This time of year is full of magic and wonder. The colors of nature are changing, emulating fireworks. It’s the perfect weather to cozy up indoors for a lazy movie day. Or layer up and take a walk basking in the sun and deeply breathing in the crisp air. Not to mention the upcoming feasts and family gatherings. With fall upon us and winter around the corner, the cost of things like utility and grocery bills are bound to rise. Here are 35 winter hacks that are bound to save time and money.
Winter Hacks for Social Gatherings
1. Homemade gifts
The Holidays are a busy time of year with work parties and family get-togethers. However, they can be a joyous time full of love and laughter. They can also become stressful and expensive. One example of money-saving winter hacks is to do homemade gifts and meals or baking. Although it can become time-consuming, these options will likely be much cheaper than buying everything. Furthermore, they have an added layer of genuine and heartfelt sentiment lacking in store-bought goods and products.
2. Keep Gatherings intimate
By limiting the number of guests in attendance, you’ll also be able to limit the number of times the door opens, keeping in as much heat as possible.
3. Boil water with spices
Boiling water with mulled or pumpkin spices makes for a tasty holiday beverage and is both affordable and makes the house smell amazing.
4. More Winter Hacks: A DIY Air freshener
Similarly to boiled water with spices, a DIY air freshener will also keep the holiday spirit alive as guests can breathe in the aroma of fall and winter scents like peppermint, cinnamon, orange, or clove oil, mix and match to create your favorite scents or give this lovely concoction a try: Take four drops of cedarwood, frankincense, and balsam, and add it to witch hazel, fractionated coconut oil, and water.
Add preferred essential oils to a spray bottle with water. Additionally, rubbing alcohol can be used as an alternative to witch hazel.
5. Secondhand or Day After Sales
Although waiting until after the holidays to buy decorations is a bit of a bummer, it’s also a great way to save money on adorable decorations that can be saved and used in the following years. Alternatively, buying second-hand decorations is another one of the money-saving winter hacks on this list.
6. Use a Razor to Save Sweaters.
As temperatures drop, layers of clothing are added to everyday attire. Often in the form of sweaters that eventually start to pill. However, using a razor to “cut off” the pilling is a winter hack that will keep your wardrobe looking fresher for longer. Lay the fabric out flat and pull it tight where you’re shaving. This can be done with a disposable razor, a cheaper alternative to a traditional fabric shaver.
7. Fix Shrunken Sweaters
On occasion, things end up in the dryer that shouldn’t. For example, holiday sweaters easily shrink and have special laundering instructions. Therefore, when out in the dryer, they have been known to shrink. However, by simply soaking shrunken sweaters in a sink full of water mixed with a capful of baby shampoo for half an hour, they’ll return back to an ideal size. After the sweater has soaked, remove it from the sink and lay it on a flat surface then stretch it a bit and let it fully dry.
8. Leggings or something Similar.
Although it’s common to layer up sweaters and scarves and vests, less people think of winter hacks to stay cozy like doubling up pants as well. Wear leggings, tights, or yoga pants under your pants for an added layer of protection from the cold.
Alternatively, fleece or Sherpa lined pants work well but can become costly.
9. Winter Hacks Like Homemade Insoles
Although cozy socks are a popular stock stuffed, they may not always do the job. In this case, cutting out pieces of wool or fleece insoles are a great DIY option for keeping feet extra cozy in even the coldest of weather.
10. Dry wet Shoes with Newspaper
Either from becoming rain or snow-soaked, or overheating from all the layers, it’s not uncommon for shoes to get wet during this time of year. On the other hand, wet shoes often become incredibly smelly and need to be aired out. I’m addition to all the other useful purposes of Newspaper, it can be stuffed in shoes and set underneath to help soak up moisture and create a cheap shoe mat so mud and water doesn’t get trampled through the house.
11. Dry wet shoes with tea bags
While teabags can’t be used for a shoe mat, they do a wonderful job absorbing moisture and freshening shoes.
12. Vick’s in the Shower
The extreme and rapid change of temperature, as well as cold and flu season, means that people are more commonly congested than any other time of year. A great example of a winter hacks is to use Vick’s VapoRub in the shower. It by itself can help relieve congestion, and the steam from the shower can do the same. Therefore, Vick’s in the shower is ideal because it combines the powers of both methods.
Winter Hacks to Save Money Around the House
13. Use a power-conscious power strip.
With people visiting, there is likely a greater need for the use of more outlets. Charging phones, using more kitchen gadgets to create fancier meals, and so on. By plugging into a power strip that allows you to turn it on and off anytime, it ensures no wasted power while you’re out—furthermore, ensuring that there’s a spot for everyone’s phone without disrupting meal prep.
14. Winter Hacks like Changing Air Filters
Changing the air filters in homes and humidifiers are a great way to both refresh the air, ensuring it’s much cleaner, and save anywhere from 5-15% on monthly heating bills.
Read: 50 Easy Home Hacks That Will Instantly Improve Your Life
15. Shovel Snow Manually
Although shoveling snow manually takes a bit of extra time and work, it will save money on the cost of running electric or gas powered snow blazers. Moreover, the physical exertion with both keep you warm, lowering your thermostat by a few degrees, as well as help you stay fit despite all the delicious and big meals that will be eaten in the coming months.
16. Shovel with Cooking Spray to Keep snow from sticking
If you decide to manually shovel the snow, spraying cooking spray on it beforehand is another example of handy winter hacks that are likely to make your life exponentially easier.
17. Winter Hacks like Using Makeshift Insulation
For a cheap solution to help keep the heat inside, add a layer of bubble wrap to the inside of windows.
18. Quilts for Curtains
For a more stylish method of insulating the house, use old quilts, which’re notorious for helping keep in the heat. Create stylish ties to wrap around the quilts when it’s time to let in some light and unroll them at night to help save money.
19. Use a Clay Pot and Tea Lights for Cheap Heat
By placing a lit tea light candle under a clay pot, you can cheaply heat up areas of your home without having to heat the whole house. The clay has a high thermal mass so it absorbs heat easily and slowly releases it making it last much longer. You can even get creative and make it decorative, adding a cozy and unique feel to your home.
20. Winter Hacks like Stocking up on Candles
Candles can help bring in a little extra heat, freshen up the house, and are great to have on hand in case the power goes out. Additionally, to avoid crisis if the power goes out it’s a good idea to have an emergency supply of batteries as well as torches, flashlights, and battery charger packs.
hen the food has been cooked and the oven is nice and warm, leaving the door cracked to let the heat out, will ultimately help to heat the house. Keeping costs down and allow you to recycle some heat.
21. Wifi or Smart Thermostat
Although not necessarily money saving upfront, over time an automatic thermostat or one that uses apps or other programmable features can keep temperatures consistent so the power won’t fluctuate as noticeably, helping to lower learning bills. Or at least prevent them from skyrocketing.
22. Close Unused Doors
Closing doors to rooms not in use is another option for money-saving winter hacks because the heat from other parts of the house will stay contained in areas with heavier traffic.
23. Winter Hacks like Upgrading Appliances
Although this can become costly upfront, upgrading appliances to “Energy Star” appliances will cut monthly expenses on utilities and help save money in the long run.
24. Seek Incentives for Said Upgrades
Many energy companies offer rebates when you install Energy Star appliances, so check with your local power company to find out if you can get your money back.
Winter Hacks for the Outdoors
25. Hand Sanitizer to Unfreeze Locks
Hand sanitizer is common, particularly in the last few years. Not only does it sanitize, but it also can serve another purpose, both shocking and useful. The chemicals in hand sanitizer help to defrost locks in just a matter of a few minutes.
26. Warm Keys with a Lighter
Another common item people may have on them at any given time is a lighter. Run the lighter along your key for a few seconds to warm it. This will help warm keys and defrost locks more quickly, also saving time.
27. Wrap Side Mirrors in Plastic
This will help prevent side mirrors from becoming caked in snow, making it easier to leave for work in the morning.
Winter Hacks for Avoiding Injury
28. Fill Gas Tank
People often shy away from facing disasters if possible, but being prepared is a sure way to stay safe this winter. For example, always having at least half a gas tank can keep you from freezing in case you need to pull off the road due to hazardous winter conditions.
29. Keep an Emergency Kit
In general, it’s a good idea to keep a kit with water, snacks, first aid, a blanket, and maybe a deck of cards in the car in case of unforeseen emergencies. However, it’s arguably more important to have it in the winter.
30. Winter Hacks like Anti Slip Driveways
Winter is incredibly dangerous as things are much more slippery. A good way to combat slipping hazards is to treat your driveways and walkways ahead of time. Options include Resin-bound gravel or slip-resistant grit and coating.
31. Avoid coffee before shoveling
If you manually shovel the snow on your driveway or walkway, remember not to drink coffee beforehand. This increases your chances of a heart attack, which, according to the National Safety Council, has played a major role in causing injuries or death while shoveling snow.
32. Coffee grounds as a de-icer
After shoveling the snow, a great DIY option for de-icing the driveway or walkway is to use coffee grounds. They have a natural acidity level that makes them ideal to use in place of salt.
33. Snow Proof Bicycle Tires
During these months, when people spend more time indoors, staying active is important to keep off the holiday pounds. A great way to do so is to ride your bike to work or school. However, that can be incredibly dangerous in the snow. Luckily, one of the more important winter hacks is to “snow proof” bike tires. This can easily be done with the help of zip ties. Fit the zip ties to the tires, every few inches. This will help prevent sliding while riding.
34. Lastly, keep a grill nearby.
What is generally a fun summertime activity may become a necessity. In a pinch, a grill can be astonishingly handy in the winter. When used safely, they can create a source of heat as well as save the day if the power goes out at dinner time.
These and other winter hacks can help save money, prevent injuries, and make the holidays more fun and festive for the whole family!
Keep Reading: Winterizing Your Car: 6 Places To Lubricate Before the Temperature Drops
- “Easy Winterizing Hacks To Save You Money (Even If You’re Renting).” Forbes
- “49 cold weather hacks to keep you warm and save you money.” Clark. Charis Brown. March 22, 2017.
- “Winter Hacks To Save You Time And Money.” Investing Magazine. Kate Prince. September 29, 2023.
- “20 Excellent Ways to Spend Less Money During the Winter.” Life Hack. Kaitlin Stack. December 24, 2014.