I bought myself a lovely dressing gown today from BHS. There was 20% off and I see it as an investment for the winter months. It will hopefully stop me reaching for the thermostat quite so often and I'm sure David Cameron would be very proud of me for putting on an extra layer.
I already had a perfectly adequate dressing gown but it seems to have become a family item. Amy is always wearing it and Thomas loves to snuggle up in it even though they've both got their own. So I graciously relinquished it to the children and got myself a newbie. I tried a red one on first, but as soon as Mark said 'Ho,Ho,Ho' I knew I'd never be able to wear it. I went for purple instead.
I'm hoping all these dressing gowns and blankets will keep us snuggly warm during winter and keep the bills down. Our electricity bill is £49 per month and our gas bill is £38. We pay by direct debit and we're in credit with one and debit with another, to the tune of being slightly in credit overall. Add a 10% increase to this though and we will be paying another £105 per year. Thankfully, we won't struggle to do that, but that's not the point. Plenty of people will.
I've been reading a couple of blogs today about foodbanks and the Trussell Trust and I can't comprehend why in 2013 people are having to choose between heating or eating. Reading that parents are going without food is bad enough, but to read that children are going hungry is heartbreaking. I can't imagine having no food in the house for Amy and Thomas. It's bad enough listening to them complain about being hungry when I'm cooking tea.
Anyway, I did a quick google and discovered the nearest Trussell Trust food banks to us are in Oldham, Salford and Manchester. And so I made a decision. That over the next 12 months I will endeavour to keep the gas and electricity bills to around the same as what they are now and that the 10% add on (£8.40 per month) will be spent on food donations to the Trussell Trust instead of to my energy provider.
It's only a small gesture but I am just so grateful that it's not Amy and Thomas whose tummies are rumbling tonight.