Tag Archives: cold

Wallet Versus Winter

Winter is here.  Full-blown freezing cold and snow.  And while you may not realize it, there are some things you can do to help keep your seasonal costs down.

If you are paying for your own heat, turning the thermostat down a few degrees can save you a LOT of money.  But it may lead to you feeling cold in your home.  There are a few easy things you can do to combat this, however.  If you feel cold air coming in around your windows, it’s easy to cover the windows with plastic.  You can pick up inexpensive kits at any hardware or big box store that give you what you need to put double-sided tape around the windows, cover it with plastic, and use a hair dryer to stretch it tight.  It’s amazing the difference this will make in how much cold air sneaks in!  And if you’re still feeling chilly, the quick and easy answer is to add more clothing.  Long underwear goes a long way this time of year.  Turtlenecks and scarves can keep you toasty.  Wool socks are awesome on the feet (and there’s no shame in doubling up on these when it’s really cold out!).  And for the ladies, fleece tights are a game changer if you like to wear skirts.  I’ve often been heard saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather—only bad clothing.”  I stand by that statement.

So you are now warm in your home…but you still have to leave the house.  There are things you should know about how to care for your automobile when the temperature has dropped beyond belief.  Those stories you’ve heard about how you shouldn’t let your gas tank get below ¼ of a tank?  That’s really true when it’s cold.  Condensation in the gas tank can freeze and cause you some real grief if your tank is too empty.  It’s definitely cheaper to keep your tank closer to full than to repair the car.  And while you are taking care of the gas, it’s best to make sure you keep your washer fluid topped off, too.  Winter roads can be sloppy and salty and you want to make sure you have some anti-freeze washer fluid available if you need to clear the windshield.  Driving around looking through a salt-smeared view isn’t safe for you or the drivers around you.  And finally, it’s a good idea to check your tire pressure.  Air expands with heat.  Likewise it contracts with cold.  If the last time you checked your pressure was at the start of fall semester, it’s likely that they are a lot less full now than they were then.  And you could be causing undue wear on your tires because of it.  Your local Sheetz has an awesome digital air pump available for free.  Better to pump them up than to need new shoes for the car sooner than you’d like.

I could go on and on (winter being my favorite season), but I think you get the idea.  Be aware that life is a bit different in the winter and will demand different things of you.  But if you are prepared, you can safely and warmly enjoy our winter wonderland!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Winter has a firm grip on Central Pennsylvania.  It’s been snowing.  It’s been cold.  Brutally cold.  So how does one stay warm when it’s so very cold outside?  The easy answer is to turn up the heat a bit more.  But that’s not the smart answer.  The smart answer is in your closet.  The right clothing is the key to staying warm.

These are the things that I find important all winter long:

  • Long underwear.  Extra layers keep the core, arms, and legs extra warm both when you are inside and when you are outside.  I know…long johns aren’t stylish or cool.  But they sure do keep me warmer!!
  • Wool socks.  On the coldest days, wool socks make all the difference.  If my feet are warm, the rest of me is warmer.  I have several pair in assorted thicknesses.  The thin ones are great with ankle boots and pants at work.  The super thick ones are great under my snow boots when I’m going to be outside.
  • Snow boots.  Keeping the feet dry is the key to keeping them warm.  It’s a pain in the neck to wear my boots and carry my every day shoes around in a bag.  But warm, dry feet are worth the extra effort.
  • Hat and gloves.  Heat escapes quickly through uncovered extremities when you’re outside.  Covering the head (and ears) and hands will keep you much warmer than you would expect.
  • Scarf.  I wear turtlenecks most of the winter, but a warm scarf is about more than just keeping your neck warm.  When it’s extra cold outside, covering as much of your face as possible will add an extra layer of protection against the wind and cold.
  • Warm coat.  For the obvious reasons.
  • For the ladies:  fleece tights.  I just discovered these this year.  And after years of avoiding skirts for the winter months in favor of pants and long underwear, fleece tights have reopened the skirt option to me.  I find them just as warm as my long johns.
  • Blankets.  I keep them in my living room.  I keep one in my office.  If ever there comes a time that I feel a chill, adding a blanket helps to warm me up.

It has been a colder than normal winter.  But the right clothing makes it easy to handle.