Keen to cosy up during the cold snap? Dreaming of log fires and bearskin rugs? If you want to stay warm and toasty this winter but fear a frightening gas bill once the quarter’s up, we’ve put together some snug yet frugal tips to keep you warm whatever the weather.
Emergency finance lenders like Wonga.com know that it’s not always easy to cover that mountainous central heating bill once Christmas is over and done with, but there are lots of smart ways to keep cosy without tampering with your thermostat this year. From the odd clever DIY invention to smart little gadgets you can buy, we’ve compiled out favourite toasty tips…
1. Candles in a Baking Tray
In true Blue Peter style, here’s a smart DIY home heater which will cost you very few pennies in total. To make this homemade room-warmer you’ll need:
– 6 tealight candles
– 1 small baking tin
– 1 small traditional plant pot
– 1 larger traditional plant pot
Place 6 candles in your baking tray and light them. Then place the smaller plant pot upside down over the candles, balanced on the tray. Make sure there are no holes in the pot (you can plug holes with tin foil). Then place the larger pot upside down over the top. This bigger pot should have a hole in the bottom for water drainage and this will work as a funnel for all that lovely hot air. You can see a nice, easy video tutorial to help you make this heater here.
2. Gizmos and Gadgets
If you prefer a more professional solution, there are lots of smart little gadgets that you can pick up which can make a big difference to your home. These gizmos are often pretty cheap but can help you squeeze the absolute most out of your central heating. You can find a full list of smart devices here, including a £25 radiator booster which maximises the heat from your radiator while it’s on, a clever chimney balloon to plug up that big drafty gap, warmth-spreading radiator reflectors (if you don’t mind a little extra shiny décor around the place) and, of course, a two-person slanket.
3. Snug as a Bug
Making use of soft furnishings can make a big impact on your household cosiness. Some of the effect is psychological (lots of warm blankets and snuggly fabrics can’t help but make us feel all toasty) but when it comes to things like thick curtains and draft excluders, warm, chill-preventing material can make a real difference. Why not try making homemade draft excluders with fabric odds and ends (and even tights!) to keep your home warm?
4. Wear a Jumper
Yes we know, this isn’t a weird tip really, but you’d be surprised how many people seem to think that they should be able to parade around in their underpants in the depths of mid-winter and not feel the chill. As our dear leader David Cameron has so wisely told us, popping on a jumper could help us make big savings on our winter heating bills.
If you’d rather not splash out on a selection of the finest merino woollen garments from the most fashionable boutiques, charity shops are an excellent source of woollen attire – and you can even tell your friends that your new togs are ‘vintage finds’ for extra style credibility. Our rule is simple: one wool good, two wools better. Two woolly layers trap heat extremely efficiently, keeping you very warm indeed – and looking fabulous, naturally.