I talked with my dad this morning and it was -37 C ... just a bit chilly to be sure. Considering that the last 5 winters in North Bay have been relatively mild, this one, by comparison has been quite a hardship for Northern Ontario - early snows, huge back to back snow accumulations and record breaking lows. I have a feeling that the usual 'January Thaw' just might pass them by.
It's really cold. There is no denying that. We don't have a choice about it. Unless you can fly off to warmer climes, you're stuck with the cold for however long it lasts.
How you deal with the cold is another matter entirely. You can choose, like we have to see it as an opportunity to thank God for all of His blessing - including the cold. Just think of how many less mosquitoes there will be in the gardens this summer!
Here are some of our 'tried and true' frugal ideas for facing the freeze - from my home to yours!
Frugally Facing the Freeze:
- Snuggle up! Sharing body heat is a great way to keep warm on a cold day. Cuddle up on the couch with your kids and hubby with a great book and a giant bowl of popcorn. Don't forget the blankets. Take turns reading and enjoy the quiet of a winter evening together.
- Hang it all. Forget the dryer - hang your freshly washed clothing in the furnace room or by the heat source. It will dry fast and help humidify the air.
- Close it. Shut up unused rooms and leave the vents just opened enough to keep the pipes from freezing. Just keep the rooms you are living in warm.
- Drip! Drip! Drip! A bit of water dripping from the tap is surely less costly than fixing frozen burst pipes! This is especially important where the pipes are not insulated or if you have a crawl space, like we do.
- Tea party? Why not! Cheap, hot and oh so soothing - tea is the perfect choice! Make pot after pot of this steaming beverage and enjoy a tea tasting party.
- Fill the cookie jar! Baking not only warms your kitchen, it warms your tummy too. Keep the oven filled by baking more than one batch - you can share or put up the extra in the freezer. Be sure to bundle up when you step out to take some fresh baked goodies to your neighbor.
- Draw the drapes. You'd be surprised at just how much a bit of fabric pulled across a window can warm a room.
- Dress in layers. Don't turn up the heat, put on some clothes! Have a layered look fashion show and make the best of dressing warmly. Remember, exposed skin is cold skin!
- Slip into slippers. There are certain children who are adamantly opposed to wearing their slippers, but in this kind of weather, they are required. Making it a game keeps it light and little toes stay warm!
- Cabin fever? Move it! That's right - just start moving things around - big things! I'm talking about re-arranging a room or two! It will give you a whole new outlook and the effort will warm you up!
- Save on bath and beauty! You don't really need to shower every day when you aren't sweating it up. Don't forget to keep well moisturized - inside and out.
- Cover up! If you do need to go out, be sure to cover up everything you can. Fashion is not the issue here - looking good doesn't mean a thing if you freeze! I know from personal experience how much frostbite stings.
- Oh, FUDGE! There is something special about making fudge or pulling taffy on a cold cold day! You don't have to save these kinds of special treats for special occasions! Stirring the pot for a batch of old fashioned candy can really warm a body up!
- Reach out! There are many who are not so blessed. Finding a way to reach out to those in need will warm your heart and theirs. I just called our local homeless shelter and they are accepting donations of soup and baked goods, and are also in need of volunteers to wash bedding. What needs can you meet?