Wrapping up warm to keep costs down

Scots are known to be cautious with their cash – and a new survey seems to confirm that.

By Maureen Ferrier
Saturday, 7th November 2015, 8:00 am

Extra layers of clothing, blankets, hot food and drinks, and getting up later are all cited by Scots as a means of keeping warm in winter, before turning on the heating.

Seventy-seven per cent of Scots say they use extra layers and blankets to keep heating costs down, and 55 per cent admit to keeping a blanket close at hand, rather than switch on a radiator.

And in October it was a case of “spend to save” as Scots spent an average £92 buying new jumpers, blankets and thermals to ward off the cold.

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Despite the spending spree, October also saw the majority of Scots give in and turn on their central heating. However, those who did switch it on said they use it “as and when” to take the bitterness out of the air and prefer to lean towards warming comforts instead of relying solely on their radiators.

But arguments break out in households across the country when it comes to deciding when to switch the heating on: more than half of those surveyed admit to disagreeing with their family and partners about when enough is enough. Warmer blooded residents offer “put some more layers on” as the top solution, along with “have a hot drink”.

Other humorous suggestions include “don’t get up so early”, “go out somewhere it’s warm” and “stop complaining”.

Despite saving money on energy bills the study highlights consumers are spending money in other areas as they try to keep warm. Hotpots, soup and casseroles see Scots adding £15 to their weekly grocery shop as 82 per cent of people swap to hotter foods during winter. 41 per cent of workers polled also change their commute’s from walking or cycling to trains or buses to avoid the chill, setting them back £38.35 each cold month.

Other key findings reveal:

- Scots spend an average of £146 on buying a new winter wardrobe

- extra layers and cosy jumpers are the top winter warmers in Scotland

- 14 per cent of residents swap exercising outside for a gym membership during the winter.

The survey was carried out by TopCashback and Consumer Affairs Editor Natasha Rachel Smith commented: “Residents in Scotland are becoming crafty with ways – or simply reverting back to old fashioned techniques – to keep their gas and electricity bills as low as possible for as long as possible.

“From extra layers and hot water bottles to using heavy curtains and draft excluders, spending a little before the colder weather hits can be a good long-term investment for consumers. Sitting in front of the TV, wrapped up in a blanket with a hot chocolate makes for a cheaper, and much nicer, winter setting than sweltering with the heating on full blast. That’s effectively burning money. There’s also the benefit of being able to re-use some winter warmers year after year, which really wrings out their value.”