The weather may not always be predictable, but the fact is that winter will always arrive.
That means families are on the lookout for ways to keep warm without burning through their budget.
Well, the good news is we have a few answers. We’ve compiled the knowledge of all our winter savers here to help you save on costs this winter with these sizzling, but frugal, ways of staying warm.
1. Warm up first.
Before you take one step towards that heater, take some time to warm yourself up the old-fashioned way: layers. Changing your own body temperature is a lot easier, and faster, than changing the temperature of your entire house. So rug up first, and then if you’re still cold 20 minutes later, get the heating on.
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2. Headgear is your friend.
When it comes to getting warm and staying warm, hats, beanies and other headgear is a fashionable blessing. The old adage of losing 80% of your heat through your head is wrong, but the fact is that any exposed surface will lose heat, so even if you’re indoors, make sure you keep your hat firmly on.
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3. Same for footwear.
Just as you lose heat from your head when it is exposed, so too you’ll lose it from your feet when they’re uncovered. You don’t have to walk around the house in your shoes, but a decent pair of woolen socks, slippers or even ugg boots can make all the difference. This is particularly true if you live in a house with tiles or hardwood flooring.
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4. Fan it up.
This might seem to go against logic, but when you have the heating on, it’s smart to also run your fans on their lowest setting.
Well, heat rises up to the ceiling, and running the fans on a very low setting simply serves to push that heat back down into the room where you want it to be.
5. Noodle your drafts.
For those people living in a draughty house, particularly one with gaps under the doors where the cold seeps in, you don’t need to spend big on door snakes. Instead, get a pool noodle, cut it in half lengthways, wrap it in fabric and slide it under your door.
You can leave it there all winter to effectually keep cold out and heat in.
6. Use the sun.
It can be tempting to keep your house closed up and warm during winter, but when the sun is out, you want to take as much advantage of it as you can. Get all your curtains open and let the sunshine stream into your home, naturally (and cheaply) warming up the entire space without any electricity costs at all.
7. Stay moving.
One of the best ways to keep warm, which also happens to be one of the healthiest ways, is to stay moving. When we sit too long somewhere cold, our bodies find it harder and harder to retain warmth. Keep yourself moving around the house, and you’ll find that you just feel warmer. If you have nothing that needs to be done, just walk around, or take a few trips up and down the stairs.
8. Keep sipping.
Warm beverages keep you warm, and although it can be a hassle to make constant trips to the toilet, they really are a cheap way to stay warm. Drinks like tea, warm milk, hot chocolates or even hot water with lemon/orange and honey all warm you up effectively, without making too much of a dent in your wallet.
9. Don’t always shower hot.
We know, hot showers are great. In winter, there’s nothing better for warming you up than a hot shower. But, did you know that cold showers actually improve blood circulation between your skin and your organs? This means that, although you certainly won’t feel warm straight away, you might be improving your ability to be warm in the long term. Just something to think about.
10. Shower with the door open.
If you are having a hot shower, or even a bath, instead of shutting yourself in the bathroom, consider letting your inner nudist out to play.
Leaving the door open might not sound like a great idea for privacy, but you might be surprised at how much of an impact it makes on the warmth of your home. Along with the heat, that extra humidity can really make it feel toasty.
11. Give your windows a makeover.
We all get winter warmers out when the season changes, so why don’t your windows get the same treatment? In the winter, take down your light summer curtains and swap them with heavier fabrics like wool or fleece drapes. These will keep the warmth that you’re creating in the house, saving you money in the long term. Believe us, it’s a worthy investment.
12. Have a baking day.
When the weather gets really cold and you feel as though you’ll never be able to warm up, it’s time to get your oven going. Clear out your freezer and have a nice long baking day where you fill it up with everything from loaves of bread to muffins. As long as you’ve got the kids out of the kitchen, when you’re done baking, leave the oven door open and allow the kitchen to get super toasty.
13. Hot water bottles rock.
One of the best, and most budget friendly, winter solutions you can buy for your home is a hot water bottle. These little beauties don’t just make you feel warm when you’re sitting in front of the TV, you can also fill them up and pop them into your bed or your kids’ bed 30 minutes before they’re due to go to sleep.
When they jump in between the covers, it’s already nice and warm inside.
14. Make your bed work for you.
The way that you organise your bed covers might have exactly the opposite effect on your warmth. Make sure that your fluffiest blankets are closer to your skin, and that the thin, dense blankets are on the top as a kind of barrier to stop the heat escaping.
Along with that, make sure you think carefully about where you put your bed. Having it right up against an exterior wall will make it feel colder than if there’s a small space.
15. Make DIY hand warmers.
Hand warmers are not an item that you need to spend money to acquire.
These nifty little things are instead a breeze to make yourself. Just take a heavy fabric like wool or flannel, cut some shapes out just big enough to fit in the palm of your hand, fill with rice, and sew shut. Then when you want to use the warmers, pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds, or rest them on top of the radiator for 10 minutes before you head out the door. Simple, cheap, and so warm!
How do you keep warm on a budget during winter?