Thursday, January 15, 2009

Frugally staying warm

It is 7 degrees outside. SERIOUSLY! Al Gore, you promised Warming!

Ok, ok, ok. We need to keep warm. Here's some of the things we've been doing.

1. Reroute the dryer vent.

We've been doing this for a couple of winters now. Our dryer vent usually gets stuck in one of those window things that allows us to vent outside the house. In the winter time, it is WAY too cold to allow this to continue- the housing for the vent is very drafty, and really, why in the world would I want to throw all that heat and moisture out the window?

To do this, take a pair of old, ripped pantyhose, and fit over the end of the vent hose. I personally don't wear pantyhose often, so I've taken to buying either clearanced odd sizes that are marked down to under $1, or the little knee highs that come in the eggs at Walmart for 33¢. As they fill up with lint, pull it down further into the toe to maximize airflow. Either way, clean it out once a week. Make sure you vacuum out your dryer at least once every quarter- personally, I do mine once a month.

2. Keep that heat IN!

Use draft dodgers at the bottom of your outside doors. In my case, we live in an apartment with unheated hallways- so I use the draft dodgers there.

Install plastic sheeting on your drafty windows. You'll be amazed at how much heat escapes, and how much warmer it will feel in your home.

Close doors to rooms you're not using during the day- for us, that is the kid's room. We don't have a door to that room, so I hang an old comforter over the door.

3. Bake. I make something in the oven at least every other day- usually more often. Sometimes it is dinner, sometimes a snack, sometimes it is the next day's breakfast. Leave the oven door open after you're done.

4. Cook warming foods- I don't know about you, but "comfort foods" like mac and cheese, chicken casserole, soups, and shephard's pie never fail to keep me warm. Ditto for spicy foods like curry, chilis, and enchilada lasagna.

5. Dress the part. I personally HATE long sleeves- more accurately, I hate having fabric on my forearms while typing, doing dishes, cooking, etc. In the winter, though, I layer up- tank top, then long sleeved t-shirt or turtleneck, and then a sweater, sweatshirt, or track jacket on top of that. I'll wear leggings under jeans if it is REALLY cold, and always warm socks.

My babies get double layered all the time- right now Everett is hanging out in his onesie, socks, then a thin set of jammies, and a feety blanket sleeper on top of that, with a hat on his head and a bib to catch the drool/spitup. Abby's got on a turtleneck onesie, leggings, socks, a sweater, and a pair of jeans.

I'm working on making crocheted bootie slippers for both kids- but that would require some time, of course!

6. Blankets, Bathrobes, and Snuggies, Oh my!

I'll admit- my mother-in-law got us Snuggies (well, actually, they're Slankets from QVC) for Christmas. After laughing at the commercial for the last 3 months, I've developed a love for the thing! Sure, I look like a cult member. But I'm a WARM one! We put ours in our beds, which prevents Paul from burrito-izing himself with the comforter. At night, we stay nice and warm with the snuggies, a down comforter, and 2 fleece blankets.

Bathrobes are worn all.the.time in this house. Paul and I both have nice, warm fuzzy bathrobes, and Abby just got one this past Christmas.

We also keep lots of blankets around- and I'll let you in on my little secret. I always buy or make blankets that are at least one size too big for the bed it is meant for. Abby's got a full size comforter for the portable crib, along with a queen size fleece and a throw. Our bed has all King sized blankets on it- even though it is a Queen. The key to marital bliss is a King blanket on a Queen bed.

7. Sip warm drinks. I keep the teakettle out all the time this time of year. I also pre-fill Everett's bottles with water, and set them out on top of the stove so that they get nice and warm by the time he needs them (always check the temperature before giving to baby!). We all drink "ghetto spiced cider" made with spices and apple juice. Abby really likes my milk-mixtures- pumpkin spice milk, gingerbread milk, and warm vanilla steamers. I make these primarily for my "designer knockoff" coffee drinks, but she likes them too!

No comments: