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Knowle West Knows Best – Welcoming Winter

What you love about winter

Top money saving tips

Prepare for a happy winter

Make your home cosy

Butternut squash soup. John | resident

Hot water bottle in beds with a cup of warm milk before bed for me and the kids. Jas | resident

Follow Knowle West Alliance on Facebook for local activities, courses to keep you busy, groups and more. Hannah | KWA

Do small heating / energy efficiency DIY improvements, start with the small things and soon you’ll feel more confident and eventually start tackling bigger tasks. Rev Clive | St Barnabas Church

Love the Santa float the goes round as the whole community gets to come together to celebrate Christmas, we follow it around and go to light displays on the way home. Get dates & maps here: Santa’s Christmas float 2023 | Facebook Natalie | resident

Last autumn at one of the We Can Make community evenings we were talking about hayboxes and wonderbags, which are like insulated slowcookers, they don’t use any electricity. The idea is you bring a pot to the boil and then put it in insulation, and it keeps cooking! There are lots of ways to make them, from essentially a sleeping bag in a spare box or cooler, to ones that are sewn or cut from wood and insulation. Ruth | resident

Consider taking advantage of insulation offers, mostly in the summer months, over the years I have had lots of insulation done to my house, now I have a relatively warm house in winter so energy bills not so high, a bit of forward planning has worked a treat. Don | resident

Check on your neighbours, share a cuppa. Hannah | KWA

Double up on those easy meals, batch cook where possible. Jas | Knowle West Healthy Living Centre

Consider not giving this Christmas. We’re not talking about gifts from parents or grandparents, but the ever-widening glut of friends, extended family and colleagues. Vicky | resident

Looking forward to our super warm fluffy duvet cover, it’s shaggy and so cuddly. Ang | resident

Muddy forest walks, get your wellies out, with some thick warm socks. Hannah | resident

Prepare a ‘Hog home’ so hedgehogs can safety hibernate, after you have fed them to fatten up for winter! No bread, milk, fruit especially grapes. Dried or meaty hog food and plenty of fresh water. Jim | Filwood Chase History Society

I like proper job in Briz as a place to get cheaper things like draught excluders and strips for doors, much cheaper than horrendous prices at Screwfix and B&Q. Rev Clive | St Barnabas Church

I have a lot of grandkids, instead of a main present each I buy small things throughout the year, we then gather all 29 of us on Boxing Day, I have a big sack with gifts wrapped in newspaper and named. We sit in a circle, and I throw gifts to whoever I pull out. Kids young and old love the excitement and seeing what everyone got. Often jealously / competition when someone ‘wins’ the coveted choc dip. Margaret | resident

Vinted (other apps available) sell new and used items including clothing, toys, beauty and more. It’s free to sell and the buyer pays all fees. Money is paid to Vinted and the seller withdraws when they are ready, straight into they’re bank account. Gail | resident

Make your own Christmas gifts using high tech at The Factory, Filwood Park. Personalise plain clothing using digital embroidering, make your own jewellery. Dani | KWMC

The adults in our family decided a long time ago not to buy each other birthday or Christmas presents, instead we put what we can, when we can into a kitty and see what we have in the summer, we then go out for a drink, meal, day out, weekend away depending on what we have in the pot. Much nicer to spend quality time together than have lots ‘things’, Katie | resident

Get an Oodie, pair it with a hot water bottle, ultimate comfort ! Eileen | resident

Do you shop online? Ever used a cash back sites? Lots of options available such as www.topcashback.co.uk, www.quidco.com. It’s simple to use, create an account and when you shop online go through your cash back site of choice. You receive a % of your spend back as cash, or you can choose vouchers. If you recommend a friend, you both might receive a bonus. Frances | KWA

Slip a pair of thermals on as a base layer. Joyce | resident

Where possible use spare time to get out for a walk in nature, talk about the changes in the seasons and enjoy the quality time with loved ones. Jas | resident

Plum App (other apps available) takes very small amounts from your bank account and saves it for you. You select the level you wish to save, and it doesn’t make you go overdrawn. You can opt to have daily / weekly updates of what you have and have saved. You can withdraw your money instantly from PLUM or 24hrs with CHIP. www.withplum.com, www.getchip.uk. Gail | resident

Ventilate when you’re doing the housework, get the windows open, bring some fresh air in and keeps you cool in the process. Terry | resident

Boot slippers, warm feet and ankles. Eileen | resident

Shoppix App (other apps available). Download and take a picture of any receipts you have within a 7-day period and collect tokens, it’s so simple to do. In exchange for the data at sign up, you can get vouchers for Amazon, ITunes, Love2shop, Paypal. Gail | resident

Cosy up with a blanket, slippers and scented candle. Emma | resident

My top tip is to buy gifts in sales throughout the year and save for Birthdays / Christmas. Jan | resident

The kids love choosing photos from the year to make into calendars for my parents and in-laws, a nice family activity and the grandparents appreciate the effort. Katie | resident

Airtime rewards App (other apps available), simple to use. Add your payment cards to a wallet and each time they are used you earn money. As your rewards grow you can redeem them against a phone bill or have the money paid directly to your Paypal account. Gail | resident

Pour essential oils on cotton balls and place in a decorative ceramic jar or jug, making sure to leave uncovered. This can then be displaying in any room, acting as an air freshener. Loads of make your own ideas online, using herds, plants, fruit and water. Jodie | resident

Preloved children swear is increasingly big business – but a pair of second-hand PJs makes for a bit of a dull gift. For guaranteed success, seek out independent sellers who stock cult brands. For something extra special. Change the buttons to smiley faces or add a motif. Creating something that is customised and a one-off, Instagram. Gail | resident