Staying warm is probably a hard thing to do these days. With the cold temperatures and winter storms here, you probably are thinking of every way to stay warm, but it can come at a cost if you are not prepared. Here are a few ways to stay warm and not break your budget.
First of all, the best thing for this type of weather, when you have to go outside where the temperatures can be in single digits sometimes, is to dress in layers. Now I know you’ve heard that expression before, but there is great thought put into that. Put several layers on your body by putting on not only a shirt, but also a sweater or sweatshirt and then a coat. Also try putting two sets of socks on – you will see the difference in how warm you tootsies will be! Wear long-sleeved shirts, a heavy coat along with gloves, a hat and boots. In other words, dress appropriately for the weather you will be out in.
I’m sure you’ve noticed in the summer time that if you drink a cool refreshing drink with ice cubes that it will cool you down. Well the opposite is true in the winter. Drink warm drinks like hot cocoa or apple cider. Fix warm good tasting soups or stews for lunch or dinner. Try making skillet meals or hot dinners like pot roast or something you can heat up. Anything warm that you can eat or drink will help warm your body.
A warm home
I know you may feel cold in your home when it is so cold outside, but if you turn up the thermostat even one degree, your heating bill will rise. Besides wearing more layers while at home, try keeping active by completing chores. Exercise during the day, or do things that take physical activity – you will be amazed how much warmth your body can create. At night, just sleep with more blankets and be sure to wear socks to keep your tootsies warm. You might sleep even better when the temperature is cooler in the house. If you have a wood stove and it is a permissible burn day, load it up and use it, as wood is probably less expensive than electric or gas heat. Also, think about investing in a pellet stove as they can heat the whole house (depending on the size of your home) for a fraction of the cost of electric or gas heat (but you will have to budget to buy a unit and have it installed which can be costly up front, and then pay for the pellets). If you bake or cook dinner or other foods in the oven, leave the oven door open after you are finished to help heat the house (use safety first when it comes to children). Close off vents and doors in rooms that you don’t use very often therefore saving on your heating bill. Keep your drapes and blinds closed to help keep the warmth within your home. Check all the seals on your doors and windows and add weather stripping if needed – you will be amazed how much cold air can get inside in just a little crack.
Out and about
If you feel your home isn’t warm enough or you just want to get away for a while, there are plenty of places that can keep you warm. Think about your normal weekly routine – buy groceries, run errands, pick up kids, etc. All of those things can be done in warm stores or locales. If you have the time, take an extra half hour or more when you go shopping at the warm store to buy your groceries. When you run other errands, sure you are outside when you get out of your car, but your car will be warm in between and the stores. Go a few minutes early to pick up the kids and stay in the warm car or go into the warm school or after school facility. If you are done with your chores and still want to get out of the house and have a few extra dollars to spend in your budget, take in a movie, go bowling or visit a museum. Arrange to visit a neighbor, friend or a relative. They are all warm places you can visit and I’m sure you can think of even more.
There are plenty of places you can go and ways you can keep yourself and your family warm. Don’t just turn up the heat and create a bill you won’t be able to pay. Something tells me we haven’t seen the end of cold weather here in the Klamath Basin, so plan your strategy to keep warm for less.