Saturday, February 21, 2015

10 Cheap, Easy Ways To Stay Warm This Winter

It's -14 degrees outside which is funny, because I don't remember moving to Antarctica! While most of my house is comfortably warm, my den has 9 windows with a back door. The room leads to the kitchen, so both rooms get cold. Sure, I could probably add more insulation into the walls, but that's expensive. 

Staying warm can be a fun challenge!

So here are 10 cheap ways I keep myself and the family toasty:

  1. Blankets – There's nothing like curling up with the family under a nice warm quilt on a winter's night to watch a movie. I have several blankets available for snuggling under – either alone, with a friend, or family member.

  2. Sweatshirts, Sweaters, Etc. – For some reason, a few years back, sweatshirts were the "in” item to give out at bar mitvahs. We got several in large sizes with the bar mitvah boys' names on them. I don't feel like wearing a “Chester Rosenbaum Original” outside of the house, but inside, it's perfectly fine. Many of these shirts are thermal and suitable for wearing around the house.

  3. Open Up The Blinds – Opening the blinds/curtains on south-facing windows during the day lets the warmth of the sun in. Close them in the evening for a bit of insulation. 

    Blankets & opening blinds can help warm a room. Oh, and if you can, grab a furry pet!
  4. Put Rugs On The Floors – I'm not a big fan of rugs, but in that room, the wall-to-wall carpeting helps with the thermal factor in there. You can try area rugs if you don't have full carpets.

  5. Space Heaters – The space heater in my den is adjustable for the area of the room. It sits on a hard, flat surface and turns off if tipped over.  We have one rule: when you leave the room, you MUST turn it off. Obviously, if a kid is going to the bathroom, that's one thing. But if someone is going to another section of the house, that unit must be shut. It's also a part of the house check we do before going to bed.

    A good space heater will turn off when tipped over. 

  6. Grab Or Make A Draft Stopper – Draft stoppers like the one I have (pictured to the right) are designed to fill in gaps on moveable items like doors or windows. This one is great because it slips under the door and opens and closes with the door.   Or you can make your own; here's a link showing how you can make a simple one.

  7. Close Unused Rooms Or Floors – Close the vents in rooms you don't use and shut the door. We keep the basement door shut. It stays cold, but since we don't go down there that often, it's impractical to keep heating the space.


  8. Change Your Furnace Filter Periodically -  A dirty filter forces the furnace to work harder and decreases the unit's efficiency. Mine gets changed at the beginning of the season and I check it mid-season to see if it needs replacing. 

  9. Cook – You don't want to run an oven empty because of carbon monoxide poisoning, but I cook a lot in the winter (not well, but I do cook). After my chicken or lasagna is done, I turn the oven off and let that excess heat warm up the kitchen. Similarly, I'm not a fan of the drying unit on my dishwasher; I'd rather let my dishes air dry. Opening the dishwasher up at the end, releases steam into the air and warms up the kitchen as well.

  10. Wear Appropriate Footwear – I am not a fan of socks or slippers, but in the Winter, I bite the bullet and put them on. Cold toes are not fun. 

    My daughter says mismatched socks are in.  Good, because I can never match them anyway!

Staying warm takes a little ingenuity, but it can be fun and is a great way to bond.  

There's nothing better than body heat, is there? Now, where's my favorite blanket and my little one? It's time to cuddle!


Thanks for reading!!!

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