Money saving tips for (a Scottish) winter!

It’s the time of year where I have to choose between heat and meat (meat’s expensive here, for those of you who are unaware.) So I took to the internet and the depths of my common sense to come up with some money saving tips. Seeing as some of you are spending winter in different places I figured that some of these might help you stay warm and in the black. 

  1. Blankets are wonderful. If you sleep with one underneath your duvet it keeps you a lot warmer, so there is no need to have the heating on at night.
  2. I’m also a fan of the old school hot water bottle, though I usually put it in my bed before the whole bed time routine, to let it heat up. 
  3. If you have a odd glove lying around, or a depleted scarf or something similar don’t throw it out. Cut and shape it into a sort of insole shape, tuck it in your shoe and wham, cheap insulation for your feet on early morning frost walks.
  4. Another tip I found on the internet, though I have not tried out as it doesn’t seem appealing to me is to put plastic bags around your socks for if the weather is very wet, as it keeps your feet/socks dry. I just don’t think I could be bothered.
  5. With winter, for me, comes exams. Perfect excuse to hit up the library for a study session and save money on the heating bill! Sitting down for long periods of time allows your body to cool, so it’s important to keep warm while studying.
  6. And at the mention of exams… For those of you who suffer Reynold’s, or are just sensitive souls like me, a handwarmer is the way to go, to stop your hand from freezing up during an essay. However, I think you can make them for next to nothing at home. Take an odd sock or small bag (like one you might get when you buy knock-of specs… ahem…) and fill it with rice. Put it in the microwave for about a minute and a half, depending on your microwave, then pop it in your pocket. Hand warmer.
  7. Invest in an electric heater. Cheap ones cost about £17/$27. Leave it near to your bed for a quick 20 minute blast of heat in the morning to coax you out of bed. I find that my electricity bill is almost always cheaper than the gas, so this way saves you a little bit of cash to celebrate when exams are over.
  8. Hit up charity shops for cosy jumpers. I myself do this at all times of the year…
  9. Eat. It sounds stupid but you do need to eat more in the winter. If you’re worried about weight I recommend porridge, which costs about 60p for 2kgs. Add lots of dried fruit and a bit of honey so sweeten it up. Or salt, if you’re over 50, because that’s a thing in Scotland. I also recommend a winter fruit compote which my mother makes. I’m not going to give you her recipe because one day I will make my millions off of it, but the BBC have a good, cheap version of it.
  10. Keep soups and canned goods in the cupboards and some frozen veg/meat in the freezer. Sometimes it’s too cold to go out and it’s nice to have emergency supplies.
  11. If you live in a flat you can put drinks in a plastic bag and hang them out the window to keep warm if you’re having a party! More room in the fridge for food.
  12. If you’re asthmatic/under or over a certain age/working in the health care profession, you are entitled to a free flu vaccine (in Scotland anyways).  Check your local GP of free clinic to see if anything like that applies to you in your area, as skipping out on the flu can save a lot of money in medicine.
  13. Speaking of medicine, a hot toddy will cure most things from a cold or sore throat to a broken heart. Or so I’m told, I’m not much of a whiskey fan myself. On the same vein, ladies, you can use gin as a mascara thinner if you run out of make up wipes. ho ho ho…
  14. Those those of you who celebrate Christmas, set up a secret santa with friends or colleges and stick to a budget. Alternatively try and make a “homemade pact”, where you give each other gifts you’ve made yourself. You’d be surprised at the nice things you can make at home, like bath bombs, some lovely felt gifts, food, or, if you can, knit something! It means a lot more, and isn’t that time consuming.
  15. If you have a radiator, try not to put sofas/desks in front of it. They really hinder the circulation, and while it might be nice to have cosy feet while you’re working, leaving that little spot seems much colder. You’ll use the same energy to heat up less space, which is just wasteful. 
  16. If you have the heating on, keep doors shut and turn off the radiators in rooms that are not in use. Every little helps!
  17. If you have a car, spray the wind shield with anti-freeze at night, then in the morning you won’t need to chisel ice off as much.
  18. In your car keep anti-freeze, a de-icing tool, a blanket, a first aid kit and a paper copy of ICEs (in case of emergency numbers) and your insurance people. Keep a couple of cereal bars and a big bottle of water wrapped in the blanket (make sure the lid is on tight) and a shovel in the boot (trunk). Winter is a dangerous time on the roads and you never know how long you might have to stay in a place. 
  19. Invest in a flask. Mine isn’t great so it also acts as a heating pad in the library. Most places don’t charge (or charge very little) for hot water, so bring some herbal teas and your own flask to the library. You even get a discount in some Starbucks with your own flask.
  20. Finally, make hay while the sun shines. Or make snowmen while it snows out. Make the most of winter by checking out free activities in your area, or taking a cold walk through the park to take some snaps during Golden Hour (which is now like 3 hours long and pretty early). Make snow men, go ice skating (not on ponds though, too dangerous) and wrap up warm!

I realise that Scotland isn’t the coldest place in the world, and those of you in North America/Canada and Russian are probably scoffing, but most of these will get you through a rough winter in Scotland. We’re entitled to moan because our winter usually lasts until April, and then we just get rain. 

If you have any other tips let me know!Image

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Author: Kirsty

24, severe wanderlust

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