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Keeping Warm on a Budget

By Roger Findlay, Gerogery West

With the onset of winter it is important to keep warm. There’s nothing worse than feeling cold and I feel for the elderly and homeless right now as well as those battling with increased power and gas charges.

Unless you have a solar system heating the home can be a major expense. Only run heaters when absolutely necessary. Try switching them off during the day. Keep windows and doors closed and try catching the sun through the windows. When it cools down put more clothes on and close the blinds when running the heater. Get an electric blanket and turn it on an hour before you go to bed. Turn the blanket and heating off when you’re in bed.

It’s important to wear effective warm clothing. If I feel cold in the house, I wear a beanie and thick socks. With the head and feet warm, the rest of the body will feel warmer. For those that really feel the cold I recommend thermal underwear with lighter clothing on top. My mother always said that I should dress down in the house and dress up to go outside “else you won’t feel the benefit.” She was right. Wear socks in bed. (I do).

When you look out of the window and see frost on the ground it’s a reminder that you need a filling breakfast. The Scots got it right; porridge is the best and cheapest cereal you can buy. Topped with a spoonful of honey and accompanied by a hot drink there would be no finer way to start the day. For preparing main meals I would recommend the purchase of a slow cooker. You can buy them for around $20. Prepare your ingredients the night before. Put them in the slow cooker in the morning with about two cups of liquid. Turn it on low. Go to work and when you get home the meal is cooked having used about 40 cents worth of electricity in ten hours.

Keep moving to circulate the blood. Don’t let the cold keep you inside. Some of the coldest days have sunshine. Sit out in the sun whenever you can. If you have plenty of time, take a walk to a shopping centre, library or club. Sit around for a while. Enjoy the complimentary heating. Read the paper and walk home. Easy!