South African Winter
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How to Save Money this Winter!

 Not only is winter coming … but actually winter is here! It has been getting particularly cold here in South Africa and besides the many price increases seen (such as petrol), it’s just generally more expensive in winter.

Why?

Well mainly because it costs money to get warm and keep dry!

So, we’ve compiled our favourite tips on how to keep warm this winter and still save money.

  1. Turn DOWN the heat

We know that it’s incredibly easy to keep the heat blasting throughout the day when it’s freezing cold outside. But think about how warm inside is really necessary? For example, in the summer seasons in South Africa, many people are happy to wear a dress or a t-shirt in just 22-degree weather.

So why during the winter all of a sudden are we trying to heat our room to 30 degrees plus? Keep the heat on, but keep it slightly turned down in terms of heat! This way you will still be heating up the space you’re in but using less energy at the same time.

Also, keep in mind that it’s easier to be warmer if you accompany your heater by wearing a nice thick pair of socks and layers to add in those few degrees of extra warmth you want inside.

In addition to turning down the heat, is only using your heater for a certain amount of time. We suggest turning on your heater an hour before people are in the room and then turning it off as soon as people are occupying the space. Using the on-off mentality to heating a room is great for saving energy and therefore, saving money.

  1. Keep the heat INSIDE

This might seem like a silly one, but leaving windows or doors open can let out a massive amount of heat. The more the air escapes the harder it is to heat a space where you are, and thus you will spend more and more of your money trying to keep a space warm. The simple solution is to merely keep things closed and be more strategic about where you decide to place your heater to heat a space.

For example, is your heater near an exit/ passageway, or can you position it more centrally?

Say for example you have a heater sitting right in the middle of the living area. This heater will therefore be close to people sitting on couches perhaps whilst watching tv. This placement is far more effective than placing it next to a passageway, or against a wall which is likely to not reach the full space evenly and unfortunately naturally lends itself to losing heat.

Another side to this coin is considering how much insulation you have in your home. While we can appreciate that having curtains and carpets in the summer might be completely out of consideration as it may trap heat in, these two furniture items are completely underrated when it comes to keeping the warmth in.

Draw your curtains closed when it's dark to keep the warmth in and try to instal carpets in the bedrooms where they are easy to manage.

  1. Turn off the lights

In the winter it gets darker sooner, we get it. But remember not every single light needs to be on the moment this happens. Try and become more conscious of where you and your family are situated and keep those relevant lights on whilst keeping the rest of the house unlit for the time being (unless Eskom is turning out your lights for you).

Remember that a little hack could involve switching out your ordinary lightbulbs for LED light bulbs. Whilst this may initially be a cost to the home which you may not deem necessary, over time you will notice and appreciate the effects of having low-energy consuming bulbs. It’s great for your pocket and the environment, a real win-win.  

  1. Cook those hearty winter favourites in bulk 

The cold and wet weather often calls for those tried and tested hearty warm meals. Usually, big pots of soup and stews are all one feels like to keep the warmth in and keep the goodness in! This weather is in fact perfect for cooking in bulk! This is great in terms of saving money as you can prepare food all in one go which can last you a few days and this will certainly save you money from those frequent trips to the shops.

What’s more, you can bulk up your food to stretch it a little further with those classic vegetables which are all in season and very reasonable. This includes carrots and potatoes, and even rice to serve with your meals, which is not only delicious but also truly satisfying for those stormy and cold days.

  1. Avoid using the tumble-dryer!

Lastly, this tip is quick and easy but as you may know the tumble dryer absolutely motors through electricity units. And of course, during the winter, it is used far more than usual. Laundry can take forever to dry during the winter because of the cold and damp conditions, but we highly encourage you to be creative to avoid using the tumble dryer.

For example, when your laundry finishes put it on an extra spin cycle in the washing machine to try and drain out any excess water trapped in your clothes. This can reduce the amount of time it will need to dry properly outside of the machine (and in turn result in you avoiding the temptation of the tumble dryer).

 Another idea is hanging your clothing up where it might dry faster. If you have a standing geyser, this often gives off heat throughout its area and hanging little hooks in your geyser cupboard can be a great life hack for hanging damp towels over to dry quickly.

There you have it, we are always #lookingoutforyou. But more importantly, we are all about living your life and enjoying it! Including staying warm on those icy winter days in South Africa and saving money at the same time.