Can Asda's cutting-edge PJs save you £300?

The new PJsFreud Communications

The new high-tech solution to the energy price crisis is a pair of thermal pyjamas. Asda has launched new thermals that it says will save you £300. But is there anything special about them, or is this just the sort of advice that the older generations have been passing on for decades?

And if this is the cutting edge of energy saving, what other classics should we bring back?

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The PJs

The pyjamas have been launched with something of a fanfare. Asda is calling them 'self-heating pyjamas', and say they have been developing the material for years to make it particularly effective at retaining heat. The idea is that you don't just wear them at night, you use them as thermal underwear during the day too, so you can bring down your bills. And given that they cost from £5, they're not going to break the bank either.

The store claims that the thermals will keep you so warm that you can turn your central heating down by five degrees this winter - and save £300. Even if you just turn it down one degree you'll save £60. The retailer even wheels out the Energy Saving Trust to endorse this figure.

Old-fashioned tips

However, wearing extra layers is nothing new. Asda actually surveyed customers and found that 57% of people sleep in an extra jumper to stay warm, while 36% sleep under two duvets between November and February.

For decades we have used the same tricks to keep warm at home. It's only in recent years we've turned up the thermostat instead. And this isn't the only recent habit we need to cut back on if we're going to save energy, so we've come up with five of the best nostalgia-heavy ways to save energy.

1) Have a conversation

Turn off the TV, the iPad, the games consoles, and the phones and actually talk to each other for a while. If that's asking a bit much, then buy a book.

2) Turn off the Christmas lights

Do we really gain so much from the team of illuminated reindeer in the garden and having so many lights on in the house that it can be seen from space? By all means invest in a few low energy decorative lights, then let glitter, tinsel, and some candles do the rest of the work for you.

3) Invest in retro draught excluders

Bring back the retro look with a sausage dog draught excluder for any door letting in significant cold air. Add in silicone sealant for the skirting boards, filler for wooden floors, draught-proofing for breezy windows and chimney balloons and you could save £90 a year.

4) Give up the remote control

Remember the days when we used to change channels on the TV without the little black box? There was no stand-by then, so when we went to bed we'd turn it off properly, and save around £40 a year (if you do this on all your gadgets). If you're wedded to the control, then at least get up once, and turn it off before you go to bed.

5) Learn some very basic DIY skills

This is something that has died a death among the under-40s and it's responsible for an enormous amount of wasted cash. The broken cat-flap, the dripping hot tap, the flapping letter box, are all are eating cash. So parents and kids need to get together and trade a few basic skills, so incompetence around the home doesn't cost a small fortune.

But what do you think? Are thermals the cure for your cold-weather ills? What other retro tips can keep us warm this winter without breaking the bank? Share your thoughts below.

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Can Asda's cutting-edge PJs save you £300?

Using a mobile phone to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web while abroad can be extremely costly – especially if you are travelling outside the European Union (EU), where calls can cost up to 10 times as much as at home.

To avoid high charges, Carphone Warehouse suggests tourists ensure a data cap is in place, use applications to check data usage, turn off 'data roaming', avoid data-intensive applications such as Google Maps and YouTube and use wi-fi spots to update social networking sites.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is supposed to help people to continue meeting their loan, mortgage or credit card repayments if they fall ill or lose their jobs. However, policies are often over-priced, riddled with exclusions and sold to people who could not make a claim if they needed to.

At one point, sale of this cover - which was often included automatically in loan repayments - was estimated to boost the banks' profits by up to £5 billion a year.
Now, though, consumers who were mis-sold PPI can fight back by complaining to the bank or lender concerned and taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (08000 234567) should the response prove unsatisfactory.

It could be you, but let's face it, it probably won't be. In fact, buying a ticket for the Lotto only gives you a 1 in 13.9 million chance of winning the jackpot.

With odds like that, you would almost certainly be better off hanging on to your cash and saving it in a high-interest account.

No-frills airlines such as EasyJet may promote rock-bottom prices on their websites. But the overall fare you pay can be surprisingly high once extras such as luggage and credit card payment fees have been added - a process known as drip pricing.

Taking one piece of hold baggage on a return EasyJet flight, for example, adds close to £20 to the cost of your flight, while paying by credit card increases the price by a further £10.
It may therefore be worth comparing the total cost with that of a flight with a standard airline such as British Airways.

Cash advances, which include cash withdrawals, are generally charged at a much higher rate of interest than standard purchases.

While the average credit card interest rate is around 17%, a typical cash withdrawal of £500, for example, is charged at more than 26%.
What's more, as the interest accrues from the date of the transaction, rather than the next payment date, costs will mount up even if you clear your balance in full with your next payment.

Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda often run promotions under which you can, for example, get three products for the price of two.

However, it is only worth taking advantage of these deals if you will actually use the products. Otherwise, you are simply buying for the sake of it, which is a waste of your hard-earned cash.
To avoid paying over the odds, it is also worth checking the price per kilo to ensure that larger 'economy' packs really are cheaper than the smaller versions.

Buy a train ticket at the station on the day of travel and the price is likely to give you a shock - especially if you are travelling a long distance at a busy time of day.

However, you can cut the cost of train travel by 50% or more by going online and making the purchase beforehand - especially if you book 12 weeks in advance, which is when the cheapest tickets are on sale.
Other ways to reduce the price you pay include avoiding peak times and taking advantage of so-called carnet tickets, which allow you to buy, for example, 12 journeys for the price of 10.

Most High Street banks offer packaged accounts that come with monthly fees ranging from £6.50 up to as much as £40, with a typical account charging about £15 per month.

Various benefits, such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance, are offered in return for this fee. But whether or not it is worth paying for them depends on your individual circumstances.
Before signing up, it is therefore essential to check that you will make use of enough of the benefits, and that you cannot get them for less elsewhere.

Overseas money transfers or travel money purchases attract the same high rate of interest as credit card cash withdrawals.

Worse still, most credit cards – and debit cards – also charge you a foreign loading fee if you use them to make purchases while abroad.
You can, however, avoid these charges by using a Saga Platinum or Nationwide Building Society credit card.

Numbers starting 0871 cost 10p or more from a landline, while those starting 09 can cost more than £1 a minute from a mobile phone.

And the operators of these high-cost phone lines, some of which are banks, often get a cut of the call charges.
Most 09 numbers are linked to scams and should therefore be avoided at all costs, while 0871 numbers can often be bypassed by searching for an alternative local rate numbers on the saynoto0870.com.
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