.

Be careful if you’re travelling in London, though, as it can often be cheaper not to book ahead and instead pay as you go on the day of travel. Just use an oyster card or contactless card and TfL will apply a charge once you’ve made your journeys.

Save £100s On Energy Bill Price Hike With An Insulated uPVC Front Door

Many people will know about the upcoming rise in energy bills, which ultimately sees customers on a default tariff experience a price hike from £693 to as much as £1971 per year on their direct debits. However, by energy proofing your home, you can benefit from significant reductions in your heating bills. You may have read about double glazed windows, but did you know there are also double or even triple glazed doors? It’s not just the glazing that’s important, but also the material your door is made of. Industry experts recommend using uPVC, timber, composite or aluminium on entrance doors for the best results.

The most energy efficient door will combine factors such as flush fitting, resilient frames, multiple layers of Glass Reinforced Plastic and a timber core. The cheapest material is uPVC, with doors costing around £250 at the lower end of the scale according to Everest. With installation, this price rockets up to £800, but you can cut the costs by getting a local handyman to install it in a few hours at £25 per hour.

Buy Meal Prep Containers For Batch Cooking And Save £1,100

Batch cooking is quickly becoming more popular, and for good reason. According to data from Pyrex, batch cooks can save £1,100 on their food bills per year on average. What’s more, you may see batch cooking as time consuming, but parents with kids under 18 will actually save time - just under 3 hours a week, to be precise.

Investing in meal prep containers is a good way to save money over time. They’re reusable, so there’s no need to worry about waste. The easiest meals to prepare in bulk are casseroles, bolognese, curries, soups and lasagne. You can buy frozen meat in supermarkets, or browse for yellow sticker bargains. Mince is particularly good to use in multiple recipes - you could make a lasagne and a spag bol with the same pack of mince, particularly if you bulk it up with low-cost chickpeas, tinned tomatoes and frozen vegetables. Pop your meal prep containers in your chest freezer and you’re good to go!

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