The cost of staying warm at home this season looks like it’s going to be more than I care to spend. Increased gas and electricity rates are keeping us on our toes this year!
Brian and I have been paying close attention to our energy use over the last few months, especially since one of our more recent power bills cost 50% more than what we paid last year. Yikes! Instead of shelling out extra cash, we plan to experiment with some cheap tricks to keep ourselves toasty. There’s no need to overspend when there are budget-friendly ways to stay warm!
Tips and Tricks for Staying Warm at Home
If you find yourselves keeping an eye on your thermostat, you’re not alone. Affordable heat can be tough to come by when faced with increased energy prices, inflation, and an overall high(er) cost of living. Luckily, you don’t have to crank up the heat if you don’t want to.
Save money and fight the chill with these low-cost alternatives:
Wear Insulating Layers
Practical clothing keeps you comfortable no matter the temperature. When the weather turns cool, it’s time to layer up! Consider sporting insulating base layers made from merino wool along with a cozy, breathable fleece layer. Depending on how cold I am, I’ll often have at least three layers on.
Invest in High-Quality Socks
Man, oh man, do I love me some good socks! Again, merino wool and fleece are trusty go-tos for excellent warmth. Brian and I highly recommend Darn Tough socks; they’re reliable, crafted in the USA, and come with an incredible lifetime warranty. While these socks provide the ultimate comfort on hiking trails around the world, they also offer supreme coziness when worn at home.
Seal Up Any Drafts
Check your exterior doors and windows for any small gaps and cracks that need filling. The key is to prevent the cold air from seeping in. Replace old and ineffective weather-stripping and caulk where needed. Additionally, incorporating window insulation kits or even choosing heavy curtains can have a significant impact in reducing drafts.
Cozy Up with an Electric Mattress Pad
An electric mattress pad is a game-changer. Switch it on before crawling into bed for a toasty welcome. They offer adjustable temperatures and some are even designed with dual-temperature settings. An electric blanket can be a great portable alternative, though I’d recommend thoroughly reading reviews as they don’t seem as durable or as safe as mattress pads.
Drift Off to Sleep with Flannel Bedding
Good quality flannel bedding is made with durable brushed fabric for a supersoft and cozy feel. We recommend flannel sheets for those who run cold. We used to have a set, but we quickly realized that they didn’t work well for us since A) Brian gets hot easily and B) he says that I am a furnace.
Enjoy the Efficiency of a Space Heater
Responsible use of a space heater is one way to drastically reduce the need to turn on your heat. Space heaters target individual rooms rather than having to heat up an entire house. Convenient and efficient, these portable heaters provide heat where it’s needed.
Sip on Never-Ending Soups
Cold weather means soup season! Switch on the crock pot or simmer a big ol’ pot on low and get to cooking. We love soup season, which also highlights hearty chilis and savory stews. The name of the game is quintessential comfort food that feels like a warm hug in a bowl. Staying warm at home never tasted so good.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Ginger-Turmeric Chicken Soup
- Cozy Autumn Wild Rice Soup
- Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
- Moroccan Lentil Soup
- Irish Beef and Guinness Stew
- Paleo Crockpot Chili
- Celery Soup with Spinach
Drink Lots of Hot Tea
Hot tea (and other hot beverages) will warm you up from the inside out. I’m a big fan of herbal tea. I also love plain ol’ hot water and hot water with sliced ginger. This little tip will keep you both warm and hydrated.
Keep Your Body Moving
Don’t let your blood turn into ice! Keep it flowing with regular movement. The cold will ultimately creep in if you’re standing or sitting still for too long. Improve your circulation by moving around every hour. Whether you choose to get some steps in, crank out a set of push-ups, or even do some housework, incorporating movement into your day will boost your circulation and help keep you warm.
Take a Steaming Hot Shower
Years ago, I was working about 50 hours a week on-site at my job. I used to leave home before the sun rose and return after the sun set. I rarely ran the heat at home, and there was no heat at work. So, aside from turning on the heat in my car during my commute, I got pretty used to the cold. One of my favorite fail-safe tricks for getting warmed up for the night was to take an extremely hot shower as soon as I came home from work.
It didn’t cost as much as running the heat and I looked forward to and valued my hot shower. It made me really appreciate hot, running water and kept me warm for the rest of the night.
Comfort on a Budget
Gas and electricity rates are higher, but that doesn’t mean I have to increase my budget! Of course, one should be practical when it comes to safety and the prevention of frozen pipes. If you’re able to, switch on the heat when needed. No one wants to freeze or be miserably uncomfortable, right?
For us, we’d rather stay warm in ways that don’t cause us to go over budget. Sure, we’ll flip the heat on when we really need to, but we’ll incorporate other ways of staying warm at home so we don’t end up with a massive heating bill. Comfortably staying within our budget is where we truly find comfort 🙂
Do you know of any other affordable ways to stay warm at home this season? Share below!