Heating bills can get expensive in the colder months, but there are plenty of things that you can do to stay warm without spending a fortune. Here are 8 ways to keep warm on a budget.
1) Block Out Draughts
The best way to keep your home warm without turning up the heating is to stop the current heat from escaping. Keep doors and windows closed and make sure that they are sealed properly around the edges. Use draught excluders to block gaps at the bottom of doors. If you don’t have a draught excluder, you can easily make your own by stuffing tights with old socks. If you have a chimney then make sure it is closed, or consider purchasing a chimney balloon to keep heat in and cold air out. Just remember that you can’t light a fire with one in!
2) Use Your Curtains
The sun is still out there, even in the winter months, so open your curtains to let the light and natural warmth in. Then, when temperatures drop in the evening, close the curtains to keep the heat inside. The thicker your curtains are, the better they will be at blocking the heat from escaping. You can create thermal curtains from old blankets if you don’t have thick curtains for the winter. If you have blinds, you should still open them during the day and close them at night. It is worthwhile to get thicker curtains, though, even if you have to make them yourself.
3) Lay Down Rugs
Covering floors is an important way to insulate your home. If you don’t have a carpet, floors made of tile or laminate will absorb cold air. Walking on cold floors won’t be pleasant! The way to prevent heat loss through the floor is to lay down rugs wherever you can. The thicker the rug, the warmer the floor will feel. Even if you do have carpet already, adding a rug as an extra layer of insulation can make a room feel so much warmer without turning the heating up. You can also take this as an opportunity to add new decor to your living spaces, since a patterned rug can make rooms feel more cheerful, too. You can even use blankets as rugs.
4) Layering Up
Wearing multiple thin layers is more effective at keeping your body warm than wearing one thick layer. The layers trap air between them which helps to maintain your body heat. Wear long-sleeved tops and trousers to ensure that you are not losing heat through exposed skin. You can even wear hats, scarves, jumpers, and jackets indoors if you feel chilly inside. Keep blankets or throws handy to wrap around yourself or put over your lap if you are sitting down. When you go to bed, layer your covers as well. Even one blanket over your duvet can help.
5) Socks & Slippers
Keeping your feet warm is an important way to regulate your body temperature. You can do this by wearing thick socks or long bed socks. If you struggle to pull socks on, you can pick up a sock aid tool to make this easier for you. In addition to socks, wearing slippers around the house will keep your feet warm and insulated against any cold floors. Cushioned slippers with fluffy linings are ideal for comfort and warmth, as are adjustable slippers which you can tighten with a velcro strap to ensure that your feet stay snug and cosy inside your slippers.
6) Hot Food & Hot Drinks
When it’s cold inside and out, the easiest way to warm yourself up is to eat a hot meal or sip on a hot drink. Hot chocolate and soup are popular in winter because they help you to warm up slowly. A nutritious stew or a fluffy jacket potato are also excellent candidates for a cosy winter meal. If you want to avoid stimulants, then you can opt for decaffeinated tea or coffee as your hot drink of choice. If you take a while to eat or to finish a drink, then you could use a thermal cup or dish to keep the contents warm for longer. This kind of dish allows you to fill a chamber with warm water and keep the food on the plate warm. You can also get a thermal mug with one handle or two handles to make it easier to hold as you take your time sipping.
7) Hot Water Bottles
One of the most budget-friendly heating solutions in winter is to fill a hot water bottle with warm water and tuck it in next to you, whether you are sitting down or lying in bed. They can last for years and keep you warm every winter whenever you need them. All you need is a kettle to boil the water (but remember not to pour boiling water straight into a hot water bottle!). You can get a handy kettle tipper if you are worried about safety when pouring hot water. If you want something smaller or more flexible, that you can easily hold in your hand or tuck into pockets or between layers, you can try heat packs. These are always useful for keeping warm or treating injuries, and they can often double as cold packs for the summer, like the TheraPearl packs. You can microwave them to make them warm or freeze them to make them cold. If you spend a lot of time sitting down, then you can invest in a low-energy heated seat cover for your chair. Heated seat covers are great for soothing aches as well.
8) Keep Moving
Another way to get warm for free is simply to move around. If you keep your body moving, your blood will circulate better and warm you up. If you don’t feel like doing exercises, you can be productive and clean your home. This has the double effect of warming you up and getting the tidying done so that everything is in order. If you have back pain which affects your movement, you can get a waist support warmer which both supports your back and retains heat. For those with restricted mobility, if the cold weather keeps you indoors then you can still stay cosy while constantly sitting down if you invest in an electric foot warmer.