Inexpensive Ways To Stay Warm This Winter.

Our new house is a passive solar house, meaning that it has the correct southern orientation during the winter that the sun beams in through the giant windows to heat the place during the day. We have huge windows all along the front of the house, so the sun comes in, hits the concrete floors, and heats up the interior to 70+ degrees – even if it is only 10 degrees outside. Free heat is absolutely fantastic, and our cat is loving the warm floors. However, around 9 or 10 at night, it does start to get a tad chilly as all the heat has dissipated – and then it is time to either head to the warmth of bed or have the radiant floor heat kick in. And this can get expensive, as our water heater(s) are powered by propane, which is not cheap right now. So while we have the radiant set to kick on if it goes below 62 in the house, there are a bunch of things we could do to stay a little warmer that also don’t cost as much money as running the water heater at full blast!

Insulate, insulate, insulate. Rolls of insulating tape cost a few bucks and can normally do several windows or doors. If you have a drafty house, spending $5 could go a long way to save you money and keep you warm.

Buy yourself a space heater. These can be very inexpensive and very efficient at the same time. We have one that we are able to move to where we are in case we are very cold. And they sure are safer now than the ones my parents had when I was a kid!

Put a towel under a door. I won’t say much about this other than remember in college when kids did this in their dorm rooms to, um, keep a certain smell from escaping? The trick still works, but this time to help you stay warm!

Close off unused rooms. We have a guest bedroom that is only used for when people stay with us – so we keep the door shut and the heat turned off in that space.

Put on some clothes, would you? It’s winter – dress like it! I normally wear a sweatshirt or fleece in my house at night, as I would rather do that than turn the heat up even higher.

Hang some curtains, if only for the winter. I am not a fan of the way curtains look, especially with the views out my windows, but they do help to insulate the windows. And as an alternative, buy some insulated blinds instead.

Be sure your storm windows are in. Did you forget this year to replace your screens?

Buy pajamas with feet. You know you loved them as a kid; why not try them now? (OK, that is a stretch – I would never in a million years start wearing those again. I remember them feeling like a prison sentence!)
Pick up a programmable thermostat. I have said it again and again, that this could be the best investment you could make to keep your utility bills down.

Keep wool or fleece blankets around. My wife likes to wrap herself up in these to read or watch TV, which then keeps us from having to crank up the heat. They are very inexpensive as well, so picking up a few should not cost you much at all.

Make hot chocolate or tea. A quick pick-me-up of a warm beverage goes a long way to making you feel warmer.

What tips could you add to the list? Let everyone know in the comments!

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Comments (38)

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  1. Nicki says:

    Definitely a no on the footed pj’s! However, in our home we wear slippers all winter. It’s amazing how warm you’ll be with a pair of slippers on.

  2. Patrick says:

    You can never go wrong with a little cuddling for warmth. 😉

  3. david says:

    Unless, of course, you are watching football with your buddies. 😉

  4. I cover a north facing window in one my home’s bedrooms with plastic each winter. It really helps to keep that room warmer and saves on the heating bill.

  5. T'Pol says:

    As I am writing this, my laptop is warming me up:) Usually during the summer, the heat of the battery is uncomfortable but during the winter, it is just great!

  6. Doctor S says:

    Putting on clothes is the most efficient solution to saving cash in the winter. I used to walk around the house in shorts and a beater all the time. Then I dropped the temperature 5 degrees and realized it was cool to rock the hoody and sweats around the house all year round.

  7. Jeff says:

    Great ideas, not sure about the space heater though. If you are burning oil or gas in Canada it is a lot cheaper than electrical.

  8. david says:

    And here in the US, electric is cheaper right now.

  9. TStrump says:

    I currently rent an apartment which includes a gas fireplace.
    The cost of gas is included in our rent, so we just use the fireplace as much possible … as it’s basically free!

  10. julie says:

    I second that T’Pol. My laptop sits on my lap for much of the winter… warming me up!! I love it. Thank you computer.

    As for the p.j.’s with feet… I think my husband would divorce me… some things really are only cute on kids.

  11. Helen says:

    Warm Windows shades… you do have to sew them but it’s pretty simple. (http://www.warmcompany.com/wwpage.html).
    The fabric isn’t cheap but it’s cheaper than a new window and works wonders for keeping heat in.

    I made them for 10 windows on our house and they make a huge difference.
    Rather than using the complicated hardware and construction that Warm Windows suggests, follow these instructions to make them simple and easy to remove:

    Short instructions.
    1) Choose your front fabric.
    2) Cut it and the WW insulation fabric to the size of your window.
    3) Sew a sleeve onto the back of the WW fabric to slip an extension rod into.
    4) Get some spray adhesive and spray the white side of the fabric.
    5) Put your decorative fabric on top.
    6) Sew binding around the edge.
    7) Hang.
    Yes, you need the decorative fabric, otherwise you have this white fuzzy insulation stuff showing.

  12. Where is “move to Florida”? 🙂 That’s what we did. It was 75 today!

  13. david says:

    I did that when I moved to CA – but then I had enough and needed to see some weather! 😉

  14. Greg says:

    Radiant space heaters are the best. They direct heat only where it’s needed, and they’re silent.

    Since there are only two of us in the house, we have a radiant heater available in every area where we spend a lot of time sitting: TV room, library, craft room, office.

    A radiant heater on the low setting under your desk will keep you warm while you work so you don’t have to pay to heat the rest of the house to a comfortable sitting-around temperature.

    Add a polar fleece sweater and you’ll be nice and toasty all winter.

  15. Slinky says:

    Flannel pajamas, sweatshirts, handknit socks, fleece blankets and cats are what keeps me warm on winter evenings. There’s nothing like a fuzzy purring lump of cat to keep your toes toasty!

  16. […] Brip Blap listed some inexpensive ways to keep warm this winter. […]

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  19. […] morning it was 13 degrees outside.  That’s way too cold for me.  My Two Dollars offers inexpensive ways to stay warm this winter.  Makes me feel cozy already. […]

  20. Flannel sheets do a lot to keep you warm at nig ht. So do flannel shirts for that matter. I’ve taken a page from my hunter/fisher husband’s fashion book and layer my clothing. Long johns rock! 🙂 We heat with wood we got for free over the summer, so it can get darned cold by time morning comes!

  21. […] Inexpensive Ways to Stay Warm This Winter @ My Two Dollars […]

  22. RitaB says:

    Living in SoCal helps but I still get cold. I use a space heater sometimes to take the chill off but sometimes nothing’s better than a nice hot bath to warm me up.

  23. […] at My Two Dollars offers some inexpensive ways to stay warm in the winter. It’s -10 C here now, good tips […]

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  26. Here’s the Dumb Question of the Day: What do you do about sunlight fading furniture fabric or damaging leather furniture?

    I have a large south-facing window in front that does indeed help to warm the house on sunny days. But the light pours in on a leather chair that sits near the window. Sometimes I remember to cover it with a throw (which looks strange), but not always. When I bought the sofa and chair, the flyer that came with specifically said not to let direct sunlight get on it. There’s noplace else in the room to put it, and besides, on a chilly afternoon I like to sit there to soak up the warmth myself. ???

  27. david says:

    At our house, the way the windows are set up (or maybe its the altitude here), the sun moves pretty quickly through the house and doesn’t really stay on any one area for too long, so have not had to worry about it yet. In addition, the windows that get the most light are celestory windows, so the sun comes in real high and hits mainly the back walls of the living area (its an open floor plan). Anyone else have any tips for Funny About Money?

  28. […] Inexpensive Ways To Stay Warm This Winter at My Two Dollars gives some good common sense ways to keep the heat in. I agree with one of the commenters that PJs with feet are out for all but little kids. […]

  29. […] presents Inexpensive Ways To Stay Warm This Winter. | My Two Dollars posted at My Two […]

  30. sarah says:

    But really do get footie pajamas. I just bought a pair to go to Colorado (And may I say, wise investment), and they’re really comfy and well made.

    Get them here!

    Seriously, I love them.

  31. […] check out Inexpensive Ways To Stay Warm This Winter and Ten Ways To Save Money On Heating Bills This Winter for more tips. Good luck reducing those […]

  32. Jo says:

    warm winter clothes definitely, and there’s nothing like a pet!
    I have two dogs, one sleeps in my arms and the other near my feet. they jeep me warm while I watch the telly! blankets work wonders aswell.

  33. Becky Mickis says:

    After winters of heating bills higher than most of my friend can believe, I found that the electric heated mattress covers are wonderful. The house can be kept much cooler since you are sleeping on a warm pad. Now we only have to worry about our big indoor cat stretched the length of the bed also enjoying the warmth….

  34. rita says:

    Put your hand in front of an electrical outlet in the winter and feel how much cold air comes in. Child safty caps and foam sheets for switch plates make a hugh improvment! Our electric company gives these out for free or pretty cheap at the hardware store.

  35. Phil says:

    I closed off my fireplace and added a wood stove. I live in an area with lots of big trees and I keep a nice supply of burnable wood around that is free for the taking…It is saving me a lot of money this year and I rarely ever use my gas heat.

  36. stacie says:

    toe socks, they’re like gloves for your feet. and of course fleece gloves for my always cold hands.

  37. deborah says:

    Enclosed our large back porch which receives sun from morning till sunset in mid fall through winter months. Two windows in our LR and a sliding glass door in kitchen are left open all day on sunny days to allow the heat to enter the house.

    We also close off rooms we don’t use along with the vents, dress in layers,including a couple of pairs of socks and warm slippers, ski hats and of course our furbabies in our laps.

    Retired couple in AL

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