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8 Tips To Keep Your Family Warm This Winter (That don’t include turning on the heat)

A playhouse covered in snow with the words "Tips To Keep Your Family Warm This Winter" digitally written on top.

We’re almost that time of year where it’s cold all day long, even in North Carolina. It’s when I want to leave the heat on all day, but I don’t want to see that electric bill at the end of the month. So instead, I utilize these tips to keep your family warm this winter — that don’t include turning on the heat.

These tips are really important, especially this year. Inflation is high and so many families are seeing their utility bills go up but their paychecks are flatlined. Not dead, but steady and not rising.

You’re not making more, but you have to pay more. So you need to be conscious of a few things.

Hopefully these tips will help.

If you have your own tips, be sure to leave those in the comments. We’d love to hear what you do to stay warm!

8 Tips To Keep Your Family Warm This Winter

This post is definitely focused more on keeping people warm. If you want to keep your home warm this winter, check out our 8 Ways To Save On Winter Home Bills post.

Woman wearing a jacket outside during Brookgreen Gardens' Night Of A Thousand Candles.

Wear A Long Jacket

Wearing a jacket is definitely a must when it’s cold. But, a long jacket is such a good choice. I hate short jackets that allow a bit of wind to blow on your lower back. That sends a chill up your spine that never leaves! A long jacket prevents that.

A short jacket is cute, but during the winter, you want to worry less about being cute and more about being warm. You can find jackets that are both fashionable and functional, but if you find a cute jacket without a hood and a not cute jacket with a hood, go with the latter.

Our favorite long jackets:

A DIY Mini Winter Hats Yarn Craft.

Wear gloves and a hat

You want to make sure to have gloves and a hat or crotched headband in your jacket pockets. I actually keep a set in every jacket, so I always have gloves and a headband no matter what jacket I wear.

And a scarf is great too.

Try and cover any skin that’s exposed to the air. It’ll help keep you warm when you’re outside and don’t have the luxury of turning on the heat anyway.

Our favorite hats and gloves:

Alphabet soup on a spoon and in a bowl.

Cook Soup — Or Just Cook In The Oven

I am such a fan of making soup in the winter. I’ll make all different recipes in either the slow cooker or in our Dutch oven. Serve them warm (okay, I probably serve them too warm), and they will warm up your family’s bellies.

What I really like about soup is how well it freezes. You can make a huge batch, serve it, freeze the leftovers, and then pull them out on a day when you’ve spent it outside playing in the snow and you’re too tired to cook a meal.

Our favorite winter soups:

We also have this huge list of Slow Cooker Soup Recipes to warm your soul.

Or also, just cook in the oven. Using the oven will heat up the home because the oven is hot. Then, when you’re done cooking, crack the door of the oven open. The heat from the oven will fill your home and heat it up.

We don’t recommend this tip if you have young kids or pets, though. That could potentially be unsafe for them.

Our favorite recipes made in the oven:

Use Boots

If it snows by you, boots are so important.

If your kid — or even you — are outside in the snow in sneakers, your feet will get so cold. And that will flow through your entire body. So boots are a must.

And socks. Oh my gosh, socks.

I used to wear snowboarding socks, even when I wasn’t snowboarding. Those are the only socks that kept my feet really warm in cold New York winters, so I swear by them now. Even if I was just going to be outside, like walking around in a park, I had to wear snowboarding socks.

Our favorite winter boots:

Two people snuggled together.

Snuggle

Seriously, one of my favorite things to do is to snuggle. And when the weather is right, it’s perfect. Grab a blanket and have family snuggle time while watching a movie. It really doesn’t get much better than that as far as family bonding.

Plus, when you are all snuggled together and sharing body heat, everyone stays warm — no matter what the weather is doing outside.

But of course, don’t forget the snacks.

Our favorite snacks to snuggle with:

And, if you want to make it a movie night, get tips for that in our How To Have An At Home Movie Night post.

Woman on a treadmill.

Exercise

You don’t want to go outside to take a walk or go for a jog when it’s cold out, but if you get moving, you’ll get warmer.

We have a great post with 10 Ways To Get 10,000 Steps When It’s Too Cold To Walk Outside.

If you want to exercise inside to warm up, jumping rope or running in place are great ideas to get your body temperature rising.

Our top exercising indoor ideas:

  • Run in place
  • Jump rope
  • Have a dance party
A But First, Coffee Mug in the oven.

Drink something warm

If you’re feeling cold and want to warm your body up quickly, drink something warm. That’s definitely help your body warm up from the inside.

Hot chocolate is always a good choice. And Pete used to make me mochas all the time that were delicious.

Whatever you make, just be sure you can serve it in a glass that can handle the heat. There have been a few times when I’ve microwaved a drink only to find out the handle on the cup is extremely hot. That’s one way to warm up, but not exactly the best way.

Our favorite warm drink recipes:

Wear layers

When I worked at a clothing store in the mall, we were always encouraged to wear layers. It was the style, but I think it also made the workers buy more clothes from the store. And then we could convince shoppers to buy more clothes.

But during the winter you should definitely wear layers to keep yourself warm. A thermal under a shirt goes a long way when you’re cold.

There were times when our basement in New York was so cold, I would wear a sweatshirt over a sweatshirt. That’s a little cumbersome, but it worked to keep me warm.

Our top layering tips:

  • Women: Start with a camisole as the bottom layer
  • Men: Start with an undershirt
  • Kids: Just pile on everything they won’t take off

What tips do you have to keep your family warm in the winter? Be sure to leave them for us in the comments.

Diane Hoffmaster

Wednesday 2nd of November 2016

I need a new long jacket. The one I have is REALLY old and has a few too many holes. Even here in the south we get chilly days!

Scott

Tuesday 1st of November 2016

Layers! Don't forget layers! It's the perfect solution for keeping warm (and cooling off if you get too hot).

Audrey

Tuesday 1st of November 2016

Winter gets so cold in the the Northeast!!! These are great tips, I know I love a good movie night for staying warm!

Sarah

Tuesday 1st of November 2016

Mmmmm wish we needed to be kept so warm but we live in az. BUT I love the long coat!

Alicia

Tuesday 1st of November 2016

It's already been cold here in Chicago (though yesterday was actually nice). Thanks for sharing these tips :)