Norfolk mum-of-six on the struggle to make ends meet during cost-of-living crisis

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Sharon Mace, who has six children, says she has already turned off her heating and cut down on car use Credit: ITV

A mother-of-six has detailed the sacrifices her family has had to make in the face of huge energy price hikes, admitting that she turned her heating off five weeks ago to save money.

Sharon Mace said she had already stopped driving the family car and was shopping at cheaper supermarkets in a bid to cope with rising costs.

"We're very worried about it and honestly I don't know what else I can do," she told Good Morning Britain.

"We are literally doing everything we can at the moment: there's not much else I can save on.

"I had to get rid of my tumble drier because I can't afford to run it - we are starting to dry clothes around the house. We are using the community shop which is a massive help, we've started to shop at Aldi, the children aren't having as many snacks as they did."

Ms Mace said her children have had to cut back on clubs they go to and the family has generally cut down on outings.

The family are also using credit cards to get to the end of the month but that is just adding more debt to their problems, she said.

Ms Mace is one of millions of people across the country dealing with the biggest jump in domestic energy bills in living memory, with charities warning that 2.5 million more households are set to fall into “fuel stress”.

The energy price cap for those on default tariffs who pay by direct debit is rising by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 from 1 April.

Prepayment customers will see a bigger jump, with their price cap going up by £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.

The regulator was forced to hike the energy price cap to a record £1,971 for a typical household as gas prices soared to unprecedented highs.

Meanwhile, experts have offered advice on how to mitigate the price rises.

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) warned the cost of heating an average home has now doubled in 18 months, leaving 6.5 million households unable to live in a warm, safe home across the UK.

As a 54% increase to Ofgem’s price cap hit bills, the Resolution Foundation think tank said the number of English households in fuel stress – those spending at least 10% of their total budgets on energy bills – was set to double overnight from 2.5 to five million