We don’t want to state the obvious, but we will anyway. It’s getting really cold. This is all fine and dandy if you enjoy the romance of a roaring log fire and sparkling icicles, but if you’re living on a tight budget, a cold winter can be very bad financial news.
To help customers who may be living on a strict budget this winter, we have put together a cosy little list of smart ways to stay safe and warm on a shoestring through the winter months; from choosing your accommodation carefully to finding someone special to snuggle up with….
1. Make smart accommodation choices
This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you’re renting and able to move in the near future, think about temperature before you put down your deposit. Big, airy rooms with spacious high ceilings may seem elegant in the summer months, but come fall and winter, these spaces will be catastrophically expensive to heat effectively.
Pay very close attention to the type of heating in any property you view. Electric heating is ridiculously expensive and incredibly ineffective. Make sure you take on a property with central heating, double glazing and manageable sized rooms which you will be able to heat as efficiently as possible.
2. Get snug with rugs, draft excluders and soft furnishings
You’d be surprised at the difference soft furnishings can make. Carpet is a big plus. Tile, vinyl and wooden floors are notoriously poor on the cosiness front so make sure your home is carpeted or plunder thrift stores and second hand sales for rugs. Many carpet stores sell cheap off-cuts which you can use as very cost effective draft excluders. You can even use them to cover up those chill-inducing windows if things get particularly icy.
Thick curtains are also surprisingly effective at keeping you warm without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, plenty of soft furnishings, from cushions to blankets to throws, can add a level of psychological warmth to rooms, helping you to feel cosier and keeping the air warmer.
3. Stay warm from top to toe
You don’t need us to tell you to wrap up warm, but it’s surprising how many of us forget our extremities when we’re feeling the chill at home. Your head is the body part which loses heat fastest, whilst cold feet can really make the rest of you feel frozen. Make sure you keep your head, hands and feet warm with hats, gloves, plenty of socks and slippers and you’ll feel much warmer overall.
4. Invest in a sleeping bag and hot water bottles
Night time is the coldest and the most costly to heat. You’re unlikely to want to leave the heating on all night as this can rack up huge bills, so make sure your heating is on a careful, frugal timer and invest in a good quality sleeping bag and hot water bottles.
You’ll be impressed by how warm a sleeping bag in bed can be, whilst a hot water bottle or two can make a big difference to your bed’s ambient temperature – and you’ll save big time on bills. Meanwhile, if you’re sharing your bed with a partner, zip two sleeping bags together and forget about the hot water bottles altogether!