7 ways to save on your energy bills this winter

In honor of winter's official arrival, here are some tips that can help anyone, whether they rent or own their home, save on their heating bills.


I am not suggesting starting a round of the thermostat wars, but consider lowering the thermostat a degree or two. According to the Consumer Energy Center, you can save 5% on heating for every degree you lower your heat in the 60-70 degree range. Throw on an extra layer, put on a thick pair of socks and keep extra blankets around. If you have rooms in your house you don't regularly use, close of the vents (as long as there isn't piping that can freeze.) Make sure that nothing is blocking your vents so that the hot air makes it out into the room.

Use Mother Nature to Your Advantage

Open curtain and blinds on south facing windows during the day and close them elsewhere. The sun coming in from the south will warm those rooms up, giving your furnace a break. Remember to close them when the sun goes down to help insulate the rooms. If you're able to, buy thick heavy drapes to help insulate!

Strategically Cook

You're already going to make dinner (probably) so use your oven! When you cook at home you save money by not eating out, but the oven will help warm you up, too. It's best if you heat up the oven once and cook twice (or more)-so make a dessert! After you turn off the over, leave it open a bit so the extra warmth seeps out into the house (but make sure it's turned off!)

Feng Shui for Warmth

Arrange your furniture along interior walls, especially if your windows are drafty. It will make you feel warmer. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but get really chilly in the winter. Use floor rugs to help keep the cold off your feet. If you have ceiling fans run them in reverse. They will push the warm air back down where you can feel it.

Say No to Drafts

Even if you don't own your home, there are some simple and frugal solutions to drafty doors and windows. Draft excluders at the base of doors and windows can help keep cold air from entering your home; they can be made with old pairs of pantyhose and socks or socks filled with rice.

Party Time!

Turn down the thermostat and invite some friends over. Make the main dish (in the oven!) and ask your friends to supply the sides. The extra bodies will create more body heat and heat up your house naturally. Not up for a party every night? Then have everyone in the house hang out in the same room. You can get some pretty efficient room heaters, run it in one room and enjoy some quality time together.

Grab a Water Bottle

I think that running the heat at night is the biggest waste. You are paying to fill the entire house with heat when everyone is in bed under a bunch of covers. Count me out! There is the small problem of jumping into a cold bed, however. An hour before bed set your thermostat down low and fill a hot water bottle with near-boiling water. The old-timey rubber ones work the best, but any will do as long as they are sealed properly. Put it under your blankets, and by the time you're ready to get in bed the bottle will have radiated enough heat to warm the bed up.

You can also sew a microwavable rice bag; if sewing isn't your thing, you can use an old sock filled with rice.

Have you done any of these before? How do you save on energy bills in the winter?

The post 7 Ways to Save on Your Energy Bills This Winter (Even if You Don't Own Your Home) appeared first on Project: Beach Life.

RELATED: Tips to teach your kids to save money

Lessons that teach your kids to save money
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Lessons that teach your kids to save money

Play money-centered board games or games on apps, like Monopoly or Money Race.
It's an interactive and fun way for your kids to learn about basic financial practices without feeling like they're being lectured.

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Give them an allotted amount of cash to spend on lunch each week.
Your child will learn how to budget accordingly throughout the week, figuring out how to balance spending money on food some days vs bringing their own on other days (something that can be directly translated into the adult workplace).

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Have them write down or tell you their absolute dream toy.
Then, show them that it's possible to have that toy if they save x enough money for x amount of weeks.

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Give them an allowance.

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Stick to a set time and date each month for giving your child their allowance.
Practicing giving your children their allowance every other week or on certain dates of each month will help them prepare for set paydays in the working world--it will teach them to budget out and how to know when to save up in anticipation.

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Match your child's savings each month.
This will imitate a 401K and show your child ways in which saving can (literally) pay off.

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Have your kid organize their funds in to different jars to represent different accounts.
Examples could be "Saving", "Spending", "Charity", "Emergency", "College".

Photo credit: Getty

Take your kids grocery shopping and explain certain choices you make with your purchases to them.
Your children will benefit from knowing what's best to purchase name brand vs. generic, why some snacks are better to buy in bulk, etc.

Photo credit: Getty


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