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I’m a Queenslander, to say I’m ill-equipped for winter is an understatement. I’m born, raised and built for beaches and long hot summer days. So why am I giving advice on staying warm for cheap in winter? Because heating is expensive and being cold sucks. So I’ve got your back.
I’ve always found it easy enough to stay cool in summer without it costing you too much extra money in the old budget. Did someone say a cold beverage? But winter is different. Staying warm for cheap in winter takes planning, a bit of preparation and every jumper, jacket and pair of socks you own.
Let’s get started. Or you know, pin this image for later. Whichever.
Before you reach for the heating options pull on a jumper or some extra clothing layers. It seems simple but when you are used to lounging about in heated goodness it might not occur to you to just add a jumper if it’s cold. Add socks, track suit pants, scarves, whatever. Sometimes you can stay warm by simply layering up.
When you do use your heating also use the timer. We turn our air-conditioning on an hour before we wake and an hour before we return home. Usually only for an hour or two at a time. There’s a school of thought in much colder areas that you’d be better to keep an even temperature all day than use the on/off method, but I don’t buy that.
You know what the difference there might be? I live in a place that when you warm the house it stays relatively warm. If you’re in a really cold area and the pervasive coldness is unrelenting, you may find that you’re better off having it on at a moderate temperature for longer. Use something like an electricity monitor to figure out what the most cost-effective way to manage that is for you.
Make sure you close any windows, curtains, doors or blinds BEFORE the night sets in. Leaving the cool night air to seep into your house only puts you behind the eight-ball so get locked up tight and enjoy the benefits of most modern insulation by trapping the heat inside.
If you don’t have curtains use something temporary like a sheet and some push pins or thumb tacks. Get any large areas of glass covered, blocked draughts from under doorways with rolled up towels. If it’s going to be cold, you’ll be glad you tackled these things early in the evening before they have a chance to bring the whole house temperature down.
Seriously, if you’ve ever considered taking up drinking hot tea, now is the time. The heat of the tea will warm your body up from the inside. A simple cup fo tea, some herbal will help you sleep better too in lots of cases, is also a great to wrap your hands around and warm up those chilly fingertips. Double win. Simple but effective.
And last but certainly not least, do your best to stay warm by rugging up after your nightly shower immediately. Take clothes into the bathroom with you to avoid the mad dash back to your room. Even pre-warm your clothes near a fireplace, oven or heater if you want them extra toasty. Then as soon as you get out of the shower or bath you layer your clothing and wear socks or slippers in the house.
If you do this you are less likely to be affected by the cold because it doesn’t have a chance to really get you deep in the bones. Prevention is better than the cure here… Yes, that old one, where have we heard that before? Haha.
And on a final note, we have seen an unusual number of people using a defective heater or even open fires inside without proper ventilation. The gases from fires and heaters can, and will, kill you. So don’t do it. A fire pit from your veranda should never be inside.
On that note, it’s important to maintain your heating systems. Have your fireplace cleaned at the start of winter to make sure it’s functioning properly; if you’re renting this may even be the owners responsibility. And if your old heater is a little on the dodgy side, get it checked or replace it when you can. Better safe than sorry team.
Melissa is the Leave Home Blog Boss. She is living the high life in her hometown, didn’t finish her marketing degree & drinks too much on a Thursday night. Blogging since 2009, Melissa decided to put everything she knows into making The Leave Home Blog a light & easy how-to guide for being a grown up.