Cost Of Living Crisis: How To Save Money On Your Bills This Winter

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a significant increase in the cost of petrol, food and energy prices all throughout Europe over the last few months. The UK is no different, with the country experiencing its most significant cost of living crisis since the 1950s.

With Winter on the horizon, many of us are looking for ways to cut our energy consumption down in any way possible in an attempt to reduce the size of our bills. Here at Shiply, we thought we would put together a list of some of the best methods to reduce your energy bills and help you save money this Winter. We have tried to only include tips which don’t require a big investment as this slightly defeats the point of saving money!

Here are Shiply’s best energy-saving tips:

Turn Off Unused Appliances Including Standby

Let’s start with one of the most obvious tips – turn off unused electronics! More specifically, make sure they are actually turned off at the plug when not in use. TVs, TV boxes, speakers and computers all default to a standby mode when you turn them ‘off’, however, this mode is effectively a super low power mode, and these devices will still use small amounts of electricity when in this state. Turning them off at the plug, or even just unplugging them, avoids this issue. Additionally, phone and laptop chargers left plugged in when not in use can also sap small amounts of electricity and so you should do your best to unplug these when not using them too.

The savings from each of these will be small, but collectively, they can make a dent in your upcoming energy bill.

Conservative Use

Moving on from the ‘turn things off’ advice is the ‘turn things down’ advice. Simple! Whether it is your overall thermostat, shower temperature, or washing machine settings, using a lower temperature can accumulate to a decent saving over a year. Turn your washing machine to the 30 degrees setting and use a drying rack instead of a tumble dryer for extra savings! With thermostats, even a 1-degree reduction can result in big savings and so it is worth reconsidering the temperature you heat your house to when you do turn it on. Draught-proofing (more on this later) can offset heat loss and you may not even notice the change.

Only running things when they are full is another great way to reduce your energy consumption. For example, always ensure your washing machine and dishwasher are actually full before you turn them on. This reduces unnecessary cycles and ensures you are using them to their maximum efficiency. In contrast, only filling your kettle with the amount of water you actually need heated can shave off a few pounds in the long run as well.

Cut Down On Water Waste

Water waste is a big contributor to bills, especially water that has been heated up, as you will be using energy to do this. As such, cutting down on the rate at which you waste hot water can have a significant impact on your energy bills. Shorter showers at lower temperatures will help push you in this direction, however, there are a few more steps you can take to reduce water waste. One big one is not taking baths – they use up significantly more water than showers and keeping them few and far between will help keep your usage down. Another handy one is when washing the dishes, use a bowl of hot water rather than a constantly running tap.

Energy-Saving Lightbulbs

As the days get darker, light is not something we want to sacrifice in our homes. However, there are still ways to keep your bills down without living in darkness. Energy-saving lightbulbs are an absolute no-brainer – they use less energy than conventional lightbulbs, as well as lasting for much longer. We do still absolutely recommend turning lights off in rooms not in use, however.

Smart Meters

Now, this is a big one at the moment. The first benefit of smart meters right now is that they will help to give more accurate readings to your energy supplier of how much energy you are actually using. This can lead to bills that are much lower and closer to your actual usage as opposed to estimates which can often be sky high.

The benefits of a smart meter stretch much further than just readings – they are actually able to control almost all aspects of your central heating, from overall temperature (obviously) to individual room control and even automatic on and off times. The best thing about smart meters is that this is all accessible and controllable from your mobile phone, meaning not only can you pre-heat your house before you arrive, but you can also remotely turn the heating off to save money. The more control you have over your central heating, the more control you have over your energy bill.

Draught Proofing

There is no point in heating your house if the heat simply escapes, and this is where draft-proofing can come in handy to help save you money on your energy bills. If the heat stays in the house, you will be able to not only use lower temperatures on your thermostat but also use it for less time overall.

There are kits you can buy to help draft your house, which includes window and skirting board strips. Sealing cracks in floors can also help, as well as lining your letterbox and ensuring that any unused chimneys in your property are blocked (inflatable pillows are available for this last one). All of these, if left as they are, will leak heat out of your home and so we highly recommend draught-proofing to ensure you are getting maximum efficiency and value out of your heating.

Question Your Bills

The final piece of advice we have isn’t so much proactive as reactive, but it is still incredibly important that people know about it.

QUESTION YOUR BILLS!

As we stated earlier, a lot of energy bills are estimates, and these tend to be much higher than the actual figures you owe. Rather than just paying the bill, send a meter reading to your energy supplier and request another quote. This will almost always be lower than their initial estimates and can save you hundreds with just a simple check.

If you are really struggling with your bills, you can also reach out to your supplier and ask for a payment plan which can stretch the costs over a longer period of time, meaning big bills don’t hurt quite as much.

We hope these tips will help you throughout this cost of living crisis, and as always, if you need anything moved, try Shiply!

The Best Ways To Save Fuel

The cost of living crisis is well and truly upon us with prices shooting up in almost every aspect of life. Fuel is one of the commodities that was hit hardest – prices have shot from 145 pence per litre of petrol at the start of the year to 191 pence in the space of just 6 months. Times are harder for everyone, so with this in mind, we thought our readers could use some tips on how to save fuel this summer.

Be A Fuel Conscious Driver

It may not seem like it, but even the way you drive can alter the amount of fuel your vehicle consumes. The quickest way to waste fuel is to drive excessively fast, and so the first thing you should do is focus on having a light acceleration (accelerating is fine, it just doesn’t need to be pedal to the metal every time!). You should also always try and drive in the highest possible gear (whilst obviously keeping under the speed limit). 

In general, slowing down and accelerating use more fuel, and so the less you can do this the better. It’s a bit of an art, but once you learn to read the roads and are able to anticipate, for example, an oncoming red light and slowly slow down rather than a hard break you will save fuel.

Watch Your Car Weight

Whilst the impact your vehicle’s weight will have on its fuel consumption rate is small, every little helps. Logically, a heavier vehicle will require more fuel to move, so ensure you are not travelling with unnecessary heavy items in the vehicle or boot. This also goes for roof racks and roof boxes, which have the added issue of increasing drag and therefore causing a lot more fuel to be consumed for the same vehicle over the same distance.

Air Conditioning

This one is nice and easy, if not a little uncomfortable at times! Air conditioning uses engine power, meaning it also increases the rate at which your vehicle consumes fuel. Always ensure you are dressed for the temperature in your car so as to avoid the extra costs.

We hope these tips help you save some fuel (and money), and remember, if you need anything delivered, try Shiply! 

What Is Cabotage And Why Does It Matter?

This month, we thought we would use our blog post to give a summary on the UK Government’s changes to the Cabotage rules, the effects they had on the courier industry, and why many in the industry were unhappy with the situation.

Cabotage is the practice of foreign trucks/drivers carrying out domestic deliveries whilst in the UK. More specifically, it refers to loads these drivers pick up AND deliver in the UK.

Since Brexit, cabotage has been restricted, with foreign companies only allowed to pick up and drop off two loads in a 7 day period in the UK. These deliveries have typically accounted for only 1-2% of HGVs on our roads according to a study by Transport Intelligence. The reason for the restrictions has generally been to protect our industry given that many foreign delivery companies are able to offer reduced rates compared to UK companies.

Over the last two years, however, there has been an unprecedented shortage of delivery drivers in the UK. The main reason for this is the increasingly bad pay and working conditions that drivers face, feeling that they do not get what they deserve for the crucial job they do. This has led to a much lower number of people applying for jobs, and ultimately the supply chains for many industries started to feel these effects.

As a response to the supply chain shortages, in October last year, the UK government announced an easing of cabotage rules that allowed foreign drivers to make unlimited deliveries over a two week period. The aim was to provide a short term solution to the shortage of drivers, with the rules being reinstated in full once the UK haulage industry could handle domestic demands on its own. The cabotage easing was extended and has only just ended on the 30th of April.

Many in the industry were unhappy with this extension and saw this as a short-sighted solution that undermined the UK haulage industry in the long run. They claimed that as they face rising wages and costs as well as an ongoing shortage of drivers, extending these rules just took more business away from them and into the hands of foreign drivers right when they needed it most. Although many are happy the relaxation has ended, the government has not done away with it completely, and the measure could be reintroduced if need be to boost the road transport capacity in the UK.

For now, the industry is being allowed to build itself back up without help from foreign drivers, but we will have to wait and see whether the government feels the need to reintroduce measures if shortages become an issue again.

Shiply’s Top Tips For Moving Home

Moving home is often quoted as one of the most stressful life events you can go through. Even finding somewhere to move in the first place is difficult these days, and moving your belongings, updating all of your information and getting to grips with a whole new area is a big undertaking. We can’t help with everything, but we have facilitated a few house moves in our time, so here are our top tips for making your house move as stress-free as possible:

cardboard boxes for house move

Find A Great Delivery Company

The first and most important step to organising the logistics of a house move (besides actually finding a house to move into) is finding the right moving company for you. Moving companies come in many shapes and sizes, from what is essentially just a man and a van to ‘white-glove’ full-service packing and unpacking where you will barely have to lift a finger. Which service you go for will depend on your requirements, so before contacting any companies you should have a good idea of the timings of your move, the size of vehicle you will likely need and how many pairs of hands you will need to help you. Of course, Shiply can help you with finding a removals company for up to 75% less than standard rates!

Organise Your Packing

If you are doing the packing by yourself then the best method is to pack room by room, ensuring that each box is labelled for the room it will go into in your new home. This makes unpacking a lot easier on the other side as you can move boxes straight into the rooms they will stay in, minimising the amount of heavy lifting you need to do.

boxes being loaded into vehicle for house move

In terms of packing materials, you can buy cardboard boxes and bubble wrap/newspaper at most post offices or DIY shops, but if you want to try and get some for free (and reduce waste) then try asking local shops if they have any spare – they are often thrown out at the end of the day. You should ensure that each box is packed carefully and sensibly – think of it as a game of Tetris, the more you can fit in, the fewer boxes there are to move in total, and tightly packed boxes also mean that there is less space for items to move around and break.

With regards to fragile items such as crockery, we always recommend wrapping them individually in something like newspaper before putting them in a box as this greatly reduces the chances of breaks or scratches. 

For furniture, if it can be disassembled then doing so is a good choice – not only does this reduce the size of the piece of furniture but it also reduces the risk of damage.

We also always recommend photographing the condition of valuable items prior to the move as this should help should any issues arise with damaged items.

Overnight Bag

One crucial piece of advice is to pack an overnight bag. Unpacking almost always takes longer than accounted for, and you can often find that it will take a few days to fully unpack everything in your new home. Further, the moving day itself can be highly stressful and you may want to just sit back and relax in your new home on the night. You should always pack an overnight bag when moving – something that contains everything you need for day-to-day living. Think phone chargers, underwear, and toiletries. You want access to these whatever state your house move is in.

Let People Know

You need to make sure that you let everyone who needs to know that you have moved. This will range from family members and friends to your work, bank, and utility companies. We recommend making a list of everyone who needs to know and setting aside an afternoon to just go through and get it done all in one go.

Check For Damage

You should always make sure to check for damage once your house moving company has dropped your items off. The sooner issues are raised the better, and you can use the photos you took before packing to help your case, although we hope it does not come to this!

We hope these tips can help to make your move a little easier, and remember, you can find movers who fit your exact needs for up to 75% less than standard rates on Shiply.

Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions

Every year we tend to make New Year’s Resolutions, usually revolving around improving our diet, our fitness, our work, or our life goals. The new year provides a great clean slate to try and build some of these healthy habits and improve our own lives, but this year we encourage everyone to also make some more altruistic choices with their resolutions. Here are Shiply’s top 3 Eco-Friendly new year’s resolutions for you to try in 2022:

Try Cycling To Work – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have all been working from home more, but as we return to the office, try giving cycling to work a try. If you’ve set any fitness goals for 2022 this can be a great way of tackling these at the same time as trying to be more eco-friendly (and fitting exercise into your schedule, not on top of it). There are many cycle-to-work schemes available that can allow you to get a bike for less or pay in installments and cities are slowly becoming more and more bike-friendly, so if you can, try cycling to your place of work a few times a week.

Try Subscription Services For Household Goods – the rise of the ‘repeat order’ feature for online deliveries has made our lives easier when forgetting to get new toilet roll, kitchen foil, washing up liquid, or whatever it is you’ve got on order, but these services aren’t always the best for the environment, with neither the products themselves nor the delivery taking eco-friendliness into account. Luckily, there are services out there that do just this, and although they can be more expensive, there is no doubt they are far friendlier to our planet. We recommend taking a look at loo roll and cleaning equipment subscriptions.

Get A Recycling Bin In Your Bathroom – Ok, this sounds like a weird one, but whereas (hopefully) we all make the effort to recycle in our kitchens, studies have shown that around 50% of bathroom waste is not recycled. If this sounds like you, this year try getting a small bin that is just for recyclable materials and emptying it when you empty the bins. It’s a little bit more effort, but would make a big difference if more people tried!

We wish you a happy new year, and remember, if you need anything delivered, try Shiply!

Celebrate Giving Tuesday This Year

The weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is without a doubt the commercial event of the year, with deals and offers available from almost every store you can think of. However, there is a lesser-known event that takes place after the retail weekend, and as an environmentally conscious company, it’s one we like to focus on more!

Giving Tuesday Logo

Giving Tuesday was founded in the US in 2012, and was officially adopted in the UK in 2014. It takes place each year after Cyber Monday and encourages people to counteract some of the negative effects of Black Friday by giving back in some way, whether that is through donations to charity, giving time to local community services or food banks, or however else you feel that you can help. The celebratory day has grown in popularity as more celebrities and organisations have promoted it, and last year the results were astounding; a staggering £20.2 million in donations were raised, which was not only a 43% increase on the year before but now holds the record for the most money raised online for a charity in 24 hours!

As we have written about before, Black Friday, whilst great for finding some great savings on products, also encourages people to buy things they don’t necessarily need, and unfortunately, this has some adverse effects on creating unnecessary waste and people throwing out ‘old’ gadgets just for the latest model. According to this Forbes article, the delivery of Black Friday purchases alone generated over 492,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions last year in the UK – the equivalent of 435 return flights from London to New York. As a company dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint of the transport and logistics industry, we are all for Giving Tuesday’s rise in popularity and would encourage all of our users to engage with it in some way, whether you shop on Black Friday or not!

Of course, if you do need something delivered and want to do so in the most eco-conscious way, why not try posting it on Shiply to find a driving who is ‘going there anyway’?

Shiply Has Saved Over 200 Million KG/CO2

We are incredibly happy to announce that, with the help of our users, we have officially hit our landmark target of saving over 200 Million KG/CO2

Trying to reduce unnecessary CO2 waste into the atmosphere was one of the founding principles of our company in 2008 due to the sad fact that roughly 25% of lorries on Britain’s roads run empty, resulting in around 36 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. This always seemed like a huge wasted opportunity, both for the drivers travelling empty and for the users who needed items moved.

That’s why Shiply was started, to eliminate wasted journeys, wasted space, and unnecessary CO2 emissions in the transport and logistics industry… and we would say it is going quite well! As of writing this blog post, we have saved approximately 201,806,715 KG/CO2 – to help put that into perspective that is:

  • The equivalent of 506,838,942 miles driven by a standard vehicle – enough to travel around the world 20,354 times!
  • 25,000 Homes’ energy use for a year
  • Nearly 25 billion full smartphone charges

We couldn’t have done it without the help of our users and transport providers, all of whom make Shiply the cheap, reliable, and eco-friendly shipping marketplace that it is today.

Our efforts to make the transport industry don’t stop here, however, and we hope to hit our next milestone soon!


If you want to keep up to date with our progress you can check out our live counter here.

The 5 R’s That Can Help Save The Planet

As a company, we are nearing one of our landmark goals in our fight against climate change, having saved nearly 200 Million KG/CO2, but whilst we approach our target, we wanted to share some tips for how you can help with your own efforts to save the planet.

Since our inception in 2008, reducing the eco-waste in the transport industry has always been one of our founding principles, and we could not be more proud of the ongoing success we see with regards to this goal. With the Paris Climate agreement being debated at the moment, and Extinction Rebellion protesting their cause in increasingly public ways, climate change is very much at the forefront of people’s minds, and for good reason – it is something that we all need to be making an effort with, no matter how big or small.

We want to take this opportunity to share 5 great tips that you can use in everyday life to cut down on your carbon footprint, with a great way to remember them too! So here they are, the 5 R’s of waste reduction:

Refuse – Don’t need that plastic bag? Refuse it! One of the simplest changes we can make to our daily lives that can have a big effect on unnecessary waste is simply refusing things we don’t need. This can also save you cash as plastic bags, for example, will cost you anywhere from 5p – 30p depending on the store. Get yourself a tote bag or packable shoulder bag and never have to pay for plastic bags again! The same is true of things like straws and packaging, just be conscious of things you take that will most likely end up in the bin by the end of the day.

Reduce – Do you really need to take a bus if you could just as easily cycle (or even scoot)? Finding alternate methods of transport is a great way of cutting down on unnecessary emissions, and with considerable efforts being made to encourage this through the construction of cycle superhighways and the introduction of numerous rental transport methods, from Santander Cycles to Lime Scooters, getting from A to B in an eco-conscious way has never been easier or more convenient.

Re-use – Quite a straightforward one, if you don’t need to throw something away, don’t! Upcycling is a skill, but one that is worth learning as it can save your wallet and the planet if done correctly. Sew your jeans up, try and fix that phone, take your broken furniture to a carpenter – whatever it is, you will find that some things are easier and cheaper to fix than you would think.

Rot – Food waste is probably the least talked about method on this list, despite being one of the easiest to do. When food waste goes into the bin it will end up in a landfill where it takes up unnecessary space, or in an incinerator that uses energy to destroy it. Instead, you can actually turn your food waste into energy for your garden! Just start a compost bin in your garden where you put all of your food scraps and wait until it breaks down and it should be the best natural fertiliser you can find. If you don’t have a garden, food waste is still collected by many councils so they can make compost themselves, so make sure you are at least collecting it in a separate bag to your normal bin – food waste bags are available everywhere.

Recycle – Do we even have to tell you about this one? We shouldn’t, but we will anyway. You can recycle plastic, paper, cardboard and even metal and glass if you find the right place. It may take a tiny bit more effort than just chucking it in the bin, but just think how great you can feel about yourself knowing you are doing your part in the fight against climate change! Just do some quick research in your local area to find the best spots to recycle.

And there we have it, 5 super simple ways you can help to save our environment. Of course, as a sneaky sixth tip, if you do need to ship any items, use Shiply to find a driver who is going there anyway, knowing that your delivery has not caused any extra emissions into the atmosphere! 

Van Renovations for Staycations this Summer

Staycations 

While travel seems like more of a possibility this summer than it did last year, many people are nervous to book expensive holidays abroad in fear that we may not be completely in the clear just yet. With this in mind, the humble staycation seems like an attractive option. 

Staycations can take many forms, from camping holidays to fancy hotel stays. They are often cheaper, and also more eco-friendly as they reduce the amount of travel time it takes to get to your chosen holiday destination.

One way people seem to be ‘staycationing’ this summer is through van renovations. Van renovating is a new form of glamping that we are seeing pop up over social media. 

Doing Up Your Van 

Van renovations seem to be another example of a ‘lockdown hobby’ that people all over Instagram have been undertaking.

Stripping one out and making it liveable is obviously a mammoth task with millions of things to consider, but to get you started we have pulled together a list of things to think about when renovating a van:

  1. Keep it simple; think about your main reasons for using the van. It’s probably going to be mostly for sleeping and driving, so build it accordingly. Having a little awning to come off the side so you can sit outside is a great idea, don’t waste space inside thinking you will socialise there. 
  2. One thing to remember is that if you are deep in a dark campsite, there’ll be little to no light, so make sure you are prepared for this. There are hundreds of battery operated lights available, from lanterns to Christmas lights which will make your van conversion feel like home. For the more eco-minded of you, solar lights are a great option.
  3. WATER! A rule of thumb should always be; bring more water than you think you’ll need. An obvious benefit to the campervan is that you will have plenty of storage to carry it. Consider putting it under the bed or even building an aqua-tainer to store it.

While this can be quite an expensive way to do a holiday initially, the advantage is that it’s an investment so it’s there whenever you fancy a little weekend trip!

Van Renovation Inspiration 

For more information and inspiration we have listed a few of the most beautiful examples of van renovations we have seen this year.

First up, we have @naturally.sassy. Ballerina turned home renovator, her latest renovation has been her ‘second home’ camper van which she travels all over the country with. Check out her Instagram for all things renovation.

Another one to watch for inspiration is @the.activ. This US-based couple boasts an impressive van conversion which they take to some pretty incredible parts of America. Have a look if you want serious travel envy. 

@vincentvanlife are the King and Queen of all types of second homes. Not only have they converted a van but their full-time home is a narrowboat. Take a peek at their Instagram to see what they get up to on the canals with their adorable pup, Wilf.

Globetrotter @mitch.cox travels all over the world in his aesthetically pleasing van with his beautiful girlfriend Cleo. The pair have decked this van out so incredibly, it even has a wall mounted tv and running water!

Finally, we have little van-family @pinepins. This van loving couple travels around Germany with their adorable little boy Fete. They’ve even named their van Rudi! 

How Shiply Can Help
From getting your van delivered to shipping your upgraded parts, Shiply is here to help. Post a listing here and have quotes flooding in within minutes for you to choose from.

A Guide To Upcycling

Upcycling has increased in popularity over the last 18 months as many people took on new hobbies over the pandemic. The term refers to improving, restoring or fixing older items that otherwise may have been disposed of. The finished product is obviously an improvement to the item but it is also a way for you to add your own twist and make it unique. 

Reupholstering chairs with new fabric, stripping and repainting wardrobes and even using old pallets to create furniture, are all examples of ways you can upcycle.

You can find a whole heap of inspiration on Instagram. From upcycling clothes to old furniture, some of our favourite accounts include;

  1. A Pair & A Spare @apairandaspare.com
  2. A Beautiful Mess @abeautifulmess.com
  3. Upcycle That @upcyclethat
  4. The House of Upcycling @thehouseofup
  5. A Beautiful Mess @abeautifulmess

Where to find these items to upcycle

Once you’re feeling inspired, it’s time to find items to upcycle. The first place to look would obviously be anything you own or your family owns already. If this is a dead-end, eBay, Gumtree, Schpock and charity shops are great places to find second-hand furniture and other things that need upcycling.

Advantages to Upcycling

The first advantage is economic. Not only is upcycling a great ‘hands on’ hobby but it is also a great way to recycle things that already exist instead of having to buy more. This not only is better for the environment, but also on your wallet! 

Creating gifts from upcycled items is much more personal and many people are now including upcycled items in their weddings. 

Making changes to your old items, big or small is a really easy way to breathe new life into old items. One man’s trash is another’s treasure has never been a truer statement.

Selling these items on

As well as being a cheap, planet-saving fun activity, selling these upcycled items is a way to make your money back. Listing them back onto eBay, Gumtree or even social media can drum up interest. And using Shiply to transport these items over to your new customers, is a further way to keep these costs down!