Freezing your Assets: How to Save Money in a Polar Vortex

Photo by gohabitat.net

Photo by gohabitat.net

Any Midwesterner will tell you, the Midwest doesn’t have “mild” temperature very often. Winter is no exception. When it’s cold outside, all one really wants to do is crank up the heater to a toasty 85 degrees, eat chocolate, and sit down to a fun movie, courtesy of Netflix. Unfortunately, doing so will has a direct correlation to the electric bill. I’m going to provide a few tips here for saving money when Jack Frost decides to swoop in and steal away your happiness warmth.
Seal up the Beast!
This is the most important tip I can give. Check. The. Insulation. This is an extremely easy and inexpensive fix to the cold, and it can save you a surprising amount of money. Check around your doors and windows for air leaks. My apartment had a gap in the door, so wide, I could see what time of day it was without getting up from the couch.

Check for air leaks, then for an inexpensive fix, hop down to Walmart, or Kroger, or some other store with basic home repair goods, and find some weather guard with an adhesive back. It’s easy to apply (pull off the backing, and stick in the desired spot to plug the draft), and will save you tens of dollars each month on electricity.

Just Add Water

Photo by Amazon.com

Photo by Amazon.com

Invest in a humidifier! These are surprisingly overlooked as a great household tool, but they also add a bit of warmth to the air as well. You can find a good one for under $30 at Target, or Amazon. They come in multiple varieties, shapes and sizes. The heated humidifiers provide a comforting stream of warm mist into the air, that not only prevents sinus issues, and dry skin, but provides a few degrees of warmth as well. In some varieties, you can even add essential oils, so you can even pretend like you are someplace warm!

Go Bake a Cake

Using the electrical equipment costs less than the heater, so bake something. This will fill your house with a wonderful smell, even if it is just the $3 thaw n’ bake rolls from Kroger, the heat from the oven will warm up at least the surrounding area. Another tip is to “bake” a bowl of water. Take an oven-proof bowl of some sort, fill it with water, and place it in the oven. Leave the oven door cracked a little, and it acts as both a humidifier and heater. This method is to be used with EXTREME caution. It goes without saying that one shouldn’t leave the area with a hot oven open, and it shouldn’t be done for long periods of time.

Roughin’ It

Instead of cranking up the heat, try roughing it a little. As a self-proclaimed suburbanite, bent on enjoying the house as a sophisticated invention of human kind, this is as close to “roughing it” as I ever plan to get. Bundle up in blankets, and invest in a good pair of socks. Remember all of those white elephant gift exchanges, when someone would gift you with an awkward penguin blanket, or a pair of fuzzy socks that can’t fit into your boots? It is time to pull all of those from the shelves, give them a wash, and wrap them around your person. Bundling up indoors at first sounds miserable, but it is a much more attractive plan than getting a $200 electric bill.