Category Archives: sustainability

How to Save Money on your Heating Bill

As the nights get colder and the days get shorter it’s tempting to fire up the heating. The only problem is it can become extremely expensive. New research from prepaid MasterCard company icount.co.uk shows that over 300,000 people in the UK report having used a credit card to pay for their utility bills.

But don’t worry, we’ve spoken to the budgeting experts over at icount and asked them to share some of the best ways you can maximise your heating, without having to turn the dial every evening.

Make sure you seal your windows

Windows should be latched. If the outside temperature is higher than the inside temperature during the day, then keep them open when you are in the house. You may want to invest in some removable window caulk, or better yet some plastic to seal them. At the very least, use a towel or another material to cover any noticeable gaps

Hang thick, lined curtains

If you are debating whether to get blinds or curtains this winter, opt for the curtains. This will help block heavy drafts more efficiently. Open them when the sun is shining and draw them when it starts to go dark and the temperature drops

Seal your doors and windows thoroughly

Check all of your doors and windows for draughts, as well as your door frames. If you do discover a draught coming through any gaps, there are inexpensive solutions such as draught excluders or a door sweep. Again, if these aren’t an option, then perhaps consider blocking the gaps with a towel or another material.

Let it Shine

Despite sub-zero temperature outside, sun rays will still add some heat to your home. This is absolutely free of charge, so make good use of them. Open up your curtains during the day and trim any tree branches or things that may block out the sunlight.

Lock down any unused rooms.

A closed door can act as another barrier between you and the chilly outdoors. It also prevents the air from circulating around the house, which reduces heat loss.

Rugs, Carpets and Soft Furnishings

Laying down a couple of rugs is a cost effective and long lasting way to prevent heat loss through the floor, especially if you have laminate or wood flooring.  If you hate the feeling of a cold wood floor in the morning, this will offer a more pleasant surface to walk on.

Candles

Candles are another fantastic way to help keep your home warm at a minimal cost. Just be careful where you place them and obviously don’t leave them unattended. Just head to any local supermarket and pick up a packet for a small cost.

Use incandescent light bulbs.

The beauty of incandescent light bulbs are that they release up to 95% of its energy as heat, only sacrificing a small bit of light in the process. This makes it an extremely efficient heat source if you are looking to cut back on bills.

Dress for the Weather

There is a widespread belief that people lose most of their body heat from their head. Although your face certainly feels the cold weather the most, heat escapes from all over your body. A nice woolly hat, a thick dressing gown, or even a onesie are good friends in times like this.

Warm Drinks

A nice hot drink will not only increase the body temperature but will also help you relax. If you have flask handy, boil up as much water as the flask needs so you don’t have to keep using more energy

Electric blanket

These handy devices will keep you warm during cold evenings as you sleep, whilst at the same time proving a lot more economical than an expensive boiler.

Manage your money

These above tips can be very useful for a short term emergency, such as a blackout or trying to cut back on costs a little. But never leave yourself in the cold!

Building a Green Building: Key Principles

These days, a lot of people are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of having an energy efficient home and this is why they employ the services of a reputable energy consulting firm to help them design a home that is sustainable and eco-friendly. What is an Energy Efficient Home? An energy efficient home often… Continue Reading

Homemade Hard Apple Cider

Homemade Hard Apple Cider

Note: This article was originally written in early 2012, and I’ve done quite a bit of cider making since then and have learned a lot. I’ve updated this post to reflect that, as well as added a few recipes I’ve tried or developed on my own. Since my wife and I have officially begun our journey to FI,… Continue Reading

Homemade Natural Baby Wipes

When we first found out my wife was pregnant, we started looking into ways to lower the cost of raising children, because according to some the cost of raising children from birth to age 18 is above a quarter million dollars. I could not believe that then (and still don’t), but we both started looking… Continue Reading

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

Rebecca blogs at Stapler Confessions about her journey paying off $200,000 in student loans by living frugally and snagging free batteries. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to find out about great deals.   Have you ever used foaming hand soap? I love them because they feel a little luxurious. My son loves them because he has instant suds, which he… Continue Reading

Homemade Dryer Sheets

Homemade Dryer Sheets

Earlier this week, I sent out an email to the list and talked about what I was going to start the year off here at SLB. I got some difficult personal stuff out of the way early, but I promised them that I would fill out a few of my most popular posts. If you’re… Continue Reading