Heating is expensive. For many people, it’s an added cost in the winter that can really stretch the budget. But you have to keep warm in the winter somehow, right?
Thankfully, the following tips can help you stay warm without spending too much money on heating. In fact, most of them are free!
So, grab a hot drink, and let’s dive in!
1. Keep Physically Active
The best way to distract yourself from the freezing temperatures and warm up your body is to keep busy with a list of gardening and household chores. Try to have fun while doing it!
You can also exercise. Go for a jog or walk or ride your bike.
Experiment with new recipes and whip up some fresh treats for you and your loved ones. Not only does the movement warm you up, but having the oven running gets a room nice and toasty.
For instance, you can make homemade tomato sauce to pour over pasta. This is the ultimate comfort meal after a long day of work.
Here is a simple recipe for tomato sauce:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 x 400g canned tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
You can substitute the tomato purée for a handful of ripe tomatoes if you have fresh tomatoes.
Bonus: leave the oven open after you turn it off to release the heat into the room.
Depending on what you grow on your homestead, some hardy vegetables like bok choy and Swiss chard grow perfectly in cold, snowy conditions protected by a greenhouse or hoop frame.
You can grow microgreens inside your home if you can’t or don’t want to grow crops outdoors. This is a perfect way to have fresh produce without leaving the comfort of your warm house.
4. Clean and Organize
Winter is a great time to clean and organize your space after a busy growing season. You’ll be ready for the year ahead and hauling stuff around keeps your body warm.
5. Make Your Own Clothes
When the weather drops, it’s a good idea to keep your body moving, so you don’t feel cold. But you can’t walk around all day, so knitting and crocheting are great hobbies to try during winter.
You can sit in front of your fire with a ball of yarn and make a new creation while the evening passes. Plus, that pile of yarn sitting on your lap adds a layer of warmth while you work.
If you have access to the internet, you can look up some DIY videos and learn a new skill during this time of year.
Plus, you can also take the time to fix old clothes that have holes in them or try knitting a winter blanket for your bed. There’s no better time to pick up a fun, relaxing hobby like knitting or crocheting.
6. Layer Your Clothes
Start with the basics when dressing for winter weather with some thermal underwear. A good base sets the stage for the rest of your outfit. Once you layer on a shirt, sweater, and coat, you’ll be toasty as can be.
The rest is easy and you know the drill. After underwear, add a long-sleeved shirt, maybe a fleece sweater, and a puffy vest. Top it off with a coat. For your bottom half, a thick pair of jeans or wool pants are great.
Don’t forget a waterproof outer layer if it’s raining or snowing. Getting soaking wet is a fast way to become very cold.
7. Use Gloves, Hats, and Socks
When you really need to turn up the heat, wear a woolen hat, thick socks, and a pair of gloves. If you need to handle garden equipment, a pair of gloves with grip features will help you get on with homesteading activities without feeling cold.
We often forget our extremities, but keeping them warm makes all the difference in ensuring the rest of you stays warm as well.
8. Trap the Heat
The top priority in winter is ensuring you keep your body and home warm, but it’s not sustainable to blow your entire monthly budget on heating bills. By trapping the heat in your home, you can reduce the heating bills.
This one might seem obvious, but many people forget to close their windows during winter. Although it’s essential to have fresh oxygen in your house, it allows the heat to escape if you leave them open for too long.
For proper insulation, you should also ensure that the windows are tightly sealed and air-tight. You can buy removable window chalk or plastic to add an extra layer to your windows, so you don’t catch a draft when it’s cold outside.
9. Add Curtains
Curtains are a great way to keep the warmth inside your home without leaving your heater or radiators on high all night.
Pick thick curtains that will provide a layer of insulation. Sheers will help a little, but not nearly as much as, say, a heavy velvet drape.
Open the curtains when the sun pops up so you can invite the heat into the home.
10. Close Individual Rooms
If you have several rooms in your home, close the doors to the rooms that you’re not using.
Turn off radiators in the room you aren’t heating or consider covering or closing the air vents. Just remember to keep heat in rooms like bathrooms, whether you use them or not. Any room that has plumbing needs to be kept warm enough so the pipes don’t freeze.
11. Hang Out Upstairs
Heat rises, so if you can, hang out upstairs where it’s warmer. Even better, open the windows both up and downstairs to trap in that lovely sunshine and heat.
12. Make Warm Drinks
The easiest way to warm up in winter is to make a hot drink, whether you like tea or coffee; caffeinated and non-caffeinated options are quick and easy to prepare between your daily tasks.
Turmeric is known for boosting your immune system and reducing inflammation, so it’s the perfect choice for winter when people tend to catch colds. All you need to make a turmeric latte is the following:
- 12 ounces of milk (dairy or almond, coconut, soy, etc.)
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- a sprinkle of black pepper
You can also pour in 1 tsp of honey or vanilla for extra sweetness. This is the perfect recipe for a warming winter drink packed with nutritional benefits to ensure you stay healthy into the new year.
If you want to make it caffeinated, you can sprinkle 1/4 tsp of matcha powder into the mix.
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate in winter? It’s sweet, comforting, and tastes delicious!
You don’t need to drink a lot of sugar to enjoy this warm winter drink. Here is a healthy recipe that will brighten your mood when the days are short:
- 1 cup milk (dairy or almond, coconut, soy, etc.)
- 2 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup or organic honey
- 1 tbsp chopped dark chocolate
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Dark chocolate shavings for decoration
Ideally, you want to use chocolate with at least 70% cocoa, as this will give you the best flavor but is low in sugar compared to regular milk chocolate.
Alternatively, you can make a herbal tea like peppermint, ginger, or lemon, which are all great for soothing sore throats and keeping you warm in winter.
You can also experiment with your own hot drink recipes and create something tasty this cold season!
13. Electric Blankets
It’s easy to stay warm during the day when you’re moving around, but when it’s time to climb into bed, it can be harder to stay toasty. You don’t want to heat the entire house, though. Instead, just warm up your bed.
Electric blankets are a great way to heat small spaces for seating or sleeping without blowing money on extra heating bills. You can also use hot water bottles to keep warm while sleeping or relaxing on the sofa.
14. Use Hot Rice Bags
Rice bags are popular across the globe for creating a heat source without having to be attached to an electric cord. Fill a cotton bag with rice and sew it shut. Then, anytime you need heat, just toss it in the microwave for a few minutes until it’s warm.
15. Reverse Your Fans
If you have fans, reverse their direction during the winter to circulate the hot air and push it back down into the room.