Keeping warm on a budget this winter
- June 27, 2013
Winter is already here in full, chilly swing, and the temperatures keep dropping during the day and at night. We have collected a few useful tips from numerous sources that should, hopefully, help you keep warm and dry.
Keep yourself warm and cozy
Buy an electric blanket – from $18 for a single bed sized blanket at homeware shops, such as Briscoes or The Warehouse. Typically, an electric blanket will use about 150-200W, so if you have it on for a bit just before you get in bed, it should only cost you a few cents a day.
Cuddle up! Body heat is a very inexpensive and potent source of warmth. Fuzzy little (or big) pet friends also make wonderful snuggle buddies. And don’t forget a soft blanket!
Have a warm meal or drink. A cup of soup or a mug of hot cocoa can warm your entire body, even when the air is chilly. Spicy foods are especially potent for heating things up. It’s also a well-known fact that we tend to eat more in winter as we need more calories to help keep us warm, so don’t feel guilty about that extra meal!
Have lots of blankets handy on the couch in the living room and in bedrooms. Bundling up in blankets may help you stay warm without having to spend money heating your entire house.
Get physical. Exercise, even if it’s just running in place. Breaking a sweat should bring up your body temperature, and you may find yourself needing to cool down, even though your home isn’t even that warm!
Keep your house warm…
Only heat the room that you are in. Try and keep the temperature at 21 degrees in living rooms, especially if you have babies, kids, sick people, or older people living in your home.
Up to 20% of heating can be lost through draughts: block unused chimneys and put draught stoppers under doors.
Open windows and curtains on sunny days to let the sunlight and warmth in, and close them when the sun goes down to trap heat in your home. Trim any trees that prevent sun entering your house, if you can.
Purchase a dehumidifier. According to www.consumer.org.nz, a dehumidifier only costs around $1.15-$2.30 a day to run and is a very effective way of keeping the excess moisture away.
Try not to dry clothes indoors as this creates moisture in the air. Drying on the outside is free and the sunlight kills some bacteria, making your clothes healthier for you and your family. Use a shed or garage if it is raining.
To reduce moisture caused by steam, always open a window when you are showering and when you are cooking on the stove top. Use pot lids to reduce the amount of steam escaping. Keep doors to bedrooms closed at these times as steam can make beds damp.
If you must use a clothes dryer, make sure your clothes are properly spun first, and leave windows open while you are using it – or even better, vent it outside.
We all know that expenses tend to increase in winter, and if you have been hit by an unexpected bill and you only have limited funds until you get paid next, consider talking to us about our payday cash in a flash service.
Sources: Community Energy, Yahoo Voices, MSD and Stuff.