Money habits

Seven discount schemes that could save your family money

From coupons to government grants, these cost-cutting discounts could make a big difference to your household.

With household bills on the rise, avoiding unnecessary costs has never been more important. Luckily, there’s a range of grants and discounts available to help you stretch your cash – if you know where to look.

Last year, the government launched a support package to help vulnerable households. This included a £650 Cost of Living payment for those on benefits and a £300 pensioner Cost of Living payment.

Further payments are being made in 2023/4. To see if you are eligible, check the latest government information.

Electricity bill discounts

We’re all being hit by rising energy costs. But you could be entitled to £150 off your electricity bill under the Warm Home Discount Scheme if you’re on a low income. Get in touch with your energy provider for more info or read our guide on gas and electricity providers offering cost of living help.

Household support

The Household Support Fund was launched by the government in October 2021. It was initially due to last for six months but has been extended several times so that it's now due to last until 31 March 2024.

The money is distributed by local councils and each council is spending the money in different ways (for example, some are offering one-off payments to people with children or allocating money for half-terms and holidays), so it’s worth contacting yours to see whether you’re eligible for help.

Energy improvements

The government has announced plans to provide more than 400,000 households with energy efficiency improvements – such as loft or wall insulation – under an extension to its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. The provision will start in spring 2023. All firms with more than 150,000 customers have to take part. For more information contact your supplier direct.

Supermarket deals

Most of the major supermarkets run various freebies and competitions throughout the year. But some of them take a bit of hunting down.

For example, Sainsbury’s has a Freebies and Competitions page on its website, where you can add specific items to your basket for free or gain automatic entry into competitions with the purchase of specific items.

Watch out for kids-go-free/cheap deals, such as Morrisons’ ongoing offer that promises a free kids’ meal for every adult meal over £4.99 purchased in its cafés. Iceland is offering people aged 60 or over 10% off their total shop every Tuesday.

Healthy eating

You might be able to get a Healthy Start card to help you buy certain types of milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables. To get the card, you need to be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and be claiming certain benefits. The Healthy Start card entitles holders to:

  • £4.25 each week from week 10 of your pregnancy.
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to one year old.
  • £4.25 each week for children between one and four years old, plus free vitamins.

Sainsbury’s has also recently reintroduced a £2 top-up on its Healthy Start card. Up until 11 April 2023, every time you use your card, you’ll receive a £2 printed coupon which is valid for fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables.


Every year, UK households miss out on a collective £16 billion worth of benefits, mostly because some people don’t realise what they’re entitled to. Benefit calculators like Inbest can help you make sure you’re claiming everything you can – simply enter a few details about your living situation and income and it’ll tell you how much your household could claim.

Pet care

If you have a pet that needs urgent treatment or you’re struggling to pay for its food, there are ways to get help. For example, you might be able to claim Blue Cross vet care if you receive certain means-tested benefits and live within the catchment area of one of its hospitals or clinics.

Hazel Davis

Hazel is a freelance journalist in West Yorkshire who writes about small business, finance and education.

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