Hasn't it been cold this year? Thankfully the lovely Lisa from Less Stuff is here to share 5 easy ways to help you save money this winter – over to her and her fantastic list!
Find the cold spots
In Bristol we have an amazing service called the CHEESE project. They survey your entire house with heat detecting cameras and give you a list of all the cold spots. You don’t need the special cameras to detect the major cold areas though, just hold your hand next to a skirting board, near a door or above a gap in the floorboard on a cold day. Go round the house with a lit candle and see where it blows out. I was amazed that loads of my heat escapes in the gap between the floorboards and the skirting board. It took about 10 minutes to fix, cost a whole pound in filler and I’m not paying to heat outside anymore. I’m really proud of a draft excluder I made that opens and shuts with the door but anything blocking up the gaps will make things warmer.
Turn the thermostat down
Do you fill up the sink or bath with hot water then have to add cold to make it the right temperature? You can save the bother, and the cost of heating water that high by turning your thermostat down. Just go down one degree on your water and heating and see how it feels. Energy UK say that turning your thermostat down by 1 degree could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent. I turned my water down when my son was little because I was worried he might accidentally burn himself. I haven’t missed piping hot water coming out of the taps one bit.
Cuddle up under blankets
You can call it Hygge or Lagom but whatever the fashionable Scandi term is this year, nothing much beats a good snuggly blanket. Add a hot chocolate or a glass of wine, a good book or a decent film and possibly a gently purring cat and you are making the very best of a cold miserable night. Extend this to the weekend and you have a pretty good, very budget staycation!
Double up the curtains
Some curtains have gathering tape that let you hook on lining behind. If your curtain rail is strong enough you can attach another thick curtain instead. If yours don’t have the special tape you might have to put up another rail above the one you have for a new curtain. Layered curtains look very stylish, you can tie back one layer to show off the other in the daytime and as the evening draws in you will notice a big difference in the warmth of the room.
It’s a nice day for a light sweater (thank you Billy Idol!)
We have seasons for a reason. Garlic only splits into bulbs after a frost, parsnips like it nippy too. I love putting away my summer clothes when they are no longer needed, it gives me a chance to give them a quick declutter and check I’m only keeping the good ones. Opening up the summer box late next spring is going to be like getting an amazing present. Relishing seasonal changes and challenges makes for variety in what you can wear. In the winter, wrap up warm, it is a great excuse for huge jumpers to hide in and big shawls for flouncing in.
Lisa Cole runs www.less-stuff.co.uk which is the antidote to minimalism. She writes about decluttering for people who love stuff. She lives in Bristol with her teenager and too many cats and in the winter she wears a huge jumper and thick socks.