Whether you’re a paid or unpaid Carer, you may be entitled to receive Carers discounts for a whole range of different things! Being a Carer can be challenging and receiving discounts in high street shops or for fun days out can be a well earned reward to make life a little easier.
Carers are essential workers and make a positive impact every day to many people’s lives. From discounts on your bills and council tax to money off your next holiday, or a saving on something special, there are plenty of Carers discounts you can discover.
Remember, there are many different types of carers:
Employed Carers – work for care companies, such as our own, providing regulated care and support to the people who use the services. They receive benefits such as paid holiday, pensions and free uniform
Agency & private Carers – work for themselves, providing care and support that’s often temporary and on a zero hour contract. These roles typically come without employee benefits such as pensions and paid holiday
Unpaid Carers – provide care or support to someone who’s sick, disabled, elderly or has mental health concerns but they’re not paid by a company or local authority to do this
This guide includes all you need to know about discounts for Carers, including some great opportunities to save money. From free entry to some top attractions in the UK to discounted train tickets, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Read on to learn more and start enjoying some perks today!
What type of discounts are you looking for?
What are Carers discounts?
Carers discounts are savings on a variety of different products and services. A Carer is someone who provides support to someone, whether that’s in a professional capacity or caring for a loved one unpaid. Discounts are usually available to both paid or unpaid individuals who provide care to others.
The value of unpaid care in England and Wales is estimated to equate to a second National Health Services.1 Carers provide an immeasurable amount of support to our communities and economy. Many people rely on the help of Carers in order to live a fulfilling life and remain as independent as possible. However, the role of a Carer can be challenging and can result in financial struggles, especially if someone is providing unpaid care services. That’s why discounts for Carers are a small way of saying thank you for their hard work!
There are a wide range of discounts for Carers available across several sectors, such as retail, utilities and travel to name a few. They’re available in the form of discounted costs upfront or by cashback offers to be repaid to you after you purchase something. Some businesses offer discounts but don’t necessarily advertise them, so it’s always worth checking to be sure!
Why do some Carers receive discounts?
Being a Carer for a loved one, whether they’re elderly or disabled, can be highly rewarding. However, it can sometimes cause financial challenges such as when adult children are living with elderly parents to provide care or parents look after a disabled child.
Many Carers are unpaid, meaning they don’t receive money for the care and support they provide. In fact, there are over five million unpaid Carers in the UK.2 A lot of the time, Carer responsibilities are too great to be able to have a job as well. Unpaid Carers may only have a part time job. Because of this, household income might be affected.
Additionally, providing good quality care and support to someone may also necessitate extra costs. This includes purchasing food and daily supplies for another person, paying for tickets for a day out to an attraction or for transportation to attend appointments. This is especially the case if you need to adapt the home you’re living in to make it more accessible, such as installing a wheelchair ramp, or if your loved one requires any equipment to help manage their needs.
Receiving Carers discounts can help with costs so that you can continue to provide quality care and support whilst still enjoying the things you both love. Various organisations choose to offer Carers discounts as they recognise the significant challenges and responsibilities that can come with caregiving. It’s a gesture of appreciation for providing care and support for others.
Am I eligible for Carers discounts? How do I prove I’m a Carer?
To take advantage of Carers discounts, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria to prove that you’re a Carer.
Discounts for Carers are available to anyone who cares for someone, regardless of whether it’s paid or unpaid. This includes employed Care Workers, Live-in Carers and unpaid Carers supporting a loved one such as a family member. Caring for someone can be anything from a few hours each week to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some Carers – such as a family Carer – will live with the person they’re caring for, whereas others may provide visiting support.
To qualify for some discounts, you may need to present an ID badge showing your Carer status. If you’re a paid Carer, you should receive a photo ID badge from your employer. However, as an unpaid Carer for a loved one, you may not have an ID badge. Don’t worry! There are many website that can provide an ID badge to an unpaid Carer which we explore later in this guide.
Alternatively, there may be another form of ID you could provide as proof of entitlement. These include your Carer’s passport, Carer’s Allowance letter, a Carer’s Card or a Blue Badge application if you care for someone with mobility needs.
How can I apply to receive Carers discounts?
There are many different ways you can begin to receive Carers discounts if you’re eligible. Some places, such as certain attractions, may not require you to apply for anything, as long as you can show proof that you’re the person’s Carer. Other discounts you may automatically receive already.
However, to be able to access certain discounts for Carers, you need to sign up online first. To do this, you may also be required to provide proof of being a Carer, such as by submitting certain documents, to show you or the person you provide care for meets certain criteria. Some organisations may charge you a small fee but some are free. Often, the signup process is simple and easy!
Some even provide you with a physical Carers discount card for you to use to access discounts and offers in person.
Here are some examples of different websites you can sign up online for to access different Carers discounts:
Types of Carers discounts
What discounts are Carers entitled to? What free things can Carers get?
If you’re an unpaid Carer in the UK, there are a wide range of different discounts and offers you can access to help save money. Carers play such an important and crucial role in the lives of many, so discounts and offers act as a way for different organisations to say thank you for the work you do.
Throughout the UK, there are numerous discounts for Carers that you can access to support you financially. From free entry to top attractions to discounts for many popular brands, there’s something for everyone to help you save. We’ve put together a list of some great discounts and offers for a variety of different places and services.
Please note that the criteria for eligibility varies between organisations. It’s important that you visit the organisation’s website for further information. You should read the individual terms and conditions to check if you’re eligible to receive the discount or offer.
Here are some great Carers discounts that can help you spend less and save more:
There’s a wide range of benefits to going on a day out for people of any age or ability. Experiencing a change of scenery, trying something different and learning something new can bring a great deal of joy to many people. However, going on a day out especially to an attraction can be costly.
Luckily, a lot of different attractions in the UK offer Carers discounts! Many attractions even grant Carers free entry when accompanying the person they provide care for. Take a look at these different examples to see what exclusive deals you may be entitled to for your next day out.
Do you and the person you care for enjoy a trip to the cinema to watch the latest films? If so, unpaid Carers can enjoy a range of discounts, allowing you to save money on cinema tickets.
In the UK, there is a scheme developed by the UK Cinema Association enabling Carers to receive a free cinema ticket. The scheme allows unpaid Carers to sign up online and receive the CEA Card. This can be used at most major cinema chains throughout the UK, including Odeon, Vue and Cineworld.
The card costs six pounds to purchase and is valid for one year. You must, however, meet the following criteria: the person that you care for must already receive a type of financial benefit from the government, such as Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
Although cinemas can make a great day trip, it can be a challenging experience for some. Luckily, many cinemas are highly accessible and even have screenings catering for people with a range of needs or conditions.
For example, some screenings have audio description for people who are visually impaired, subtitles for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and some even have special screenings for people with autism or sensory processing challenges. Often, they keep the lights on, lower the volume and open the screen doors early so guests can get used to their surroundings.
Spending the day at a museum can also be a lovely day out for you to share with the person you care for. Museums make great activities for elderly people to enjoy . There are many different types of museums across the UK, such as ones that display art and others such as science museums that encourage visitors to interact with displays. Fortunately, most museums offer free entry for Carers!
They can offer a place outside of the normal daily environment l to learn something new which can be highly beneficial. Visiting a museum can spark creativity in the person you care for and also encourage you to chat about different topics.
Museums have also been found to be especially beneficial for people with dementia. This is because they provide an opportunity to delve into history which may bring back certain memories which can help to improve cognitive function and encourage social engagement.3
However, museums are often popular tourist attractions and can sometimes get quite busy. Luckily, some museums offer certain services to help mitigate any negative feelings towards crowds and loud noise. For example, the Natural History Museum in London offers visits in the morning for people with sensory processing challenges, quiet zones and ear defenders.
Here are some museums that offer free entry for Carers:
Nature & outdoors
Going outside for a stroll and looking at nature is often enjoyable. It can be very beneficial as it promotes exercise, helps lower blood pressure and supports mental wellbeing by lowering stress and anxiety.6
A lot of the time, this can be done for free but there are sites and activities in the UK which require you to pay to access them. Luckily, a lot of these places offer great deals or discounts for Carers when you attend with the person you care for, depending on eligibility.
Throughout the UK, there are over 500 National Trust sites which grant free entry for Carers.7 These sites range from nature reserves to historic buildings. A lot of the time, they’re large and spaced out so don’t become too busy and are accessible.
Their website even features an access guide for you to download and read each different National Trust site’s accessibility information to make planning your day out easier. With so many different types of places to choose from, there’s bound to be a place nearby that is ideal for you and the person you care for.
Additionally, English Heritage sites also offer free entry for Carers when accompanying the person they care for. To receive this Carer discount, no evidence is required to prove you’re a Carer however, the person you care for must purchase a full priced ticket or have an English Heritage membership. There are a range of different English Heritage sites you can visit, including Stonehenge, Whitby Abbey and Dartmouth Castle.
If the person you care for is adventurous, there are also a variety of different activities they can do whilst being in nature and a lot of them offer discounts for Carers! Whether they enjoy climbing, swinging or zooming down a zip wire, you can join them too for a discounted price.
For example, there are many Go Ape sites throughout the UK which offer a free or discounted ticket for Carers, depending on the activity. Additionally, the Bear Grylls Adventure currently offers free tickets to their venue for Carers.
If the person you care for enjoys an adrenaline rush or loves to ride rollercoasters, a day out at a theme park can make a great trip. Although entry tickets to theme parks can be costly sometimes, a lot of them provide Carers with a complimentary ticket when they attend with the person they care for!
There are a wide range of different theme parks in the UK which cater to many ages. If you’re the Carer of a younger person, Legoland or Paultons Park could be a great choice. Places like Thorpe Park or Alton Towers have larger and faster rides, suited to older thrill seekers.
Visiting a theme park and experiencing something new that might be outside of your comfort zone can bring a great deal of joy and excitement to the person you care for. A lot of theme parks are accessible for most people, such as including wheelchair friendly access throughout and a disabled queue entrance to avoid waiting in long and busy queues. Some theme parks, such as Legoland and Diggerland, have dedicated sensory places if the person you care for feels overwhelmed or agitated.
Here are some popular theme parks in the UK which offer free entry for Carers:
- Alton Towers
- Chessington World of Adventures
- Flamingo Land
- Oakwood Theme Park
- Paultons Park
- Thorpe Park
Taking a trip to a zoo can also make a great day out and a lot of zoos throughout the UK offer free entry for Carers. Going to a zoo is a good way to get some fresh air whilst getting the chance to learn something new.
There’s a wealth of benefits to going to a zoo. Walking between enclosures can encourage the person you care for to exercise which can be advantageous for both physical and mental wellbeing. In addition to this, visiting a zoo has also been proven to decrease blood pressure as watching animals can reduce stress and promote feelings of relaxation.8
Most zoos understand the importance of creating an environment so that anyone can feel safe when enjoying nature and animals, regardless of age or ability. Because of this, many cater for everyone. This includes having wheelchair friendly paths or allowing guide dogs or emotional support animals. Some zoos even offer a hire service for wheelchairs, buggies or walking aids.
Entry tickets to some zoos can be costly but can offer value as a full day activity. Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to receive a complimentary ticket when visiting with the person you care for. Here are some zoos that provide free admission for Carers:
Food & drink
As a Carer, you may be required to purchase extra food and drink if you’re caring for a loved one and they rely on your assistance. Alternatively, you might simply want to enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant together. Fortunately, there are many Carers discounts available on food and drink which make these possible at manageable prices.
The Tastecard is a great place to start! Carers are offered a free 60 day free trial period before committing to a paid ongoing subscription. You can receive discounts in thousands of UK restaurants, including coffee shops and other food delivery services, such as Pizza Hut or Dominos. Read on for more ways to get discounts for Carers on food and drink.
Food delivery services are a convenient way of enjoying food in the comfort of home without having to cook. With just a few clicks, you can place an order and have your meal delivered directly to your door. Food delivery services can save time, removing the need to spend time shopping for ingredients, cooking and cleaning up afterwards.
The downside is that food delivery services can be very expensive, especially if you’re ordering for a large number of people. They usually cost more than ordering the same food in a restaurant because of additional service charges and delivery feeds. Sometimes this can amount to around 30% of the price of your order.5 For unpaid Carers who aren’t in full time employment, this can mean the treat of ordering food online is sometimes out of their budget.
Luckily, there are exclusive online discounts for Carers available to enjoy food delivery services at a reduced rate. We’ve found some examples of Carers discounts to make food delivery more affordable:
- Just Eat eVouchers – 5% discount for Carers
- Uber Eats – £5 Carers discount on your first order of £15
Meal subscription services
Meal subscription services are becoming increasingly popular due to their time saving benefits and easy delivery services. Additionally, they boast a variety of healthy recipe choices and fresh pre-portioned ingredients to reduce food waste.
If you enjoy cooking but struggle to find time, meal subscription services can be helpful. They could save time on shopping for ingredients as fresh produce is delivered straight to your door. Many meal subscription services offer quick and simple recipes so you can spend less time preparing meals. As a result, you could be left with extra time to spend on other things.
Meal subscription services help to simplify portion control and offer healthy foods for a nutritious diet. As they include only the ingredients you need, they can reduce food waste which is also good for the environment. You have the option to choose from hundreds of recipe choices and the opportunity to try a variety of different healthy meals.
Some discounted meal subscription services for Carers are:
- Gousto – 55% off first box + 25% off next 2 months
- HelloFresh – 65% off first box + 25% off next 2 months
- OddBox – 20% Carers discount for 4 weeks
Eating out at a restaurant can be a nice treat. Being waited on by staff and enjoying a variety of delicious food choices offers an opportunity to destress, relax and socialise with good company. Eating out grants you the freedom to try new foods and drinks and time off from having to cook! Sometimes after a long day, you may feel like you don’t have the time or energy to prepare a meal, so eating out is a luxury.
However, eating out at some restaurants can be costly. Not only are you paying for the foods and drinks you consume, but a gratuity charge then increases the cost by 10% or more. In 2023, it’s estimated the cost of eating out has increased by almost 15% compared to the previous year.4
Fortunately, many restaurants offer discounts for Carers to enjoy eating out at reduced prices. Some examples include:
- All Bar One – lunch & drink from £9.50 on weekdays
- Prezzo – 20% off food only, Sunday to Friday
- TGI Fridays – 20% off food only, Sunday to Friday
- Toby Carvery – 20% off food only, weekdays
- Turtle Bay – 20% off food only
Holidays & leisure
Being a full time Carer is a rewarding job but also comes with challenges. For primary caregivers, it can be difficult to find time to yourself when someone is relying on you for support. However, it’s vitally important for your mental health and wellbeing and to avoid carer burnout.
Taking time for yourself could be something as simple as spending time alone reading your favourite book or enjoying an exercise class. Many leisure facilities and holiday parks offer discounts for Carers so they can rest and recover from the responsibilities of caring. Taking a holiday may seem impossible but with these discounts and the help of a Respite Care service, it may be possible! Read on to explore some of the discounts available for Carers so you can consider taking a well earned break.
Taking a holiday can sometimes feel like an impossible prospect if you’re caring for someone who constantly relies on you for help. But it’s essential for your mental wellbeing to take a break from daily responsibilities and reduce the risk of burnout.
When you dedicate so much of your time and energy to the health and safety of someone else, you may experience carer burnout which is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. Caregivers experiencing burnout may feel exhausted, stressed, withdrawn, anxious or depressed. Your health and wellbeing matter just as much as the person you’re caring for, so it’s important to take regular breaks to prevent this. A holiday and time away from the stresses of daily life can improve physical and mental health, motivation, job performance and productivity.
Respite Care is an ideal solution to enable you to take time off to relax and avoid carer burnout. You can rest assured that a professional Carer will step in to continue your duties and provide dedicated support while you’re away. Knowing the person you care for is in good hands provides peace of mind so you can switch off, relax and enjoy a break. At Alina Homecare, we offer professional Respite Care services and step in to ensure continuity of care. To learn more and see how we can help, find your local Alina Homecare Team.
Holidays allow you time off to explore local areas or travel to different areas of the world and learn about different cultures. They’re an ideal opportunity to indulge in self care which can reduce stress, increase energy levels and improve mental health. Active holidays can help improve fitness levels and the change of scenery can increase feelings of wellbeing.
Below are a few examples of UK holiday discounts for Carers:
- Haven – up to 15% Carers discount on holiday parks
- Premier Inn – rooms from £35
- Sykes Cottages – up to 10% off
Other examples of worldwide holiday discounts for Carers:
- ebookers.com – 5% Carers discount on worldwide hotels
- Jet2holidays – £25 extra Carers discount
- Princess Cruises – 10% Carers discount on all-inclusive packages
Do you enjoy being active and exercising? Does the person you care for need help with mobility and movement? A gym or leisure facility is the perfect place to go because of the variety of equipment, activities and classes that are available.
If you’re able, physical activity has numerous health benefits. It can be a good idea to exercise as a way to destress, build confidence and increase energy levels. Exercising can boost mood, improve brain health, reduce the risk of disease, delay the onset of dementia, improve sleep quality and creativity, and improve the ability to carry out daily activities. For someone with mobility concerns, it can reduce chronic pain and strengthen bones and joints. It can also help for specific issues, such as swelling in the feet and ankles in elderly people.
Indoor gyms and leisure facilities make exercising accessible regardless of the weather or circumstances. They help make exercising more enjoyable as you can enjoy a combination of various activities and even take part in classes to increase social interaction. Water exercises can be a great way to workout for people who require mobility support. The water can reduce pressure on joints and the energy require for movement.
Unfortunately, gym memberships can be a costly monthly outgoing and, as a result, may be unaffordable for unpaid Carers. For those struggling with the cost of living, it’s important to save money wherever possible without sacrificing health and wellbeing. Luckily, there are discounted options available for gym memberships which Carers can take advantage of. If you care for someone with a disability, some services even offer a disability membership, giving them exclusive access to facilities.
Here are some examples below:
- Better – concessionary membership for Carers & disability membership
- Everyone Active – discounted memberships for full time Carers
- Pure Gym – £5 joining fee & 10% off fixed term membership
If you don’t fancy joining a gym and paying for a continuous membership but are still interested in staying active, some other discounted alternatives are:
- Cycles UK – 5% Carers discount
- Echelon – Carers discount on fitness equipment & membership
- Peloton Bike – £125 Carers discount
- RaceNation Events – 20% Carers discount
Everyday essential items and groceries can be costly, especially for households with a primary caregiver who may be unable to work full time and earn a regular income.
Fortunately, there are many generous offers available to Carers for various retail outlets. Whether you’re looking for important items such as food and toiletries, or shopping for non-essential goods and gifts, there are discounts which can help you save money and reduce outgoings.
The act of shopping can positively boost your mood. If you or the person you’re caring for is looking for a mood boost, hit the high street together and enjoy some retail therapy. Fashion trends are forever changing, and sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself or someone you love to something new. Shopping benefits for Carers can often be redeemed as an in-store or online discount.
Whether you’re looking for cosmetics or clothing, explore these great deals for ways to save money on your purchases:
- adidas – 25% Carers discount
- FatFace – 10% Carers discount
- JD Sports – 10% off full price for Carers
- Lookfantastic – 22% Carers discount on beauty, skincare & cosmetics
- The Perfume Shop – 15% Carers discount
Groceries are essential for every household, but finding cheaper ways to do food shopping is invaluable. You may find that your total grocery shop costs are higher if you’re caring for someone and purchasing items for them too.
It’s been reported that the average weekly food cost for a typical UK household is around 18% higher than the previous year.9 Most supermarkets offer discounts and product markdowns for customers who regularly shop with them or are members of their loyalty schemes. However, there are some grocery store discounts exclusively for Carers.
Some examples include the following benefits:
- Asda – 2.5% cashback
- Asda eVouchers – 1.5% discount
- Heinz to Home – 20% Carers discount on everything
- Sainsbury’s – 2.5% cashback
- Tesco Instant eVouchers – 2% discount
- Waitrose – receive 3% cashback
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, for something big or small, discounts can help. If you’re looking to redecorate, or need to purchase a new appliance, or are even looking for a gift for a special occasion, there are a range of Carers discounts available for these.
For many households, the pressure of buying gifts around Christmas and birthdays can be overwhelming. This is especially true for households with less disposable income. If you’re an unpaid Carer, shopping might feel stressful if you don’t earn a steady wage and are therefore worried about costs.
Here are a range of examples of shopping discounts exclusively for Carers:
- B&M eVouchers – 5% Carers discount
- Fitbit – 20% off for Carers
- Homebase – 10% Carers discount
- Hotpoint – up to 35% Carers discount on all home appliances
- LivingSocial – 10% exclusive Carers discount
- Poundland.co.uk – 4% Carers discount
- Shark Clean – 10% Carers discont
- WHSmith – 10% Carers discount
If you’re looking for a gift for someone you care for, read our elderly gift guide for inspiration and you may find gift ideas you’re eligible for discounts on.
Using transport, whether public or private, is essential to most people’s lives. This is especially the case if you’re a Carer. As a Carer, it’s likely you and the person you care for will be travelling to and from appointments and activities, which can become costly over time.
Fortunately, you may be entitled to receive many different Carers discounts for transport. Whether you drive or travel on the train, or are planning a trip travelling by air or boat, there is a wide range of offers and discounts for Carers which can help save money.
Travelling by air and visiting another country is exciting for many people. However, if you’re elderly, frail or have a disability, this could be impossible without the support of a Carer. Purchasing tickets to travel by air can be expensive. If you’re an unpaid Carer and are eligible, you may be entitled to receive Carers discounts.
Travelling to new or different places can be highly beneficial for people of any age or ability. It brings an opportunity to experience new cultures, see places you normally wouldn’t and to learn new things. Depending on where you’re flying to, travelling on a plane can potentially cost hundreds of pounds. Here are some examples of Carers discounts which can help with the cost of travelling via air:
Cruises & ferries
If you and the person you care for are planning a trip or a day out and are travelling by boat, there may be some discounts you’re eligible to receive to help save on the cost of transport. There are many ways you can travel by boat. This can include taking a ferry to visit somewhere new or using a boat taxi to get to your next destination.
Travelling by boat is sometimes a cheaper option in comparison to flying. It can also be less stressful for yourself and the person you care for as there are often fewer queues and crowds. Here are some examples of discounts for Carers travelling via boat:
- Wight Link Ferries – free ticket
- Thames Clippers river bus – free ticket
- London City Cruises – 50% discount
Rail is one of the most popular forms of transport with over 1.8 billion passengers every year in the UK.10 For this reason, many people often enquire if carers go free on trains. Many Carers travel on trains with the person they care for to attend appointments, activities or days out. However, if you frequently have to purchase tickets to do this, it can become costly over time.
Luckily, you may be entitled to receive Carers discounts on train tickets. If the person you care for receives government benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, they may be entitled to purchase a Disabled Persons Railcard. This allows you and the person you care for to receive 1/3 off the price of a standard ticket.
In addition to this, if you’re using Northern Railways to travel, you may be able to receive a 25% discount on advanced ticket purchases. This discount can be used whether you’re travelling with the person you provide care for or not.
A lot of people choose to drive as their primary travel choice. However, the cost of parking, maintaining and refuelling a vehicle can incur great costs. As a Carer, you may have to travel to the home of the person you care for multiple times a day which means you may be spending more on fuel and parking than you would otherwise. Also, you may need to upgrade your vehicle if it’s not suitable for the person you care for, which can also be expensive.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can save money as a Carer if you’re travelling by car to provide care and support. If the person you care for receives a higher or enhanced rate of certain government benefits, you may be entitled to receive vehicle tax exemption. If they receive the standard rate of certain government benefits, you may be entitled to receive a 50% discount for your road tax. It’s important to note, this does not apply if you use the vehicle for personal reasons.
Additionally, most local authorities in the UK offer parking permits for Carers. This means when you’re visiting the person you provide care for in their own home, or if you’re driving them to appointments for instance, you may be able to receive free parking. To learn more, visit your local authorities website.
Moreover, car insurance can also be costly, especially if you have to adapt your vehicle to align with the needs of the person you care for. There are however, some Carer discounts for car insurance. GoCompare and Confused.com offer a £30 and £20 Amazon gift voucher respectively for Carers who use these websites to compare car insurance prices. Howeden also provide car insurance discounts for Carers and offer free excess protection.
Utilities & bills
The cost of utilities and monthly bills can often cause financial stress. This is especially the case if you live with the person that you provide care for as this can increase the price of them. Fortunately, your utility company may offer discounts for Carers to help with costs. Read the following examples to learn about how you can save on the cost of utilities and bills, depending on eligibility.
Electricity & gas
Electricity and gas are important aspects of running a household. They provide access to heat, light, appliances and, in most cases, cooking facilities like an oven, stovetop or microwave. For those juggling the demands of caring, or struggling with living costs, it’s becoming more difficult to manage the use of electricity and gas to reduce bills. In fact, research by Uswitch has found that more than a third of unpaid Carers have struggled to pay their energy bills.11
Additionally, Uswitch research found that 21% of unpaid Carers have chosen not to put their heating on at times because they can’t afford the bill.12 This can be detrimental to the health of the person they’re caring for. If you’re living with an elderly person, it’s especially important to heat the home during the colder months to ensure they stay warm and avoid illnesses.
If you’re struggling to pay your gas or electricity bill, it’s worth finding out if you’re eligible for any concessions. For example, Scope offers Disability Energy Support. This offers free energy and water advice to disabled people and is available to any disabled person or households where one or more disabled people live. Therefore, if you live with or care for someone with a disability, your household could be eligible for expert advice.
Some suppliers have support available to help with paying bills. You should contact your supplier to see if this includes you. Otherwise, here are some exclusive discounts for Carers which could help you reduce costs:
- ApTap – help with managing your bills
- Boiler Central – £100 discount for Carers
- E.ON – £100 Carers discount on boilers
- WarmZilla – replacement boiler service & save £75 on selected boilers
Broadband is essential for most households as it allows access to the internet. However, broadband incurs a monthly bill. There are many reasons why Carers need to access the internet. For example, if you’re caring for a child with disabilities, they may need it to access online schooling. If you’re caring for an elderly parent or loved one, you may need it so that you can monitor them remotely.
Luckily, some broadband providers offer monthly discounts for carers to help you spend less. Here are some examples:
- BT – discounted payment with 3 months free & £100 virtual reward card
- Virgin Media – discounted payment & £90 bill credit
- EE – discounted payment
Council tax is an annual fee that is paid to your local council to fund different services, such as bin collections. However, depending on whether you and the person you care for meet certain criteria, you could get council tax discount or not have to pay any.
If the person you care for is classed as severely mentally impaired and receives certain government benefits such as Personal Independence Payment, they are disregarded for council tax purposes. You may also be disregarded for council tax purposes if:
- You live with the person you care for
- You provide care for at least 35 hours a week
- You are not the parent (under 18) or partner of the person you care for
For most people, mobile phones are an essential part of our daily lives. For Carers, they’re especially important as they help with communicating with other healthcare professionals or recording important information regarding a person’s care. As technology improves, mobile phone devices are getting more advanced and, as a result, increasingly expensive. This is especially true if you’re paying a monthly fee for both the device and the tariff.
Fortunately, there are mobile phone discounts available for Carers which can help to reduce outgoings. Take a look at these deals for both devices and SIM only plans:
- Apple iPhone 15 – £0 upfront + £45.60 a month
- Carphone Warehouse – key worker & NHS discount
- Currys Mobile – save up to £100 off
- Google Pixel 8 – £0 upfront + £24 a month
- Samsung Galaxy S23 – £0 upfront + £28.80 a month
- Smarty – SIM only plan with unlimited data for £16 a month
- talkmobile – SIM only 100GB 12 month plan for £12.95 a month
- Three – 120GB data SIM for £16 a month
- Vodafone – SIM only 40GB data for £10 a month
Tips for managing money as a Carer
Being an unpaid Carer can be a financial struggle, especially if it means you’re unable to work full time. As a result, many Carers feel stressed or anxious about their finances. There’s always support available and there are many ways you can find this.
You can find support with budgeting on the Citizens Advice website or get free, confidential advice from MoneyHelper. Another popular website full of advice on banking and savings rates, deals on shopping, as well help with income, budgeting and household bills is MoneySavingExpert.
If you’re caring for someone full time, it’s important to make sure you’re receiving all possible benefits available to you. In addition to this, there are other helpful money saving habits you can adopt.
The most well known state benefit is Carer’s Allowance. This is available for people aged 16 or over who regularly spend 35 hours a week or more caring for someone and meet certain criteria. If you’re eligible, you could receive £76.75 a week and you can choose for this to be paid weekly or every four weeks.
Blue Badge application
If you care for someone with a disability or health condition and often transport them around, you could apply for a Blue Badge permit on their behalf from their local council or the gov.uk website. This provides access to larger and closer parking bays and, in some cases, parking exemptions.
Reduce energy costs
It’s possible to save money on your energy bills by using appliances efficiently. For example, washing clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees could cut energy costs by 38%.14 If you have a dishwasher, load it as efficiently as possible and only turn it on when it’s full. If your appliances have an eco-setting, this can help you save costs on energy bills and is also kinder to the environment.
Consider turning off items such as the kettle, toaster or phone chargers at the plug socket when they’re not being used. Also get in the habit of turning off lights when they’re not needed and closing doors during colder months to keep rooms insulated, reducing the need for central heating to be on constantly.
Most supermarkets have loyalty schemes that help you collect points to spend on your shopping or convert them into rewards vouchers. These days, many supermarkets reserve their best prices for loyalty card holders which can make a big difference to a large shop! If you have a favourite supermarket that you frequently visit, collecting points throughout the year can make a huge difference to the amount you spend.
Services such as Too Good To Go help you find unsold food from local shops and restaurants – so not only will you save money, but you’ll be helping the planet by reducing food waste!
If you’re able and your financial situation allows, you could save loose change in a jar or piggy bank throughout the year or use an online version with a savings account. Many online savings accounts now offer a ’round up’ option which will automatically save spare change for you. You spend as normal using your debit card or contactless device and the connected savings account will automatically round up your purchase to the nearest pound, putting away the extra pennies. At the end of the year, you may find that you’ve saved a lot of money without too much of an impact on your daily life!
Get your money’s worth
If you have toiletries and cosmetics which are nearly finished, cut open the packaging to scoop out the remains – you’ll be surprised at how much product is left inside when you thought it was empty!
You could also try adding water to items such as washing up liquid or hand soap to dilute them and make them go further.
Make money from spending
Most suppliers offer credit cards which reward you for your spending with a cashback incentive or points that you can convert into reward vouchers. You can explore reward credit cards or bank account options on the MoneySavingExpert website to find the right option for you.
Other tips to spend less…
What other types of support are available for Carers?
If you’re providing unpaid care for an elderly person, or someone who has disabilities, you may find over time you need extra support to manage all their care needs, rather than just financial support. Caring for a loved one is highly rewarding and can make a big difference in their quality of life. However, it often comes with a large number of responsibilities, which can be overwhelming.
It’s important that you focus on yourself too and your own quality of life. Taking some much needed, regular time for yourself can improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. In doing so, it can give you that break you need so that you can come back refreshed and continue to provide good quality care and support.
If you’re providing care for an elderly or frail loved one and would benefit from a regular break, our Respite Care at Home can help. With this service, a fully trained Care Worker will provide Home Care for your loved one whilst you enjoy some regular time to yourself. We work with you and your loved one to develop a care plan that is completely tailored to you and your loved one’s needs. We can help with so much including general housekeeping, supporting Personal Care routines, preparing meals and providing dedicated companionship.
If you’re providing care for a loved one with disabilities and find you need a regular break or if you just need some additional support to manage their care needs, we can help! Our Disability Support services provide dedicated support to people with a wide range of disabilities. With our Community Outreach Support, a fully trained Support Worker can visit your or your loved one’s home to provide assistance with daily routines and activities. All our care and support plans are person centred and are tailored to meet exact needs, so nothing has to change.
If you or your loved one would benefit from extra support from a Care or Support Worker, find your local Alina Homecare Team today to learn more about our wide range of services and how we can help.
Become a Carer with Alina Homecare
We value our Care and Support Workers and understand the challenges they face daily. That’s why we reward our Teams for their hard work and dedication by providing our own staff discount scheme.
If you’re an unpaid Carer with previous caregiving experience and you’re looking for a job to continue making a difference, you could be a great fit for our Team! We’d love to welcome you!
Apply today and you’ll receive hundreds of exclusive discounts and cashback offers on big brands. You’ll also have exclusive access to professional, confidential and external 24/7 support for your physical and mental wellbeing.
1. Carers UK, “Key facts and figures about caring”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
2. Office for National Statistics, “Unpaid care, England and Wales: Census 2021”, Reviewed 21 December 2023
3. Reasons to be cheerful, “Museums Are Improving Life for People With Dementia”, Reviewed 21 December 2023
4. Independent, “Cost of eating out soars by nearly 15 per cent as popular chains hike prices”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
5. The Guardian, “Hard to swallow: the 30% price hike that gets delivered with your meal”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
6. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, “Physical Activity for People with Disability”, Reviewed 21 December 2023
7. National Trust, “National Trust”, Reviewed 21 December 2023
8. National Library of Medicine, “The effect of visiting zoos on human health and quality of life”, Reviewed 21 December 2023
9. NimbleFins, “Average UK Household Cost of Food 2023”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
10. Network Rail, “Passengers”, Reviewed 21 December 2023
11. Uswitch, “Informal carers and energy bills”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
12. Uswitch, “Informal carers and energy bills”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
13. The Times, “How to cut the cost of your food bill”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
14. Discounts for Carers, “5 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bills | Winter 2023”, Reviewed 27 December 2023
15. LinkedIn, “Shopping on an Empty Stomach? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider: A Guide to Smarter Grocery Shopping”, Reviewed 27 December 2023