5 ways to keep warm without paying a huge heating bill

Christmas is still a month away, however the freezing temperatures have definitely hit and there’s already weather warnings for snow. The winter coats are out, scarves, onesies and hats are slowly coming back from the bottom of our wardrobe, we’re all wondering how to turn the heating on in a student house we have never lived in before. If you’re living in student halls, you’re lucky enough to not be paying the heating bill. But for all those second and third years who don’t want to spend their entire student loan on keeping their house warm, here’s a guide on how to stay warm in the winter without relying on the heating.


Snuggly nightwear isn’t just for the night.

Onesies, dressings gowns and slippers aren’t just there for Christmas day selfies, if you’re cold put them on, it doesn’t matter if its 3pm or 3am. You may not want to sleep in them as you can wake up really hot but if you get in from university and you’re cold, don’t freeze whilst you argue with your housemates as they tell you they can’t afford to put the heating on all day. We loose most of our body heat through our head, hands and feet so wear a hat and scarf indoors if you need to,  just be prepared to be laughed at by some of your housemates.

Buy a thicker duvet for winter

Unlike in the summer when we’re having the drama of choosing which leg to put out the covers and which leg to keep under them, in the winter we’re head to toe underneath the covers and we’re still shivering. Buying a thicker duvet can make such a difference whilst we sleep. Duvets are measured in tog, 4.5 Tog is usually considered for a spring or summer duvet as its quite thin, anything 10 Tog+ is for winter. They’re not expensive either, a 13.5 tog duvet from Asda is just £8. If you get too hot under a thick duvet, buy a thick blanket to put over your normal duvet, Primark sell winter fluffy ones for just £5. 

Hot foods and hot drinks

Having a hot chocolate  in your hands or eating a bowl of soup can really help keep you warm. Main meals such as hot pastas, pies, curries and pizzas seem even more tasty in the cold (finally, we have an excuse to indulge in Dominos Two for Tuesdays deals without feeling guilty). Even preparing the meals can keep us warm too, whilst cooking them the oven will give off a lot of heat, and when you have finished cooking turn the oven off but open the door and it will let the heat out.


Candles aren’t just for romance or for when there’s a power cut, and although you may feel like you’re living in Victorian times, they’re a really cheap way to keep warm. If you get some that smell nice they may even get rid of that strange student house odour, the one that smells of a mixture of takeaways and alcohol. They’ll make your room look nicer too, just remember to blow them out before you go out or to bed.


Working out in the cold may be the last thing you want to do this winter, but it’s a great way to keep warm, and can also help you lose weight. Exercise will get the blood pumping around your body and heat up your skin. You don’t have to trek to the gym, go for a run around the block if you can brace the cold or do your own exercise sequence at home. Doing workout DVDs with your housemates can be fun, and you’ll be working up a sweat at the same time. After a good workout you may have the unfortunate feeling of wondering whether you’re muscles will ever ‘un-ache’ themselves, but you definitely wont be cold!

There’s many other ways to keep warm too, like buying those funky hand and foot warmers we all want but none of us know where to get, or all cuddling up on the sofa for a movie night. Obviously the heating needs to be on sometimes, but don’t put it on 24/7. It’s better to look look like a bit of a wally in a hat and scarf surrounded by Yankee Candles than spend your student loan and get a huge heating bill in January which your loan doesn’t cover. 

Photo Credit: eflon via Compfight cc

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