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Martin Lewis' tips for keeping heating costs down in winter

Pair of hands on radiator - Martin Lewis has revealed his best advice for staying warm at home. (Getty Images)
Martin Lewis has revealed his best advice for staying warm at home. (Getty Images)

From knowing the 'correct' date to turn the heating on to swotting up on tips for staying warm without reaching for the thermostat, we've all had to be smarter this winter due to the ongoing cost of living crisis. But with lots of advice out there, there's one expert's advice that we've all been searching for: Martin Lewis.

The Money Saving Expert has been sharing his top tips in recent months, helping the nation keep costs to a minimum. From tiny tweaks to your routines to investing in affordable warming devices, we've compiled his best tips to help you save where you can this winter.

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Martin Lewis, aka the Money Saving Expert, was awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting and consumer rights in July 2022. (Getty Images)
Martin Lewis, aka the Money Saving Expert, was awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting and consumer rights in July 2022. (Getty Images)

Martin Lewis' tips for keeping heating costs down

1. One degree down

Lewis, in an episode of his ITV programme The Martin Lewis Money Show last month, encouraged people to turn their thermostats down by just one degree.

The finance expert pointed out that most people have their heating set at around 21 degrees, even though the World Health Organization has confirmed 18 degrees is “fine for healthy adults”.

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He said: "It’s not for me to tell you what to do but I’d like you to try reducing it by one degree. That could save you around 10 per cent on the heating bill."

2. Sleeping bag hack

Are you sat at home on the sofa wrapped in a throw? A more efficient option, says Lewis, would be enlisting the help of a sleeping bag.

Heat up a wheat bag or hot water bottle, which can cost a few pounds each, and place them inside the sleeping bag – this traps the heat inside, for just 1p or 7p respectively, per hour.

Woman wearing a jumper and holding a hot water bottle at home.
The Money Saving Expert recommends layering up and using items like hot water bottles. (Getty Images)

3. Use heated accessories

On his ITV show, Lewis emphasised that finding ways to “heat the human and not the home” should be the focus for keeping bills down, like hand-warmers and heated insoles.

Speaking about the research on different items conducted by his team, he said: "The one that really took off was small electrical items for heating the person.”

One of the most cost-effective accessories was heated gloves, which cost around £5 to buy and then as little as 1p per hour to run.

Read more: 23 ways to stay warm without turning on the heating this winter

Additionally, while heated gilets may set you back around £50 initially, you'll have to part with as little as 1p per hour in terms of energy use.

4. Layer up well

Earlier this year, when rises in energy bills were first mentioned, Lewis shared some other tips in his MSE guide – including wearing plenty of clothing.

He recommended aiming for a minimum of two layers indoors, although wear as many as feels comfortable.

Thermals make an ideal first layer on your top and bottom halves, since they are designed to conserve heat, as is sports clothing which has been designed to soak up sweat so you won't feel damp.

Putting on a jumper or fleece will make an effective second layer.

Woman wearing a jumper holding a mug of tea.
Drinking warm beverages like tea throughout the day can make all the difference. (Getty Images)

5. Remember your feet

Also in Lewis' guide was the reminder to not forget about your feet – because going barefoot could mean your body loses a lot of heat.

He recommends always wearing slippers when walking around your home, adding: "[Ones] that enclose your feet will keep warmth in better."

Changing your socks throughout the day can also be helpful, as they may have been absorbing moisture from your feet causing them to feel damp.

Additionally, slipping on a pair of tights under your bottoms will further stop heat from escaping.

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Sat down? Ensure your feet are raised. The guide explains: "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."

6. Fuel up properly

The guide also points to the health service's important recommendation that you should heat up from within as much as possible.

It notes: "The NHS says eating regularly will help keep you warm, and says you should have one hot meal a day. It also recommends drinking hot drinks regularly."

Tinned soups, beans, porridge and teas are some examples of low-cost food items that you can stock up on.

"If you're not able to cook, or want something a bit quicker, a cheap alternative is 'Cup a Soup' style sachets," it adds.

Watch: Martin Lewis reveals way to 'trap' heat inside homes amid cost of living crisis