We can make sure our tires are fully inflated, reducing gas consumption by 2 percent.
We can slow down to 65 miles per hour, reducing highway gas consumption by 15 percent
We can trade our SUV's in for fuel-efficient cars. It's patriotic too, because it makes us less dependent on foreign oil.
Get a programable thermostat. Set different temperatures for different times of the day, when not home, when home and awake, home but asleep, etc....
Caulk around windows, doors, etc.
Get out and hang the storm windows.
Clean the chimney, so you can use the fireplace. But remember to keep the thermostat low, and don't go for a blazing fire; you get more heat from a pile of glowing embers than from leaping flames.
Use fans to circulate the warm air.
A little simmering potpourri will raise the humidity, making you feel warmer.
Dig out those nifty Christmas sweaters and wear them. If you have bunny slippers, this it the time to use them -- with socks.
Wear double socks outside, perhaps even double pants. You won't feel as frozen when you come back in, so you won't be tempted to turn up the thermostat.
Serve some hot cocoa or mulled cider. Or just put any juice in a crockpot for a warm welcome when you get home. How about coming home to a hearty beef stew?
Schedule your holiday baking for a time when the family will be home to enjoy the heat, and when you are done, open the oven door and set a pan of water in there.
If you are one of those who can't get by without your dishwasher, open after the wash cycle and let the steam spread tendrils of comfort through the house.
Use candles or a small-wattage lamp rather then whole-room lighting. For maximum effect, put a mirror or other reflective surface under or behind the candle(s). This won't work for reading or other close work, it may not be satisfactory for dining, but it is good enough for some purposes. I find a candle by the mirror is enough for the bathroom most of the time.
In the living room, I sometimes put candles on the mantel, and a piece of cardboard wrapped in foil under them, with assorted small mirrors behind. With a few shiny glass baubles, it looks very festive.
Search your yard first for decorative stuff. Used imaginatively, it may save a trip to the store.
Make reusable gift bags from festive fabric. Or, wrap gifts in newspaper, brown grocery bags, etc, and tie on some natural trims.
Rediscover the benefits of door draperies. Hang a blanket over a doorway that is drafty.
Pile some warm blankets and throw by the sofa. Snuggle under the blankets with your loved ones.
Wear thermal underwear with your warmest flannel gown or pj's. Put the kids in footie pajamas. If their toes are poking out the ends, cut off the feet and sew thick socks on for new footies.
Depending on your sex, grow a beard. Ladies, remember that beards are sexy, not sneaky.
When you go outside, wear a hat. Wear boots or water-proof shoes -- damp feet or a bare head will chill you. Then you'll want to turn up the heat to thaw.
When you come home all frosty and chilled, take a warm bath or shower to thaw. Not that cold? Wash you hands in very warm water, and rub in some hand lotion. Prevents chapping and you will feel warmer quickly.
Rather than a chilly disposable wipe, clean baby's bottom with a warm wash cloth.
Breast-feed. It saves on sterilizing bottles, warming them, and refrigerating them until time to use.
Wear your baby. Put your warm bundle of joy in a front carrier, and then button an oversized cardigan around the both of you. Since you took my advice and went with breastfeeding, he smells like eggnog minus the spices. VERY cozy.
Keep a hat on that baby. I mean it. Bald heads lose a LOT Of heat if you don't cover them.
Speaking of bald heads, give Gramps a cheery knit hat, a night cap, and anything else you think he might use.
Don't let the water run while brushing teeth or shaving.
Match the stove burner and/or height of flame to the pan or pot -- no need to heat the air around it!
Always put lids on pots in which you are bringing water to a boil, it will come to a boil considerably faster if covered.
When you buy a large package of hamburger meat and divide it into meal-size packages to freeze, make your smaller packages as thin and flat as possible. They will freeze faster, and they will thaw faster, too! And if you still wind up trying to brown a package of hamburger that is still frozen, imagine how much faster it will cook with a thin, flat pound of meat, rather than a big fat chunk!
- Becki in Indiana
Please don't use real candles if you have cats or little kids. The battery candles are good for homes with animals. Placed in front of a mirror they can light a whole room. They use small wattage bulbs and in front of a mirror are very effective. The C7 & night light bulbs work in them too, as do those neat looking flame bulbs.We use them during power failures. Clean battery contacts with an emery board when power starts to fade, it saves lots of money and the environment.
Make or buy sweaters for little pets too.They look adorable and stay toasty too. If you don't mind it let them sleep with you. Their furry little bods are cuddly and warm.
I also hang quilts in the windows that don't have heavy drapes.
- Linne Dodds
Use a timer on your hot-water heater. This will stop the heater from kicking on in the middle of the night. I have mine set to shut off at 10PM and turn back on at 6AM. This has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years.
I do not dry my thick winter socks in the dryer. I hang them on a drying rack. They are the last things to dry when in a dryer, sometimes needing an extra cycle just for themselves. By hanging them they are fully dry the next morning sometimes that night. I have really noticed a big difference in the way the dryer now works, much better.
Mrs Kathy Cohen
I nearly forgot ! After you brew your morning coffee - pour it into a thermos or carafe' - I like Aluminum ones the best best but whatever you have - then turn the coffee pot off until the next pot !
This will also save steps thru the day if you spend alot of time at the pc like me !
Make winter window coverings out of fleece fabric. This is excellent at blocking cold drafts and inexpensive as well.
This suggestion is not always possible, but if you can, do most of your baking/oven use in the winter. Also, when you have turned the oven off, keep the door open slightly and use the remaining heat to warm your home, until the oven cools completely. Be careful if small children are around.
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