Switcher.ie's 12 Saves of Christmas

From closing off draughts to turning down your thermostat, there are loads of ways to save this holiday season...

In the run-up to Christmas, we’re bringing you tips every day which can help you save energy, money, or hassle - or sometimes all three! - and really make the most of the festive season.

We’ve also got a competition running on our Facebook page where you can win a €500 One4All gift voucher!

For more details, visit our Facebook page, and take a look at the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of this page.

We’ll be adding a tip below each day until Saturday 17 December, so watch this space!

Tip 1. Turn your thermostat down - even just a little!

12 tips of Christmas tip 1

Lowering the temperature by even one degree can result in huge savings on your bills, with some estimates saying doing this could save you up to 10% on your bill.

You could also consider using a timer for your heating or - even better - a smart thermostat.

Tip 2. Nab yourself a great TV deal and make the most of the festive programming.

12 tips of Christmas tip 2

Sky is currently offering Sky Cinema for half price, while Virgin Media’s TV packages start at €10 per month - and you can now watch Netflix through your Horizon box.

There are loads of offers out there, so if you’re interested in making a switch, take a look at our comparison tool and see what’s right for you.

Find a TV deal now

Tip 3. Make an energy switch now to help your finances for the next year.

12 tips of Christmas tip 3

The average dual fuel customer can save up to €387 per year simply by moving from standard tariffs to the cheapest deals on the market.

Comparing deals and making a switch only takes a few minutes, and Switcher.ie and your new supplier will handle everything, so it’s quick and hassle-free. Start comparing now using our free energy comparison tool.

Tip 4. Use Skype or WhatsApp to catch up with loved ones abroad.

12 tips of Christmas tip 4

We all love to catch-up at Christmas-time, but long-distance phone calls can be really expensive and could be an unwelcome surprise when your bill comes in.

If you have an unlimited broadband plan, or unlimited data on your mobile phone plan, using online apps to call loved ones who are abroad will help you to avoid nasty charges on your phone bill.

Tip 5. Travelling home for the holidays? Plan your trip and book in advance.

12 tips of Christmas tip 5

Bus and train schedules often change in the days around Christmas. Make sure you get home on time by checking the schedule and booking your ticket in advance.

Frequently, tickets booked in advance are also cheaper than ones booked on the day, and lots of operators offer an online discount. So plan your trip well to cut down on stress and save money.

Tip 6. Check your latest energy bill and, if it was estimated, submit a meter reading.

12 tips of Christmas tip 6

Research conducted on behalf of Switcher.ie shows that half of consumers trust their suppliers to get their bills right. If this sounds like you, you could be missing out on important information, like whether or not your bill was estimated.

Check your bills regularly and if you receive an estimated bill, submit a meter reading as soon as you can.

This will ensure you’re being billed based off your actual usage - and help you to avoid any nasty surprises on your bills come January!

Tip 7. Don’t get caught up in Christmas debt.

12 tips of Christmas tip 7

Credit cards or personal loans might be really tempting at this time of year, but try to avoid using them if at all possible.

Debt built up in the run-up to Christmas has to be paid off in the new year, and it can take a while to clear expensive credit card debt, especially if you’re only making minimum payments.

If you do use your credit card, consider transferring the balance to a card with 0% interest offer for the first 6 months (or longer, if possible) and pay it off before the interest-free period ends.

Tip 8. Make the most of your broadband speed over the holidays.

12 tips of Christmas tip 8

With more people at home - and people getting new devices as presents - your home broadband could come under strain over the Christmas period.

To get the best signal, place your modem in the room where most devices are being used and make sure it’s completely unobstructed.

Other devices, like baby monitors and microwaves, can interfere with your broadband signal, so make sure these aren’t near your modem, either.

Check your broadband speed now

9.Make some small changes around the home to conserve heat.

Small changes around the home can really help you to conserve heat and energy - and save money as a result.

Seal off any draughts, close curtains to keep the heat in, and make sure you don’t leave lots of doors open around the home, as this allows heat to escape.

You could also turn off the radiators in rooms that aren’t being used to save energy.

Tip 10. Make the most of your TV package this Christmas.

Take a look at the TV schedules and pick out all of the movies and shows you’d like to watch, then set-up recordings to make sure you don’t miss anything. We’ve even picked out some of the festive TV highlights to make it easier for you!

This will ensure you always have something on hand to watch over the holidays, and some of the recordings could even keep you going during those long January evenings, too!

Remember, if you’re a Virgin Media customer with a Horizon box, you can also watch Netflix through your set-top box now. So there’s even more choice!

Tip 11. Set a timer for your Christmas lights and other lamps around the home.

Using a timed plug is a really cost-effective way to control how long you leave your lights on for. They are relatively inexpensive - around €5 each - and could help to reduce your winter electricity bill.

Not only will doing this save energy, it will also help to ensure your Christmas lights are not accidentally left on. And putting other lamps on timer is a good way to ensure your house is well-lit at all times, which is great from a security perspective.

You can read more about other energy saving devices in our dedicated guide.

Tip 12. No matter how tempted you are, don’t open the oven to check on Christmas dinner.

This one could be crucial to your Christmas Day happiness. Opening the oven makes the temperature drop, which means it will need more energy to heat back up, and the cooking will take longer.

No-one wants to wait longer than necessary for their turkey, so make sure you use the oven light to check on its progress, rather than opening the oven door to do so.

And if you’d like some more tips on energy efficient cooking, you can have a look at our guide - making use of these tips could help you to save money on your winter energy bills.

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