It’s cold. We have a high of 10 degrees coming up in our weather forecast. 10. At the “warmest” it will be 10 degrees. It’s nothing too newsworthy in Michigan, but it still is not my favorite thing to see in the weather forecast. Anyways, our furnace will be running a lot and we will be mostly indoors trying to stay warm! I can definitely tell a difference in our gas bill when the weather gets this cold, so we look for ways to save money while still staying cozy.
1. Actually use your automatic thermostat
Almost everyone has updated their thermostat these days. Our house came with one that still had mercury in it, and that got replaced ASAP. But most people don’t make full use of their automatic thermostat. I adjust ours a few times a year, especially after daylight savings time, to make sure it’s warming up and cooling down when it should. We save a ton of money by letting the temperature drop in the house while we are sleeping. Then, it warms up again a few minutes before I wake up which makes it a tiny (tiny) bit easier to get out of a warm, cozy bed.
Our thermostat can be set to change up to four times a day. We almost always are in bed around 9:30pm, so while we sleep our house is set to get down to a chilly 62 degrees. We don’t even notice because we’re asleep by the time it actually gets that cold. Then, it warms back up to 66 before I get up. 66 is still a bit chilly, but we’ve gotten used to it (especially since we follow the next tip). Plus, I’ll manually turn it up to 67 if we’re home and it feels too cold. And I don’t have to worry about resetting it because it goes right back to it’s “regularly scheduled programming” all by itself.
Double check what your thermostat is up to and let it save you money without having to think about it.
2. Get cozy!
If you stop by to visit us, I can almost guarantee that we will be wearing sweat pants/yoga pants, socks and slippers, and a fleece (I got a few of these fleeces for Christmas and have been living in them!). Plus, if we’re on the couch, we always have blankets on. It’s just comfy and warm. And it saves money! Our 66 degree house feels just fine if you’re wearing a few layers. If you want to walk around your house comfortably in shorts and a t-shirt all winter, you will be spending a ton on heating your home. Add a few layers and save your pennies.
Growing up, any time I told my mom I was cold she would look at me and tell me what I was missing. Either:
- Warm Pants
- Two Layers on Top: usually a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt
Basically, you have no right to complain about being cold unless you are dressed properly, haha! But now I get it. Those gas bills are no jokes, so I’ve adopted the same philosophy.
3. Eat soup
Soup is a meal at our house. What more could you want in a meal?! It’s got meat and veggies with rice, barley, beans, or potatoes. That’s a full meal, folks. Plus, it’s inexpensive to make and warms you up from the inside. Meat is usually the most expensive part of any meal, and soup can stretch a pound of meat further than any other dish.
Usually, I’ll make a big pot of soup that last for a few meals. And if I make too much, I’ll freeze some so that I don’t have to cook in a few weeks when I pull it out. We have about eight different kinds of soup in our regular rotation so that we don’t get sick of having the same kind over and over.
4. Light candles
Nothing says warm and cozy like fire. We burn candles a lot in the winter because it makes the house feel warmer. I mean, it probably actually only makes the house a tiny bit warmer (we’re talking 1 or 2 candles, not 5,000 from that scene in The Phantom of the Opera (how long did it take to light all of those, by the way?)), but I think it’s mostly a psychological thing. Plus, it makes the house smell good. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I just got these stunning votive holders. Really, can you have too many candles?
5. Work the curtains
The cold gets in through the windows. So if we’re not in our bedroom, I save money by keeping the curtains closed, which keeps the bedroom warmer. So close the curtains in rooms you’re not using to keep the house warmer.
However, if the sun is out (kind of a rare thing in West Michigan in the winter) I open up all of the curtains/shades to let the sun warm up the house. This makes a big difference. On sunny days, I open all of the curtains and the temp inside the house will get up to 69 or 70, which is way higher than the 66 we usually keep it at. But once it’s dark out, I close everything back up.
Honestly, winter can be an expensive time for utility bills, so we do what we can to save money while still staying comfortable.
»Check out my previous post about Surviving Winter«
⇒How do you save money during the winter?
This post is linked up to Frugal Friday.