**This is a collaborative post**
Christmas has been and gone and here in the UK we’ve hit the dodgy part of the year when the weather gets colder and we live with the constant threat of snow or ‘the beast from the East’.
We are struggling financially at the moment and although our house is fairly economical to run we are trying to cut down on our bills and keep the heating off as much as possible – especially when this time of year it’s our biggest bill. I’m also trying to be a bit more environmentally conscious and not use as much non-renewable energy.
It got me thinking – do you need to use the heating, can it be cut down? I’ve come up with a few ways to stay warm with the heating off…
“If you are cold put a jumper on” said my Nan, every day – and it’s true! We rely so much on central heating we forget the basic principles of simply wearing more clothes. The best way is to wear several thinner layers, as you can easily adjust if you get too hot/cold and it’s strangely much warmer than just one big jumper.
Thermals are always a good idea, as are fleeces and fluffy socks – you can buy some versatile and comfortable clothing from online retailers such as Chums or on the high street from sports or outdoors shops.
Food & drink
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate – a hot drink warms you up and is so comforting on a chilly day, especially if you’ve got caught in the rain or just got so cold you can’t warm up. Warming herbal teas like lemon & ginger or a ‘hot toddy’ are always good on a cold day.
Food wise choose foods that release energy slowly, such as porridge – they will help you keep warm.
It’s inevitable that at some point you will have to run the heating – my hot water will only heat when the heating is on so I try to minimise the amount of time it needs to stay on by making sure the house retains the heat.
Our porch is cold and draughty so I use a good old-fashioned draught excluder to keep the cold out and the heat in. I also use thermal-backed curtains around the windows and try to close them once the sun goes down to keep the heat in.
My house is open plan so it’s not easily possibly to close doors and heat only one room but I try to make sure minimal heat gets out – so we all stay toasty!
And finally – my last tip and absolute favourite thing in the world is to wrap up in a nice fluffy blanket or throw. I keep a couple downstairs(me and my little boy love to curl up in front on a movie on a chilly afternoon under a fluffy blanket) and I keep a couple upstairs too, to go over the duvets on really chilly nights.
I also make sure the dog and cat have fleecy blankets too – but often cuddling up them can be a blessing in disguise as the dog especially is like a furry hot water bottle…
Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping warm this winter? Share in the comments below 🙂