Even though Christmas is well and truly over, and we’re already moving in to the new year, winter has only just begun. We’re not even three weeks into Winter yet, which means that the worst has yet to come – especially when it comes to the heating bill. If you’re feeling the financial pressure already this year and are worried that things are only going to get worse, take a look at the following tips for keeping warm and preparing for the winter months while on a budget.
Preparing your Home for Winter
When it comes to coping well with everything that the British winter weather has to throw at us, preparation is key. Despite this, it seems that there’s always something to catch us out every year, and we always wish that we had prepared that little bit more in advance. Here are some things you can be doing now to prepare:
- Ensure that you have a good supply of grit and salt for the drive, paths and steps around your home in case they get icy.
- Stock up on a few extra tins of fruit and vegetables. If you are unlucky enough to get snowed in and you have no food left, then these tins will act as an emergency supply. They will also keep for months so you can use them in the summer if not needed.
- Batch cook a few of your favourite meals and put them in the freezer. This will also help ensure that you have an adequate supply of meals in case you are snowed in.
- If the weather gets severe, then it is likely that you could be without power for a long period of time. Stocking up on batteries, torches and candles will mean that you can see what you’re doing when it gets dark.
- Don’t forget to throw a few extra things in your car in case you get stranded. A tin of de-icer, a solar powered phone charger and a thick blanket will be helpful in case of a breakdown.
- Check the pressure and tread on your car’s tyres to make sure they are up to standard – this will help to prevent an unnecessary breakdown.
- Don’t forget to stock up on pet food as well as your own food. Your pets will use more energy as they try to keep warm in the winter, so they need to be well fed.
- Ensure that everyone in your family has a pair of gloves, a hat and a scarf. More importantly make sure that they all fit. If they don’t, then replace them.
- Thermal socks coupled with wellies are a good substitute for snow boots, so will keep your feet warm and dry if you’re out and about in the snow.
- Thermal underwear will keep you warm at night if you don’t have a winter duvet. This will also allow you to turn the thermostat down and save yourself a few pounds. Hot water bottles are also a handy addition for those cold nights.
- Heating the entire house can be a waste of money, so only heat the living room and the bedrooms that are going to be occupied at night. If you need to dry washing indoors, then place your airer in one of the bedrooms or the living rooms so that you don’t have to use extra energy just for drying clothes.
- Turn down the thermostat. Save 3% on your energy bill for each degree that you turn the heating down.
Keeping your home Warm in the Winter
- Most of the heat that is lost in the home is via the windows. Line your curtains to prevent warm air from getting to the windows. You don’t have to spend a fortune as you can just use some cheap fleece blankets and safety pins for temporary lined curtains. You can also tuck your curtains behind the radiators to prevent warm air from being lost directly to the window.
- Draught excluders will prevent rushes of cold air from circulating around the home. Don’t waste your money on one from the shops, simply wrap newspaper in an old fleece blanket and put it beneath any doors that let the draught in. You can also buy special draught tape to line the inside of your external door frames, which is an extremely cost-effective way of keeping warm.
- If you get a draught from the keyhole of your door, then simply cover it with a fridge magnet.
- If you’re sitting on the sofa downstairs and it’s cold, then why not bring your duvet down for extra warmth?
- Keep interior doors closed. It’s a lot more cost-effective to heat a single room than it is to heat the whole house. The room will also heat up quicker if the warm air can’t scape through the open door.
Keeping yourself Warm throughout winter
- Wearing multiple layers will help to keep you warm, even when you’re outside. Several thin layers are better at trapping heat than one thick layer.
- Wool, cotton and fleece-type fabrics are the best for preventing heat from escaping from your body. Wearing clothes made of these materials will keep you a lot warmer.
- Eat plenty of saturated fats. Saturated fast are good for you – especially when it’s cold out – as they provide a steady source of energy that will help your body to keep itself warm.
- The ground is always the coldest part of any room, so keep off it if you need to stay warm. Put your feet up on the sofa, or make use of the recliner if you want to stay as warm as possible.
- We lose most of our body heat through our head, so wear a hat as much as possible if you need to stay warm. You can even wear it in bed if you get cold at night. Do not let young babies wear hats in bed though, as it increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Snuggle up. Animals group together to keep warm, and we should to. Even if you’re just reading, snuggling up is a great way to stay warm as well as bond with the people that you’re closest to.
- Keep your belly warm. Keep consuming warm soups, stews and hot drinks. Not only will this keep you warm, but all of these things are delicious… and cheap.