I cut my grocery and broadband bills by £320 a year after making two changes – you can do it too | The Sun

AN ex-chef has revealed how he's slashed hundreds off his energy bills a year by batch cooking and making a simple broadband switch.

Andy Selkirk, of Barrhead, Scotland, gave up working long and anti-social hours and is now studying video game design.

But the 36-year-old still draws on his cheffing experience by batch cooking every two or three weeks.

The 36-year-old started after buying a smart energy meter and realising how much using his oven was costing him.

Instead, he now cooks in bulk and reheats portions in the microwave and reckons he saves around £200 a year.

"Using the oven is such a slog for cooking," he told The Sun.

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"Taking into account preheating the oven it was kind of scary."

Andy bought a chest freezer as well, where he stores all his pots of batch-cooked food to save on bills.

He added: "It hasn't really increased my electricity use by a substantial amount and having that means I can take advantage of deals.

"Like things with a short shelf life, I can freeze and batch cook up and then store."

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Energy bills have skyrocketed for millions across the UK after wholesale gas prices shot up, partly due to the war in Ukraine.

Some firms are even paying customers to use their household appliances at less popular times of the day in a bid to reduce the likelihood of blackouts.

Andy is with Octopus Energy, one company that's paying customers to use their appliances at off-peak times.

He said he would participate in the scheme to save further on his bills.

He added: "One of the things about batch cooking is I can move when I do it.

"When Octopus offer its scheme that's definitely something I'll do."

'I slashed my broadband bill by £120 a year'

On top of his batch cooking, Andy has slashed his yearly broadband deal with Virgin Media from £360 to £240 just by reducing his internet speed.

He was paying around £30 a month for 500 megabytes when he first moved in but after a while realised he didn't that much as he lives in his flat alone.

Five hundred megabytes is enough to handle around 300 Zoom calls and would be suitable for a small workplace.

Even 300 is enough to let you stream HD video on 12 devices at the same time, or even download an HD film in two minutes.

So think twice before accepting the first broadband offer that comes your way.

To change his internet speed, all Andy had to do was call Virgin and "they were pretty great about it".

He said: "The difference between 200 to 500 isn't that much and you'd struggle to know the difference."

"So I'm saving £120 a year just to drop my internet by roughly half but still have a very fast connection."

If you want to look at lowering your internet speed to save money, you can always try price comparison websites like Uswitch or Money Supermarket to figure out the best deal.

They'll show you how much you'll pay and the internet speeds on offer.

How else can I save money at home?

Beyond Andy's money-saving tips there are some other ways you can cut back on costs while at home.

Millions can save money on their internet through so-called social broadband tariffs.

They're available to people on certain benefits, including Universal Credit, income-related employment and support allowance and pension credit.

Prices vary depending on your provider, but they can see you save hundreds a year.

Figures last month figures from Ofcom revealed the number of households on social broadband tariffs had risen from 55,000 to 136,000 since January.

But it means there are still millions missing out.

How you apply for one will depend on your provider but you can always check their website.

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If you're looking for ways to save when cooking and eating, Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert website has previously shared a helpful guide.

Plus, we revealed four ways you can reduce your cooking costs by using an air fryer.

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