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prepayment meter

We knew this house had a prepayment electric meter. It was with EDF and, as they were the supplier in our previous home, I phoned them and asked them to put in a proper credit meter, which they did within two weeks. I also asked them to transfer the gas from British Gas to themselves, without realising that that meter was also a prepayment one, so the replacement process is rather more convoluted.

The gas meter had a £57 debt on it, and when I put my card in, with its £30 of credit, I only got £3’s worth of gas; I was horrified. Long conversations with BG later, I found that if I paid off all the debt, so the meter was clear, they would refund it all; we’re very lucky we could afford to do that – many folk couldn’t.

Also, it was costing about £4 *per day* to run the central heating for a few hours, and deliver hot water (two showers and three lots of washing up daily – cooking is all electric here). Truly, those who have nothing, have to pay more. Quite outrageous that prepayment gas and electric should be so much more expensive than metered.

However … the weeks we spent having to pay in advance (and through the nose) made us extremely aware of how much it was costing, and we have become far more frugal and careful in our use of power, which is no bad thing, I suppose.

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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We moved house in November – I phoned Saga, our contents insurer, the day before, and gave them the new address details. “Oooh” said the woman on the phone – it’s going to be quite a bit more. She promised to phone me back the following week, but didn’t, and I never got round to chasing it up.

This week, I finally got around to doing the domestic paperwork for the first time since the move, and discovered Saga had put the insurance premium monthly payment up from £55.25 to … wait for it … £139.20. I rang, and was Polite. The chap I spoke to had great sympathy, said that of course I should have been phoned back, that they had sent out a new pack with details to this address (I never got it), and that if I wanted to cancel a) there’d be no refund, and b) there’d be a £35 cancellation charge, just to add insult to injury. He advised me to write in with the details, which I have done, and they can sodding whistle for the cancellation charge.

We were also paying £23 per month to Northern Rock (god bless ‘em) for house insurance. They wrote and said that they were now moving it to Axa, who would bill direct at £28 per month.

So I went on to confused.com and got a quote for contents and house insurance. Have just signed up with someone for £48 per month (which is a substantial saving of *£119* per month, which I find utterly astonishing.

So fuelled with success, I dug out the car insurance renewal docs (it falls due on Tuesday); last year I cut about £300 off the premium using Confused.com, but we had a much less sedate vehicle then. But I thought I’d have a look – saved £120 by moving from Chaucer.

So that’s FOURTEEN HUNDRED QUID saved this year by just not accepting these things – insurance companies make their money from customers’ inertia, so don’t let them!

Mirrored from kestrel.org.

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We had to be up and about early (for us) this morning, as we were expecting a visit from a British Gasman at 9, coming to survey the loft for insulation.  (He was way too expensive, thanks for asking, and we’ll go with the people who came last week.)

I made some 5 minute bread dough last night, and wanted to bake a loaf for lunch.  Also had some brown bananas, ready to be transformed into banana cakes, and had the ham hock from Saturday to roast off.

By 8.45, the banana cakes were made and in the oven, and the bread dough was en-tinned.  I didn’t put the dough in the fridge last night, and it was remarkably stick to handle, so I made two loaves with it, and scattered one with pumpkin seeds and one with sesame.

Once the cakes were done, I turned up the oven and hurled in the two loaves, with the gammon – skin removed – on a tray beneath them.  So two hours oven time produced two cakes, two loaves of bread and a cooked ham – can’t be bad!

Mirrored from Reactive Cooking.

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March 2016

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