The entire nation is freezing right now. This is what the orange grove looked like yesterday morning on my walk at 10am. And I do realize that there is a big difference between southern California cold and back east/mountain cold. But nevertheless, it does get cold here. So I thought I'd share my nightly ritual for keeping us as warm as possible while saving money.
When I'm ready for bed I turn on our electric blanket to 5. I have a twin sized blanket that I layer between the sheet and comforter. Did you know electric blankets are the most energy efficient appliance in our homes, costing on average just 2 to 4 cents per night to run? You can read more about that here. So while the bed is heating I take a quick (under 2 minutes) hot shower and then layer on my pj's and warm socks. I've already set up my bedside table with a glass of water and reading material so I don't have to get back out of bed. When I'm ready to slip in, I turn the blanket back down to 1 and we're set for the night.
We don't run the house heater at all at night. It gets freezing cold inside but we're toasty under the blankets. When I get up I turn the heater on to about 62 degrees and turn the kettle on for tea. Then it's back under the covers for the most luxurious cup of tea of the day!
As soon as the sun is high enough and starting to shine in the windows, I open the shades and drapes to let the sun warm up the house. By noon it will often be warmer outside than inside the house, so I open the doors to let the warm air in. When the temp starts to drop I close the doors and will start closing the shades and drapes to trap that warm air. During the day I don't have to raise the heater above 62 degrees. We will wear a warm knit hat and gloves inside if we have to. Chores like sweeping and raking leaves or even taking a brisk walk also warm us up so if we get really cold we know we have to get moving.
Doing these steps keeps our heating bill around $30 a month during the coldest months. I Hope you are all staying toasty too, and I look forward to hearing how you stay warm in the cold.