There’s something really beautiful about looking outside of the window and seeing snowflakes fall onto the ground. That is, at least until you get your monthly utility bill and you notice that it’s significantly higher due to the fact that you had to raise your thermostat so that the “beauty of the cold” didn’t creep into your house and freeze you out.

That’s the purpose of this article. In the spirit of not just “peace on earth” but less stress on your budget, we have come up with some pretty cool (pun intended) and inexpensive ways for you to keep your own home warm and toasty this winter:

Check your windows. A lot of people don’t even notice that the reason why they are turning up their central heat is because their windows have drafts. That’s why it’s a good idea (especially if they are single pane) to double-check them to make sure that there are no cracks around the seal (if so, some caulking should correct the problem). If money is tight, but you need a bit more insulation, you can use clear shower curtains. They’re great for letting the sun shine through while keeping the cold air out.

Add some rugs. Heat loss doesn’t just come through windows and doors; the floors can also play a role in keeping the rooms in your home cooler than you might like (especially if they are made out of wood or stone). One quick way to remedy that is to put down some rugs; especially in front of your front and back doors.

Close the door(s). OK, it is probably obvious that if you want to keep the house warm that you should keep the doors that lead to the outside closed, but that’s not specifically what we are referring to here. When you are using your central heat, it’s not just working to warm up the rooms that you are in, but the ones that you aren’t in as well. If you’re not using a particular room, close it off. It makes your heating system have to do less work.

Use some space heaters. In order to conserve energy, it’s wise to keep your electronic thermostat set to a temperature that is as low as comfortably possible. In order to make the room that you are in feel extra toasty, all you need to do is purchase a portable space heater or a couple of heat pumps. They’re reasonably priced and can definitely assist you with paying less on your electricity bills.

Cook more. It might sound like an odd recommendation, but aside from a fireplace, how do you think that the people from The Little House on the Prairie Days were able to keep warm? Cooking at home not only saves money and is reportedly healthier for you than eating out, but the heat from the stove can also warm your kitchen and the rooms that it is directly connected to. It’s a cheap way to do what’s good for your body, both inside and out.

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