5 Ways to Ensure You’re Frugal During Winter

by Jon Dulin on October 3, 2012 · 6 comments

With winter upon us, now is the time to start preparing for it. In this post, I am going to present five ways to ensure you are frugal during winter including your home, car and eating.

Buy a Programmable Thermostat

A good programmable thermostat will cost you about $50 (£ 30), but the savings will more than offset the initial cost. With a programmable thermostat, you can make sure that the heat doesn’t run when you are not home and it will turn on before you do get home. I use one in my house and have seen a reduction in my heating bill. I have it set to begin heating my house about 30 minutes before I get home. If I find myself working from home on a particular day, it is easy to override the settings to keep me warm.

Inflate Your Tires

With cold weather comes the increased chance that your tire pressure will be low. Low tire pressure has a detrimental effect in two ways. First, it causes excess wear on your tires so that you need to replace them more frequently and secondly, tires with low pressure give you worse gas mileage. So be sure to check the pressure on a regular basis. I check mine monthly on my car. I also give them a visual check every time I pump my gas. I’ve become accustomed to how they should look when full of air so I can tell when they might be a little low.

Make Soup

Nothing is better on a cold winter day than a hot bowl of soup. You can make your own soup for cheap with chicken broth and some fresh vegetables. Make enough and you can have plenty of left-overs. You can even freeze it so it stays fresh longer. By making soup a regular meal fixture, you will save money on either eating out or having to include a more expensive meat into your meal.

Check Windows for Leaks

This is hard to do now that the weather is still warm, but it can be done. Simply check around all of your windows for any leaks of air. Usually, you will feel a light draft of air if there is a leak. In my house, I found them around the sills of the windows. If you find any leaks, simply purchase a tube of caulk and re-seal the edges of the sill. This will stop most drafts and will allow you heater to take longer breaks as your home will stay warmer, longer.

Look onto Thermal Blanket for Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters are typically the least efficient appliance in your house. This is even truer if yours is stored in a garage or basement. When winter comes and it gets colds out, your hot water heater has to work harder to keep the water warm. By purchasing a thermal blanket for your hot water heater, you can help it retain the warmth of the water making it more efficient. Before you do so, make sure using one for your model is recommended. Some tank manufacturers do not recommend blankets for their tanks.

When you incorporate these tips into your winter routine, you are ensuring that you will be frugal during winter. And since we like to look ahead, you can do so with the money you save as well. You can use the future savings for a summer holiday. By placing the money into a bank account where it can grow, you will get the benefit of compound interest. After all, who doesn’t enjoy thinking about the warm summer weather when the weather is frightful outside? I know I do!

Readers, do you have any additional tips to ensure you are frugal during winter?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean @ One Smart Dollar October 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

We have a door that lets in some air from the bottom so we bunch a towel up in front of it.

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moneysma October 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Same here! Luckily it’s a door that doesn’t get used very much so it isn’t a hassle to keep moving the towel.

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Christian L. @ Smart Military Money October 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

For soups, a crock pot is a great investment. Roasts and chili are easy to make with a crock pot, too.

Programmable thermostats are huge money savers. Yes, they can be an investment at first. But they will save thousands in the long run.
Christian L. @ Smart Military Money recently posted..Is It Possible to Lower My Car Payment?My Profile

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moneysma October 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm

A crock pot is great. I have one but don’t use it nearly as often as I should.

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John S @ Frugal Rules October 3, 2012 at 11:36 am

Great tips. We love our programmable thermostat. That way we can keep our bill lower and not use heat when it’s not needed. We do soup as well. We’ll make a big batch of it and freeze the leftovers so we can pull it out for another meal later in the winter.
John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..How to Save Money and Not Spend $300K Raising a ChildMy Profile

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Mike Annis October 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Great article. I featured it on the Frugal News Review podcast episode 13.
Mike Annis recently posted..Frugal News Review #13 – Food Cheaper to Make Than Buy, Frugal Fall Family Fun, Winter Frugality, Halloween Savings, DIY, Frugal TechMy Profile

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