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Tips needed to keep warm and a moan!(35 Posts)
I can't afford to put my heating on for more than a few hours a week,usually for an hour or two before kids baths and showers just to take the edge off.I have a gas cooker too which is on for a few hours in evening so it all adds up,i have quite a big house with tiled/wooden floors which seems to make it colder,carpets always seemed warmer.A few years ago I didn't have to think about turning on the heating in the morning so we were all warm and as soon as were home the heating was on till bedtime,how times change!I feel terrible when the kids say they are freezing and have to put extra clothes on all apart from my 3 year old dd who says she is hot bless her, she don't understand,I go round in my dressing gown all evening to feel warm.I do have an open fire in sitting room which I usually can't afford to buy wood/coal for but dh bought some yesterday but car will do without petrol now but at least we can have a warm sitting room for a few days until it runs out.I know the recession has affected us all but going cold just sucks..I feel like a nag moaning that we can't afford to put it on,turn the lights off etc ,etc....how do people cope with this cold weather when money is tight
Christmas/Birthdays - hot water bottles with fluffy covers, slippers, pjs, dressing gowns, blankets (ds got one with Goeorge Pig other year), socks, jumpers etc.
Put all kids in one bedroom.
Do you have a river near you or live by the coast? Reason I say is my mum and dad pretty much only use their open fire in the winter. My dad goes and collects driftwood in the car and saws it up into logs suitable size to go on the fire. I dont think they have ever paid for wood. It means they can afford enough coal alongside the wood to run the fire. I think on average they have the fire running for around 12 hours a day. Sometimes ashes still warm in the morning.
Try thermal underwear / blanket or slanket (arms free) over you, when sitting down. It works and you can turn down/off the heating! My thermals have lasted for years!
Try thermal underwear / blanket or slanket (arms free) over you, when sitting down. It works and you can turn down/off the heating!
Do you have freecycle over there? you could get old furniture for free for the fire.
A colleague of mine used to loiter at her local tip to get stuff people were throwing away, one day she got a nearly new dyson as the lady had bought another vacuum. How the other half live. Never had the nerve to do it myself but she lived in a naice area and money was no object to the locals.
Thankyou lovely ladies for your fantastic tips,will check out those websites later when I have more time..thanks Ibpamela.
Got some hot water bottles,wearing bodywarmers and dh had the bright idea of chopping up some old cabinets we had in the outhouse for the fire!! so got some wood to keep the fire going for a little while..was very mild here today so the house actually feels comfortable so can't complain.
There is nothing for free here if I wanted to use the computers at the library then you have to pay!! and you only get an hour..
The tip with keeping warm is to keep your core warm - when I was in the same situation as you and couldn't afford to heat the house, I'd wear a bodywarmer - I had a down one that was just great, and for the kids I'd get extra layers on them from the inside out iyswim.
Also, doing star jumps and press ups and other exercisey things helped in the evenings
Gosh this makes me so cross, lots of multinationals are based in Ireland paying virtually no tax and you have to pay to see a doctor!
Few different sites have good ideas:
The section on draught proofing www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Insulation/Draught-proofing is particularly good. If you are going to heat one room make sure you have draft excluders around the doors they are really cheap to make and your kids might love decorating them. They can be made from any material so old towels, sheets etc and if you dont have anything to stuff them with newspaper works fine. Make sure windows which get the sun during the day have the curtains pulled right back to let it in to warm up and to make sure you get some sun or you will feel worse.
Have a flask next to the kettle so if you boil too much it isn't wasted and you can use it to wash up etc. Veg, fruit etc going out of date can be cooked and frozen for future use
Id highly recommend libraries and museums for the daytime, keeping warm and entertained. Libraries can also be good (if they haven't shut them all down) for entertainment ideas as well, reference books on activities etc.
Hope life gets easier for you and your family very soon x
Totally understand your situation, more than most..... try putting on heat for just 1 hr a day in the living room and kids bedrooms...be vigilant that the doors to these room as kept shut to retain heat. I am constantly reminding my kids of this...then tell them the opposite in summer! If you have a stove or open fire, then other posters suggestions of using free / foraged wood is great, get the kids involved at the weekend, it can be under the guise of a 'long walk in the woods'.
Otherwise, its hot water bottles all round and blankets...but don't scrimp on some heating at least as it really can make you miserable if you just can't warm up....if you are doing work yourself freelance, can you do that in a library with free wifi / internet access...the council are then technically paying for your heat.
Hats are great. I think you lose 20% of your body heat through your head.
Ps get a steamer... Then you can cook say fish or chicken over your spuds and also veg!!!
Gosh sounds bleak... I live in Italy so we dont as yet need the heating, but in terms of the recession i get where you are coming from. I was in the uk last week though and was amazed how life seems to be going on as normal there... The shops were full of people. Initially i was a little bit envious but after an hour i felt slightly sickened by the needless consumerism of it all.. Who really Needs a novelty santa candle??!!! The Italians are big savers and you would never see them part with very hard earned cash on such unnecessary tat!!! Anyway, heating... I grew up in n ireland in a house without heating and it didn't do me any harm. We only heated the kitchen/living area and then it was up to bed with sweatshirts, socks and water bottles. We all did our homework inside sleeping bags! . Running around outside helps too... Gets the metabolic rate up. Cut down on meat, and eat more pulses... They fill out soups and add protein and are surprisingly well received by children and cost nothing. Get outside as much as you can... It sounds like it is all getting on top of you-justifiably- but a good walk outside will always lift the spirits! And try to remember good things- you are all healthy and have a house and food, so you are still lucky, even if living in straitened circumstances. All the best.
MissNappy - I live in the UK, but I'm Irish and my family all live there so I am very aware of what is going on at the moment. I think people here in the UK assume that things are basically similar but the scale of everyday expenses for things like visiting the doctor, schoolbooks, and the high cost of everything in the shops means that day to day living costs are vast compared with the UK.
Themumsnot..Thanks,am indeed in Ireland! are you here too? your right times are tough here alot more expensive than the uk as you know and nothing is selling here therefore selling up is not an option as suggested by cog..I have a large modern new build house and we don't have a huge mortgage as thankfully had a big deposit ,love the house,love where we live its great for the kids living here but who hasn't the recession affected especially here.Nothing and I mean nothing is selling, I know of someone who has a similar house to mine and it was on the market for 2 years and kept being reduced and still couldn't sell, in the end they took it off the market as they couldn't afford to sell it if a buyer came along..Dh is thankfully working,I do a few hours which is more than alot of people have here so we are lucky,we never lived it up in the good times apart from not worrying about putting heating on from morning to night.As themumsnot seems to know there are more expenses here we have to pay 55euro to see a doctor and thats for adult or child,medincines are very expensive I just recently paid 45 quid for prescription medicines for one of the kids,dentists are very expensive have just had that expense too so this is why I have to cut back somewhere.There is bintax here and you pay to put your bins and bags for recycling out each week , all of this has to get paid and it does but as I said there is less income coming in at the moment as dh was out of work for a while and has took a drop in wages now just so he can work and provide.Looking for an evening job too but absolutely nothing doing,times are tough.. was just looking for a few keep warm tips and you all did that so thanks tips appreciated!
I intend to silicone seal all the gaps between floorboards and under the skirting boards when we buy a house.
The energy saving trust advise people to do so.
Maybe not the easy proposition but surely it has to be a consideration? If the OP's income is falling regularly short of what they need to have a good standard of living.... and heating your home in a N European winter and running a car are not luxuries .... and there is no chance to increase income, then they have to reduce costs. The most prudent thing to do may be to retrench, downsize, take a loss on the property short-term, significantly reduce overheads and then build back up from there when times get better.
Cog - if OP is in Ireland as I suspect, selling up is not an easy proposition at the moment.
The details the OP gives indicate she is living in Ireland. Things are very tough there at the moment.
OP, my suggestion is that you look at your windows as you will be losing a lot of heat from them. Secondary glazing film is cheap and will stop a lot of draughts. Also if you have draughty gappy floorboards, as I do, I put down this gapseal stuff after it was recommended on here a few years ago and it has made a massive difference in my living room (old floorboards with huge gaps and DH refuses to countenance a carpet or rug as he likes the look of the boards). Buy cheap fleece blankets and duvets for wrapping up in when sitting still (I wear a dressing-gown indoors all day).
And look on the money saving expert website, there are great tips on there for all sorts of stuff.
Bit radical, I suppose, but if you have a large house couldn't you sell up and downsize to something a bit smaller, more modern and better insulated? Seems like your outgoings and income are out of step on a fairly regular basis
I'd second everything that the other posters have said but I am curious that you say Aldi has become your friend but you're " not living in the uk" Can I ask where as there may be other things that are relevant ?
Sorry not been on here over weekend but thanks to everyone for the tips..still got some wood left for a couple more days so happy days! been leaving the oven door open so have a warmish kitchen for a while and a warm sitting room for a few hours..only feel it upstairs but extra layers help
We live in a crumbling droughty heap of a home. To stay warm I dress everyone in layers. I found many things at charity shop, but also maintain vigil for extremely cheap stuff at end of winter sales. Imperative to keep feet warm, always in extra thick socks or slippers. Just before bed, I slip hot water bottles in bed, as not to suffer that horrid cold sheet feeling. A warm bed also seems to help my little misses drop off to sleep. Tea pot always on, a cup or two always seems to dissipate cold (hot choc for Lo's) Soup is a major component of tea during winter, warms inside and outside..
Good luck, Op...I hope things improve for you..
Fleecy socks from Poundland. Very warm. Fleecy dressing gowns. Fleecy blankets. Generally lots of fleece!
Hot water bottles. Warming stews and hot puddings. Shop cheaper - if you buy Finest, drop to store's own. If you shop store's own, drop to value. Also Lidl and Aldi. Bulk buy when on offer.
Cheap duvets on the sofa for snuggling work here.
I use Asda smartprice 13.5 tog ones
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