Losing your cool for pennies less

Written by Neal F. Litherland. Posted in Pennies Saved & Pennies Earned

Published on February 21, 2012 with No Comments

With the holidays over, it seems winter has settled in with a vengeance and it’s here to stay.

While a lot of people might be looking over longingly at the puffy coats with big, expensive price tags there are actually some things you can do right now to keep yourself warm until spring deigns to show itself once more.

First of all let’s take a look at your wardrobe.

Air is a great insulator, and you want to keep as much warm air near your body as you can. In order to do that,  wear as many thin layers of clothing as you can, rather than putting on one big, thick layer.

While that big, down coat might look warm and cuddly, your best bet is an undershirt, and overshirt, a sweater and then a jacket or a regular coat. Ever wear a three-piece suit outside? It’s really warm. And then of course the addition of long underwear is always a good idea, as well as the traditional accessories of hat, gloves and scarf.

 Toasty warm with, really, not a lot of expense unless you for some reason don’t have a full wardrobe.

Another thing you should invest in to stay warm during the cold weather is to eat regular meals of hot food with carbs.

Many people might think that carbs are the enemy, but when your body gets cold those are what you’re burning to stay warm.

If those carbs happen to come in pasta, potatoes or hot chicken soup, then so much the better. Warm inside, and warm outside, except in the case of alcohol which can make you feel warm while actually stripping you of warmth and exposing your body to more cold.

And for those that are cold at home, your house is a body in an abstract sense; you still have to decide how best to keep it warm.

If you don’t want to spend more money on your heating bill you need to close off all the rooms you’re not using and don’t waste energy heating them. If you don’t have doors then hang blankets or curtains instead; anything to block the transfer of heat.

Keep your blinds and curtains open during the day, but at night close them because those dark windows will suck the heat right out of your home. If you have the option set your home heat on a timer so that once the day’s over you turn off your heat. After all, when you’re snuggled down in the covers you don’t need the heat running.

In addition to making sure you have all drafts blocked, you shouldn’t be afraid to put on a robe or some slippers at home. Keep a blanket on your couch and a shawl hanging up on a hook.

You’ll be warm and comfortable without having to turn your thermostat up. Of course you should stay out of your basement and avoid bigger rooms, especially the ones with high ceilings. Keep things tight and cozy, and if you have pets or multiple people in one room then chances are it will heat up even faster and maintain that heat.

If you follow these simple tips then chances are very good you can beat old man Winter with a big stick and avoid all of those nasty mornings, muscle aches, colds and other things that come from exposure to low temperatures without the proper preparation.

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About Neal F. Litherland

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Neal Litherland is a Valparaiso resident who has been a freelance writer for several years. A graduate of Indiana University, he holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. He offers advice on money-saving tips using common-sense tactics. He welcomes suggestions and comments. Contact Neal: neal@thechroniclenwi.com.

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