Yes, it’s brass monkeys outside and heating a household and staying warm can feel the same as setting fire to a big pile of cash.
To make matters worse, apparently women spend more on staying cosy than men.
A survey of 2,000 cohabiting Brits by Duette Blinds found that women shell out around £425 more than men on heating bills during winter. Why?
Because women like to keep the thermostat above 23C whereas men like to turn it down to a below-room temperature 19C or even lower.
Anyone who has ever had a husband, father, boyfriend or male flatmate will know this one fact – when you turn the thermostat up, it’s only a matter of time before a man turns it the other way.
But maybe men have the right idea.
If your gas and electricity bills have skyrocketed during the recent cold snap, it might be time for you to turn that dial anti-clockwise.
So step away from the thermostat and follow our tips for keeping toasty warm for less.
Remember, you don’t have to turn blue to stay in the black.
How to Keep Warm in Winter Cold – 7 Low-cost Ways
1. Switch is Best
First things first, have a look at your current electricity and gas bills. A very quick way to cut heating costs is to simply switch supplier.
Check out comparison sites like uSwitch of MoneySupermarket to find a cheaper deal.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change found households can save around £200-a-year simply by switching.
For a double-whammy of savings, turning down your thermostat by just 3C-4C can save 10% on energy bills.
2. Draft Proof Your Home
Once you have turned the heating down – off if you’re Bear Grylls-brave – it’s time to get started on your house or flat.
If you live in an old house, icy cold drafts can get in through loose doors and windows and all this cold air means pricey warm air literally going out the window.
Invest in some draft excluders to put under doors so each room stays warm once it’s heated.
Investing in thick curtains and blinds will also help keep the chill out.
3. Layer Up
Are you one of those people who turn the heating up while wearing a T-shirt? If that’s a yes, you need to start wearing more clothes.
Thin layers are best as they trap body heat between them. It may not be the sexiest of garments, but a thermal vest can also help you to stay toasty without jacking the heating up.
Your local Marks and Spencer will have a fetching range of thermal underwear for a fraction of the cost of your heating bill….
4. Get Hot in the Bedroom
No, we’re not thinking what you’re thinking (although that can also warm you up a treat!). Many of us keep the heating on overnight during winter as the body naturally cools down when we are asleep.
We’ve all been there, waking up in the middle of the night freezing our tootsies off (especially if the duvet is being hogged).
So as well as having a thick duvet, invest in an electric blanket. You can keep it on low all night and it will keep your bed cosy without you having to heat the whole house. Cost? Around £20 to £30 but it will last for years.
5. Keep Moving
One of the best ways to stay warm is to keep moving. So get off the sofa and dust of that fitness DVD or exercise bike you’re now using as a clothes hanger.
It will help you to keep warm AND keep fit. What’s not to like? Moving around the house doing chores can also help you to warm up, particularly hoovering!
6. If you can’t stand the cold – get IN the kitchen
The kitchen is the most-used room in the house for many of us and your oven can double up as a radiator while you’re using it.
So shut the kitchen door and slam in a nice joint of meat for a few hours.
You’ll find that the oven heats your kitchen as well as your dinner so you don’t need the heating on. Plus, you’ll have a delicious roast dinner at the end of it.
7. Heat One Room
If you work at home it can be tempting to heat your whole house throughout the day to keep warm.
Let’s face it, it’s no fun sitting at your laptop trying to type with frozen fingers.
If you tend to work in the kitchen or bedroom, switch off your heating and invest in a small plug in radiator that will heat just that one room.
Oil-filled and halogen heaters are most cost effective by turning almost all the electricity needed to power them into heat.
You just need to run the gauntlet of the rest of your house for a cuppa but your work room will stay cosy while you save money.
Remember, warmer weather is just around the corner. So if all else fails, lie back, wrap yourself in your fleeciest onesie (the one you never admit to owning but can’t bear to chuck out) and dream about a sun-soaked beach.
Over to You
How do you keep warm without resorting to 24/7 heating? Share your tips with us we’d love to hear from you.