I live in Minnesota. And Minnesota + January = Very Cold=-14 degrees tonight. We also live in a very old home where the windows and doors are not sealed well at all. Typically, we feel drafts whenever we sit on the couch, at the table, or even right here at the computer. It hasn’t been to big of a problem in the past 2 months since the weather started getting colder, but now that we’re into the negatives, we’re noticing that we shiver a lot in our home. We’ve increased the settings on our thermostat to 72 degrees, but we really can’t afford to keep it there.
Which brings me to the next point: we’re flat broke. Literally. I mean, we’ve been poor for a long time. But never this broke. Which means we can’t really keep our heat that high, nor can we afford to buy more weather stripping, window insulation kits, drapes, or anything else that will keep the drafts out and the heat in. If you’re in the same boat, or are just looking to save money or be thrifty, I came up with a couple inexpensive fixes that have made the world of difference.
First, I made a door snake or bumper or whatever they are called. I just took some scrap fabric (I sew a lot, so I have a lot of scraps. If you don’t, you probably know someone who sews, so ask around. Or you can get enough fabric for this for about 50 cents.) and sewed it into a tube, leaving a section open to be able to turn it inside out. Flip the tube rightside out and fill it. I filled one with batting and some rice to weigh it down. (Again, I just happen to have batting laying around.)
But with my second one, I tried to be more thrifty and filled it with leftover grocery bags and rice. We’re eating rice at just about every meal, so I couldn’t afford to use all rice, which would make these MUCH more efficient. However, using both the batting and the plastic bags work well enough and the cup or two of rice I added really helps keep it down on the ground. Once it is all filled up, just stitch the open end closed and lay it in front of your drafty door. Instant difference.
The second thing I did is a little embarassing to admit. See, when my husband and I lived in a tiny two bedroom house shortly after getting married, we bought those nice 3M window insulator kits. They aren’t that expensive and they worked really well. But we can’t afford that. And we have too many windows that are drafty. So I decided to just use good ol’ fashioned plastic wrap or Saran wrap. And you know what? It wasn’t hard to do and it actually worked!
All I did was use packing tape and a regular roll of Saran wrap. I laid the tape along the short edge of the Saran wrap before pulling it from the tube to help prevent it from falling onto itself. Then I stuck the tape to the wall, pulled the plastic to the other edge of the window, tore it off, added tape, and viola! I overlapped the next layer by about an inch and then pressed the two together, adding tape where I felt it was necessary. The whole project took about 10 minutes and made an instant difference.
So tonight, for the first time in a few weeks, I am sitting at the computer typing at night without a blanket and I’m not shivering.
What have you done to help you survive winter?