Saturday, 29 December 2012

Checking bills for the best deals

Welcome to my new follower never too old.

Well, we have just come back from doing what I hope is our last top up for 2012 (and hopefully, most of January). Taking away what was not normal groceries, it came to £15.36. That doesn't leave much change out of my planned £20 total spend for January, so might have to up it a little bit.

Anyway, my plan is to use up what is in our 2 upright freezers, plus the fridge and store cupboards. That way, I can begin batch cooking items such as soups, stews, curries, faggots, cauliflower cheese etc.

The wind has been gradually building up here throughout the night and morning although the temperature is quite mild at 11C. Might even be able to get away with not lighting our fire at all or until the evening.

We have been searching on line for a better electricity deal due to our provider (Eon), introducing standing charges from January. We don't have gas in our area so get a £20 annual discount from them for that. We also get a 6% annual discount off our bills for online management. Although there were one or two better deals as far as standing charges go, we need Economy 7 and not all providers offer that.

Our usage splits into 1/6th day time units and 5/6th night time ones. Due to using very little during the day, we never qualify for the cheaper day time units. We have our 40 minutes of morning hot water and central heating before the cheap rate switches off. Plus when we tumble dry, we do so overnight on the cheap rate. Everything else is dried on the clothes horse in front of the log burner or on the line.

Anyway, in the end, we decided to stay with Eon for now but changed tariff to the Age UK one which will save us £50 in this coming year. After that, we'll think again.

Other heating expenses are oil (central heating/hot water). It is hard to quantify costs as we need to top it up every now and then and it is difficult to estimate how much gets used in a year. We had 900 litres delivered late Autumn at 50p a litre (it is now around 78p per litre). Our tank holds 1000 litres and is currently 3/4 full.

The other heating expense is the wood burner. We paid £140 for just over 2 cubic metres of dry hardwood logs. They should last us most if not all of the Winter and Spring as we had some left over from last year. I suppose that means on average, we should need to buy another 2-3 cubic metres in Summer ready for next year. We use pallets, old wood from fence panels and twigs for kindling, so most of it is usually free.

Got to keep your eye on the ball haven't you?


  1. We recently topped up our oil too, we paid 60p a litre .......regional variations obviously exist.

    We too burn wood but can get free logs, well they cost us fuel for collection and sweat for chopping them up ! Pallets are great aren't they

    Good luck tweaking your budget

    1. Thank you. We topped up late July and the 78p per litre is the current price.

  2. Hi Dc,
    I have just found your blog and I look forward to sitting down later and having a proper read. Im particularly looking forward to reading about your rag rugs too. I would love to make one for our living room but I can never find one I like in the stores so I thin making one might be a better option.
    Hope your well and I look forward to reading your blogs some more.
    x Sammy x

    1. Welcome Sammy, hope you enjoy 'back-reading'!I started another rag rug early last year and haven't touched it again yet. I'm busy saving the material I want to try crocheting one (when I learn it again). Always on the back burner these type of projects. Still got to knit myself a pair of hand gloves (fingerless/thumbless mitt) plus one to finish off a pair for DB. Ah well, helps keep me busy.

  3. I forage for wood which helps so we've never had to pay for any - yet! I find skips are good for wood. Happy new year!

  4. Oil is so expensive but at the house there is no gas, so no real choice. On the barge we will be more self sufficient with wood burner, solar panels etc. Happy New Year xxx


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