Frugal mother says radiators aren’t necessary because her children warm up by playing outside

A mother who likes to save money has talked about how she plans to cut down on her energy bills. She also encourages others to live like she does to beat the cost of living crisis.

Mother-of-three, Adele Allen, who lives in Brighton and is 39 years old, said she won’t turn on her radiators this winter, except in “extreme” conditions, and she won’t use much light in her home.

The cheap mother said that her three kids play outside in “all weather” to make them stronger.

In 2019, the family of five was found to be getting £900 a month in benefits while living in a council house. Adele’s partner Matt, who is also 39, worked as a yoga teacher for only a few hours a week.

The couple said that central heating is dangerous and that they don’t want their three kids, Ulysses, 11, Ostara, 7, and Kai, 4, to be exposed to the “health risks” that radiators pose.

‘We keep radiators off in the home because they’re not necessary in keeping you warm,’ Adele said. ‘In the colder months, we encourage the children to wear additional layers and allow their bodies to heat up this way.

‘It isn’t necessary to put your heater on – only in absolute extreme conditions. They are not good for you so this is something that we tend to avoid in our house.

‘Radiators dry out the air, increasing dust and mould spores being spread – so we keep these off.

‘Our family tends to have quite good thermoregulation; the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when the surrounding temperature is very different.

‘We don’t need to do anything more to stay warm. Matt regularly goes winter sea swimming to help manage his chronic arthritis and that increases his body’s brown fat which helps with thermoregulation.

‘The girls also play outside lots in all weathers which makes them hardier to temperature changes.’

The mother revealed she would only turn the heating on in an ‘extreme scenario’ or when ‘sensitive guests’ visit the family’s home.

She said: ‘In an extreme scenario, we would use central heating in the evenings and for bath times for a short blast in freezing temps but would prefer to use a log burner, which we haven’t acquired yet.

‘We haven’t been publicly criticised for our lack of heating use, but it obviously can shock visitors to our home who are used to a heated house. We do sometimes put on heating for sensitive guests.’

The family has also joined the Don’t Pay UK movement, refusing to get pre-payment meters installed and only pay ‘what they can afford’.

Another way Adele keeps the purse strings tight is keeping the light usage to an absolute minimum.

She said: ‘We don’t tend to keep the lights on all day in the house – this is because I encourage more natural exposure to lights. I’d rather just keep the curtains open and use a low-level salt lamp when it gets darker.’

Adele added: ‘I have noticed the costs rising in supermarkets but we try to encourage the family to be more sustainable. We grow a lot of our own vegetables in the allotment group and the children often graze on the food we grow.

‘We don’t force the kids to eat anything they don’t want to, we actually let the children choose what they want to eat. But they often opt for grazing on stuff we grow in the garden.

‘We do also supplement by using the local food bank to top up our shopping. We also try to bake our own bread and have our own egg supply from our pet chickens. The kids eat more than us as we regularly practice fasting.

Adele’s off-grid lifestyle seems to work for her family, but their child-led parenting style has made headlines in the past and caused controversy.

Adele and Matt don’t want their kids to get modern medicine, like vaccines, or go to a traditional school. They also support full-term weaning.

They are also strong supporters of child autonomy, which means that their three kids can pretty much make all of their own decisions, like what to eat and when to go to bed.