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5 ways to create a warm and cozy home on a budget

It’s that time of year again. Old Man Winter is ready to start nipping at your nose, chilling down your toes and perhaps most distressing of all: driving up your utility expenses. But wait! Instead of automatically reaching for the thermostat dial, consider alternatives to feel warm in your house this autumn. 

Hang heavy drapery
The old idea of switching out your drapery and curtains for the winter still makes sense today. Window panes, especially older ones, allow heat to be lost through the glass, making a cold room feel even colder. If you have drapes or curtains, get yourself a thicker material for the winter months and be sure to close them at night.

Check for drafts
If your windows have gaps or leaks, your warm inside air is leaking away to the outside, leaving you chilly and wasting your hard-earned money. Each season, check all windows and doors that open to the outside. You can use a draft detector, or simply a burning stick of incense to check for unwanted air movement. Fix those gaps and your rooms will stay warmer.

Lay down a thick area rug
While hard flooring, such as wood or laminate, has many benefits, warmth is not one of them. Do yourself a favor and lay down a thick, warm area rug during the cold months to help insulate your room and give your feet a warm treat when it’s time to crawl out of your snug bed. A faux sheepskin not only adds a hefty dose of style, it’s the ultimate in warm coziness on your feet.

Use warmer bedding
It’s the obvious solution. When nature turns the thermostat down, it’s time to turn up the heat on your bed. Just as with clothing, layers of bedding keep you warmer, so swap out those percale or sateen sheets for flannel, and top them with a warm blanket and a comforter.

Time for a hot water bottle
It might be old school, but it works: slip a hot-water bottle under the sheets when it’s time for bed, and let your tootsies revel in the warmth. If you prefer a more high-tech version, there are heated mattress pads – both full mattress and foot-of-the-bed-only – that do the job quite nicely.

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