How to keep warm this winter for minimal expense
This chilly weather really gets into your bones! We’re all venturing outdoors equipped with woolly hats, scarves, and gloves to keep as much skin covered as possible. And now that Storm Eleanor has blasted her way across the UK, it feels as though the temperature has dropped even more with gusts of icy wind.
We cannot stress enough how important it is for people to stay warm through the winter. It’s an issue that rears its ugly head every year; being constantly cold can be detrimental to your health, and it can even be fatal – particularly among older people. Here are a few ways you can keep warm this winter without breaking the bank.
Wrap Up Warm
Whether your indoors or out, wrapping up warm is an easy, cost-free way to protect yourself from the cold this winter. When you’re inside, it can be very easy to just turn the heating up and not put on more layers. But of course, heating your house is more expensive that layering up your clothes.
Thermal underwear is a good place to start, and it’s fairly cheap in the shops. If you’re cold in bed at night, then try wearing bed socks and a hat if necessary. Use a blanket or throw to cover you when sat down, and this will help to trap any warm air around your body.
When trying to keep warm outside, wearing multiple layers is key. Try wearing lots of thins layer rather than just one thick one. The thin layers will help to keep warm air closer to your body and keep your warmer for longer – particularly if it’s windy outside. Woolly or fleecy fabrics are better than cotton.
Try and wear a scarf covering your mouth and nose if possible, this should warm up the air you are breathing and save you from a sore throat and cold chest.
Have Warm Meals Regularly
Eating warm meals is very beneficial through the winter months. Not only will it keep you warm, it will keep you nourished and give you energy. Things like soup, stew, casserole, and lasagne are all hearty hot meals that can be made in bulk and eaten over a couple of days.
Hot drinks can also help to keep you warm – and there’s nothing more warming than wrapping your hands around a lovely hot mug of tea!
On the subject of eating, it also helps to maintain a healthy diet throughout winter. This will help to keep you healthy. Eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables is vital to keeping your immune system up. Winter is a good time to get stocked up on tinned and frozen fruit and veg, because it won’t go off and you can use it throughout the season.
Move Around and Exercise
When it’s cold outside, it’s all too easy to sit on the couch or an armchair and watch the world go by. We forget that moving around and exercising will help to get warm, as well as keep you healthy. It’s recommended that you get up and move around every hour or so to keep your blood pumping and preserve body heat.
Going for a walk outside is another good way to get warm. Although it might be chilly, if you layer up and set a good pace, you should be feeling warmer in no time. We would always suggest that you wear good shoes with non-slips soles when venturing outside in winter. Please do remember to wrap up warm as well.
Keep Your House Warm
There are a few other things you can do around your home before committing to the expense of heating. Draught-proofing is an easy way to make sure that heat doesn’t escape through gaps or nook and crannies. Fitting things like draught excluders to doors can really make a difference, and it will help to reduce your heating costs overall.
You can also use hot water bottles or electric blankets to stay warm in bed. Cavity wall insulation will also help to keep warm air inside the house, although this can be pricey if your house isn’t already insulated.
Pop on the Heating
Heating your house is expensive, but if it’s necessary then it’s worth it. Using a timer for different rooms helps to keep expenses down. Think about what hours you spend is what room, and set the heating to come on in those areas when necessary. The living room should be kept at about 21°c, and the bedroom can be a little cooler at 18°c. Setting a timer for your bedroom heating is also advised so you’re not wasting money and energy when you’re not in the room.
If you need financial help with your heating, then it may be worth looking at the Winter Fuel Payment. If you’re 65 or over, you will be eligible for this. If you’re already receiving the State Pension, then you will automatically get the Winter Fuel Payment.
The Cold Weather Payment is also available for people who live in areas where very cold weather is forecast for at least a week. You must be receiving Pension Credit, and you’ll receive £25 a week if it’s between 1st November and 31st March.