What’s chillier than a cold winter day? How about that feeling you get when your utility bill shows up in your mailbox in January? You know, the one so chilly that your wallet shivers.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links.
Last year, my utility bill was a whopping $302, which is twice what it normally is. So I feel your pain, fellow cold ones, and that’s why I’ve compiled this list of ways to stay warm and toasty in order to cut down on energy usage.
Frugal Ways to Stay Warm
- Practice General Maintenance. Make sure walls and ceilings are insulated as well as possible. Caulk windows anywhere you feel a draft and replace any missing or damaged shingles on your roof. Much heat escapes right through the walls and ceiling of a house. Here are some energy efficiency ideas to check out.
- Warm Yourself. Dress in layers. Put on a sweatshirt, warm socks, long underwear, and even a hat. It is far cheaper to warm up your body than your entire house. Before turning up the thermostat try an extra layer of clothing.
- Use Hot Water Bottles. Fill several hot water bottles at dinner time and seal them tightly. If you slip these between your blankets your bed will be nice and warm come bedtime.
- Flannel Sheets and Blankets. Use throw blankets on your couches and chairs. Consider flannel sheets for your bed. Flannel helps retain body heat more than other fabrics. They will keep you nice and warm all through the night.
- Close Off Unused Spaces. Close off extra rooms, closets, and cabinets so you are not heating areas that are not being used. Be careful not to let the areas get too cold, however, as this can lead to frozen pipes.
- Rearrange Furniture. Make sure not to block any radiators or vents with furniture. Move bookshelves to outer walls. Books make for excellent insulation.
- Get Some Exercise. Whether you choose to do an actual exercise program or just do some general house cleaning, simply getting your blood pumping will help to warm you up. If you are looking for some ideas on how to get exercise when it’s freeeeeezing outside, check out this post.
- Get Cooking. Baking and cooking in your home produces tasty food as well as heat. Once done cooking, leave the oven door propped open to let the excess heat escape and warm your house while the oven cools. Be extremely careful if you have young children or curious pets with a hot oven door open. The warm food and drink that you prepare will warm you from the inside out.
- Take a Shower. A hot shower will certainly warm up a cold body quickly. While less appealing, a cool shower will help improve circulation (and also save money in the shower) and may help warm your body more in the long run. If you opt for a bath, once you are finished don’t drain the tub right away. Allow the water to cool to room temperature before draining. This will help warm the room and also add some moisture to the air. Dry air is harder to heat than air with some humidity.
- Cover Windows and Doors. Inefficient windows and doors allow a lot of heat to escape from your house. It is easy and inexpensive to line windows with plastic and can really help conserve energy. It is also wise to block drafts with some sort of guard along the bottom of the door. In addition, consider hanging heavier floor length drapes for the winter months to eliminate drafts. Here is more information about signs that it is time to replace your windows.
- Let the Sunshine In. Take advantage of solar power. On sunny days, open curtains or drapes to allow the sun to shine in and warm your house.
- Rely on Firepower. Heating your home with wood is a wonderful way to cut down on energy costs. Even if you do not have a fireplace, you can harness the warmth of heat by simply lighting some candles or ceramic heaters. The candles help create a warmer atmosphere as well as putting off some heat themselves.
- Use Area Rugs. Lay area rugs on wood, tile, linoleum, or parquet flooring to create warmth.
- Run a Ceiling Fan. Ceiling fans are not just for cooling homes in the summer, they can also help warm them in the winter. Warm air rises, so set the fan to a clockwise direction in order to push the warm air back down into the room. This is especially helpful in rooms with vaulted ceilings, where typically much warm air can get trapped and wasted.
- Entertain. Having a party, or at least a gathering, of family and friends is a great way to warm up a chilly house. All the cooking, eating, drinking, laughing, and extra body heat will have everyone feeling warm.
What are some frugal ways that you stay warm in the winter? Have you tried any or all of these?
Guest post author: Tim Smith
P.S. If you found these tips useful, don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list!
CMF’s favorite FREE money management tools!
Some of the best online tools out there for money management are at Personal Capital, and the awesome news is that they are all FREE! Cash flow tracker, 401(k) fee analyzer, investment checkup, net worth monitoring, and many more! I’m a net worth junkie, so the net worth monitor is my favorite. Check out my Personal Capital review here, or click here to check out all the awesome tools for yourself!