As temperatures start to dip, finding ways to stay comfortably warm, while keeping winter utility bills in check is my latest mission. Because I’m anemic, I’m always cold anyway, so when the temperatures in Atlanta dip (I’m a native So-Cal gal), my body can’t take it—even though I’ve lived here for five years!
For me, cold weather is something I just can’t get used to—until I get that high utility bill, that is. Then, the cold doesn’t seem that bad (wink, wink).
If you’re looking for ways to stay warm and ensure that you don’t have a $400 utility bills (I’ve had those in the past and that’s straight ugly), here are some tips:
Don’t Use Your Central Heat and Air!
This is about common sense, really. Why warm up your entire house when you’re only using a few rooms. Unless you live somewhere where temperatures are at freezing or below, there’s no need to use central heat every day. Central heat is the most expensive type of heating you can use, so if you can’t afford to heat your entire house, don’t do it. That money could be used for something else, like extra blankets…lol.
Wear Extra Clothing.
I used to think my mother (a single mother, too) was out of her mind when she refused to turn on the heat and made us put on extra clothing during what I now know are southern California’s mild (well almost non-existent) winters. Now, as a single mother, my mission is to make my money stretch, so I’m glad my mother taught me how to feel good in raggedy pair of sweats and furry house shoes…lol. You’ll be surprised how adding few layers of clothing can stave off the cold—to a certain extent.
Use Space Heaters
For me, space heaters are the best thing in the world. Because I’m always cold, it allows me to heat up the area or room I’m in, without making anyone else uncomfortable. Additionally, the savings realized in comparison to heating the whole house versus just the rooms that are in use is significant. Click here to read Mr. Electricity’s take on how to heat your home efficiently with space heaters.
Here is my favorite space heater in the world; this space heater heats up a room like nobody’s business and adds less than $10.00/per month, per room to my electric bill! However, your bill may vary, depending on your usage. I bought two (one for my son’s room and one for mine) for $34.99 each at Lowe’s (online prices vary). Though they’re kind of large, they are small enough to tote from room to room, if needed. I highly recommend this space heater:
Click here to read the details.
Weather Strip Your Windows and Doors.
I recently bought some window weather stripping for $2.94 (2 rolls/20 ft., enough to do several windows) at Wal-Mart. I had a severe draft in my bedroom from the windows, so I decided to see if this would work – well, it’s not 100% but it significantly decreased the draft, which makes sleeping in my room much more comfortable–and it was incredibly easy to do!
Drink Hot Liquids.
This is a no-brainer, too. I love my cold drink as much as the next person, but when it gets cold, I swap my Crystal Light (love that stuff) for hot tea or sugar-free hot coco. And, best of all, it keeps me nice and warm.
Here are some articles on how to winterize your home or apartment:
About.com Winterization Tips
Get Rich Slowly’s Tips