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Cost of Living Crisis: Tips on how to save money 

Published 18th July 2022, in Blog, News, News & Updates, Wellbeing

Inflation could reach 11% within months, putting more pressure on household finances so we’ve put together some information to help you with the cost of living crisis.

Global inflation – the rate at which prices rise – is at its highest since 2008 and prices are rising by 9.1% a year in the UK – the highest rate for 40 years. The Bank of England has warned inflation might reach 11% within months, as the prices of fuel, energy and food put pressure on household budgets. The cost of living crisis is hitting us all so here are some cost of living support resources that might help you cope.

If you need to talk to someone about your concerns you can contact one of our friendly Hub Hosts and they will be able to assist and advise if any of our services can help.

Contact The Living Options Hub

The guidance listed below is current at the time of publishing (18 July 2022) but we will aim to update this page when new details become available.

Do You Urgently Need Food?

If you’re in immediate need of food you can contact the many foodbanks across Devon. Use these links to find your nearest foodbank.

Foodbanks in Devon

PinPoint: Foodbanks in Devon Foodbanks in West Devon South Devon Foodbanks

East Devon Foodbanks

Axminster

Exeter

Exmouth

Honiton

Ottery St Mary

Seaton

Sid Valley

Tax & benefits 

As the cost of living continues to affect households across the UK, the government has announced a new package of payments to help most households that are claiming benefits.

10-minute Benefits Check 

You can check what benefits you might be entitled to using the Entitledto website tools. Entitledto also publishes the latest cost of living support information.

Entitledto: Cost of Living Information Entitledto: Benefits Calculator

Council Tax Discounts

If you live alone, with students, have a ‘severe mental impairment’, have a live-in carer, receive pension credit or are on a low income, you could get a council tax discount.

Discounts can range from 25% to 100%, depending on your circumstances. Moneysavingexpert.com publish the latest Council tax discounts eligibility information.   

Moneysavingexpert: Council Tax Discounts

Income Tax

If you’re working as an employee or pensioner you should check your tax code is correct. Millions of workers and pensioners are on the wrong tax code and may be owed money back. 

Tax codes are the short series of numbers and letters, such as 1257L, that tell employers or pension providers how much tax to take from you. You can use the Moneysavingexpert tools to check if your tax code is correct. 

MoneySavingExpert: Tax Code Calculator 

Financial Support Grants

The Family Fund for disabled children

If you’re on benefits and have a disabled child, you could get cash from the Family Fund. If you’ve got a disabled child (17 or under) who lives at home and you receive certain benefits (such as income support or universal credit), the Family Fund has grants to help make life easier. These can be used on items or activities such as washing machines, computers and holidays. 

Family Fund Grants

Other Support Grants

You can search for support grants at turn2us that have a list of charitable grants that don’t have to be paid back. Many charitable funds will help people who have no access to public funds and can’t claim welfare benefits.

Turn2us: Search For Grants

Food and Groceries

Couponing 

One of the ways to save on your shopping is with discounts on groceries. Supermarket coupons can get you big discounts at the normal cost. Moneysavingexpert has lots of information on couponing. 

MoneySavingExpert: Couponing

Supermarket Discounts

The major supermarkets offer special discounts which could save you money at the checkout. One major supermarket’s Clubcard membership gives you discounts up to 50% off specific items. Another major supermarket offers 30% discounts via its SmartShop app. 

MoneySavingExpert: Supermarket Shopping Guide

Heating, Energy, and Water

We put together some information on how to cope with spiralling energy costs in a previous article.

Get Help With Energy Costs

Household Support Package

The UK Government has created a household support package that offers financial support and will be available in September.

Ill and Disabled people

In September the UK Government will be providing an extra £150 payment to people who get disability benefits via:

  • Disability Living allowance; or
  • Personal Independence Payment; or
  • Scottish Adult Disability Payment; or
  • Scottish Child Disability Payment; or
  • Attendance Allowance; or
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment; or
  • Constant Attendance Allowance; or
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement 

Low-income Households

The UK Government support will provide £650 to households getting one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit; or
  • Pension Credit; or
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA); or
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); or
  • Income Support; or
  • Working Tax Credit; or
  • Child Tax Credit

You can learn more about Energy and Water support at Turn2Us.

Turn2us: Energy and Water Turn2us: Energy Schemes Guide

Water Meters and Usage Reduction

Moneysavingexpert has seen water bill savings of £100s by fitting water meters and cutting down on water usage. You can learn more about water cost savings on their website.

MoneySavingExpert: Water Bill Savings

Debt Help

The current cost of living crisis and lingering effects of the pandemic means more people are struggling with debt. But no debt problems are unsolvable. It might not be easy or quick to resolve, but there’s always a route. And the earlier you tackle them, the easier they are to deal with.

There are many local organisations that can guide you and talk you through where to start.

Debt Support in Devon

PinPoint: Devon Debt Support West Devon: Debt Support

National Debt Support

UK Government: Money Helper MoneySavingExpert: Debt Help Plan National Debtline

Travel, Petrol and Fuel – Reduce the cost of fuel 

Save Petrol and Diesel

The price of petrol and diesel is at near-record highs but there are some guides available on how to reduce your vehicle fuel costs.

Petrolprices.com: Cheapest Fuel Near You MoneySavingExpert (RAC): Cheap Petrol & Diesel

Save by Cycling 

It may sound obvious, but think before you drive short distances. If you’re able to cycle, switching to cycling could save your fuel costs and there are savings available for hiring or buying cycles. 

MoneySavingExpert: Save Money by Cycling

Budget Planning

If you want to reduce your household bills and need to know how to budget then this guide gives you some helpful tips and tricks. The guide includes a free budget planner, which analyses your finances to help you manage and control your cash.

MoneySavingExpert: Budget Planner

Leisure Savings

Free Leisure Cards

If you claim benefits you could be entitled to a free leisure card which gives you discounted swimming and other activities at council-run leisure centres. To apply, you’ll need to contact your local authority. 

Free Gyms 

There are council-funded outdoor gyms that are free-to-use all year round, they’re mostly found in open recreation areas and parks. So if you need to cut back on gym membership, consider giving free outdoor gyms a try. 

Find Torbay Outdoor Gyms Find East Devon Outdoor Gyms Find North Devon Outdoor Gyms

Additional Cost of Living Support Information

Help with the cost of living – Devon County Council 

Learn About The UK Government Support Package – Moneyhelper.org.uk

Cost of living survival guide – Moneysavingexpert.com

Published: 18 June 2022