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Staying Warm, On the Cheap

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Touch your electrical outlets and light switches and see if you can feel any cold air coming in. If so, head to your nearest home improvement store where you will find inexpensive covers that fit behind the cover plate in order to block the cold. If your air conditioner spends the year living in your window, make sure to cover the vents to keep the cold air outside, where it belongs.

While I am not a big fan of candles since I am always worried that something will catch fire, feel free to head to the kitchen and pull out your favorite cookbooks. Remember how hot your kitchen got in the summer when you were using your oven? Play that to your advantage and delight your family with freshly baked bread, cake, cookies, kugels or anything else that strikes your fancy. Or pull out a big pot or two and start making soups and stews. Not only will they warm everyone from the inside out, but the added heat from cooking will be a welcome fringe benefit.

When all else fails? Take those freshly baked cookies, cook up some hot cider and invite a group of friends over to enjoy the goodies. The extra body heat from all your invited guests will raise the ambient temperature in the room, keeping everyone warm and toasty!

Other ideas, some new fangled and some old fashioned? Consider an electric blanket. A Snuggie. Hot water bottles. For a totally bizarre yet novel idea, bake two small potatoes and keep them in your pockets to use as hand warmers. (Refrigerate them when you are done and find a way to use them the next day in your meals. After all, we wouldn’t want to waste perfectly good potatoes, now would we?) Keep a stash of fleece blankets handy to use as throws. Fill a sock with rice, microwave it until warm and tuck it under your blanket to warm your bed. Buy some long undies, layer up and drink lots of hot beverages.

Still feeling a chill in the air? All these years later, my mother’s words of wisdom still echo in my ears.

“Go put on a sweater!”

Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for various websites, newspapers, magazines and private clients in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full scale productions. She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.

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