Five New Year Resolutions that really make a difference.

Want to save money and live a greener life? IKEA and Hubbub have been helping people to re-think their daily lives. Based on what we have discovered, here are five top tips for saving £1000 a year and being kinder to the planet.

Switch to LED Lighting – save £166 per year

LED light bulbs are brilliant: super low energy, long lasting and available in all types of lighting (warm to cool white) and for all types of bulb & spotlight – even dimmable. Many families we have worked with have switched all the lights in their homes to LED and have been delighted with the quality of lighting, and the savings seen on their bills.

Switching twenty old-style lightbulbs to LED would cost around £55 and save £220 a year on electricity bills making an overall saving for a typical household of around £166 per year. The switch would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions – the main greenhouse gas.

Nicole and her husband switched to LED lighting in January 2016. They have not had to change a bulb since and have seen electricity consumption drop by 40%.

Cut food waste – save £504 a year

Cooking food from scratch and taking left-over food for lunches instead of buying takeaway food generates significant financial savings and benefits the environment. Swapping out three takeaway lunches a week could save around £10 a week.

Anna Lysik realised how much she was spending on food, and how much she was wasting. She started freezing food that was leftover in the evenings providing her with ready-made meals for lunch next day. She also bought high-quality storage jars for fruit and vegetables keeping her food fresher for longer. She saved enough money to pay off her student debts.

Create a cosy home –save £85 a year

A better-insulated home means you can turn the heating thermostat down and have the heating on for shorter periods. Simple steps could include fitting better-insulated blinds or curtains, making draught excluders from scrap materials, having a thicker duvet or throw, or putting curtains in front of badly fitting doors. Making these changes and turning heating down by just 1 degree will save the average household around £85 a year.

Luke Cozens lives with his wife, son and dog and wanted to make it warmer. He decided to fit insulated blinds. This change linked to being more energy aware dropped his energy bill by £30 a month. Click here for our vlog on how to create a cosy home.

Ditching single-use plastic – save £142 a year

When you’re always on the go, it is easy to grab a bottle of water or a takeaway cup of coffee, but these small purchases quickly add up. Using a refillable water bottle three times a week rather than buying a plastic one could save you at least £142 a year. This is just what student Tristan did saving himself £5 a week.

There are other single-use plastics that you can easily phase out saving you money and reducing the amount of plastic being dumped on our land and oceans. Click here for our vlog on single-use plastics you can say goodbye to.

Grow your own herbs and salads – save £134 a year

You don’t need to be a green-fingered expert to enjoy your own homegrown food. You can start with a couple of pots of herbs and micro salads on a kitchen window sill. And if you want to grow a bit more indoors, you could set up a hydroponics kit which is an indoor growing system.

Swapping out just one bag of salad and one packet of herbs a week could save around £134 a year once you take off the costs of buying everything needed to grow your own. See how Cara got so excited about growing her own salads that she started naming each plant.

For more inspiring stories of everyday savings, have a look at IKEA’s Live LAGOM page.