Monday, December 1, 2008

Tips To Save During the Winter

So the cold weather is finally here. Christmas is just around the corner and with this economy we are all feeling the tug on our purses and bill folds even more this year. Here are a few tips I use for saving money in the winter.

Don't Heat Unused Space:

If you have a guest bedroom or some other room that isn't used for long stretches of time, like days, weeks or even months at a time close of the vents to the room, (you can use plastic tapped to the metal of the vent if it's a wall or ceiling vent or just placing something over a floor vent) and put something like a towel under the door to ceil it off as much as possible. No point heating a room that you aren't living in. and it's easy to go in and move pick up the towel, take the plastic off or move whatever is blocking the vent when you have company. Studies I have seen suggest this only works for newer house systems (forced air) if the number of vents you block off is less then 50% of the total number of vents you have.

Reduce Cold Drafts Into Your Home:

We were just doing this last weekend. Caulk around the window frames, door frames and any other 'seams' on the outside of the house to seal them. This also saves you money year round also because moisture can get in there and cause some serious damage to your walls- as we found out the hard way with our new home.

Make sure under your tubs is sealed and insulated if it's a built in tub, not just a tub sitting on the floor of the bathroom, we just sealed and insulated our garden tub, I noticed Friday when I touched it the tub was freezing, the holes around the pipes hadn't been sealed and there was no insulation under the tub itself. This is especially true if you have a modular or mobile home, as these are not normally sealed or insulated under the tub and can really drain your energy in both the winter and summer. Found this out the hard way in college, my best friends mom bought a modular for us to live in for college so we only had to pay the really cheap lot rent and utils, much cheaper then other options, but those utils can kill you if you don't fix things like that.

Don't Waste Warm Air On Your Ceiling:

Switch you ceiling fans over to the opposite way of turning (most fans will have a switch at the top or around the base) this way of turning pulls warm air from the ceiling down to keep it circulating instead of sitting at the ceiling.

Take Advantage of Your Body's Natural Heat:

Wear sweaters, double socks and long pants around the house. Dress your kiddos in double socks and warm in the house and set the thermo at 60, you will be amazed at the fact that it hardly feels cold even set at 60 when you are dressed warm. At night double up on the socks again, put your kids in double socks, long underwear (top and bottom) and full body pjs and use blankets and set the thermo at 50. For little babies put them in double full body pjs and co sleep. Use a nice comforter and you won't feel cold at all.

Skip Store-Bought Broth and Reduce Wasted Food:

Another not quite winter specific but probably used more in the winter tip. You know that last watery bit of the stew or the juices when you bake a roast that just get tossed? Or those leftover last parts of the stews you just set in the frig and if they don't get eaten get tossed? Put them in a covered container and freeze them. Then instead of using a broth next time around unfreeze and use this. You can do the same thing if you have to drain part of the fluid because it got over-salted or seasoned. just freeze it and use it instead of broth next time around.

About Me

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I'm a semi crunchy stay at home wife and mama of two boys. Extend Breastfeed, Cloth diaper, Cosleep, Babywear, Homeschool, Homebirth. My sons and I have some serious health concerns (allergies, growth hormone, kidney, lung, spine, etc...). We didn't realize they were genetic (or I had) until after Trace's birth. Tristian had some big medical and possibly/probably autism related delays in early childhood but also taught himself to read at 2yrs and started on math equations at 4yrs. Trace is bit delayed across the board by about 6 months, but as he's 1yr+ behind in height... it's not very noticable ;-) Trace is very musical and hands on. With plenty of common sense, love, good doctors and faith we are doing wonderfully!

This wonderful chapter in my life of discovering the green subculture has (mostly) ended. Living green on a budget has changed from the thrill of discovery to habit. This blog remains in rememberance- with occasionally crossover posting. I hope you join me- the same green mama on a budget, in a new blog celebrating life's daily experiences- LIFE O'KAY Still lots of crafts & crunchiness- with even more sweet family moments.

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