1601 posts Posts by Jayne

Caring For Elderly Parents: Ready For The Responsibility?

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It’s important that we all face up to the fact that one day our parents won’t be able to do much for themselves anymore. As they age, they will start to get quite frail and weak, which will make some tasks quite a bit harder for them. They might not be able to drive anymore or do something that we take for granted, such as climb the stairs. It’s always best to be prepared in life, so you might want to think about how you and your family will cope when the time comes to start taking care of your elderly parents.

You will need to think about the responsibility involved with caring for aging parents, and how you can give them all the care and attention that they will need. Read on to find out more!

Hold A Family Meeting

If you have one, two, or even more siblings, it’s important that you share the responsibility of looking after your parents and thinking about their future. So, it’s worth holding a family meeting. This gives you all the chance to sit down together and consider the pros and cons of all the options available to your parents. It’s essential that you have your parents at this meeting too as they should have a say in their own care.

Consider What Your Parents Need And Want

Of course, you always need to put your parents’ needs and wants first when you are coming to a decision. If one of them has a long-term health condition, then you need to give that priority. It might require you to find some extra care for your parents so that they can enjoy their later years in comfort. It’s also important that you ask your parents about what they want from their care and support. They deserve an input in this after all!

Think About How Much Money Is Available

If you are considering moving your parents into a care home, it’s necessary to think about how much money there is to put towards this. If you can’t afford this, you might have to move in with them and care for them yourself. Don’t worry if this is the case, though, as there are plenty of benefits to home care that will be really advantageous for your parents.

Are You Prepared To Be A Caregiver?

If you and your siblings do decide to care for your parents yourselves and share the responsibility between all of you, you need to make sure you are all prepared for the role of caregiver. It will be a big change for everyone, especially as you will all undergo a role reversal. You will now be responsible for your parents, and they might need to take some time to adjust to this change in your relationship. After a while, though, you should all settle into your new roles and will all benefit from them.

Hopefully, these tips make it easier for your family to care for your elderly parents.

Host the Perfect Halloween Garden Party for Kids

Halloween Garden PartyHalloween is fast approaching and more and more people in the UK are celebrating, especially families with young children. For American families, trick or treating plays a huge part in Halloween but parents in UK can be a little more reluctant to let their children take part in the door to door tradition. Instead of trick or treating, parents can avoid stranger danger by hosting their very own outdoor Halloween parties instead. Find out how to host the perfect Halloween garden party for kids with advice from the garden specialists at Artificial Grass Direct.

Step One: Party-Proof the Garden

Children + face paint + copious amounts of sweets = carnage. A Halloween garden party is a lot more forgiving on the home than a house party but there are still steps you can take to ensure easy clean up. Re-home all breakables (including ornaments and potted plants) for the night and cover furniture to protect it from spills. If you have natural grass in your garden, we recommend covering it with blankets or tarp otherwise you could run the risk of little monsters tearing up the turf. If you have artificial grass, this will require less maintenance as it is much more durable and can easily be wiped clean!

It’s important to keep guests warm and dry so double check the weather on party night and consider using a gazebo or similar cover if it looks like it might rain. You can also use a patio heater or fire pit to regulate your garden temperature but make sure to protect your garden and your guests (especially if there are young children attending) from the heat.

Set the Scene

Now you’ve party-proofed your garden you can focus on making it look the part. A quick and easy way to set the scene is to pick up a couple of cheap Halloween themed fairy lights and decorations. You can save money on these by buying at local pound shops and discount stores as opposed to name-brand supermarkets. From fake cobwebs and spider decorations, all the way through to bat bunting and life-size plastic skeletons, these decorations might look a tacky but that’s the spirit of Halloween! You can even go all out and carve a couple of pumpkins, if you have time, as a fun pre-party activity to do with the kids.

Spooky Snacks

Bring the trick or treating tradition to your own back garden by setting up sweetie stations with a variety of treats. You can buy plenty of themed sweets this around time of year including gummy worms and eyeball candy or you can make your own. We recommend cake pops since they are simple to make, fun to decorate, and easy for little ones to hold.

Halloween doesn’t have to be unhealthy, though. If you’re worried about the sugar content of store-bought sweets swap them out for healthy alternatives. A couple of chocolate chips can turn a regular banana into a ghostly ‘Boonana’. Another option is to sandwich apple slices together with peanut butter before adding mini marshmallows to make mutant mouths with terrifying teeth. There are plenty of healthy Halloween snack recipes out there on the internet, a quick search will yield plenty of ideas and inspiration!

Gruesome Games

Finally, no party is complete without a little entertainment. Depending on the age of your audience you can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned horror story but there are plenty of other options if you’re worried about giving your guests nightmares. Bobbing for apples is a classic Halloween party game (just make sure to supervise at all times) and little kids will enjoy activities such as scavenger hunts or cupcake decorating. You can even host pumpkin carving contests for older children.

5 Great Luxury Gifts for Your Man

Let’s be honest with each other here, as much as they wind us up, husbands and boyfriends are pretty great (usually). They’re our partners through life, helping us each step of the way! So when it comes to a special event, or when you’re just feeling grateful, it’s nice to get them something super special; a luxury item that they’ll be really thankful for.

These moments of love are great but equally, they come with a lot of pressure. You want to make sure that whatever you gift you choose is amazing and perfect but what are the options? How can you be sure it’s the best one for him? Fortunately, here we have a list of great choices to get your cogs turning, hope it helps!

Watches

Watches are a classic choice. Luxurious, stylish and suitable for both casual and formal events, you can’t really go wrong with a quality timepiece. On top of the general elegance, watches also serve a practical purpose that you can use all-year round (a rarity in most luxury items), so not only are you supplying your significant other with an exclusive piece of menswear, you’re also giving a gift they can actually make USE of. Everyone knows that practical gifts are the best ones.

Cufflinks

Cufflinks are an essential part of any man’s formal ensemble. They’re subtle, they’re fashionable and they can add that little bit of pizzazz to his look. The best part about giving cufflinks as a gift is that they come in so many different styles, making it easy to pick out unique designs that complement your spouse’s specific tastes. Tateossian cufflinks are some of the most distinctive and impressive available, definitely worth checking out to add that extra wow factor to your man’s outfit.

Cologne

Cologne is a typical gift option. Nowadays, designer fragrances can cost a fortune, bumping them up to the ’luxury gift’ zone, but boy are they worth it! There are few things as great as when your partner smells REALLY good, it just makes them more irresistible. On top of the great effects of cologne, as you’ll be the one buying it you can make sure you love the scent before purchasing. It’s a fool proof plan that results in a great smelling better half! Just to help you on your mission for the best fragrance, here’s Forbes’ nine best men’s colognes of 2018.

Sunglasses

The summer months have passed and we’re slowly edging into winter but that doesn’t mean sunglasses are a bad gift choice. Great for any bright day, sunglasses are versatile and useful all year round. One of the best things about sunglasses is the massive variety available. Everyone has different tastes, different styles and different looks, so why not look through your partner’s wardrobe and get a few ideas of the colours that might work? Alternatively, just ask him what he likes! Use articles that show off multiple styles to help you make an informed decision and you’ll find the perfect pair in no time.

Wallets

Last but not least, wallets are one of the few items that most men carry around everywhere, meaning they’re always going to appreciate an upgrade. Before you make your purchase though, it’s worth doing a little research. Take a look at what your partner’s wallet looks like already because clearly, they like that style, then find another that emulates it. It’s also worth keeping in mind the features available and the habits of your significant other. Does he carry change all the time? Then a coin pocket would be appropriate. Does he have LOADS of cards? Then make sure that whatever you pick has enough space to fit all of them. Regardless, there are so many styles of wallet available today that you should be able to find a suitable one easily.

These formal menswear gifts are great but there are hundreds of other luxury options, so don’t be afraid to experiment and pick out something your partner would love. Often the most unusual gifts are also the most thoughtful and the most loved.

Five Tips To Improve Fast Loss Even More

Improving fat loss is something that you can do in a lot of practical ways.  You probably are wondering how you are going to make the right decisions, but you can actually do all the things that are listed below.  They will make you into someone who is in very good shape, and you will find that you could completely change your whole lifestyle if you are really focused on fat loss.  The people that have committed to what they need to do are going to feel like their whole routine is new because they have more energy and a better body.

  1. Ketos

You could go to a place like mrketo.com when you are ready to start looking at ketones and keto products.  There are a lot of ways to get this into your system, and you have to try to use the coffee, the powders, and the products that you could put into your sauces.  The keto product line will force your metabolism to rise, and you will burn fat when you are not even trying.  You can keep your metabolism high at all times, and you will be in a much better place mentally because you can tell that you are losing weight.  People with a high metabolism lose more weight generally, and they always feel like they can conquer that next task.

  1. Running

Running is something that you can do in your spare time, on your break, or when you are on the treadmill at home.  The person who is running gets a lot of activity into a small period of time, and it could be something that you do regularly because you know for a fact that it is helping you make changes to your body.  It also supports your gym workouts.

  1. The Gym

You have to have some sort of circuit workout that you will do at the gym.  You will be in a place where you can get your gym workouts to be much easier, and you will notice that you can do them in just half an hour.  You are not spending all your time at the gym, and the gym has a lot of other options that will be just right for you like the pool and the racquetball courts.

  1. Yoga

You have to consider going to yoga because it is so good for your body.  You will feel much more flexible, and you will feel like you have seen a massive change in the way that your body works because you feel more limber.  You also learn how to breathe in these classes, and you can release a lot of stress in these classes that you would have had to hold onto otherwise.

The people who want to improve their fat loss the most will need to be sure that they have found a way to do all the things on this list.  You do not do them all at the same time, but you will do them in stages so that you can be the healthiest version of yourself.

Vaping in Public – Should it Be Allowed?

A few weeks ago, Husband and I went on a rare night out for our friends’ 40th birthday. We went for a meal and a few drinks and a brilliant night was had by all (even if it did go far too quickly!). After we’d finished our meal, we went to a bar we’ve been to lots of times before, and as I was walking out of the door to use my e-cigarette, a bouncer stopped me to ask if I was going outside to vape (I got my e-cigarette from a vape store online). I confirmed, and he said something frankly fabulous to me:

“You don’t have to go outside to vape. You can use it inside”.

So disbelieving was I that I asked the doorman to repeat himself, but he was 100% serious. The venue we were in allowing vaping inside. Being able to sit at our table and use my e-cigarette made my evening so much more enjoyable for me (obviously, I checked that my friends were okay with it, too) and it got me thinking – should more places allow vapers to vape indoors?

It seems I’m not the only one to have had these thoughts – an official report has been released which says that making vapers stand with smokers to use their e-cigs is doing more harm than good. Many people use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking conventional cigarettes (something which currently costs the NHS £2.6bn per year) and exposing quitters to cigarette smoke could cause a slippery slope back to smoking again.

Quitting smoking has been shown to be so much easier with e-cigarretes – an estimated 2.9 million adults in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes and of these, 1.5 million people have completely stopped smoking cigarettes. They carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes and can be particularly effective when combined with extra quitting support.

If you’re thinking of switching to a vape, there’s a ton of vape reviews online to help you to work out which would be best for you. Aside from the health benefits, you’ll save an absolute fortune versus conventional cigarettes, and with more and more places allowing it inside, you’ll never have to stand in a cold, dingy, STINKY smoking shelter again!

How And Why You Should Increase Your Family’s Probiotic Intake

If you’ve been researching healthier lifestyles, you’ve probably run across the term “probiotics.” But what are they, and why are they important?

How can they help your family live better?

The Basics

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in your gut. They play an integral role in our overall wellness by influencing our digestion, mental health, immunity, skin and other facets of our health.

Your body makes probiotics on its own, but there are several reasons why you might want to increase your intake:

– You have an imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. This could be due to illness, injury, poor diet, lactose intolerance or any number of medical issues.

– You’re struggling with something like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and your symptoms could be eased with better digestive habits.

– You’re taking antibiotics that are interfering with the natural balance of bacteria in your body.

Getting Enough Probiotics

There are many ways to increase the probiotics in your gut. You’re probably most familiar with supplements, but you can also eat certain foods that have been cultivated to contain them.

You might prefer a more natural method if you’re trying to help your entire family with their digestive health. While kid-friendly supplements exist, a lot of parents are simply more comfortable with the organic path. It’s also a lot more fun to prepare a meal together rather than popping probiotic tablets!

Here are just a few foods that are rich in probiotics:

1. Yogurt

You’re probably already familiar with yogurt because of how delicious it is but are you aware that it is one of the best dietary sources of probiotics?

It is made by the bacterial fermentation of milk and has many of the benefits of dairy while also helping to boost the friendly bacteria in your stomach.

Just be sure to avoid sugary yogurts with lots of additives.

2. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is similar to yogurt in function but has a more fluid consistency.

It’s also a bit on the sour side you may need to flavor it with some fruits.

3. Tempeh

If you’ve never heard of tempeh, you’re in for a treat. It’s a soybean product that originated in Indonesia but is currently enjoyed all around the world.

The fermentation process makes it bind together in a solid, cake-like form, and it’s popular with vegetarians, health food enthusiasts and anyone who wants more protein or probiotics in their diet. Consider experimenting a little with your next family dinner.

4. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a kind of shredded cabbage that’s been fermented with lactic acid bacteria. It’s known for its white appearance and sour flavor, and it’s frequently used as a topping on sausages and hot dogs to give them a bit of a kick.

In addition to its taste, sauerkraut is also a great source of probiotics, so it can improve your health and expand your horizons at the same time.

5. Pickles

In terms of probiotics, pickles are cucumbers which have been placed in a salt and water solution and left to ferment for some time. This fermentation process is what creates the healthy bacteria that are beneficial to our health.

The drawback to pickles is that they are high in sodium due to the amount of salt used in the fermentation.

Pickles created using vinegar do not have probiotics.

8 Ways To Keep Your Car Insurance Costs Down

Photo by Simon Stratford on Unsplash

Aѕ саr іnѕurаnсе іѕ expensive, mоѕt consumers dо nоt wаnt tо uѕе іt. Buуіng thе rіght соvеrаgе іѕ іmроrtаnt, but іt соѕtѕ mоrе tо gеt a nеw іnѕurеd саr. Gіvе bеlоw ѕоmе tірѕ thаt саn hеlр уоu save mоnеу оn уоur саr insurance. Rеаd on for the cheapest car insurance.

Annuаl fее

Yоu саn сhесk оut ѕоmе wеbѕіtеѕ tо соmраrе dіffеrеnt online іnѕurеrѕ. Whіlе уоu саn nоt gеt a quote rіght аwау, уоu wіll gеt a rеѕроnѕе ѕооn frоm thе соmраnу’ѕ аgеntѕ. Yоu mау wаnt tо соnѕіdеr making a rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth a gооd іndереndеnt agent. Thеу wіll hеlр уоu tо check thе tоn rаtеѕ оf carriers.

Chооѕе a good іnѕurеr

Sаvіng mоnеу іѕ nоt lооkіng fоr thе lоwеѕt рrеmіum. In fасt, ѕоmе рrоvіdеrѕ оffеr lоwеr premium rates. Hоwеvеr, thеу еnd uр сhаrgіng уоu mоrе іn thе еnd. Aѕ a result, уоu pay mоrе fоr rерlасеmеnt раrtѕ оf thе original еquірmеnt. In ѕоmе саѕеѕ, thе рrоvіdеr mау іnсrеаѕе уоur premiums аftеr аn ассіdеnt.

Thе dеduсtіblе

Wіth a hіghеr dеduсtіblе, уоu’ll hаvе tо pay lоwеr рrеmіumѕ. Thе rеаѕоn іѕ thаt уоu wіll bе рауіng mоrе іn саѕе оf loss. Fоr еxаmрlе, іf уоu іnсrеаѕе уоur franchise tо, ѕау, $ 500 frоm $ 200, уоu саn rеduсе уоur рrеmіum bу 15 tо 30%. Sо, іf уоu choose $ 1,000, уоu саn ѕаvе uр tо 40%.

Review уоur coverage

Liability coverage wіll рау fоr уоur property dаmаgе аnd personal іnjurу іn аn ассіdеnt. It іѕ nоt a gооd idea tо rеduсе уоur lіаbіlіtу tо thе mіnіmumѕ ѕеt bу thе ѕtаtе. Whіlе buуіng mоrе соvеrаgе mау ѕееm lіkе a wеіrd wау tо save a lоt, уоu саn tаkе аdvаntаgе оf thіѕ bеnеfіt оnlу іf уоu hаvе a big аnd expensive сlаіm. Aѕ a rеѕult, thеіr ѕаvіngѕ аrе аt ѕtаkе. Whаt уоu nееd tо dо іѕ соnѕіdеr уоur реrѕоnаl іnjurу mеdісаl рауmеntѕ аnd рrоtесtіоn соvеrаgе.

Uѕе thе dіѕсоuntѕ

Kеер іn mіnd thаt саr іnѕurаnсе providers offer dіѕсоuntѕ bаѕеd оn thе fасt thаt thе сlіеnt hаѕ a low-risk lіfеѕtуlе ѕuсh аѕ ѕtudеntѕ, nеw drіvеrѕ, еxреrіеnсеd drіvеrѕ аnd аffіnіtу mеmbеrѕ, juѕt tо nаmе a fеw.

Hоldеrѕ оf Multiple Policies

Sоmе providers offer heavy dіѕсоuntѕ ѕіnсе уоu рurсhаѕе уоur rеntеrѕ, homeowners оr lіfе іnѕurаnсе роlісу аѕ wеll. Hоwеvеr, bе ѕurе tо соnѕіdеr thе tоtаl costs оf расkаgеѕ аnd рrеmіumѕ frоm іndіvіduаl іnѕurеrѕ frоm vаrіоuѕ рrоvіdеrѕ.

Gооd credit ѕсоrе

Sоmе states аllоw insurance рrоvіdеrѕ tо uѕе thеіr сrеdіt rаtіng tо set thеіr рrеmіumѕ. Whаt уоu nееd tо dо іѕ check аnd соrrесt еrrоrѕ оn уоur credit rероrt. If уоur сlаѕѕіfісаtіоn hаѕ bееn аffесtеd bу thе lоѕѕ оf employment, divorce оr аnу оthеr rеаѕоn, уоu саn rеquеѕt аn еxсерtіоn frоm уоur provider.

Choose уоur саr саrеfullу

Fоr саr іnѕurеrѕ, dаmаgе tо thе vеhісlе саn соѕt a lоt. Thеrеfоrе, рrіzеѕ аrе defined based оn thе аutоmаtіс model. Yоu саn аѕk уоur provider аbоut dіffеrеnt car mоdеlѕ.

Aѕ wе hаvе ѕееn, insurance саn bе a mіnеfіеld – but thеrе аrе wауѕ tо еnѕurе thаt уоu guаrаntее a соmрlеtе роlісу аt a reasonable price for the cheapest car insurance.

And, іf уоu’rе a gооd ріlоt, уоu ѕhоuld fіnd thаt costs соntіnuе tо fаll іn thе соmіng уеаrѕ, wіth nо claims bonus.

Sо wе suggest уоu сhесk thеѕе 8 tірѕ іf уоu plan tо buy саr insurance аnd wаnt tо save ѕоmе mоnеу оn thе purchase. Wе hоре уоu саn save a lоt оf mоnеу.

Practical ways to help make school transferring easier

Changing schools is occasionally required for children who will benefit from it. It does present a difficult situation both for parents and students. This makes your child a “new kid” amid a classroom of strangers and he’ll need to navigate a new building, catch up on new lessons, as well as make new friends.

Regardless, changing school mid-year doesn’t need to be a bad experience for kids. Oftentimes they can be simply happier in their new school environment. What you need is a little preparation and thought. Here are a couple of practical ways to help make school transferring easier.

Check out the school 

Take your child to visit the school before school starts by arranging a private tour. This will allow the both of you to have a sense of what it will be like walking into the first day of class. Knowing in advance where everything is, including the library, classroom, cafeteria, and lockers are located can reduce first-day anxieties.

Young children may also benefit from visiting his class for just a bit while you stay with him, so when he attends on his own, the experience will be easier. You may also try having a meeting with your child’s teacher to make sure that a desk and any necessary supplies are already prepared before the first day. You may also inquire about any paperwork on policies or homework guidelines.

Assess the included advantages 

There are always some things that could be better even though your child might love his previous school so much. Talk to your child about the advantages of going to the new school. Maybe your child has been labelled by the other kids and find it hard to break away from that. Perhaps the coursework isn’t at the right level or the teacher isn’t spending enough time explaining the homework. A new school means a new start, making those negatives a problem of the past. It’s quick for kids to just see the negatives of a situation and forget that there can be benefits as well.

Get yourself involved

See what organizations or groups exist in the neighbourhood as well as your child’s school. Connect with the school’s local Parent Teacher Association. These organisations have great resources and can inform you about the issues and events that happen at school. You may also meet other members who have kids in your child’s class, which can help them make friends faster

Seek out extracurricular activities

Joining outside programs is a fantastic way for new students to easily make new friends as well as feel accepted by their new school. It also gives students the chance to learn new skills and it is helpful for college admission as well. Local clubs outside of the school also be a nice place to make new friends.

Considering a new school for your child

If your child needs to change schools, you need to weigh your school choices. Choosing One World International School (OWIS), one of the top international schools in Singapore, is an excellent way to start off your kid’s new educational journey.

The OWIS campus is filled with adaptable learning environments that allow students to work together and to think creatively. They provide the latest technology that improves the learning process for students they encourage outdoor learning prospects that invite students to connect with the world around them.

There you have it. Make use of these practical ways to help make school transferring painless for you and your child. Best of luck!

Five Methods That New Mums Can Use to Get More Sleep

So your precious little one is home from the hospital and you are finding yourself constantly tired. Sleep deprivation is common in new mothers once the nurses are gone and no longer doing the work for you. If you are experiencing a lack of sleep because of your newborn, don’t worry. You are not the only one. Some of these tips may help you increase the amount of sleep you get so you can have energy to last the day.

Nap Time for Both

Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you lay the baby down for a nap and that wonderful mattress is calling for you, don’t ignore it. The laundry can wait, the cooking can wait. Answer that call and take a nap as well. You will feel invigorated when you wake up and you will not drag through those other chores that you put aside for a while.

Also delegate the work. Your spouse may work, but so do you! Save some of the chores for them. Just because you are home with the baby doesn’t mean you have time for all of the housework. Split it up. They live there as well, after all.

Pump Early

Some new mothers have a tendency to pump for breastmilk in the middle of the night. There was no more time in the day after cleaning dishes, washing and folding clothes, cooking, and caring for the baby. This is another reason to delegate the work off to others (if you have older children, put them to work as well). By giving you more free time, you will be able to pump before you go to bed, rather than at 2:00 in the morning.

Taking Shifts

So your spouse has to get up at 5am to go to work. You have to get up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 to take care of the baby’s needs. If the two of you take shifts during the night, you can split up the work and lessen your lack of sleep. Yes, they may have to go to work, but that doesn’t mean you should face the full brunt of sleep deprivation. Let them go to work lagging. You do.

Alternate Nights Off

New mothers tend to have a hard time not being the one to answer the call of their crying baby. Until they are sleep deprived. Then they force the spouse out of bed to tend to the newborn’s needs. Whereas doing things in shifts at night can help reduce your sleep deprivation (but increase your spouse’s), try alternating nights off. This way you each will get a decent night’s sleep every other night, allowing you both to get through your days easier.

Separate Rooms

Do you have a spare bedroom? If so, make use of it. On your nights off, or when you are not on your nightly shift, try sleeping in the extra room. Don’t want to be away from your baby? That’s okay. It’s called motherly instinct. Not sure if your spouse can handle it alone? You do, why can’t they! It’s sink or swim, and 10 times out of 10 they will swim. It’s okay to leave your significant other with the responsibility.

If the extra room is an office or study, oh well. Put a bed or futon in there and get some shut eye while your other half listens out for your little one. You can shut the door and have it a little quieter; if there are any problems, your spouse will let you know. Separate yourself so you can get some sleep.

Staying Toasty Over the Winter

Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash

Yes, it’s on the way, alright! The mornings have a definite chill to them and the leaves are turning a lovely shade of russet. Aesthetics aside, the thermometer will start to head downwards and you’ll be eyeing up thick jumpers in shop windows. So, when the cold season comes around for real, should you pick up that thick jumper or turn the thermostat up?

That full tank, courtesy of Supersaveroil.ie, came pretty cheap over the summer, but you shouldn’t be so smug about it – you have to make it last until March! Here’s some good ideas to help you to do just that.

Add some new insulation

You could lose up to 60% of your hard-earned heat via the roof and walls of your home, so they both need to be insulated. You’ll need to use at least 10” of insulation material in the loft and you should examine your windows to look for – and fill in – any cracks.

Lower the heating by at least a degree

Just a degree lower can reduce your fuel oil usage by 10% and you shouldn’t even notice this, especially if you’ve used some insulation and less heat is escaping.

You can also start turning off your radiators 15 minutes or so before you go to bed. They’ll still be warm for a while and by the time they’ve cooled off you’ll be fast asleep with your hot water bottle!

Bleed all the radiators

You should do this at least once a year. Radiators develop air pockets and this prevents them from working properly – you’ll have to turn up the heating to get the benefit. Try to bleed them two or three times a year and especially before winter sets in.

Go retro

A great way to get the most out of your heat is to place old-fashioned insulation panels behind all your radiators. These panels look like stiff metallic bubblewrap and what they do is reflect heat back into your rooms, as otherwise it’d seep into the walls and simply get lost.

Try to service your boiler twice a year

Boilers are very complicated machines – they can develop airlocks, let in water, accumulate soot and sometimes, manage a combination of all three! Any one of these problems can reduce your boiler’s efficiency by up to 8%, so effectively, you’re wasting 8% of your fuel.

You should have a service at the end of spring and at the beginning of winter, ideally. However, if you can only manage one service, the autumn one is the one to book so you can identify and sort out problems before you’re left with no heating on the coldest day of the year.

Keep your supply safe

Fuel poverty is a problem in Ireland, with around 400,000 households spending more than 10% of their annual incomes on heating their homes. This has the knock-on effect of making fuel theft more common, so you’ll need locks on your tank at the very least. You should also keep your tank as hidden from view as possible and use motion-sensitive lights and alarms. You can also install tank sensors that alert you on your phone if oil levels suddenly drop.