Predictability has its benefits. Everyone knows that winter happens every year, so there’s plenty of time to make money-saving preparations. Those who endure cold weather for more than three months out of the year can see winter savings extend well into the spring. Here are five ways to shake up your routine and keep some cash for summer.
1. Warm up while turning down the heat
Many people look for ways to save money on their winter heating bill. The simplest solution is to bundle up and keep the thermostat turned down. If sweaters and long johns don’t do the trick, create homemade hand, foot and neck warmers by filling socks with uncooked rice, then warming them up for a few minutes in the microwave. Repeat as often as needed to stay toasty.
2. The low-rent spa treatment
Winter is normally a time of dry, itchy skin that requires a lot of lotion. At the same time, running the dryer removes more moisture from the air while it drives up the electricity bill. Solve both problems at once. Air dry clothes on inexpensive drying racks instead. This will moisturize the air and your skin, filling the house with the scent of fresh laundry.
3. Spread the heat around
Ceiling fans can spread hot air just as well as cold. Set it to the slowest speed so it doesn’t generate a breeze. Spinning the fan blades clockwise will push hot air back down toward the floor.
4. Don’t drain the tub
Nothing is nicer than a hot bath in winter, but there’s no reason to let all that heat go down the drain. Fill up empty soda bottles with the warm bath water and wrap them in towels. Put them in between the covers to warm up the bed. That way the thermostat can stay at 68 degrees while everyone is asleep.
5. Order in, but order smart
Pizza and Chinese food delivery are the official meals for when “it’s too cold to go shopping.” Take an honest look at your budget and admit that you are going to order food sometimes. Next time, order from the grocery store instead. Grocery delivery services can bring several days worth of fruits and vegetables for the price of one pizza. If it has to be pizza, then order frozen pizza from the grocery store. You can try Safeway’s delivery service for free here, or you can get $15 off fresh produce from Farm Fresh to You.
Save for Summer
Consider these ways for breaking bad spending habits this winter and look around for other ways to stay warm so the thermostat doesn’t move. It’s more cost effective to leave the temperature alone than turn it up and down. Don’t turn it completely off when leaving the house and it will be less expensive to heat up the house on returning. Winter savings will take the surprises out of monthly heating bills and make savings a little more predictable instead.