For those who can't afford to use central heating this year - How are you going to cope?

(509 Posts)
mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:06:51

We have 2 dd's - 3yo and 20mo and already owe money to our suppliers. We are going to have to be careful with not using the heating too much but our house is feeling cold already!

We have bought thermal vests, fleece pjs, fleece tops and extra duvets.

What else can we do?

TBH Im dreading it. By the 3rd week of every month we are skint at the moment.

amistillscary Tue 18-Oct-11 20:31:16

Get/knit wrist warmers and scarves to wear indoors. They make a huge difference to how warm you feel to cover up any areas of exposed skin.

Wrist warmers can be made from the sleeves of old sweaters.

Use Fleece Blankets safety pinned to the back of curtains to increase their insulating properties. You could also make door curtains from cheap fleece blankets for you external doors. I'm making some for indoors as my house is very open plan-we're going to have to hang curtains in the open doorways this winter.

Don't have the heating on through the night. Turn it off half an hour before you go to bed, as the radiators will stay warm. If cold in bed, use an old duvet as a 'mattress topper', as well as putting extra layers on the bed. Wear socks in bed also.

Fourthdimensionallizard Tue 18-Oct-11 20:31:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smokinaces Tue 18-Oct-11 20:32:41

And we found the heating here isnt a huge gas guzzler - but the hot water is! I dont have a combi boiler, so the water needs heating up in advance. We dont have it on timer, I put it on for 30 minutes before we have a shower, and that does the boys bath that night as well. I only shower every other day, and the boys bathe the same, every other night. That has saved us a fortune in gas.

sarahtigh Tue 18-Oct-11 20:36:19

line your curtians even if it cotton rather than fleece as it will still trap a layer of air betwen the 2 fabrics, lining should be about 10cm shorter than curtain , to not attach bottom edge just other 3 edges so still hang nice and if washed the fabric does not go out of shape

make sure yuo wear tight fitting long slleved legs when fitting loft insulation as otherwise may get hundreds of tiny cuts from fibre particles

remeber you will be warmer wearing vest shirt and jumper than just a big thicker jumper layers keep you warmer, hot water bottles 20 minutes before bed really warm a bed put in feet position

it might seem silly when cold but when sun is shining open a window for some fresh air and to stop damp especially in bathroom

when finished cooking dinner if children not around leave oven door open for heat to escape into kitchen could put clothes horse in friont of oven so any escaping heat dries clothes

I have dressing gowns ready for when we get in, they go OVER what we are wearing. basically the dressing gowns are indoor coats.
Radfleks(foil radiator thingys) for when i do switch it on (planning to hold out til nov) hopefully itll go a bit further.
In the morning we start with exercise- whilst breakfast is cooking we do 5 dances (my toddler and me, not my dh and mewink)
I try to spend between 1 and 4 out of the house at least and one whole day elsewhere (on rainy days this involves visiting numerous friends family, stealing their heatblush)
I try not to open curtains if i can because i swear double glazing or not there is some marginal warmth kept in by keeping them shut.
When sat on sofa a cushion on your lap will add warmth. keep throws in the living room for wrapping when sitting.
I have draft excluders everywhere. I shut all doors always to keep the heat in. I turn off the radiators upstairs if its really cold so that we can keep it on for double the time(half the radiators you see) but then we all stay in the one room and then wrap up warm in our blankets in bed in a cold room.
Try to keep everyone in one room, jut makes it warmer.
Oh and i sew the bed throw to the duvet so that it cant slip off in the night. (unstitch it then during the summer)
If I cook with the oven, after I have finished I leave the oven door open so that the remaining heat spreads through the house a bit.
If desperate kids LOVE a race up and down the stairs.
Needless to say this is not the first year that we have been too poor to turn on the heatingsad

ivykaty44 Tue 18-Oct-11 20:37:27

duvet sarnies here - a duvet at the bottom and another duvet over the top, as this stops all your body heat going into the mattress.

We shut the door of the lounge and just heat that rooms and leave the rest of the house cold, then take hot water bottles to bed and lots of early nights. We do sometimes watch films in bed but mostly we read in bed as its warm. dd sometimes comes and gets in the double bed aand people heat is lovley grin

Think of how much healthier it is not to have CH grin and how much better your skin will be.

Slippers, dressing gowns, blankets in the lounge for snuggling under

JjandtheBeanlovesUnicorns Tue 18-Oct-11 20:38:17

Not much use in the day with los about but, candles. Me and dp bulk brought tea lights and would line 20-30 up on a glass surface protector and have it in the lounge, it really did warm the place up.

Wrt to bedrooms for dcs, fleece blankets shut in the window so its right against the glass, curtains shut and another blanket over that, vest, normal pjs then fleece on top sleeping on a duvet with a fleece and duvet on top. Thick socks over normal socks. Hot water bottles and if your feeling flush, tumble dry clothes briefly in the morning before dressing. And if you can all sleep in one room, or atleast put dcs in together.

Hope it isn't too bad for you, I've been there sad

Tianc Tue 18-Oct-11 20:39:31

Use 30º C washes where you can, on washing machine.

Water mains is usually around 12–15º C, so heating to 30º requires a rise of maybe 15º but heating to 40º requires a rise of 25º (66% more power).

Grockle Tue 18-Oct-11 20:39:42

We rely on blankets, hot water bottles, those heated bag things you pop in the microwave and I have an electric blanket for very cold nights. No heating needed overnight for us.

I think we'll adjust our hot water timer too - it seems to be on too often and we have an electric shower so don't need hot water so often.

TooImmature2BDumbledore Tue 18-Oct-11 20:40:34

Agree with getting out and using public sources of heat. Two years ago when living in freezing damp house I used to actually love going to work because it was warm!

Grockle Tue 18-Oct-11 20:43:46

Yes to going out. And leave the oven open when you've turned it off to let the heat warm up the kitchen. We close doors to rooms as much as possible and only use front room/ kitchen plus bedrooms.

whatsallthehullaballoo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:50:39

I think this is one of the saddest threads I have read from an OP and other posters. We are not well off at the moment. But we afford our heating and electric. Reading some of the answers on here has made me realise how lucky we are.

I hope you all manage to feel as warm as possible this winter and the tips people have offered help xx

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:56:19

Thanks all! More great tips!

Tell me about radiator foils? I have seen these before but never thought about them until now. Going to get a thick curtain for the front door. We have double glazing but its not the best!

Daily walks is going to be a good one. Im thinking of opening all windows before we go then I can get some air in to help with the damp.

Im feeling much better about the cold already smile

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 20:57:33

Foil I will be off to B and Q this weekend!

Love the fleece curtain lining! Hadn't thought of it!

Pawsnclaws Tue 18-Oct-11 20:58:23

I feel the same what's. I remember being very cold as a child in winter, but ...... I was lucky that my mum and dad really made it into a bit of a game, so it never felt miserable smile.

mamasmissionimpossible Tue 18-Oct-11 20:59:25

We don't have double glazing here and it seems our CH is just disappearing out of the windows <sob>

I'm am taking notes from the advice here, thanks. Wish I had more to add. <racks brains>

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Oct-11 20:59:42

If you can't make ends meet on a consistent basis because you owe money have you talked to CAB about debt advice?

Check first that your supplier isnt offering them for free- thats how i got mine! they sent me two radfleks and a toilet widget thing ( although the poor man may have just given me them to get me off the phonesmile)

Tianc Tue 18-Oct-11 21:02:42

It's not conclusive that the foil is very effective, but it can be pretty cheap so maybe worth the gamble?

Pawsnclaws Tue 18-Oct-11 21:04:40

I know I said about hot drinks, but also it's very important to have hot food, even if it's just toast or porridge. Make up a big batch of vegetable soup. Keep hot drinks or boiled water in a flask so you don't have to keep boiling the kettle.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 18-Oct-11 21:05:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MurderBloodstabsandgore Tue 18-Oct-11 21:06:59

secondary glazing film can do 4 windows IIRC and really stopped condensation in our back bedroom smile

mama2moo Tue 18-Oct-11 21:07:39

We arent in debt, debt. IYSWIM. With Christmas coming up I have been trying to buy presents early and its left us short. But, we manage. We have been selling a lot of our excess crap stuff on Ebay and making money that way! Its amazing what people will buy! We have also started making massive chillis and bolagnaises and freezing it. The money we have saved is brilliant. Thats defo worth doing. Stews are another thing I will be making and freezing!

If needs be I guess we can all just sleep in the same bed.

Are feather duvets a lot warmer then the others?

rookery Tue 18-Oct-11 21:08:16

We all have a cheap fleecy ikea blanket each and wrap ourselves in that under our duvets - you warm up really quickly that way. And Smokinaces, I at this very moment have my dressing gown on over my clothes. We live in a (lovely) draughty old house and last year's bills were horrible. This year: planning on draught excluders (like the 'sausage dog' my nan had at every door). The kitchen warms up quite nicely with cooking so we stay in here as much as possible. My mum grew up without heating in the 1940s/50s and said she used to get dressed under the bedclothes. I might ask her for some more tips. Good luck with staying warm. smile

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