Love it or hate it, winter is well and truly here, and while the cooler months can mean cosy nights at home and hot chocolates, there’s also a tendency to overspend on things like heating and comfort food. Here’s how to keep cash in your wallet this winter.
1.Cook At Home
People tend to go out less in winter, particularly for dinner when it’s cold and dark outside. This is great news, but it doesn’t mean there’s no temptation to go out and buy a nice warm bowl of laksa or wood fired pizza. Resist the impulse to splurge on a comfort meal out, make your home a comfortable, warm place to stay in and refine those culinary skills.
2. Program Your Heater
Your biggest cost in winter is likely to be heating. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gas or electric heater, it makes no sense to pay for wasted warmth. If you can, set your heater to switch off before you go to bed. Otherwise, close doors and windows when it’s on to keep heat in.
3. Dress For Warmth
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in winter is being unprepared. Bundling up will help keep you warm and comfortable, and it means you rely on artificial heating a little less.
It doesn’t cost anything to wear warmer clothes inside, so rug up and keep a blanket on the couch. Wear layers to avoid getting overheated inside, and don’t forget to keep your feet warm.
4. Make Your Own Coffee
It can be tempting to reach for a daily barista-made coffee or hot chocolate to stay warm and awake during winter. Spending $3 on coffee everyday (a conservative estimate; most people will have more than one) will add up to $360 after six months.
Lots of coffee shops sell their own beans, so it’ll be a similar taste if you DIY without paying for the cup and service every time.
5. Cut Down On Showers
Resist the urge for longer showers this winter. The average shower is eight minutes, so if you can cut that in half, you’ll save on your energy bill as well as doing your bit for the environment. If you can, install a water efficient shower head to maintain high pressure without increasing the amount of water you use.
6. Use Your Oven
This one goes hand in hand with staying in. Try and time meals so that everyone’s home and can use warmth from the oven rather than the heater.
There’s a lot of heat in there, so leave the oven door open a little after you’ve finished cooking so it can heat the room too.
Main pic: Roey Ahram via Flickr.