Cutting the Cost of Cold

During the winter it’s hard to be happy about the cost of the heating bill. Each year I tend to try and deny I live in Minnesota where it’s winter from November – March. Granted this past fall was beautiful and we had warm weather into the month of November, the snow came hard and heavy and now the cold is here to stay for awhile.

Leading up to Christmas I understand it’s going to be cold. Between Christmas baking, gifts & travels I know I’ll be spending money throughout the month. For some reason once the New Year hits and the weather is still cold the idea of paying a good amount to heat the house is no longer appealing.

This past year I’ve really attempted to “go green” and save on energy and costs where I can. Over the past month I’ve really tried to continue with this by developing some routines to keep me warm but the thermostat down. Here are a few simple tips to stay warm during the final winter months that hopefully also result in a lower heating bill.Please keep in mind I do all of the following because otherwise I’d probably be cold if I only did one!

1. Turn down the heat. I’ve found that even turning down the thermostat a few degrees, whether it’s before you head out the door for work, or during the evening will cut down on cost. During the day I keep the house around 60 degrees. When I arrive home I turn it up to about 62 or 64 depending on my mood. For sure before bed I turn it up to 64.

2. Layers. Whether it’s layers of clothes or the number of blankets on your bed it makes a difference. In bed I have several layers, varrying from a sheet to a wool blanket. I also have a fleece blanket, an afgan and a sleeping bag. This allows me to sleep comfortably and not have to keep the heat up during the over night hours.

3. Rice isn’t just for cooking! Taking the tip from one of my husband’s college roomates, I filled an old sock with rice. Before heading to bed I put the sock in the microwave for about 30 seconds. I place the sock by my feet to warm up my bed and keep my feet warm as I fall asleep

4. Warm up a room, not a house. By turning on a space heater in the room you generally spend the most time it you allow the rest of your house to stay cooler. I generally spend time on the computer or in the living room. I close the door to allow the entire room to be heated. So, not only am I cozy on the couch I know I’m not heating rooms more than needed that I’m not in.

5. Get out. Try to find activities or things you can do outside your house or with friends that allows you to not spend as much time at home. Whether you go away for the weekend (and turn the thermostat down during that time) or at least spend a few more hours a week working out at a gym, hanging out at Barnes & Noble or check out the library, you can cut the cost of heating the house for a few more hours a week .

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