The weather’s starting to get colder, and with that comes turning on the heat. It’s so nice to come home to a warmed house every day, but how warm are you keeping it? Is your energy bill higher than your thermostat? You don’t have to break the bank in exchange for keeping warm! If you’re looking to save money during the colder months, here are some frugal ways to keep warm that don’t involve turning up the thermostat!
Keep thermostat colder
Here’s the first step when it comes to saving money. When it’s finally time to turn on the heat here, we usually set the thermostat to 68 and keep it there during the day for most of the winter. At night, we turn it down to 64-65 and use extra blankets on the bed. I know some of you keep it even colder, so go you! What’s helped us is buying a programmable thermostat; John set it to automatically turn on at a set temperature at different times of the day, so we never forget to change the temperature.
Dress in layers
When it starts to get cold, you’ll never see me without a hoodie! When you’re at home, wear long sleeved shirts, hoodies/sweatshirts, even hats and gloves if you need to. Wearing a hat in the house seems strange, but you tend to lose a lot of heat from your head, so it could help. Allison keeps a long-sleeved shirt on all the time, and usually she’s pretty good at keeping her socks on- your kids may like the barefoot feeling, but holy cow, those toes get cold.
Cook and bake often to warm up the house
In the summertime, I’ve been pretty awful about heating up the whole house by using the oven. I don’t ever regret it in the winter, though! Bake a loaf of bread every couple days, or roast some yummy veggies for dinner. Here are some of my favorite bread recipes:
Keep active in the house
Especially once the snow hits, you may find yourself at home more often. It’s so easy to just lay around complaining about the cold, but if you just force yourself to get up, you’ll find that it’s pretty easy to keep warm inside! Have a dance party with your kids, either with the radio or through a dancing game like Just Dance. Or get up and do some light cleaning- dust the house, sweep the floors… even get the kids involved with it to get things done faster (maybe) and keep them warm, too.
Drink lots of coffee
Yes, I am giving you permission to drink extra coffee! If you’re not a coffee person, make it tea or hot chocolate instead. I can’t go one morning without drinking a hot coffee; in the summer, I’ll usually drink and iced coffee in the afternoon, but when it gets cold I’ll switch it out for another hot mug.
Make soup once a week
One thing I like to do when it gets colder is make soup, because it’s easy to prepare and makes lots of leftovers. I usually make mine in my slow cooker, so it doesn’t always heat up the house, but it definitely warms me up while eating! Here are some of my favorite soups that you should definitely try:
- Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup
- Just Like Mom’s Chili
- Spicy Cheese Soup
- Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
Cuddle with your kids/spouse
One advantage I have of staying home with Allison is that I find many opportunities to cuddle. Whether it’s reading books or watching TV, we’re usually under a blanket; so I’m basically multi-tasking by keeping warm and getting in some quality time with my daughter.
The above ways to keep warm this winter won’t cost you any extra money but will still benefit you in many different ways! Who doesn’t love having a freshly-baked loaf of bread for dinner, or sitting down with your kids and reading while cuddled under a blanket? What are some other frugal ways to keep warm that you follow in your house? Post a comment below and give us ideas!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.