by Jari Smith
Winter is here! The season of hot chocolate, knitted jumpers and chapped lips. Although Brisbane doesn’t get as chilly as some other cities down under, some of us can’t handle the slightly cool temperatures without a hot water bottle at the ready. I love winter! Winter is the time to pull out your favourite coats and slippers, and to rug up next to a fire and relax with family. The only downside (besides getting unexpectedly zapped by anything metal every five seconds) is often the cost of heating is more than we bargain for. So here’s some ways to stay warm this winter without blowing your budget:
- Rug up
This one seems obvious, but sometimes we forget. Find all your winter clothes you’ve been stashing away and use them! In the past, I’ve bought cute jumpers and socks … only to forget about them and then turn on the heater. Get out your really warm stuff (or layer other items if necessary). Not only will you be saving your electricity bill from frightening figures, but you’ll be able to wear all the stuff you haven’t been able to wear for the other 9 months of the year. Win-win!
- Cook and eat warm food
This is the season for all those delicious hot comfort meals that seemed impossible in summer without blasting the air conditioning right on your face. Soup, roasts, casseroles … these are perfect meals that will warm you up without costing too much money.
Ok, there are people who genuinely love exercise, and need no further encouragement in winter. I’m talking to the other 95% of the population. Yes, it’s hard, especially in the colder months. But even doing 10 minutes of exercise can help to warm you up. I do go to the gym (I’m unsure of whether I’m a willing participant or not), but if I’m not feeling up to that (I rarely am), a bit of cleaning or other housework often helps warm me up. Washing up dishes, cleaning the bathroom, or doing the folding may be enough to warm you up when you’re particularly cold but don’t feel like exercise.
- Set timers for heating
If you absolutely must turn on a heater, try installing timers that ensure you only have it on for critical times. Early in the morning is the hardest, so maybe set it for that time so it’s bearable to get up out of bed. This may also apply if you have babies or small children. They don’t tend to handle the cold as well as adults. Check the average temperatures the night before and set timers accordingly. It might also pay to check what types of heating are more economical. I was surprised to find out that oil heaters are less efficient than the reverse cycle on my air conditioner.
Trying to stay warm in winter can sometimes prove difficult. Let’s hope some of these pointers can help in the really chilly days!