9 Tips To Stay Warm For Cheap During Winter ‘Cos The Only Thing Worse Than The Cold Is Ur Power Bill

how to stay warm for cheap. cheap ways to stay warm

To quote every single Aussie during winter: “Fuck it’s cold!” And the only thing harsher than the cold right now is your power bill. Keeping the heater on at home is getting more and more expensive — my bill more than doubled last winter.

And with so many of us working from home at least some of the time, I simply cannot afford to crank it up to 27ºC all day.

So here are some tips to save money without freezing.

9 Tips To Stay Warm For Cheap During Winter

1. Insulate your house

I live in Melbourne’s least temperature-efficient sharehouse. We have no insulation; our walls are plasterboard glued to brick. Our floors are boards laid over gravel. And not a single window closes properly. So I know how to DIY.

Layer up your floorboards or even carpets and cover every surface with rugs. Especially the bathroom ‘cos cold tiles in winter are horrendous.

Get some door snakes for each room and only heat the one you’re in.

And get some insulation strips for your wonky windows. There are plenty of different types that can stick to the edges and provide a weather barrier but won’t rip the paint off so you don’t need to fear for your deposit.

2. Pick an energy efficient heater

If your house comes with heating, lucky you! If not, make sure you buy a heater that will do the trick but won’t cost you an arm and a leg every time you switch it on.

The most energy efficient heaters are obviously fireplaces if you have a steady supply of cheap wood. If you have one, use it!

Next is solar powered and then gas but if you don’t already have those installed picking the best portable heater can be tricky.

Oil-filled column heaters are generally the most energy efficient portable option, according to Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group Choice. This is because they retain heat so even after you turn them off they stay warm. And the energy isn’t channelled into anything but literally heating the thing.

Fan heaters on the other hand are generally the worst (though some brands are ok). They might feel nice on your legs, but they use about 10 to 20 per cent more energy than oil heaters.

You can read more about the best options at Choice or Canstar Blue.

And newer is better sadly, so while secondhand is the cheapest, make sure you’re not getting one from 1965.

3. Make the most of government bonuses

There are a bunch of government programs that might be able to provide you some cash towards your bills budget.

Victoria offers a $250 power saving bonus and NSW offers a voucher scheme for which you may be eligible.

The Federal Government also just announced a $500 energy rebate that will be available later this year, so check if you’re eligible.

4. Make the most of the sun

When it actually is warm, open your house up to not only get some warm air in but dry out the dampness that can linger when it’s really chilly or humid.

It’s good for you too! If you sitting inside shivering, go sit in full sun for 10 minutes. I guarantee you’ll feel better and you might even get some much-needed vitamin D.

5. Layer your clothes

This seems obvious but be smart about what you wear. Do not put cotton next to your skin, go with a thermal. Put thermal pants on too. Layer up with materials designed to keep you fkn warm. A cotton jumper simply won’t do. Get some wool up in this binch. And always wear socks and slippers, as well as gloves if you get icy hands.

6. Try hot water bottles or heat packs

As a menstruating person my hot water bottle is my best friend and I’ve come to depend on her throughout the winter months too. Rather than cranking a fan heater at my desk, I’ll just hug my hottie under my jumper on my tummy or lower back and be perfectly content. A short burst of energy to use the microwave or boil the kettle can give you so much lasting warmth. It’s one of the best cheap ways to stay warm.

7. Have a bath or shower

Water is one of the most effective ways to transfer heat so jumping in some steaming hot water will warm you up instantly. Yes it uses gas to heat the water, but it can warm you way better than sitting in front of a crappy heater could.

A shower is good, but a bath is better and will keep you warm for much longer after you get out.

8. Hot liquids

On that note, DRINK TEA. EAT SOUP. They’re cheap and they have the ability to warm you up faster and for way longer than other food, whether it’s hold or cold.

Soup makes you feel warm and full because of these things called temperature diffusion and full-volume satiation.

Temperature diffusion is when two objects of difference temperatures come into contact and eventually find an equilibrium. Like melting ice into a glass of tap water makes your drink cool but not frozen, eating a bowl of near-boiling liquid will progressively warm you up and up from the inside.

Full-volume satiation is basically the lack of air you consume in a meal. If you chew a piece of bread, for example, that’s full of air pockets, it’s mixed with your saliva to be digestible. But soup or stew goes in the volume you see it which keeps you feeling full for longer and means that the hot food isn’t cooled by body-temp salvia.

9. Have a cuddle

Animal or human, just squeeze something warm. It’s good for your body and your mind.