It’s no secret that we are in a troubling time in our human history. Though we have survived pandemics before, this one is different. The COVID-19 pandemic is unique in many ways, as our society is connected more globally. We can see how people from across the world are being affected financially and healthwise. Basically, the world is struggling to make ends meet and looking for money-saving tips for challenging times. Though everyone’s situation is different, I believe the following simple ideas will help to save some money and stay warm for the upcoming challenging winter.
Curb Heating Bills
The first thing you will want to save on is your energy bill. Every winter, we can spend hundreds (even thousands) of dollars on heating our homes. So, how can we save on these bills? There are a number of solutions, that when implemented together, can make a difference.
Blanket your home: Placing woolen area rugs in your rooms can help to nix the chill from drafty floors, in turn, helping you to keep the thermostat turned down. Additionally, they are a fashionable way to blanket your room’s floors, giving you an overall feeling of warmth and comfort.
In addition to using area rugs, put heavier drapes on your windows during winter months. These can be seasonal and even add a nice pop of fall/winter color to your home. When warmer weather comes, simply switch them back to lighter window coverings.
Be more efficient with water use: You and your household appliances and systems have to work together to create a more efficient team. Consider using less water and energy to heat it by taking shorter showers. Set a timer before you get in so you know what your limit is. There are other ways to conserve energy, too. Instead of rinsing off all of your dishes individually, fill your sink halfway and do them together before you place them in the dishwasher. If you have a really good dishwasher, you probably don’t even need to do it at all.
Turn heat down: Times are tough, so it’s necessary to make some sacrifices as we head into winter. Instruct your family to wear extra layers on colder days, so you don’t need to increase your heating bill. You can stuff your pajamas into your socks, creating a nice seal. Tuck your t-shirt into your waist and wear a top over it. Wear a turtleneck, fleece or even, a jacket when you are in the house. If you have an efficient fireplace, use it to add extra room heat when it’s especially cold outside.
Skip the Holiday Parties
It’s so tough to have to recommend this, so please don’t get mad! How about just for this year, we all skip our normal holiday parties? I’m not saying to not celebrate or be with your families, just cut down on the large gatherings and expenses. Not only will save money, but you could save someone’s life. During the colder months, we are all at a higher risk to contract the coronavirus and others.
Tackle Debt Right Now
It’s important to try and tackle any debt you have right now. With all of the government upheaval and extra money going out for bailouts and stimulus, it’s likely we will see increased taxes to pay for it in the coming year or two. Take a look at this insightful DTSS review and explore some options to decrease debt efficiently.
Find simple ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses, so you can chisel away at any credit card bills and loans. Anything extra you put toward them will help you to pay less interest and eliminate the debt faster.
Prep Food Ahead
Pre-preparing food during the winter is not a new concept. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, households salted their fish and brine their pork to last them through the winter months. So, with the aid of new technology in the form of a freezer, we can take this cultural and practical solution into the modern-day.
Freezing your meals allows you to cook large batches of food at one time, so you’re not using extra time, gas, or electricity. You can also lower the physical stress of cooking meals every day after work. Pre-cooked and frozen meals can be heated up in the microwave or over for dinner if left to thaw during the day. Additionally, buy food in bulk is more cost-efficient as well.
Shut the Front Door!
Yes, in an almost comical way, I recommend you keep doors open for no longer than they need to be. Children, especially, can be bad at remembering to do this simple thing when they are playing or in a hurry. Did you know that your furnace works harder to heat a home that cools off than simply keeping a consistent temperature?
You can also shut off rooms you are not using, as well as shut doors adjacent to exterior doors. Some savvy homeowners use an energy cost calculator to see how much energy is wasted when things aren’t sealed up correctly or doors are left open.
Shovel, Don’t Blow (If you can)
Clearing your driveway after a snowfall during the night is not easy. It requires intense physical labor. If you are in good physical condition and have the energy, try shoveling your driveway instead of using a snowblower. This saves you energy if it’s electric and gasoline if it’s fuel-driven. This might seem like a small and maybe even insignificant gesture, but the savings can add up over an entire winter.
During this chaotic and emotionally difficult time, we know what money management is going to be challenging. Get creative and look for ways to make things easier and save money. If none of these suggestions work for you, come up with some strategies that work for you and your family. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.