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Wednesday 17th April 2024

12 frugal ways to keep warm this winter

Shoestring Jane shares 12 frugal ways to keep warm this winter, from heating system programming to thermal curtains and DIY solutions.

cosy warm


Our energy bills may have been reduced a little since last winter. However, they are still higher than is comfortable for many of us. In this post, I want to discuss frugal ways to keep warm this winter and save energy.

One quick note about turning your heating off altogether. I aim to put the heating on at least once a day when it is really cold, even if it is only for an hour.

This is because we barely used the heating one winter to save money and got a lot of condensation and mould as a result. It is not recommended, especially as mould spores can cause coughs and aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma.

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Of course, you can pay for loft insulation, new doors and windows, or a super-efficient boiler to keep your home warm and toasty if you can afford it. However, here, I will focus on things you can do that won’t cost much.

Learn how to programme your heating system

It may sound obvious, but many people find the controls of their heating and hot water systems baffling.

Get the manual out and learn how to programme your heating to come on when you really need it. Having the heating blasting at 5 a.m. when you don’t get out of bed until seven is fairly pointless.

Think about how much hot water you use and when while you are at it. It is wasteful to heat it for two hours in the evening if you always shower first thing, for example. 

Line your curtains

Consider investing in thermal liners for your curtains. A lot of warm air is lost through draughty windows, so liners can really make a difference. 

You can save money by hanging two sets at the same window if you have spare curtains. You can often find curtains very cheaply in charity shops, too. 

Stick bubble wrap to windows

This is a simple and effective way to stop warm air from escaping. Just cut the bubble wrap to size, spray the glass with water and position the plastic.

Snuggle under a blanket

Keep a pile of blankets or sleeping bags in the sitting room. A plug-in heated throw is a worthwhile investment if you can afford one.

Plug the draughts

Fit draught excluder tape around doors and windows, and plug any other draughty areas, such as floorboards. Rugs are good for this if you can pick them up cheaply.

Hanging heavy curtains at your front and back doors can greatly reduce draughts.

Reflective foil

Radiator foil reflects heat away from cold walls back into the room. It is relatively inexpensive to purchase and easy to fit.

Energy-efficient cooking

Dust off your slow cooker and make plenty of warming soups and stews. These cost very little to run.

Another good investment is an air fryer. Make sure you buy one large enough for your household’s needs.

Batch cook if you have time and freeze into portions to save energy on cooking. This is also a great time saver!

Make a flask for a good supply of hot drinks throughout the day without the need to continually boil the kettle. When you put the kettle on, only boil the water you will use.

Layer up

Wearing many thin layers traps the warm air next to your skin to keep you toastie warm. And don’t forget hands and – especially – feet. Wear cosy socks and slippers – if you have cold feet, it’s hard to warm up.

Take light exercise

Get up and move as much as possible – it will warm you up. Some gentle exercise or a bit of light housework really gets the circulation going.

Invest in a hot water bottle

They may be old-fashioned, but a hot water bottle is still an effective way to keep warm. Take it to bed with you, place it under your feet or have it on your lap while watching TV.

Keeping warm at night

Swap cold cotton bedding for flannel sheets if possible. These are remarkably warm! A heated blanket can take the chill off when you first get it to bed, but make sure it’s on a timer so you don’t leave it on all night. Keep extra throws or blankets handy, too.

Wear fleecy pyjamas and warm socks to bed. You can even consider a woolly hat!

A DIY candle heater

Make a small heater with candles and ceramic flower pots. This is only effective in a small, well-insulated room, and there are obvious fire hazards in burning candles indoors. Nevertheless, if you fancy trying it, this article has more information. 

Do you have any tips for frugal ways to keep warm this winter? 

Photo Credits: Pexels

Shoestring Jane

Mouthy Blogger

Shoestring Jane is a full-time self-employed mum of three daughters. Her frugal partner in crime is handyman extraordinaire, Mr Shoestring. They are constantly on the look out for ways to save and make extra money. Read more on her blog, Shoestring Cottage.

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