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Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

Easy Ways to Save on Heating Bills

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On November 4, 2011 No Comments

With the winter months approaching rapidly, now would be a good time to get your home in order for the season. An inevitable part of the winter season means a higher heating bill. This year does not have to break your bank, though – with just a few changes there are many ways that you can reduce your fuel bills significantly.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

Check all vents in your home. Remove any debris left behind from the year and then vacuum them out to achieve maximum flow. If you have any rooms that will not be in use for the winter, close off those vents. This will allow more heat to flow to the other rooms, enabling you to lower the temperature and still be comfortable.

 staywarm

If you do not currently have energy efficient double pane windows and your budget does not allow for replacements, then go to your local home improvement center and purchase the window kits or plastic rolls. These kits are easy to assemble and create an airtight effect, reducing the amount of cool air entering your home. To further enhance the seal, also use weather stripping on older doors to keep drafts out and heat in.

Another great way to save on your heating bill is to purchase a programmable thermostat. These thermostats allow you to set the temperature so that it is lowered at night while you are sleeping and also during the day when you are not at home. You will be surprised how much this will reduce your bill without creating any discomfort to your lifestyle.

If you currently have a fireplace or gas stove, have it serviced before the season starts so that you are getting all of the benefits. Fireplaces should have the chimneys and flue cleaned out prior to using them each year. This ensures that no critters have built nests and that no other blockages exist that will send smoke and flames billowing into your home.

Placing an aluminium board (these are readily available at home improvement stores) behind your radiators will also help the heat flow into the room more efficiently. Heavy curtains drawn at night or during early evening are another good option for keeping heating in rather than letting it out through drafty windows.

Sometimes, we can also be too quick to turn up the heat. If you’re only a little cold try wearing an extra sweater or warm socks. You may find you don’t need the heating on for another few hours. Closing doors to rooms can also keep hallway areas and rooms warmer.

Oftentimes, too many of us heat the neighborhood each winter which simply throws money out the door. Saving money on your heating bill is not impossible; you just have to be diligent about following the above tips. If your home is newer, you will not have to worry too much about insulation. However, if your home is older, you may have to update your insulation and furnaces to assist in keeping the cold air out and the warm air in.

Frugally yours, Mary

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Winter Dating-Have Fun & Save Money

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On December 10, 2010 No Comments

Dating in the winter can be challenging, especially with the typical outdoor activities being reserved for spring through fall. However, it is not impossible to have fun dating in the winter and it can be relatively easy on the budget as well. Here are some easy, fun tips for dating for less in the winter.

* Go skiing or sledding together. Sledding is cheaper as it does not require any special equipment and you can sled at your local park for free. While skiing does involve special equipment, you can choose to rent instead of purchase and keep your costs low. Unless you have to travel out of state to go skiing, you can spend just the day at a resort and keep your costs low.

* Make the most of the winter holidays. Go Christmas tree shopping together and enjoy the festive atmosphere. You can also invite your date back to your place to help decorate your house for the upcoming holidays. Making dinner is a nice way to complete the date at no extra cost.

* Movies are a great way to keep warm and not spend a lot. Instead of seeing the evening show, take in an afternoon matinee. Matinees are typically half price and offer more than one show. Have a light lunch before and skip the popcorn, candy and soda as they are pricey.

If you do not want to go to a movie theater, rent a movie from Redbox or Netflix and have movie night at your place. You can be sure the popcorn and beverages will be significantly cheaper.

* Many towns have a local ice skating rink that you can bring your date to. Ice skating is a romantic way to spend time together without shelling out a fortune. If you do not own ice skates, you can usually rent them at the rink for a small fee.

* Get outside and build a snowman together, or have a snowball fight. Either way you will be having fun and burning energy together. After your excursion, make some hot cocoa and sit inside by the fireside together. No fireplace? No problem; you can still snuggle under a blanket on the couch together.

While the weather outside may be cold, you can still have a blast during the winter season for less. Use the weather to your advantage and also take advantage of the holiday season. Most of all, enjoy your time together.

Just a few days left!

Hey there – have you registered yet for our very own contest – Cash for the Holidays? If not, where have you been? You’ve only got about a week left to go so head on over NOW and ENTER.  Click here to enter.

Frugally yours, Mary

receive updates (and win) · tweet me @thefrugalbuzz · “Like” The Frugal Buzz on Facebook

Hey there – have you registered yet for our very own contest – Cash for the Holidays? If not, where have you been? You’ve only got about a week left to go so head on over NOW and ENTER.  Click here to enter.

P.S.  If you haven’t checked out MyPoints you really should.



Winterize Your Home and Save Money

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On December 6, 2010 No Comments

Here are some money saving tips for the winter.

For many people, cold weather means higher heating bills as well as fighting off the cold drafts. In order to effectively save on your heating bill, there are a few modifications that you can make on your home this winter. A few low-budget, yet efficient ways to winterize your home and save money this winter are listed below.

* Seal off any sources of cracks or draughty areas. These areas are only going to let the precious heat out and you will be literally throwing money out the door. Instead of hiring someone to come over and seal off the sources of your draughts, buy some caulk from the hardware store or your local department store and seal off those leaks yourself. This will definitely save you a couple of hundred dollars.

We recently bought a Twin Draft Guard that can be installed on a  window or door to seal out the cold air.  I just installed it last night on our front door and the difference was immediate and clear – no more draft coming in the bottom.  Installation is super easy too – just slide the Twin Draft Guard right under the door or the window – takes less than 2 minutes.  If you want to pick one up, you can find a good deal here: Door and Window Draft Stopper – Tan

* When looking for leaks, be sure to check in commonly missed areas. Dryer vents, if you have a dryer, are one of the commonly missed areas, along with windows in your basement or attic. For other windows in your house, use plastic to seal them off, especially if they are drafty.

* If you find that you have drafty windows, replacing them may not be in your budget. A cheaper option to seal off your windows is to buy the plastic designed for your windows. The plastic will go on the inside of your home, not the outside. It is very easy to apply and you can seal off your whole house with less than a day’s work.

To apply the plastic, outline your windows with double sided tape, apply the plastic and then blow-dry the plastic to shrink it to the window size – effectively sealing out all cold air and keeping your warm air in.

Make sure you cover any areas that have an AC unit. If possible, remove the AC unit and seal up the area. If it is not possible to remove the AC, buy a cover to keep the air from seeping in. Unplug the AC from the outlet to ensure that nobody tries to use it and allows toxic fumes to build up.

Winterizing your home on a budget is a relatively easy task. You may have to spend a weekend sealing up vents, windows and cracks, but the alternative is far worse. Every year thousands of people literally heat the neighborhood in an attempt to keep their own houses warm.

This year, do not allow yourself to be one of those that waste energy or heat. Use the above tips to ensure that you are keeping your heating costs as low as possible.

Frugally yours, Mary

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