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Keeping Healthy, Warm and Well in Derbyshire's pick of MoneySavingExpert's top tips


An excerpt from Metro's top tips ~ the full article can be viewed here


1. Heat the human, not the home

Getting extra warmth from electric blankets, heat pads and footwarmers is recommended.

Other tips include dressing in a base layer, mid-layer and an outer layer, using thermal socks and using the hot water bottle in a sleeping bag’ trick.


2. Free water-saving gadgets

Water firms hand out free water-saving gadgets via water efficiency site Save Water Save Money.

This includes shower heads (which help regulate water usage and are normally £20), tap inserts (which also regulate water flow, normally £5) and ‘Buffaloo’ cistern bags (which you place into your toilet cistern so each flush uses less water, normally £2).


3. Healthy Start vouchers for those pregnant with a child under four and on benefits

They can be used by families on low incomes to buy cows’ milk, formula milk, fruit and veg and other food. Apply via the NHS.


4. Stop overpaying for prescriptions

More than one million people in England from April 2020 to April 2021 would’ve been better off using an NHS prescription prepayment certificate.

Paying £9.15 for each prescription, rather than a single payment of £108.10 for unlimited prescriptions shows an average overspend of around £40 a year.


5. Get tactical with your oven and washing machine

Doing one fewer load of washing a week, using your machine on a 30-degree cycle and making sure your machine is full when you use it can save about £28 a year on your energy bill, the Energy Saving Trust advises.


6. The ‘Downshift Challenge’

Dropping down a brand level on groceries can cut 30% off bills.


7. Clip coupons online

MoneySavingExpert has a monthly 40+ supermarket coupons guide.


8. Household hacks

From cutting dishwasher tabs in half, to saving wrapping paper from opened gifts, all the little things add up. See hacks here



Apply for free school meals


Check if your child can get free school meals in England. 


If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll also qualify for the Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF). You have to apply before each holiday.


Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)



Infant free school meals in England


Your child is able to get free school meals if they’re in a government-funded school and in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2


Please contact the school office if you would like your child to swop over to dinners.





Our advisers can help you find a way forward with advice on energy, benefits, debt and money issues, housing, access to grants, schemes and other support.

  • Issuing free pre-payment meter energy vouchers
  • Providing sim cards with up to six months worth of free data, calls and texts
  • Reducing your water bill via the big difference scheme
  • Call our freephone Adviceline on0808 278 7954 ~ open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm



Free childcare hours ~ Nursery

Working parents are entitled to 30 free hours per week for 38 weeks of the year once their child is three-years-old.

The free hours can be used at any Ofsted registered nursery. The 30 hours are only available for working parents.


Find out more on the website.


Tax-free childcare accounts

You can fund your child's Breakfast and After School Club using tax-free childcare (TFC) accounts.

The government will pay £2 into a TFC account for every £8 you contribute.


Visit for more information.