This season’s first power bill gave me a real electric shock! I swear, every year I forget how cold Winter is until it rolls around again and I am freezing! The heater goes on, then the other heater, the electric blanket and the tumble drier… it’s all very easy to get carried away.
The skyrocketing electricity costs caught me out and now I’m thinking thrifty.
There’s no reason the coldest months can’t be a best time for saving!
The obvious biggie, keeping your heating costs down is going to save you the most. Keep your thermostat at 23oC and turn it off intermittently. If you’re leaving the room for more than a minute, switch it off! Shut the doors and the blinds and the heat will stay in for longer.
Invest in some good ol’ fashioned “heating” devices too like hot water bottles, door snakes and a wheat bag or two (fabric bags of wheat seeds you microwave and snuggle). If you happen to have pets, I might add they are quite warm and cuddly too…
See that Sun up there? That’s free solar electricity, people! Get your laundry out on the line as often as possible; just because it’s cool out doesn’t mean it won’t dry. And buy yourself a few clothes horses, they don’t cost much and you can spread them out in front of the heater in the living room on rainy days to warm the room and dry your jumpers at the same time. Love a bit of multitasking.
Winter is the “off season” for many destinations and you can book a getaway for a lot less than the Summer holidays. Go outside of school vacation time and save even more, just remember to book a room with a heater.
An air conditioner might be the last thing on your mind right now but this is the time of year to get the best bargains. That water filter company might not have another sale for a month so you have the upper hand. Use it to your advantage and haggle!
Smaller items like ice cream makers, wading pools and summer clothing will all be going for a song right now too, particularly in the second-hand market. Scour your local op shops and check out eBay and Gumtree for bargains as other people clear out their warm weather gear.
Now is the time to save serious money on your dinner. Slow cooked stews, casseroles and soups allow you to buy the cheapest cuts of meat and turn them into divine inspired soul food. I bought a slow cooker/pressure cooker on sale last Summer (love my off-season bargains!) and it is currently an all-encompassing obsession.
If a new appliance is out of the question, you can still do it all the old fashioned way in the oven and it will have the added benefit of warming your kitchen as well as your belly. Tuck in and stay cosy!