Winter conjures up images of cozy nights in front of the fireplace and Saturday mornings sledding with the neighborhood kids. But for a lot of us, it also means hefty heating bills and holiday shopping debt that can leave our monthly budgets with a touch of frostbite.
Here are some ways to offset those pesky seasonal expenses and save money this winter.
1. Turn down the heat
The simplest way to cut your heating bill is to turn down the heat. Instead of keeping the thermostat at 72°F degrees during the day, try cutting it to 68°F. At night, you can drop it even further. While the optimal sleeping temperature is highly debatable, both the National Institutes for Health and the UK’s Sleep Council agree it’s somewhere between 60°F and 66°F.
2. Winterize your home
Insulating windows and doors can dramatically cut down on heating bills by blocking drafts that suck out the heat. There are a number of simple, do-it-yourself (DIY) ways to block drafts and winter-proof
The temptation to order out can be strong, especially when the days are shorter and running to the grocery store requires braving the cold. But preparing meals at home is a big cost saver. You can even make it fun by planning your meals through the countless food-dedicated sites and blogs online.
When your heating bill skyrockets, you might be able to reduce some of your other utility bills through third-party negotiating services like Billshark, which can lower monthly bills from service providers such as cable, internet, satellite radio, cell phones and home security. These expert, third-party negotiators are typically able to lower bills 85% of the time. Billshark is free to use; they operate by taking a percentage of the savings they negotiate on your behalf.