If you've opened a heating bill, you've seen that fuel costs are up. Many frugal families are looking for ways to dial down the thermostat without turning everyone blue. In fact, for every degree you lower the heat, you'll save about 3 percent on your bill. Don't worry, this doesn't have to lead to chattering teeth.
Just follow these tips from Jeff Salz, author of The Way of Adventure and a mountaineering guide in India's Great Himalayan National Park. He knows how to keep cozy even while camping in ice caves.
Make a Quick Change
When you come inside from being out in snow or rain, don't linger in your outside clothes. As soon as possible, change into something warm and dry. Wear a light, dry layer next to your skin and add thicker insulating layers. Cotton is great because it's lightweight and comfortable.
Slip into Slippers
Leave your cold shoes at the door. After you get into some dry socks, cover your feet with a pair of warm slippers (wool ones are best). Slippers keep your feet off cold floors and go a long way toward maintaining a feeling of warmth.
Cover those places where blood flows close to the skin, Salz says. He recommends covering your wrists with a long-sleeve shirt, throwing on a sweater with a turtleneck collar to warm your neck, and pulling on socks long enough to cover your ankles. And don't forget to cover your head -- a baseball cap will do fine indoors.
Eat Sweet and Hot
Calories mean heat, and the ideal winter treat is a cup of hot cocoa or sweetened tea. Avoid eating cold foods or drinking cold liquids, which will, not surprisingly, make you feel colder.
Pump Up, Heat Up
Even a few quick exercises will get you toasty and warm again. Here's an easy one: Try clenching and unclenching your buttocks and fists a dozen or so times in a row. Not only will this make you seem fierce to kids, spouses, and small animals, you'll feel much warmer. Other exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups work just fine too, if you want to opt for a more conventional look.