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Stay Warm this Winter and Save Some Money

Updated on February 1, 2016
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Do you Experience Cold Winters Where you Live?

Are your winters freezing and snow filled?

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Simple Ways to Help Stay Warm and Save Money

Here are some simple ideas to help you stay warmer this winter whilst saving some money.

A Log Burning Fire to Warm the Coldest of Toes

Apart from a cosy fire there are other ways to help keep your home and yourself warmer.
Apart from a cosy fire there are other ways to help keep your home and yourself warmer. | Source

Minimise Heat Loss From Windows and Doors

Keep your curtains and blinds open during the day to allow the winter sunshine and light to flow into your rooms so it can both brighten and warm them.

When the dusk starts to fall shut your curtains and keep the room's heat locked in. The thicker the curtains you have the better and thermal backing on curtains can help as well.

Don't place curtains or furniture in front of your radiators as this blocks the radiator heat and directs it away.

Heat is often lost through your external doors as the draughts creep in. Covering these doors with curtains or covers when the darkness starts to come down will make a bit of a difference to the warmth in your house. There is no need to buy new curtains for your doors as any blanket, fleece or old cover will do the same job of keeping the cold away.

The benefits of Natural Light

Even in winter the benefits of natural light are plentiful. Opening your curtains during the day to allow your rooms to bathe in the winter sunlight is believed to both warm your rooms and also to uplift your mind.

Even in winter the sun can raise the room temperature if shining through a window. This all helps to keep the heating turned off during the day.

The sun shining in will not only provide light and enable you to keep those lamps switched off and therefore save some power, it will also make your home look a lot more inviting and welcoming.

Research is still in it's infancy but the evidence seems to suggest that exposure to natural light has a positive and helpful effect on us humans. It speculates that the inflowing sunshine, even in winter can lift our moods and make our whole world seem a better place.

Stay Warm From the Inside Out

Make some warming soup.
Make some warming soup. | Source

Make Some Scottish Lentil Soup

  • Add vegetable stock either your own or a vegetable stock cube to boiling water.
  • Add chopped carrots, onions, turnip and leek to the water.
  • Add red split lentils
  • Season with salt and pepper as required
  • Boil then simmer till cooked.

Serve with warm homemade bread for a hearty warming lunch. This soup is low fat, healthy and takes no time to make. The delicous smell from the soup and the bread will waft through your house, leaving you mood a little happier and your heart just a little bit warmer.

Homemade Bread with Soup or a Warming Casserole Brightens up Those Cold Days

Let the smell of freshly baked bread waft through the house.
Let the smell of freshly baked bread waft through the house. | Source

Hearty and Healthy Meals - Winter Warmers

When you come in from the cold with tingling toes and red cheeks, nothing warms you up like a bowl of warm soup. Soup is inexpensive to make and the beauty of it is you can make it from any vegetables you have in the house. Because it cooks in one pan it saves you money rather than cooking a lunch or dinner that burns multiple cooker rings and the oven.

The one pot money saving idea doesn't have to stop at soup. You can cook up a storm of delicous dishes with tender meat, healthy vegetables and mouth watering sauces. The wide variety of one pot meals and easy web access to recipes means that you have the choice of thousands of dishes. One pot meals range from the more exotic chicken and couscous to the warming chicken and braised veg hot pot.

I stay within easy walking distance of numerous shops; back in the winter of 2010 I couldn't buy bread anywhere. We had really deep snow and the deliveries just couldn't get through. Since then I have always keep plenty of ingredients at home to make homemade bread. Homemade bread tastes better, smells great and works out economical as well. You can also buy mixes rather than the ingredients, which could be kept in a cupboard for emergency use.

Remember those hot drinks as well. Hot Chocolate, tea and coffee give a welcome warming feeling when drunk and the decaffeinated versions allow for a healthier option. Only fill the kettle to the water level minimum if it is all you need as boiling a full kettle costs more money.

Making easy, nutritious meals and using less power whilst you are doing it, is a winning situation all around.

How to Make a Draught Excluder from Old Socks

Use Draught Excluders to Keep the Cold Out

Keep out those chilly draughts.
Keep out those chilly draughts. | Source

Draught Excluding - Can Save Cash

Your granny and your mum had one, and they were usually right. Draught excluders may sounds like a scary 1970s throwback but the thing is they do work.

Using draught excluders at your doors can cuts down on heat loss and keep the place a little warmer. You can buy a draught excluder for a few pounds at discount shops or you can make your own.

To make a simple excluder - Cut out a rectangular shape using old material you no longer need and stuff it with more unwanted material. Use a sewing machine or hand sew the edges.If you want to customise your excluder you can add an animal face and ears just for fun!

It won't cost you anything, it will be fun to make and it should keep the draughts out and save you some money.




Scotland's Wildlife in the Winter

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Wear it Well - Winter Warmers

Wearing the right clothes can make a huge difference to your body temperature:

  • Layer it up. Wearing multiple layers instead of a thicker top will build up the heat.
  • Wear woolen, synthetic and fleece materials to keep those temperatures up.
  • Long woolen socks will keep feet and legs warm.
  • Remember your slippers as well.
  • There are no rules to say that you can't wear a woolen scarf in your house. So wrap up and keep the cold out.
  • Thermal underwear isn't just for grannies. When the temperatures are below minus extra layers will make a big difference to your body temperature.
  • Wear bed socks to keep your feet from chilling down overnight.
  • If it is really cold in your house grab that wooly hat and wear it with pride. How you feel inside is the only thing that matter not how you look and you may even look quite bohemian and cool in it!

Remember Your Cosy Slippers

Pull those slippers on and stay warm.
Pull those slippers on and stay warm. | Source

Save on Heating Bills and Still Keep Warm

We have no power over the weather, we can't magic up money and unfortunately we have no voice to lower the energy prices.

What we do have is the ability to get the best from the things we have around the house, to recycle and to re-use, and to make some small positive changes.

These little changes won't stop the heating bills but what they will do is, allow you to make a small difference, enable you to make a few choices and hopefully to save you a just few pounds along the way.


Beating the Winter Chill the Easy Way

Are you Going to Use any of These Winter Warming Ideas?

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Some of the Joys of Winter

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Cold but still breathtaking.
Cold but still breathtaking.
Cold but still breathtaking. | Source
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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Oh, Anna this was great and I had soup and bread today! But what I especially love is the deer you took your own picture of! Hope you give us a story on those right now around Christmastime! Or sooner. ^

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Jackie

      I love soup and bread as well. Although my bread in this picture did look rather an unusual colour, as if it had been under a sunlamp!

      A Christmas reindeer story sounds like a good idea. :)

      Thank you very much for your positive feedback.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Our winters are not brutally cold. We might get one good snowfall this winter, but the temperatures rarely dip too cold. Having said that, we already utilize several of these suggestions and we are all about frugal in this household. Well done, Anna!

      bill

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 3 years ago

      Morning Anna

      Live just outside the skiing area but still get the snow, ice and cold winds. Our winters last from mid November until mid March, so you can say we aren't to bad around here.

      I know Scotland pretty good for a tourist and always visit when back in the UK. I love the highland they have something magical in the warm summer months and in the winter it's like being in a fairy story with the falling snow and the whiteness of the mountains and all the skiers skiing down the mountain slopes. To me it's like being in a winter wonderland.

      There I go rambling on again

      Good hub and great tips, needless to say I do use your tips already and I do make my own bread in the winter months.

      Take care Anna and keep warm.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Bill. Our weather seems to be getting colder every year now and they are predicting a bad one this year. Sadly a lot of older people are going to struggle to stay well as keeping the heating on isn't a viable option for them due to the spiralling costs. Sometimes things are just so wrong.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Ghaelach

      We aren't the coldest place but in recent years we have had a lot of snow and low temperatures.

      I love the Highlands as well; there is a really beautiful and magical quality to them whatever the time of year. There is nothing like homemade bread cooking to make your home feel just a bit cosier.

      Thank you very much for your interesting comment :)

      Anna

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I love homemade bread and soup to harm the soul as well as the body. We layer and luckily don't face much in the way of snow. I loved the reindeer photos.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you for reading and commenting FlourishAnyway. Little things like warm soup and bread definitely make the whole day lighter and brighter.

      I am glad you liked the reindeer picture. They really are magnificant creatures and of course so festive. :)

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 3 years ago

      Just a foot note to my comment Anna.

      My two favourite places are Inveraray and Ullapool. Nothing spectacular but I just love them.

      Ghaelach

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Both good choices Ghaelach. Sometimes you just find somewhere that feels right.

      Anna :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      very good warm cheap tips..LOL useful the blankets covering the doors.. yeah that would help me.. Anna thanks for these useful frugal ( cheap ) way to prepare ourselves for Mr. Frost and Father Winter.. oh and Mother Nature she's not getting off easy

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Anna it doesn't get much below the 30s in the winter where I live, but that's way too cold for me! I wear my bootie slippers all the time, or slipper socks and my bootie slippers. I have a parka for when it gets really cold. (To me, anything below 70 is cold!)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Great tips, Anna! Although, I live in the deep South, we do have our cold days. Love your great photos, especially that last one!

      Up and more and sharing.

      Stay warm,

      Faith Reaper

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Anna, we used to live in Germany and the winters could be brutal. It never occurred to me to buy electric blankets. Wish I had thought of it as they could have been used to initially warm a cold bed, then turned off or to the lowest setting.

      You have given wonderful, practical ideas to keep warm throughout the winter.

      What type turnip do you put into your soup?

      I loved the photos. The reindeer are a special treat. Winter can be a wonderful time. There are few things as magical as a new snowfall.

      However, since my husband took early retirement, we have been coming to southwest Florida for the winters. This is our fifth winter down here.

      It rarely gets cold enough to have to wear long pants. I am in shorts and sandals most everyday. No, I don't grow tired of warm, sunny days. LOL

      Here is sending you some warm weather and some Florida sunshine.

      DJ.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great advices, Anna! I grew up in part in Belgium and at one point we had weekends where people were not allowed to drive because an energy crises. They suggested to people not to heat to high during the day and lower the temperature at night. My husband and I kept those habits even here in Canada. During the winter, we are in our house with two sweaters on top of each other! A few years ago, we insulated the roof to save more energy and we can feel the difference! Little things can really change the consumption of energy. We each have to do our part!

      By the way, I love your cosy slippers!

      Thank you also for sharing the beautiful picture of Winter in Scotland! What a beauty! And I adore your picture with the reindeers! Are they coming near your home?

      Today we had our first big snowstorm : 25 cm of snow (10 inches). I went outside and built a snowman :-)

      Thanks for sharing this great article about being prepared for the wintry season and your lovely pictures!

      Have a great day!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      What a wonderful read Anna ;I thoroughly enjoyed it and voting up for sure. I wish you a great day.

      Eddy.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Frank.

      I liked that Mr Frost, Father Winter and Mother Nature. Even you comments are poetic. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      It is around freezing here just now and heading downwards. We are lucky to get to 30 in the summer sometimes!! :) Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much Faith Reaper for reading, commenting and for sharing. The reindeers are definitely nearing their famed time of year. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi DJ

      Germany is very beautiful in it's winter coat. I will put a picture of the turnip (it is called a neep in Scotland) on the Hub.

      It is really interesting the diversity of the weather conditions of the writers here. The spectrum is huge!

      Thank you for the sunshine and for reading. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      It sounds like you are doing a good job for the environment.

      I love my slippers too :)

      The reindeers stay quite near us so we go visiting.

      We are only getting frost just now and ice so you are miles ahead of us in the snow stakes. I love making snowmen too.

      Thank you for reading and for your great comments.

      You have a good day too.

      Anna

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you Eddy. I hope your day is a good one too. :)

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I love your choice of your picture at the top! I forgot to write that yesterday. Isn't nature wonderful to create snowflakes so different of each other and so pretty!

      Enjoy the rest of the day :-)

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you. I loved the picture too; I just wish I had been the photographer. :)

      You have a good day too.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      All great suggestions, especially the draft excluders. It is snowing here today!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Great article, useful tips and wonderful images.

      My best to you.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you very much aviannovice for reading and for commenting. You must be colder than us then if you have snow. It is cold here but no snow yet.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi tobusiness. Thank you visiting and your kind comment.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      A very timely article Anna, and certainly useful for those living under the blanket of colder climes, with a good, no-nonsense recipe for the more infirm to stay warm. The season of stodge stews and casseroles as soul food for sure. Would be good to stick to a Japanese-style diet, seeing as they live so long, but when you live where we do, the body seems to rebel :)

      Thanks for a useful read with some good photos - I like your plates, and your home-made bread looks good.

      Best Wishes,

      R.Q.

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Hi RQ

      Thank you for reading and your right it is way too cold and wet here, to not keep our energy stores up. The bread tasted good but looks a tad orange in the picture for some strange reason. :)

    • profile image

      Beth37 3 years ago

      I am freezing to death atm. Those socks are beautiful btw! I think I will make homemade soup tonight. What a lovely idea!

    • Anna Haven profile image
      Author

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Web photo of socks not mine ;) Hope you have warmed up, thank you for reading. :)

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