When the temperatures outside start to drop, it is tempting to crank up the heat inside. When you receive your first heating bill, you might want to come up with more frugal ways to stay warm this winter. You can take tips from your ancestors to glean some innovative ways to stay warm. There were times when central heating didn’t exist, and humans survived. You might discover that some universal rules stand the test of time.
If you turned your heating system completely off, your house would eventually get dangerously cold as winter months pressed on. How did homesteaders survive these colder months? Many had fireplaces or wood-burning stoves in their homes. This would provide great warmth in the room it was located, but it is not an efficient way to heat an entire home. Houses were much smaller then, and the wealthy could afford to have a fireplace in every room.
In addition to smaller homes and large fireplaces, homesteaders piled their beds high with quilts and comforters. Beds were packed with people as well. Mom and dad might have a separate bed, but children tended to sleep together. As the family grew, there might be a boys’ bed and a girls’ bed. Everyone slept in warm clothing as well. They usually even donned a nightcap.
You may not be able to retroactively install a fireplace in your home, but there are other ways you can stay warm day and night while saving on utilities. Here are some frugal ways to stay warm.
- Dress in layers. Don’t try to dress like it is summertime just because you are indoors. Wear longs sleeves, sweaters and hoodies, and warm socks. You can even throw on a hat and gloves if you are especially cold natured. Don’t be afraid to dress a little warmer while inside and out.
- Cook and bake to warm the house. There is nothing like having a pot of chili or stew warming on the stove. The heat from cooking helps warm your house and the smell is hard to beat. Cooking warms you twice. It knocks the chill off your home and warms your belly.
- Stay active. When you think of colder weather, you might envision snuggling up on the couch with a good book. This is a wonderful fantasy, but if you want to stay warm during the day, stay active. Clean the house or have an impromptu dance party. Just keep moving.
- Drink warm drinks. Coffee wakes you up and keeps you warm. If you are not much of a coffee person, fix yourself a nice cup of hot tea, hot chocolate, or apple cider. Hot drinks are a great way to keep toasty. They tend to be soothing as well.
- Cuddle with loved ones. When the day does start to wind down, it might be time to cuddle up on the couch and watch some television or read a book. Pile on the blankets and cuddle with loved ones. Sharing a couch with the whole family brings everyone closer together and provides added warmth.
- Keep in the warmth. Beyond dressing for cooler weather, snuggling up, and eating and drinking warm food and beverages, you need to make your home more efficient. Make sure your doors and windows aren’t leaking air. If they are, try blocking the cold air with a towel. Open your blinds during the day when warm sunlight is streaming in and close them at night before the sun goes down. This will help use the natural heating of the day to help heat up your home.
Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean you have to suffer inside. Hesitate before you sign over your life savings to warm your home. Cranking up the thermostat isn’t the only way to stay warm. Try layering, cooking, snuggling, and moving to warm yourself. You will quickly become accustomed to the cooler temps while reducing your energy consumption.