How To Save Money On Your Power Bill This Winter
Check for air leaks
When was the last time you checked the seals on your windows? I live with my partner Pete in an apartment in a beautiful heritage building and you can tell when the front door opens. Cold air blows into the building and under our front door and as a couple of the seals had gone on the window, it was like a wind tunnel. One of the things I learnt very quickly was to do what I could to stop that air flow by either replacing the seals or putting down a towel or draft stopper by the front door. Simple tricks like that will save you a tonne of money as you don’t have hot air escaping and your thermostat on your heater wont be going crazy trying to heat up the cool air all the time! You can get replacement seals from your local hardware store and they’re really easy to install. If I can do it, so can you!
Snuggle – it’s good for you
According to an article on www.shape.com “Cuddling releases oxytocin, which is also known as the feel-good hormone. “It increases overall happiness,” says psychologist, physical therapist, and author of bestseller A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness Elizabeth Lombardo.” If you don’t have a partner or significant other, a dog or cat will trigger the same response. Plus, you’ll stay warmer. Boom. OR consider getting an epic size wheat pack or hot water bottle for warmth and snuggle snuggle snuggle.
Know a friend with a fireplace? Time to go visiting! There’s a heap of benefits to socialising, including maintaining your quality of life. Regular socialisation helps with you evaluate your perception of their health, overcome loneliness and increase your general life satisfaction. For a short while, we’ve forgotten our troubles, we feel more upbeat and have that lovely warm fuzzy feeling of well-being – all from connecting with someone that we feel comfortable with and can relate to. PLUS you get to relish in the glow of their fireplace.
I’m a huge fan of layering clothes at the best of times. Whether you have a booty or curves, you’re boobyliscious or delightfully lean, layering works for all body shapes! My personal recommendation when it comes to keeping warm and saving money on your power bill is to look at having at least one layer of good quality merino. Fine NZ merino you can wear directly on your skin. It’s soft and doesn’t itch like other wool products and it’s not bulky, so you don’t end up looking like the Michelin Man. My magic formula is to wear one singlet layer or support garment as a base, a floaty chiffon layer and a merino layer (either a shrug, a cardigan or a wrap) for warmth. It’s flattering and comfortable, while creating a great stylish look. Merino is also great in the summer as it has moisture wicking properties and breathes so it’s perfect for cooler summer evenings as a light but warm layer. FYI: not all merino is the same. Cheaper Merino products are often loaded with chemicals to make it soft and after a while it may start to feel ‘waxy’. As your skin is your biggest organ, remember that anything you put on it will be absorbed into your system, so where possible try and get the best quality product you can. That way it will also last you a lifetime! FYI, I get my Merino from OBR merino.
Get a freaking cool hat
I went to the market today and saw the most amazing handmade winter hats. They were crocheted and FABULOUS and it reminded me of the fact that we actually lose a lot of heat from our heads. SO: can you crochet? Winter is a good time to learn. It’s the one time of the year you can legitimately wear fur, a beany, polar fleece or whatever works for your own signature look. I also have a snood that I wear in winter as a scarf or if I’m wearing my hair in a low ponytail, I’ll put the snood around my head and twist the excess around my pony to tighten. I look like a glamorous Russian celebrity and as it’s Merino, it’s perfectly snuggly! I also got my Snood from OBR merino.
Close your curtains
Yes, it’s getting darker earlier so you may as well close your curtains earlier too. I’m amazed at how that little trick alone changes the temperature of our home and we very rarely have to use a heater by doing it. If you’re considering getting new curtains, make sure they touch the floor so there’s no cold air falling out of that gap between the curtain and the window and if possible your curtains should touch the wall on either side of the window as well. If you’re doing them yourself, places like Spotlight, The Warehouse and Briscoes have conservatively priced curtains that are already pre-made so grab a tape measure and remember to factor in the length to the the floor and the width to just past the window frame.
Try and use your drier and heated towel rails LESS
I know they’re lovely and they make everything dry faster but they CHEW UP MONEY! One of the things we have in our home is this amazing drying rack on wheels. The racks have adjustable levels so it’s useful if you’re needing higher levels for long towels or dresses and as it’s on wheels we can wheel it around to follow the sunlight! Also, if we are in a room with a heater on, the drying rack is there with our clothes as well, taking advantage of the warmth! Our rack holds around 3- 4 loads of washing and is Pete’s favourite thing in our entire house. Pete is a domestic goddess who keeps our washing under control and he’s always raving about our rack so worth looking out for. It’s way better than those traditional clothes horses that fall to pieces and as it’s taller, it takes up less room. WIN.
What to eat and drink
Winter for me is all about warming foods and hot drinks. Herbal teas as always a winner, can be really economically priced and loaded with antioxidants and immune boosting ingredients. Add a little Manuka honey for sweetness and you’ve got a powerful and super tasty drink that will warm your cockles. I’m also a fan of Registered Naturopath Lynette Hill’s Immune Boosting toddy:
- Manuka Honey (1 tsp)
- Garlic (half a clove finely chopped)
- Cayenne pepper (1/2 a tsp)
- Ginger (about an inch of fresh garlic, finely chopped)
- Lemon (1/2 a lemon squeezed)
Mix it all together with a little hot water and either drink as a shot or do what I do and add a cup of hot water for a longer drinking experience. It’s warming and the cayenne and ginger will boost your metabolism to help keep the internal fire place cranking.
I’m also a fan of winter soups and my yummy creamy tomato soup is a winner. Loaded with garlic it’s also great for the immune and loaded with antioxidants to fight all those winter nasties. Check out the recipe here.
So: keep a big pot handy and get creative with your soup making this winter. It’s filling, economical and will keep you warm on the inside. Plus add to the mix all the other tips in this blog and not only will you have a warmer snugglier winter, you’ll save money too!
Finally: Retire early
We all know that sleep is essential to properly recharge your body and help you achieve good health, and winter is by far the best time to focus on retraining yourself with better sleep habits. With the shorter days, Mother Nature is providing us with extra hours of darkness to help us catch some extra ZZZs. Doing so is much more important than you may realise in fact, long term poor sleep can lead to things like adrenal fatigue and even weight gain! Don’t do that to yourself! Get more sleep and snuggle up under a yummy warm duvet. You’ll not only save power, but by spring chances are you’ll feel like a new person! Go you!