From fuel to heating bills to mortgages, how to beat the cost of war in Ukraine on the home front

THE conflict in Ukraine is set to squeeze households even further as the sanctions against Russia send shockwaves through the global economy.

A sharp rise in the prices of oil, metals and wheat is expected to push up the cost of many everyday items, from food to petrol and heating.

And the Bank of England is expected to increase interest rates.

So what can you do to survive in the coming months?

Our brilliant Squeeze Team experts Tashema Jackson, Martyn James and Jonathan Rolande gave their tips to Susan Hill.


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UKRAINE and Russia produce 14 per cent of the world’s wheat, 80 per cent of its sunflower oil and six per cent of aluminium to make cans.

Consumer expert Martyn James, of Resolver, says: “It’s about sensible buying.

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"Supermarket loyalty schemes will come into their own for deals. Also smart shopping. Shop around for bargains.

“A late-night trip to the supermarket when the discounted food goes out could fill your freezer for a few pounds.

“You can buy discounted bread and fish and freeze it. To cut down on the sunflower oil you use, seek out new recipes where you don’t need it.

“Buy big bags of potatoes direct from farmers. And when it comes to doing your big supermarket shop, avoid all the short date items at the front.”


FUEL and train fares are already up and air travel is set to follow.

Martyn James says: “If you can be without a car, now is a good time to sell.

"The demand for second-hand cars is high and there are schemes to hire one by the hour.

“If you drive, do it smoothly and frugally. Turn off the engine when it is safe to do so, drive in the highest gear possible and don’t have a full tank or a packed boot that weighs it down.

"And make sure your tyres are fully inflated, as lower tyre pressure can add to the drag.

“On the trains, pre-book travel passes online. You can beat those inflation-busting rises by buying now.

“The same goes for air travel. If you know you have to fly somewhere later in the year, book the flights now. Don’t wait.”


TASHEMA JACKSON, energy expert at, says: “There is very little people can do to reduce bills in terms of switching to a new supplier as suppliers aren’t offering tariffs for new customers.

“But people who pay for their energy on a standard meter, rather than a pre-payment meter, need to make sure they are paying by direct debit, as this will save them about £100 a year.

“And turn down your boiler. Our boilers are set to have a ‘boiler flow rate’ temp of 80/60 – which means water is heated up to 80 degrees to be pumped round your radiators and comes back at 60 degrees, having given off 20 degrees of heat.

“An easy way to save is to lower that top number to 50-60 – which will reduce your gas bill by up to ten per cent and still keep your home at the same temperature.”

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IF interest rates rise, homeowners on a variable rate mortgage will see monthly payments go up, while landlords who have mortgages could well pass on that cost.
JONATHAN ROLANDE, from the National Association of Property Buyers, says: “Switch to a fixed deal mortgage now.

“Landlords can only put up the rent at the end of the tenancy term – and only by about two per cent. Increases must be reasonable.

"Tenants can sometimes apply for housing benefits to help.

“If a landlord puts the rent up by an unfair amount, appeal to a tribunal for free. Contact Citizens Advice for further help.

“The best thing to do is be a good tenant – landlords don’t want hassle.”

Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

PICTURES of women and children fleeing the horror of Ukraine’s devastated towns and cities have moved Sun readers to tears.

Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun's Ukraine Fund.

Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

Donate here to help The Sun's fund

Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles

£3 — text SUN£3
£5 — text SUN£5
£10 — text SUN£10

Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit

The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis.

In the unlikely event that the British Red Cross raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help them prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.

For more information visit

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