Martin Lewis’ website shares cheaper alternatives to keep warm without heating

Energy costs are soaring, leaving many Brits struggling to find the money to heat their homes.

To try and help combat this, Martin Lewis' website MoneySavingExpert.com has shared alternatives to warming your house by 'heating the human, not the home'.

This includes the cheapest ways of keeping yourself warm – including hot water bottles and electric gilets.

1. Self-warming products

The MSE website recommended a host of products you can wear to help keep you warm.

The cheapest of these were USB gloves, heated insoles, USB hand warmers and electric gilets, which all cost 4p a week, according to MSE.

Other options suggested were microwaveable wheat bags (49p per week), a hot water bottle (78p per week), reusable hand warmers (98p per week), and an electric heat pad (£1.05 per week), along with an electric foot warmer (£1.05 per week) and an electric blanket (£1.37 per week).

You can also keep your feet warm with rugs, slippers and thick socks.

2. Layering clothes

The website says that the clothes you wear can make a "huge difference" when living in a cooler house.

It says the first layer, which sits directly against your skin, should be "close-fitting" so that it locks in heat and "wicks away" sweat.

Cotton should be avoided, as it traps moisture and cools you down over time – instead try polyester or nylon.

It also recommended heathen thermals, which start from around £4.

On your midlayer, fleece jumpers were recommended, while padded jackets are suggested if you're really cold as a top layer.

3. Eating right

According to the NHS, eating regularly helps to keep you warm.

You should have one hot meal a day and drink hot drinks regularly.

Homemade soup and porridge are also cheap and warming meals to try.

4. Keep your feet off the floor

The website reads: "The floor is usually the coldest part of the house.

"Putting your feet up on a stool or similar can help them stay that little bit warmer while you're sitting down."

5. Gentle and regular exercise

Even just a walk around the house can help keep you warm, so try to move around once an hour.

However, be aware that more strenuous exercise will make your body sweat to try and cool you down – so that's not the best way to warm you up.

The MSE website did warn that it may be dangerous for older people or those with asthma and other health conditions to heat themselves rather than their home though.

Not heating your home properly can contribute to damp issues and frozen pipes, according to the website, which could result in hundreds of pounds of damage.

The Energy Saving Trust does recommend ventilating rooms and having the heating on to some degree during winter.

If you rent, you'll need to check what your contract says about heating too as some landlords state you must turn the heating on regularly, or keep the home at a minimum temperature.

Talking about the tips, Martin Lewis himself said: "This is a guide I really wish we needn’t be publishing. The reason I asked Sarah and the team to put this together is due to my overflowing e-mail bag of desperation from people who can’t afford their energy bills.

"So don’t see this as an ‘MSE or Martin says you should do this’. It's more that we’re trying to help provide some options and information for those that may need to drastically cut down on energy usage due to financial desperation and some help for others who may want to do it out of a commitment to green issues."

Along with the tips, MSE said many households in England, Wales and Scotland can get up to £350 of Government support this year to help with energy bills.

This includes:

  • A £200 rebate 'loan' in October to all households. Brits will get an automatic £200 discount on your bills, regardless of what tariff you're on. Then from April 2023 you'll have a £40/year levy added to bills which effectively repays the discount
  • A £150 council tax rebate 'from April' to all households in England, Scotland and Wales for those in bands A to D

There is also a £144 million discretionary fund for councils designed for those on low incomes who don't qualify for help due to their council tax band or who don't pay council tax.

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