Voices: Stop washing, have more sex and live in the office: How to really save money this winter

·6-min read

The internet is ablaze with energy-saving tips to get you through the winter. From charging phones and laptops in the office (or even blow drying your hair there) to recreating the thrilling life of a nuclear submarine commander by reducing showers to no more than 15 seconds. But none, frankly, go far enough. Here is how to really cut down your energy bills this winter.

Take your fridge to work: Fridges and freezers can account for some 13 per cent of household electricity costs. Eliminate this outgoing completely by simply installing your fridge freezer in the office. With a bit of careful planning, there is no reason you cannot take home whatever you need for the evening and the following morning at the end of each day.

Sleep behind the fridge: For those without access to an office, all is not lost. The process of refrigeration actually creates a lot of heat, so for many people, the area behind the fridge could be one of the warmest places in the house. Save significant heating costs by snuggling down beside the condensing coils of your much-loved Smeg. And if you’ve not looked behind there for years, you will almost certainly find a few little snacky treats to get you through the night.

Dig out the old Nokia: Charging one’s phone in the office will only save so much. The real cash bonanza comes in discarding that fancy smartphone altogether and returning to the frankly better days of yore. Not only can the humble Nokia 8210 last for up to four years on a single charge, you can also while the winter away simply playing Snake, instead of doom scrolling and becoming ever more enraged by absurd money-saving suggestions written by demonstrable idiots.

Live in the office: Other news outlets have been derided for the suggestion that you can save up to £23 a day by working in the office instead of working from home. It has been pointed out that two people, living in the same house, spending £15 a day commuting as well as all of the other associated costs of workplace life, will not save any money at all and instead rack up massive losses, but such derision is worryingly shortsighted. Both commuting and heating costs can be radically reduced by travelling to work when the energy price cap rises in October and not returning home until the first day of meteorological spring some four months later. This suggestion also doubles as a life hack, as your fridge will already be there.

Unplug the television: Modern TVs are among the most energy-sapping devices in the house but don’t worry, this winter, you’ll have a fully fledged 3D TV experience right there in your own home. Why waste money watching well-paid news readers tell you how terrible everything is when you can switch it off at the wall and experience all that crushing misery for real?

Double shower: Consider installing a downstairs shower, directly beneath the upstairs. This need not be an expensive home renovation and will consist only of a simple hole in the ceiling cavity directly beneath the plughole. Now two members of the family can take simultaneous hot showers, one in the other’s run-off water. For added warmth… actually, best not.

Unemployment: Companies and businesses are not subject to any kind of price cap, meaning your employer is likely to be paying more than four times more for electricity than you are. So even if you’ve worked out that there are no actual savings to be made in commuting to the office just to charge your phone and your laptop, if only half the people in your company don’t do the same then it will only be a matter of weeks before you are out of your job which, if you use a PC and monitor, could save you up to 30p a day.

Huddle together: Emperor penguins survive the Antarctic winter simply by standing very close together and not moving for several months, and so could you. Recreate the fun of the jubilee by hosting a street huddle. Penguin dress optional.

Launch a knitwear range: According to social media, nobody in this country above the age of 55 grew up in a house with central heating, preferring instead to simply put on an extra jumper. This, of course, is palpable nonsense, but if only a tenth of the people who have written newspaper columns about the number of extra jumpers they will be wearing this winter decide to stick it out or else look ridiculous, then at least a million extra jumpers will be required, solely for use by the Daily Telegraph comment desk. Focus mainly on Pringle-based designs and all your financial worries will be over.

Epic shagging: Many online dating apps remain free to use and so, with careful planning, it is perfectly possible not to have to spend a single night in your own home from October to March, saving up to £15 a day on heating and 28p a day on showering, and costing you only around eight times more than that in bar and restaurant bills.

Don’t wash: It is a well-documented fact that after several weeks of neglect, hair begins to wash itself, liberating the brave from the shackles of Big Shampoo. LBC’s Andrew Marr hasn’t washed his hair in over 20 years. There is currently no available data as to when the rest of the body begins this process, but there is no reason to imagine it would not, and when better to find out that a winter energy crisis? NB: cannot be combined with the previous tip. It’s really one or the other.

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Hibernate: Many species of mammals and reptiles get through the winter by gradually winding down their body’s metabolic processes to an almost complete standstill and there is no reason you can’t do the same. Just find a cardboard box, some old newspaper and a few handfuls of straw, then pop yourself on a shelf in the garage and wait until spring. This will not only save you crucial expenditure on energy but you will also get the added bonus of completely bypassing the costly Christmas festive period.

Professional football: There are still two months to go before Gareth Southgate names his squad for the 2022 World Cup and, with just a little application between now and then, there is no reason you could not escape a sizable chunk of winter altogether by joining the Three Lions in Qatar. And you could double your savings by filling your return suitcases with cheap, freely available liquified natural gas. If reaching the required level to represent England in a major international tournament in just eight weeks seems unrealistic then don’t forget – Wales have qualified as well.

Sell the electric car: Remember the electric car you bought for 40 grand six months ago to save on petrol? Well, the good news is, on current projections, that car will be more expensive to run this winter than a petrol one, so sell it now before it depreciates by more than 10 grand, see if whoever bought your old one off you will let you have it back, and pocket whatever tiny difference you might have left. Environmental concerns? Come on, as if they matter any more. You seriously reckon Vladimir Putin is going to be allowed to plunge half of Europe and America into complete destitution without there being some kind of world-ending nuclear war? Get real.