Hey Friends!

Can you believe how crazy winter has been this year? All these polar vortexes and arctic blasts are really taking their toll.

•    Parts of Canada and the northeastern US were blanketed with up to 2ft (60cm) of snow in just a matter of days.
•    More than 3,700 flights were cancelled on Monday, on top of thousands grounded over the weekend.
•    Schools have even been closed in several US states and residents urged to stay indoors for their own safety.

I know people all over North America are struggling to keep warm, but I want to help. I want to make sure nobody gets left out (or in) the cold this winter season.

Although you can’t put a price on your health or well being, keeping warm can get expensive if you simply crank up the heater. Especially when extreme temperatures hang around for so long. Here are six simple ways I know of to stay warm without breaking the bank—even if it’s 20 below with a 20-degree wind chill outside.

1.    Make sure all of your windows are properly sealed! They should be airtight. If you need an immediate fix and can’t afford to replace a window, removable window caulk or plastic will help seal the warm air in. If things get really bad, use pieces of fabric like towels or shirts to stop drafts from entering through crevices.
2.    Cook some food. Bake cookies or make a potpie. Anything involving the oven will help keep the cold away. Your oven will help to dry the air and heat the kitchen. You’ll gain warmth while having something good to look forward to—delicious food!
3.    Make some tea. I always forget how much I love a good cup of tea until cool weather rolls around. It goes straight to your core and helps warm you faster than simply layering up.
4.    Exercise. Clean the house. Just get active. Get your heart rate up and your temperature will follow. No explanation needed here.
5.    Open curtains during the day, and close them at night. Using the natural cycle of the sun to heat your home can be very effective, especially when it matters most.
6.    Most people with fireplaces are using them this time of year, but most of them don’t know how much heat is actually lost through a chimney after they put the fire out. Once you’re fire is completely out, make sure to shut the flue. Chimneys are designed to allow heat to escape, so you could be losing valuable heat when you aren’t having a fire. On the same note, always remember to check and make sure your flue is open before you light up the fireplace.

That’s it for now friends. I’ve got a cup of hot chocolate with my name on it. Until next time, stay warm out there!