Every Day

The Wind Is Howling

I have been listening to the wind howling for hours. It is gusting at 45-55 miles per hour.  We have skipped autumn this year. Two weeks ago we were in the ’80’s and now it is winter. They even predicted some snow on the weather forecast last night. I am hoping they are wrong.

Our heat has been on since the day after our last 80’s day. I think that has been about 2 weeks. We were reviewing the past years electric and gas bills today and we have had a significant increase in the cost. Hubby says the yearly amount has jumped from October 2017 to October 2018 by $250. Most of the increase is a result of how hot our summer was which cost so much more in air conditioning. We are just under $2000. for that year time period. I realize rates have gone up also and now they are telling us that here in western NY, we can expect our winter heating costs to go up about 5% more. 

So all of this has me thinking about how you and I can save on our heating costs this winter. I am going to try to hold them down where I can.

We have a programmable thermostat. Hubby has it set for the heat to go down to 65 at night and then back up to 71 in the morning. Hubby gets cold easily so we can’t lower it anymore. This makes it easy because it does it automatically. If you don’t have one, you should get one. You can get one for $ 40. – $ 50. on

This morning I will dig out our cloth snakes to put up against our outside doors and the basement doors to keep the heat in the house.

Our back door is not as tight as it should be so we will be purchasing a storm door this week and have it installed. That will keep the drafts out and off my back while I am eating at the table. 

Hubby changed the furnace filter when he turned the heat on. We will do this monthly.

I have the small heater that plugs in ready for company for one of the guest rooms. Because the windows in that room are almost floor to ceiling, it gets colder than the other rooms. We only run it about once or twice a year for a few days.

We are already keeping most of the shades and blinds closed day and night. The only ones we open are the ones where the sun is brightly shining in. We have shades that have a heat layer inside- like a honeycomb. The shades in the living areas let the light shine in. The room darkening ones in the bedrooms do not let the light in. But in the winter, we rarely open those. It is cheaper to use one LED bulb. 

Extra blankets have been put on the beds so that we can be warm at night when the temperature in the house goes down.

All of the baseboard cracks have been resealed and the house has been caulked outside.

We have our supplies ready to make hot chocolate.  Our supply of coffee and tea is stocked for the winter. If we catch a chill even when it is 71 in the house, the hot beverages usually warm us up.

I love to bake in this colder weather. So when I have time, I bake quick breads, muffins, donuts, cakes, pies, etc. I turn the oven off a few minutes before they are done. Then when I take my baked goods out of the oven, I leave the door open to let the hot air into the house. I always try to load my oven when I bake or roast meat and then I freeze some of it for the future. 

We try to only use our garage door when we go in and out. Less cold air comes into the house that way. The wind doesn’t come into the house. We also stay home more in the winter so there is less opening and closing of doors. 

We have our supply of sweaters and sweatshirts at the ready. And all of our throws are near the sofas and chairs in the great room. 

We also continue to do whatever we can in the house to use less electricity and natural gas whether that is hot water, lighting, using the dryer less or not at all, running full loads of laundry and or dishes. We continue to use as many small appliances to cook as we can instead of the stove top or oven. If we can fit something to roast or bake for dinner into the toaster oven, we do.

What do you do to save on your winter heating bills?


Every Day

Preparing For Fall and Winter

Now that summer is winding down, it is time to start preparing for Fall and Winter. 

I have spent some time this summer stockpiling food, personal care, and cleaning items for this winter. As you all know we have cold and snowy winters here in the Buffalo region. However with all of the company we have had, I have not canned this year. So I have stockpiled more cans purchased from the grocery store. I also have full freezers which we are eating out of to make room for turkeys this November. I don’t like driving in the winter on days that the roads are not good. This stockpile lets me stay home on those days. 

We have also moved most of our bi-annual doctor appointments to the spring and summer. When we moved here it was the beginning of December. As we started finding doctors and setting up appointments, most of them landed in December and January. We have slowly moved them a month every year so that they are in the good weather now. The only ones we must go to are dental appointments. 

I have a list now of all of the things we must do to get ready for these seasons. These are some of the things that need to be done.

Hubby will be caulking all of house cracks that need it outside and inside while it is still warm out. Caulk and the necessary caulking gun are necessities that are worth the cost. Hubby will replace any weather stripping around doors that need it. Doing this makes the house more air tight and will save us on heating bills.

We will be having our furnace serviced to make sure that it is in good running condition for the seasons ahead. The $86. that it costs us is cheap insurance to make sure we do what we have to prevent a breakdown in the cold weather. It also tells me that the furnace will run efficiently and save us on the heating bills.

I will be picking up a multi-pack of furnace filters next week at Home Depot. Since we change them every month, I am down to one with the A/C on. On the advice of our furnace man, I buy cheap ones that don’t block the flow of the air but removes the dirt and dust.

Our landscaping company is here this morning doing what they do every month to maintain our property for us. They weed, trim bushes, and trees, plant things when we order through them, etc. The last month that they come is end of October and they get everything cut back and ready for winter. Hubby will have leaves to contend with but the riding lawn motor mulches them and picks them up.

The same landscape company does our lawn fertilizing and will put a winter fertilizer down later in the Fall.

In November, Hubby will service our snowblower so that will be ready for the first snow. He will also make sure that we have plenty of gas and oil for it to get us through the winter. He will service the riding lawn mower by draining the fluids and the other things he does to it.

Over the next two weeks I will be washing our winter clothes using the express cycle. They were all washed before they were put away but they need a little wash to freshen them up. Of course I will be hanging them to dry. 

I have marked my calendar to change the batteries in our smoke and carbon dioxide detectors for the beginning of furnace season. I buy 9 volts in bulk from Amazon. 

Once the furnace is on, I will put the snakes against the bottom of doors that go outside and against the doors that go into our basement to keep the warm air in.

Hubby has made an appointment for the company to  come and drain our sprinkler system to keep it from freezing. After they come and do that, Hubby will shut the water off to the outside spigots to keep them from freezing. Then he will drain any hoses that we have used over the summer to wash the car, etc. and store them away.

Our gutters will not have to be cleaned this year since we had Leaf Guard installed this spring and nothing gets through them.

We do these things to not only save on the heating bills but to maintain what we own so that we don’t have to replace it anytime soon. If you take care of these things they will last you a long time.

I realize not everyone lives in a cold area like we do so take the advice you can use and leave the rest behind.