A savvy woman has slashed her energy bills by using a series of thrifty solutions.
Kerry Collinson made the decision to cut down on her gas and electricity usage due to soaring prices as she “didn’t want to put my hard-earned money into the pockets of greedy people at the energy companies”.
The 51-year-old has reduced her gas bill by two-thirds and her electricity bill by half since changing her habits, resulting in a monthly payment of just £10 after the £60 government grant.
The commercial cleaner from Crewkerne, Somerset, has not turned on her central heating since February and says she only spends £1.20 a week cooking after swapping out her induction hob for a camping stove.
Despite the cutbacks, Kerry says her “quality of life is just as good”, but she is “saving a fortune”.
She said: “I don’t want to cut back on the nice things I’ve worked hard for my whole life so greedy energy firms can put it in their pockets.
“I’m very happy, I’ve still got what I need and I haven’t had to give up the things I love to do like going out for dinner or Netflix.
“I’ve more than halved my energy bill, even from before the price rise. We never put the central heating on, we got a log burner instead, and we use electric blankets when we’re cold.
“We never turn on the oven, and we stopped using the induction hob because I could see the smart metre literally spin every time I used it.
“So now I have two camping stoves and use an air fryer or a microwave to cook – it costs me £1.20 for the whole week whereas before it would cost 70p per meal.”
Solar lights are also something Kerry has used to help her cut costs.
She never turns her lights on in the evening and instead relies on solar lights that charge through the day, her log burner, and some chargeable tea lights from Amazon.
She has also stopped using the tumble dryer, which she says is an “inconvenience” but not essential.
Interestingly, she even has a window vacuum cleaner that removes moisture to ensure the house does not get damp.
Her most important tip was to be “aware” of turning things off when they’re not needed.
Instead of charging her phone and electrics from the mains, she has a transportable solar panel that can charge essentials during the day.
She said: “We started buying solar stuff in the summer because, with the war, we had a feeling that we should be prepared.
“So we bought lights, lanterns, and a fold-up solar panel that charges our devices for free.
“We don’t use the oven anymore, and generally day to day, we make sure all our lights are off and make sure everything’s unplugged when we don’t need it.”
At its highest, Kerry’s bill for her three-bedroom bungalow was £230, whereas she says it’s now only £95.
She said getting a log burner was “the best thing she’s ever done” and that many others are turning to that solution.
She has decided she will turn on the oven for Christmas Day, using it to cook her turkey, potatoes, and other cuts of meat for the days to come.
Everything else will be cooked on the campfire stoves and in her air fryer.
She said: “A few people I know have said they don’t know whether they could do this but that I have a few good ideas.
“It’s mostly about being more aware, turning things off when you’re not in the room and being more frugal.
“In the past, I’d pay my bills and just think it’s a thing I have to do as an adult, but now it just rubs me the wrong way.
“Why should so many people have to cut back on other things to put money into the pocket of someone who doesn’t deserve it.
“I’m not a political person at all, but I don’t want to give my money to people like that – I’d rather spend it on other things I love.”