And best of all, you can get the government to pay for it, says Fleet Street Fox
You are about to be subejcted to a list of money-saving tips from well-meaning people who may, or may not, be making a buck out of it.
As the cost of living rockets at a rate not seen since the last fascist wingnut marched across Europe, people will start shouting about all the best ways of lowering the price of your broadband, fuel, energy, clothes, and food.
You’ll be advised to swap the big names for supermarket own-brands which give you less and charge more, invest in a chest freezer you can’t afford to fill, or to buy yellow-stickered food at 9.17pm on Wednesdays during half-term when there’s a ‘K’ in the month.
There’ll be talk from politicians of windfall taxes, hikes spiked, rebates, profits, dividends, money-saving measures and belt-tightening, along with billions of this and millions of that and how it’s all being done to help you in this unprecedented hellscape no-one could possibly have predicted, even though they did, repeatedly, for years.
In 2016 and every day since, we were told that Brexit would mean cheaper gas bills, cheaper food, easy trade deals, less immigration, and blue passports. Today we’re told trade, productivity and growth are all down, and the damage to Britain’s economy from Brexit is worse than the pandemic, or the war in Ukraine. Luckily, it has coincided with both, so there are millions unaware this massive punch in the financial bollocks is because we have gone and sanctioned ourselves.
Still – blue passports! They can be waved at, but not touched by, Afghan translators or Ukrainian refugees, and in extremis you can use one to start a fire in a bin, which is how we’ll all be keeping warm next winter.
But your correspondent strives to be both helpful and accurate, and after careful analysis of the causes of this unprecedented predictableness, has come up with the 7 most effective ways of saving yourself thousands of pounds, every year for the rest of your life.
1. Go offshore
For preference, the European Union, where energy is cheaper, and movement is quite literally free. It worked for the strangled broomstick Jacob Rees-Mogg when the investment firm he founded set up shop in Dublin, telling customers it was to avoid the “uncertainty” of the thing its founder had been insisting on for years.
This may be referred to by those with millions of pounds as a “Brexit opportunity”, but those with less cash may choose to see it instead as “a damn big clue” about how the landowners lie, and where the real savings are to be made. The taxman will pay for it.
2. Threaten to do a Will Smith
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has led the way here, showing how it is possible to deflect difficult questions about one’s household income by raising the prospect of slapping the questioner, yelling “keep my wife’s dividends out of your F***ING mouth”, and then partying hard with a gold statue you’ve been given for pretending to be an absolute s***.
What Rishi Sunak does, when asked about his wife’s £12m payday from a firm that’s still making megabucks in Russia, you could likewise try with bank managers, bailiffs, magistrates, and operatives of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, but be warned – it’s even less likely to work than waving your bank card at the barcode reader.
3. Stop heating your home
Seeing as the price of black gold is now about the same as that which is on the head of Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky, the traditional British methods of warming the living quarters are going to have to change.
Not everyone has a chimney, or the thousands needed to install solar panels or a heat pump which might, with luck, raise the temperature of your home to being just slightly warmer than nuclear winter. So give the oil giants and Vladimir Putin one in the eye by not bothering, which will have the happy side effect of reducing your carbon footprint and healing the ozone layer, too.
You might be an icicle come February, but at least you can tell yourself that BP didn’t get another penny off you.
4. Sell your children
This one will benefit some more than others, of course, but it should cause a shift in how much economic power is in the hands of over-fertile layabouts, who have hitherto been derided as drains on the state.
Not only will this bring your household a cash injection just when you need it, but it should also reduce your outlay on Haribo, milk, socks, laundry, and chicken nuggets, as well as enable you to downgrade to the basic Netflix subscription.
It’s not clear who would be in the market for walking disease vectors, but Mr Putin has bullion and is always keen on biological warfare so perhaps it’d be in the national interest to send a few million snot-filled horrors his way. Perhaps they could cough on him.
5. Stop eating
Getty Images/Image Source)
Oh yes, you can try food recycling apps, food banks, throwing it all in for The Good Life, or making one can of beans stretch for a week, but you’ll end up paying for something to eat at some point, and the prices are only going up.
To avoid this entirely you could adopt the Air Diet, or become a Breatharian, ingesting only fresh air which is the one thing that, as yet, no-one’s found a way to charge you for. They probably will have by Christmas though, so if you’re lucky you’ll have died by then.
If the cost of living is going up, the obvious solution is to do less living. Ceasing to heat or eat, failing to leave the country or find anyone who wants your children, and not being able to lamp anyone to get out of trouble, does mean that more Brits will die in the next few years than would otherwise do so.
They’ll fall through the ever-widening cracks in the NHS and social care, freeze to death, starve, develop mental health problems, suffer nervous breakdowns, take their own lives, get iller, sooner, and the true impact of this crunch on overall life expectancy won’t be seen for a decade, although it’ll be felt every day until then.
It will probably avoid the Moggs and Sunaks of this world, because there are some people even the Grim Reaper doesn’t want to spend time with. Besides, no-one in the current government runs the tiniest risk of experiencing what everyone else in the country does.
Which brings me, finally, to the best and cheapest means of saving yourself all this cash-draining bother.
When a government is doing all it can to freeze, starve, restrain, and threaten its people, the only reasonable course of action is to push them out of power.
In the UK we are fortunate that this is one thing the government will give us the funds and opportunity to do, and if there’s more honest enjoyment to be had on the taxpayer dime than destabilising bad governments then it has yet to be discovered.
Pensioners and the middle class are the only parts of Britain being half-heartedly protected by those in charge, for the simple reason that it is those people most likely to vote in 2024. If you are one of them, hooray, but is this the price that you are worth? And if you are not one of them, get yourself on the electoral roll, right now.
The ballot box is why we’re in this mess, of course, but it is free at the point of use, and if wielded correctly it can put food on the table, money in your pocket, and find a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly way of heating your home that does not involve relying on ‘sovereignty’ to keep you warm.
More than anything else, you’ll get to see the look on their faces when they realise what you’ve done, and that, Dear Reader, will be priceless.