Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


3 Ways to save money at home this Christmas

Christmas is on its way. Forthcoming times to be treasured include seasonal treats such as: time off work, mulled wine, an excuse for bad jumpers, and of course, a host of supermarkets competing for our heartstrings through TV adverts. It’s an expensive time of year too, and that’s true even for the grinches among us. After all, if the annual present-buying frenzy isn’t mandatory in your winter lifestyle, turning the heating up must be.

This is a short guide to help you to save money in the home this Christmas and hopefully this guide will allow you to indulge more this Christmas (eggnog or otherwise).

white interior
Beautiful hallway (image)

Beating the bills while heating the chills 

Central heating can be a hot topic at Christmas. But while it’s possible to stave off the cold through the art of layering clothes and eating hot stew, it’s inevitable that the thermostat will need a tweak at some point. Chilling statistics from the Debt Advisory Centre show that more than half of the UK population are concerned about paying for heating their homes this winter: more than 1 in 20 will be seeking to borrow money; 1 in 8 will be trying to preserve their funds through changing their bill payments and 1 in 5 will be going to the extreme lengths of cutting back on food.

There are ways of enhancing your central heating so that it never has to be running at full tilt and draining your finances. In some cases, radiator faults can be to blame for a poor but expensive heating performance. When it’s freezing outside and the radiators aren’t doing enough, throwing in the towel and turning the thermostat clockwise can seem like the only option but you should check to see if your radiators are actually working properly as there maybe a problem. Sometimes radiator efficiency can be impaired due to pockets of trapped air, a common issue that can now be conveniently tackled. By simply finding the right bleed valve and then making an inevitable mess, automatic radiator bleeders can do it all for you. These gadgets will expel air as soon as it’s detected, making your radiator much more effective. You can also try out radiator booster. When this was tested by Which? magazine, they found that the room in which it was employed heated up much more quickly and energy consumption dropped.

cosy socks
Oh would love a real fireplace in our house for cosy evenings (image)

Mayflower AV, specialists in home automation systems, say that “the energy wasted heating our homes when we’re either asleep or out can accumulate to a staggering amount over the course of a year.” They suggest using home automation devices that link to either your phone or laptop for controlling your heating. Thanks to advancements in technology, home automation isn’t the stuff of sci-fi films anymore. As digital trends put it earlier this year: you’re not alone if you think you can’t afford it, but you are mistaken. 

Get paid to do the Christmas shopping 

Yes, when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is well welcome to the exception to the rule. 
Thanks to companies that pay people to shop, the competition is coming thick and fast. With the aim of convincing users to jump ship, they’re armed with even more benefits, come the 1st of December, the successfully crowd funded app “Doonk” will go live in its quest to find cheaper alternatives for everything users purchase. To give that prospect added allure, they promise that if those cheaper alternatives are adopted, users will receive 50% of the commission.

The names currently making waves in the rewarded shopping arena are Quidco and TopCashback. Quidco in particular claim that their average active users make about £280 each every year. So, if the idea of Christmas shopping has you considering going the DIY route with pipe cleaners, tissue paper and crayons, don’t let this idea stop you from exercising your inner artist. But it’s reassuring to know that there are ways of saving money even when you’re spending lots of it.

christmas decorations
Little festive touches in our home

If it’s going to waste you could sell it post-haste

Don’t reject this point out-of-hand - it doesn’t rely on the unbelievable premise that you might suddenly find a priceless heirloom in your attic, and nor does it suggest that you book a slot at a car-boot sale. Nowadays, a vast range of enterprises pay for things that most people probably wouldn’t term particularly valuable. Some of them are household names running schemes you might not know about. For example, H&M are currently running a clothing and home textile recycling service that rewards every donated bag with gift vouchers (a well-loved mainstay of the traditional Christmas gift). So, if you have any scraps of fabric or sartorial sins, now’s the time to cash in.

The less well-known YourParkingSpace are another company offering a fantastic but unusual opportunity for making money. From their perspective, there may be people with unused car parking spaces who don’t realise that people are willing to pay to use them. With YourParkingSpace, you can sign up for free, list your parking space and then sit back and wait for the bids to commence.

Of course you can also list anything that is taking up space in your house in things like Ebay to make a little extra for presents as well as decluttering the house - it's something we do every year around this time. Another tip is to simply up cycle, re-use and get creative with what you have an handmade things for the home.

old fireplace

We love having homemade bunting in our home

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  1. Great ideas! Getting paid to do the Christmas shopping sounds like a dream!

    Anika Heart // UK Lifestyle Blog

  2. Some great ideas, we try not to have the heating on high but I get so cold :) xx

  3. This is such a fantastic post, especially the heating one! thank you for sharing :) x
    | Life as a Petite || Fashion, Crafts & Lifestyle Blog | // International Giveaway


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