Money saving advice for families in winter

Winter can be a difficult time if your family is struggling with money. You may worry about the costs of Christmas or rising energy bills or need help paying for food or clothes.

There are some things you can do to help keep the costs down, and places you can go for help.

Keeping warm

Rising energy prices can be a huge worry for families. It’s important for your mental and physical health that you don’t stop heating your home altogether, but there are ways to reduce the costs:

Help with food and other items

Foodbanks are there to give you food when you can’t afford it. Sometimes they can also offer other essential items and clothing. Check the Trussell Trust foodbank finder.

You can save on the cost of food if you:

  • Plan and only buy what you need.
  • Shop around to find the best deals. lets you search for products and find which shops have the best prices.
  • Save energy and waste by bulk cooking.
  • Use a slow cooker or air fryer. These are typically more energy efficient than gas cookers and electric ovens.

Warm clothes for children

Keep your children wrapped up warm in coats, scarves, gloves and hats. If you need help buying warm clothes for your child, you can go to:

  • Charity shops and online selling groups for secondhand clothing.
  • Your child’s school or childcare setting. They might offer uncollected lost property or can direct you to charities that can help.
  • Local charities, churches and family centres. These often collect and give out children’s clothing.
  • Out of season sales. You can find reduced winter clothes in the spring, so you can buy the next size up for your child to wear next winter.

Low-cost celebrations

You might feel pressure to spend more money in winter as your child gets excited about possible events and celebrations.

It helps if you can manage your child’s expectations early. Involve your child in coming up with creative ways to celebrate that don’t cost too much. Maybe you can make homemade costumes and decorations together. If you talk to your child about money, you can agree a spending limit together or they might want to save up their own pocket money.

Read our advice on what to do if you’re worried you can’t afford Christmas and ideas for Christmas on a budget.

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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

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