He urged the Government to get down to work on Monday morning to tackle the issue as he warned energy prices could be set to rocket by another 30% inside five months.
After offering the gloomy outlook, the money-saving expert shared some of his top tactics to stay afloat as the situation is set to worsen for millions of hard-up families across the UK.
Martin says things are as bad right now as they have ever been since he started the job more than two decades ago.
Then he grimly predicted it’s just the start – and more soaring bills could be coming by October.
“We are not in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, we are at the start of a cost-of-living crisis,” he said.
“It is almost certainly going to get worse – the problems are going to peak over the winter months, from October onwards, when we’re expecting to see energy bills rise again by another 30 per cent.
“I don’t think there is much hope of this ending before Christmas,” he said in an interview with The Mail on Sunday.
To help combat the staggering energy price issues, Martin regularly packs his Money Saving Expert website with must-read advice.
His plan of action will help millions and the survival guide has all kinds of helpful tips.
1 Are you choosing between heating and eating? Speak to your local council. Councils have just got a new tranche of £500m for the Household Support Fund – to prioritise money to meet essential costs – you don’t need to be on benefits.
2 Some 16 million people are out of contract on their broadband and mobile – and could easily halve their bills. Many are on older contracts still paying the bog-standard full price. Yet two minutes on MSE’s comparison tools can often find deals saving more than £200 a year. Or do you qualify for a broadband ‘social tariff’? If you’re on a lower income – for example, claiming Universal Credit – MSE has a list of social tariffs, from £15 a month.
3 Family income under £30,000 (or £50,000 in rare cases)? Spend 10 minutes to check if you’re due benefits. I’m not saying you’ll get it, just that at this income level it’s worth spending the time, especially if you have children. Even if you’re only eligible for a small amount, it can open the door to other support, such as council tax reductions and reduced utility tariffs. Use our 10-minute benefit checker.
4 Whether you have a tot or a big teen, childcare costs can be huge. Yet hundreds of thousands of working parents are missing out on thousands of pounds of help. MSE has a childcare costs guide that covers the available schemes.
5 Direct debits, standing orders and recurring payments all let money drip from your accounts without needing your approval. Your bank should be able to provide you with a list of the first two. Recurring payments are little known, and hidden. This is where you give firms permission to take a ‘payment’ each month from your debit or credit card.
6 If you live alone, with students, have a ‘severe mental impairment’, have a live-in carer, receive pension credit or are on a low income, you could get a council tax discount. They range from 25 per cent to 100 per cent, depending on circumstances.
7 Get paid to recycle old clothes or beauty containers. Many high street stores offer incentives for recycling their old clothes and beauty containers – from £5 for old clothes, to ‘free’ MAC lipsticks and more. See the website’s recycling rewards list.
8 Last year, more than a million people in England would have been better off using an NHS prescription prepayment certificate, a kind of season ticket. It’s a one-off fee that covers all prescriptions for a period of three months or one year. If you use more than one a month, it’s worth it.
9 Watch the weather. Using your washing machine on a 30-degree cycle and drying clothes outside rather than in a tumble-dryer saves about £28 a year on your energy bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
10 Check if you’re in too high a council tax band. Due to the bizarre way properties were valued when the council tax system was launched in 1991, more than 400,000 homes are in the wrong band. Use Martin’s council tax check ’n’ challenge on the MSE site.
11 Know the best times to get the biggest ‘yellow sticker’ reductions. Yellow stickers are a stock-in-trade for bargain-hunters. These are the items near their best-before dates that supermarkets reduce in price. But the key is to be ready to pounce at the perfect time. MSE has gathered insider info from supermarket staff and shoppers on when stores want to offload stock.
12 Can’t afford to clear credit and store cards in full each month? You can’t afford not to check if you can get a 0 per cent balance transfer. This is not us advising you to borrow your way through the crisis. But if you’ve got existing credit and store card debt and are paying interest, it’s always worth seeing if you can save with a balance transfer card. These allow you to shift debts from old cards to a new one with 0 per cent interest, so every repayment cuts your actual debt.
Visit the Money Saving Expert website here.