Can You Cut Down Your Winter Budget?
The days are getting shorter, the nights are longer, and the weather is overall cooler. Welcome to the winter months! While there are many things to be excited about, such as a soul-warming Thanksgiving recipe or preparing for the snow of the season, winter also comes at a cost. Your energy bills are going up! For a lot of households, energy bills have already registered an alarming peak during the first wave of the pandemic, as everyone has been staying at home.
Additionally, we all fall victim to mild seasonal affective disorder symptoms. SAD can lead to a depressive mood, making it hard to stay warm. As a result, you are more likely to make “costly” decisions, such as ordering takeaway food or grabbing a coffee on the go to keep your hands warm.
Is there anything you can do to manage your winter costs? Turning down the heater is not a viable solution. But you can use some smart tips and tricks to reduce financial pressure without making the household uncomfortable.
Create a clear goal
As savings go, you can’t just start putting money aside without any clear objective. Indeed, you are more likely to keep your costs down if you understand what you’re trying to achieve. If you are looking to raise a specific amount, you can use smart tools, such as the Pigly.Com savings calculator, to help design a strategy. Additionally, you can also define how much you want to save throughout the winter, as this will act as your success goal. Say you want to save $2,000 over the winter months. Your savings plan can help you highlight the areas where you can cut down on expenses and the time it’ll take to reach your goal.
What does a goal matter? Because you don’t know what success looks like if you don’t decide what you want to achieve. Start by checking your bills and expenses from the previous years to estimate how much you want to save.
Cut down your grocery shopping
Here’s an interesting question for you: Does your grocery shopping feel more expensive in winter? You’d be surprised to find out that households typically buy more food during the colder months of the year. This has to do with the way the metabolism works. Your body burns more energy to maintain its temperature in winter. Therefore, hearty meals are a good idea to maintain a slow-burning source of energy throughout the day.
Even if you are not familiar with human metabolic functions, most people instinctively eat more in winter. In other words, you can expect to spend more on food. However, you can reduce some of the grocery costs through your backyard garden. Growing your own vegetables and roots in winter can offer a budget-friendly alternative. You can grow squashes, potatoes, carrots, beetroots, turnips, and green cabbages, for instance. These are the ideal components of a homemade stew, without any of the costs!
Most properties lose some heat in winter. Your insulation is the most likely culprit. Thankfully, you can easily update an old insulation system without breaking the bank. For instance, you can change your attic insulation over the course of a weekend. Indeed, in a poorly insulated attic, cold air can come in. As a result, you’ll need to heat the house even more to compensate.
Another common area that can benefit from getting insulated is your basement. The basement is often humid and cold. However, most homeowners can waterproof their basements and add insulation sheets on the walls, floor, and ceiling.
Embrace spiced teas
Why is spiced tea a better alternative to the traditional cup of coffee? The simple answer is that spices help to warm your body from within. A spiced tea can raise your core body temperature more effectively and significantly than a cup of coffee. The phenomenon is called thermogenesis. Choosing teas that contain cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, for instance, can pack a healthy heat boost!
Make a point of cooking from scratch
Cooking from scratch offers many advantages. Firstly, it means that you are in control of the ingredients. Rather than relying on food-processed meals or heavy sugar and fat loads – which is everything we crave in winter! –, you can cook a hearty meal with yummy thermogenering spices. Secondly, cooking at home increases the temperature indoors. It’s a good idea, for instance, to plan an oven-heated meal in the evening, as the oven will keep your home warm for longer.
In conclusion, you can help your body stay warm this winter without fearing the high grocery or energy costs. While it’s important to stay comfortable when the weather gets cold, you’d be surprised by how much difference simple switches in your habits can make. Stay warm without the financial burden this winter!