cold weather en-US 56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="winter" title="winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever feel like cold weather gets the best of you? Here are some ideas for facing Old Man Winter and winning, even when it&#39;s cold and miserable outside. (See also: <a href="">9 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill</a>)</p> <h2>Hacks for Your Car</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>1. If your car gets stuck in the snow, try putting kitty litter under the tires to gain some traction.</p> <p>2. Cover your windshield wipers with old socks so snow won&#39;t stick to them.</p> <p>3. Clean your car often, as de-icing compounds can be corrosive to the surfaces they attach to.</p> <p>4. To help clean the bottom of your car, run a lawn sprinkler under it for 30 minutes on a warmer day.</p> <p>5. Use your car&#39;s floor mats to help you get traction if you get stuck and don&#39;t have any other options.</p> <p>6. Check your tire tread using a penny. If Lincoln&#39;s head shows, get new tires.</p> <p>7. Make your own winter windshield washer fluid from 2 quarts rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon dish detergent.</p> <p>8. Spray your car windows with a 3:1 vinegar/water mixture. This will keep ice from forming on your windows (though you will still have to remove the snow). (See also: <a href="">10 Wonderful Ways to Use Vinegar</a>)</p> <p>9. Cover your side mirrors with a freezer-sized ziplock bag, zipped as far as it will go. It will prevent ice from forming and you won&#39;t have to remember to clean your mirrors.</p> <p>10. Use a heat rub, like what you would rub on sore muscles, to help loosen a frozen lock.</p> <p>11. Park facing east, so that the sun will do much of your snow removal work for you.</p> <p>12. Throw a piece of carpet or area rug over your windshield to keep off the ice and snow. Tuck it under the windshield wipers to hold it down, then toss it in your trunk when you&#39;re ready to go. If you get stuck, you can also use it to help you get traction.</p> <p>13. If you can&#39;t find/don&#39;t have an ice scraper use a hard kitchen spatula (not a metal one) or even a credit card to clean off windows.</p> <p>(See also: <a href="">Car Safety Kit Must-Haves for Winter</a>)</p> <h2>Keep Warm and Save Energy</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>14. Run your ceiling fan on low and spin it clockwise (reverse) to help warm air trapped by the ceiling to make it back down to floor level.</p> <p>15. Electric blankets use very little energy. If you plan to stay in one place for while, curl up with one to save energy.</p> <p>16. Utilize the sun to help warm your home by opening the curtains when the sun is out. Even with external temps low, the sun will help your home stay warmer, especially via south-facing windows. (See also: <a href="">Frugal Ways to Warm Up Your Home</a>)</p> <p>17. Use your oven as much as possible, since it will help keep your home warm. When you finish cooking, open the oven door to take as much advantage of the heat as possible.</p> <p>18. Try heating your home (or at least a room) with tealights. Even if it doesn&#39;t work, it will distract you so you stop thinking about the cold for a while.</p> <p>19. Utilize thick curtains to help keep heat in. If you don&#39;t want to change the look of your room, line your existing curtains with fleece or a shower curtain. If you really like this idea, place heavy curtains in front of your doors, too.</p> <p>20. Insulate your garage doors to save energy and stay warm.</p> <p>21. Keep a small refrigerator outside. As long as the temperature is chilly, you can keep food cold without plugging it in and save on energy.</p> <p>22. Use a hot water bottle to warm your bed before you get in it (and then to keep it warm all night).</p> <p>23. Put your pajamas on your hot water bottle, so they&#39;re warm when you pull them on.</p> <p>24. Turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees. With a sweater, you won&#39;t likely notice the difference, and you can save significantly on heating costs.</p> <p>25. Similarly, turn down the setting on your <a href="">hot water heater</a>. You will still be able to take warm showers, wash clothes, etc., but you will save on your energy bills.</p> <p>26. You can lose a lot of heat through drafts. Caulk or otherwise fill in the space where the draft comes in, so you don&#39;t waste energy.</p> <p>27. Use tin foil behind your radiator, space heater, or heating vents to reflect heat back into the house.</p> <h2>Health and Beauty Tips</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>28. Before you put on eyeliner, hold the end of the pencil between two fingers for about 20 seconds. This will warm it enough so it will apply much easier than when it is cold. (See also: <a href="">Makeup Advice for the Frugal</a>)</p> <p>29. Keep your showers short. This gives your skin less of an opportunity to dry out.</p> <p>30. Reduce hat hair by using dry shampoo when you remove your winter headgear. It will help lift squashed roots.</p> <p>31. Take lukewarm showers. This will help keep your skin&#39;s natural oils in your skin, instead of washing them off, and will help reduce dryness.</p> <p>32. Keep a teakettle filled with mulling spices boiling at all times. This will help keep the air a bit moister and will fill your home with a wonderful smell.</p> <p>33. Wear cotton gloves over your hands after you moisturize. This will help lock the moisture into your skin.</p> <p>34. Reduce stress and unhealthy food intake to <a href="">lower your risk of cold sores</a>.</p> <p>35. Use a humidifier to help reduce the chance of nose bleeds and general discomfort from winter dryness.</p> <p>36. Wear sunscreen. Even when it&#39;s snowing. Just do it.</p> <p>37. Get out in the natural light. It will boost your mood even if it seems gloomy. (See also: <a href="">Things You Can Do to Be Happier Today</a>)</p> <p>38. Take vitamin D. Your body naturally produces this when you&#39;re in the sunlight, and so you make less in the winter. It can raise your mood significantly.</p> <h2>Winter Clothing</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>39. Organize scarves by storing them in a hanging shoe organizer.</p> <p>40. Put sandwich bags on top of your socks for instant waterproofing.</p> <p>41. Wear layers, and not just when you work out. Layers allow you to be as warm as you need to be, no matter how the external temperature changes.</p> <p>42. Run a cheap razor over a pilly sweater to remove those gross bunches of fibers.</p> <p>43. Wear running tights instead of long johns for a more efficient, better wicking, and better looking base layer.</p> <p>44. Invest in the right workout clothes, so you don&#39;t lose your fitness over the long winter. Pick up a hat, gloves, and extra layer to be sure the cold weather isn&#39;t preventing you from being comfortable during your workout. (See also: <a href="">How to Be Fit and Frugal in Winter</a>)</p> <p>45. <a href="">Place screws in the soles of your shoes</a> to stop slipping when you run and walk.</p> <h2>Miscellaneous Hacks</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>46. Sweep light snow away with a broom rather than a shovel.</p> <p>47. Spray your shovel with nonstick cooking spray before you use it, so snow doesn&#39;t stick to it.</p> <p>48. Pour a mixture of 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol, and &frac12;-1 gallon of water over walkways so they don&#39;t refreeze.</p> <p>49. If you need to use your bike in the snow and ice, place zip ties at even intervals around each tire to create bike snow tires.</p> <p>50. Add Nutella to your hot chocolate or mocha, for a different, yummy riff on an old favorite.</p> <p>51. Umbrellas aren&#39;t just for rain. Use them in the snow to keep it off your head.</p> <p>52. <a href="">Learn how to expose winter photos</a>, so your outdoor holiday pics come out looking grand.</p> <p>53. Mix compost into your soil before it freezes in order to enhance your soil for next spring&#39;s planting.</p> <p>54. Make your own wreaths, to save money or to sell.</p> <p>55. <a href="">Knit a winter scarf with your fingers</a>. If you love it, make some more to give as gifts and save some cash.</p> <p>56. Start a garden in your home to get a jumpstart on spring.</p> <p><em>How do you hack winter? Let us know, and we&#39;ll beat winter together!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips cold weather snow winter Wed, 25 Dec 2013 11:25:19 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1102188 at 10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Dog in sweater" title="Dog in sweater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nothing can put your budget on ice quicker than a cold snap. Energy costs are rising across the board, and defending every dollar we spend on heat has never been more important. Forecasters say that the dry summer portends a severe winter, so as the temperatures start to dip, let&rsquo;s explore ten frugal ways to winterize your home. (See also: <a href="">5 Steps to a DIY Home Energy Audit</a>, via Currency)</p> <h3>1. Seal Leaks</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s time to plug, seal, and caulk. Caulk both the inside and outside of your windows. Outside, focus on the sealing around all the edges of the sills with a water-resistant product. Inside, use a temporary silicone caulk around all moving parts of the window. In the spring, when it&rsquo;s time to open everything up, the silicone will break loose easily and not damage paint or varnish.</p> <h3>2. Bring Out Storm Windows</h3> <p>If you have an older home with single-pane windows, it&rsquo;s time to take off the screens and put on the storm windows. Though this can be a huge chore, and often storm windows don&rsquo;t fit that snugly, they do offer another layer of physical protection against the cold.</p> <h3>3. Insulate</h3> <p>Though more expensive than the other strategies, insulation gives you a big bang for your winterizing buck. Keep it simple and don&rsquo;t get lost in complex <a href="">R-value</a> calculations. Just remember this simple rule of thumb &mdash; you should have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic.</p> <h3>4. Replace Air Filters</h3> <p>Replace the air filter in your central heating and cooling system. Use a handheld vacuum while the filter is out to get rid of dust and cobwebs that may have accumulated in or around the filter slot. A clean air filter will not only reduce dust inside, it&rsquo;ll reduce the amount of energy it takes for your heater to work and extend its life.</p> <h3>5. Duct and Cover</h3> <p>The ductwork in our homes carries the heat from room to room. Ductwork that&rsquo;s not well-insulated, disconnected, or dirty impedes air flow and makes your heating system work harder. Check ducts in the attic and basement, vacuum them out, and seal loose connections with a metal-backed tape.</p> <h3>6. Protect the Pipes</h3> <p>Like the ductwork in your home, any pipes that carry water need to be insulated from below-freezing temperatures. If you have a crawl space under your home or a basement that&rsquo;s not insulated, wrap your pipes with fiberglass insulation or use pre-molded foam rubber sleeves that you can pick up at most home improvement stores.</p> <h3>7. Turn on the Fan</h3> <p>Ceiling fans are a great way to help cool your house in the summer, and they come in handy during the winter months too. In preparation for colder weather, reverse the direction of airflow on your fans. Since warm air rises, the fan blades will push the air down and help keep the toastier air in circulation. How do you know if your fan is rotating in the right direction for winter? Here&rsquo;s the trick &mdash; turn your fan on and look up. For winter, your fan&rsquo;s blades should be moving clockwise.</p> <h3>8. Close Off Unused Space</h3> <p>Close vents and doors to rooms and other areas you don&rsquo;t use regularly. Typically, the ambient heat from the rest of the house will keep these areas warm enough to keep pipes from freezing. For other areas of your home that may drop below freezing, refer to tip #6 and insulate those pipes!</p> <h3>9. Optimize Your Cooking and Baking Schedule</h3> <p>Generations ago, our heating system was our cooking system. The wood-burning oven, coal stove, or fireplace served the dual purpose of feeding the family and keeping them warm. Pay tribute to this efficient idea by turning down the heat when it&rsquo;s time to cook and waiting to cook when everyone&rsquo;s home and can enjoy the added warmth (and be available to do the dishes afterward).</p> <h3>10. Let the Sun Shine In</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to invest a lot of money to enjoy some of benefits of solar energy. Leverage passive solar power during the day by leaving your curtains and drapes open. Your rooms will soak up the heat and release it at night.</p> <p>So <a href="">grab a sweater</a> (or two), make some tea, and enjoy your cozier and warmer home this winter &mdash; it just might be a long one.</p> <p><em>What are some fast and frugal methods you have to keep your home warm on those cold winter days?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Home cold weather energy efficiency home improvement winterizing your home Fri, 30 Sep 2011 10:36:18 +0000 Kentin Waits 718656 at Safety Tips for Holiday Driving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/safety-tips-for-holiday-driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Winter driving" title="Winter driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether I'm staying near home for the holidays or driving to my destination, I notice that around this time of year drivers become harried and seemingly more careless. Of course, the wet and drizzly weather tends to assist those more apt to slip and slide across the lanes.</p> <p>Being the safe driver that I am not only saves money in the form of lower insurance premiums and fewer repairs, it also means getting from point A to point B in one piece.&nbsp;Some of the safe driving tips I abide by aren't mind-altering; they're just common sense guidelines that everyone should follow. Here are a few:</p> <h3>1. Know the Roads</h3> <p>When driving to common destinations, I select the roads I'm most familiar with and are less congested. Choosing familiar routes means that if a sudden downpour hits, I'm not inaccurately predicting if the road veers to the right or left; I already know the path and can make minor adjustments without careening off a cliff. I also know when to choose the &quot;back roads&quot; and when to stay on the highway. I can slow down or speed up safely, if weather permits, since it's a path I've traveled many times.</p> <p>When I'm visiting a new location, I first make sure to check Google Maps as well as take notes from the friends or family members I'll be visiting. Friends and family members can assist in my familiarity of an area by telling me to watch for specific landmarks. Landmarks help me adjust to a new area and make me feel less lost. I also make sure to drive a little slower, especially on windy mountain roads or in densely forested areas. I'm not timid when it comes to asking for directions; there is no need spending hours driving in circles if all it takes is a simple answer from a local gas station attendant to send me on my way.</p> <h3>2. Obey the Law</h3> <p>Rain, snow, and sleet make roads slippery and dangerous. Driving the speed limit, or slower, can make all the difference between getting someplace safely or ending up on the wrong side of the road. Checking the weather ahead of traveling gives me a reasonable idea of how much time I'll need to arrive safely; oncoming storms usually mean traffic delays, and that means longer commute times and lots of slowing down.</p> <p>Another law I obey is the seat belt law. It's hard to believe that as a child I was allowed to roam freely around the station wagon on long road trips, even in stormy weather! Today we are a more safety-conscious society and know that unattached objects within a vehicle can go flying through a windshield in a sudden stop or impact. Being strapped in helps prevent injuries during accidents and makes traveling by car safer.</p> <p>Finally, slower traffic should stay to the right; even if that means letting a big-rig truck pass me. There's just no need to get into a road-rage duel, and I'm not about to gun it past the semi that's ten times my size. Driving defensively and safely sometimes means being the slower moving vehicle.</p> <h3>3. Designate a Driver</h3> <p>The holidays are a time for celebration and that often means celebrating with delicious meals and effervescent spirits. There's no need not to partake in the celebration as long as I have a designated driver or have made other arrangements like public transportation or a taxi cab. However, I usually nominate myself to be the designated driver since sparkling cider is just as tasty as sparkling wine. I am also adamant about not drinking and driving, so selecting myself to be the driver for the night ensures that those who are with me arrive home safely.</p> <p>Most safety tips are based around common sense, but sometimes we just need to pay more attention to the details to have a safe and joyous holiday season.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Safety Tips for Holiday Driving" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Little House</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">General Tips articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Cars and Transportation General Tips cold weather driving holiday safety tips Wed, 22 Dec 2010 14:00:09 +0000 Little House 404688 at Hold Off On Heating with These 10 Warming Ways <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hold-off-on-heating-with-these-10-warming-ways-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="239" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">It’s October.<span>  </span>In Nebraska.<span>  </span>We will see Halloween before we smell the crackling logs on our wood stove.<span>  </span>Because it is such a big deal for many to finally crank on the heat, we’ve implemented 10 strategies for keeping warm just a wee bit longer – sans heating unit. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Open the shades.</strong><span>  </span>Right now we are under construction, and the drapes clash horribly with the freshly-sanded trim and the plastic-covered furniture.<span>  </span>Since we have no window coverings during this time of transition, we reap the benefits of sunkissed warmth spreading through our home during the 10am – 5 pm hours.<span>  </span>Free heat feels so good. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Put an end to line drying</strong>.<span>  </span>We enjoy hanging our clothes out on the line when it is warm.<span>  </span>Now that frost has fallen, we reverse our thinking to utilize the heat our dryer produces.<span>  </span>Since our dryer wasn’t vented outside our home, we use a lint receptacle to “catch” the lint.<span>  </span>These kits are under $15 at a hardware store, and in addition to the benefit of having the dryer heat in our home, the added moisture is nice during the winter months.<span>  </span>(Be sure to keep this system in check with weekly cleanings and adequate water to the trap.<span>  </span>Families with allergies will need to be especially diligent.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Dress in layers</strong>.<span>  </span>I am still seeing kids walk to school in shorts, despite the 35 degree mornings. This is ridiculous to me, as clothing is the cheapest way to stay warm in this season of transition.<span>  </span>Once the first frost appears, I rid my kids&#39; drawers of shorts and sleeveless tops, packing them up into plastic tubs for winter storage.<span>  </span>They are free to choose from any of their winter clothing, and I encourage them to dress in a t-shirt under their warmer clothes for added warmth.<span>  </span>They don’t complain about the cold when they are properly dressed (including socks and indoor shoes.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Make your bed.</strong><span>  </span>We also switch our sheets to flannel for the winter.<span>  </span>We supplement each bed with a wool blanket and an extra quilt or two.<span>  </span>In the upstairs room (where it is coldest) the adults have an electric blanket set on low for the really cold nights.<span>  </span>It’s amazing how peaceful you can sleep with a chill to the air and your body comfortably warm. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Top it off.</strong><span>  </span>My ultra-sexy nightwear consists of sweats or long underwear with wool socks.<span>  </span>I also wear a stocking cap on the colder nights.<span>  </span>It keeps me feeling snug, and I have less bed head in the morning.<span>  </span>(Plus, hubby thinks it’s cute!) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Spice things up.</strong><span>  </span>Cold sandwiches take a sabbatical for the winter at my house.<span>  </span>We bust out the chili recipes, crockpot fare, and make all our evening meals a bit zestier than normal.<span>  </span>Most of it is purely psychological – but it does help keep a warmth about the dinner table.<span>  </span>(Another perk is the economics of spicy meals.<span>  </span>Many of them are dirt cheap.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Keep hydrated.</strong><span>  </span>Our hot cocoa bill is higher than normal during the winter.<span>  </span>We replace our chocolate milk with hot chocolate (Ovaltine works well for a vitamin-packed alternative.)<span>  </span>I enjoy herbal teas and decaf coffees in the evenings. Hot apple cider kept simmering on the stove not only taste delish, but keeps your home smelling yummy. Replacing your cold drinks with hot ones can keep you toasty any time of day. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Snuggle.</strong><span>  </span>I’ll admit to letting my kids jump in bed with us a bit more in the winter time.<span>  </span>The toddlers are like radiant heaters that require no electricity.<span>  </span>Just toss a 3-year-old in the mix, for an instant 10-degree warm up.<span>  </span>(Cuddles are the cheapest form of heat I know.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Use a space heater (wisely.)</strong><span>  </span>I’m not a huge fan of the small electric heaters.<span>  </span>They are good for some things, but quite dangerous in other situations.<span>  </span>Use your head on this one, and under no circumstances should you leave one running overnight, in a child’s room unattended, or when you are not in the home.<span>  </span>If nothing else, I like one running in the bathroom first thing in the morning.<span>  </span>(It takes the edge off that cold seat, if you know what I mean.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Go to Grandma’s.</strong><span>  </span>Now I’m not saying that my house is too cold.<span>  </span>Many wouldn’t be comfortable in anything as chilly as 55 in October.<span>  </span>On days when I’m not particularly enthusiastic about watching TV in a cooler-than-average home (or once a week), I’ll head next door to my mother’s house.<span>  </span>She’s glad to see us, and she has cable.<span>  </span>(It’s also 10 degrees warmer by default.<span>  </span>If she’s already paying for gas, why not?) </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Call me cheap or stingy, but I don’t see any reason to crank up the heat yet this year.<span>  </span>With 35-degree nights turning into almost 70-degree days, starting up my wood stove would leave us baked by mid-afternoon.<span>  </span>These tips help us in the month or two between seasons, keep our annual heating bill low, and help us to appreciate that roaring fire when it finally gets burning each year.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Hold Off On Heating with These 10 Warming Ways" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Life Hacks General Tips Green Living cold weather frugality heating Thu, 30 Oct 2008 01:35:57 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2553 at