10 Affordable Ways to Survive the Polar Vortex

by Erica Starr 29. January 2014

Baltimore Snow

Welcome to Baltimore folks! The home of the blue crab, Old Bay, Berger cookies and the most recent addition to its resume’, the co-host of the 2014 Polar Vortex. According to the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore has racked up the most single digit temperature lows for the month of January since 1982. While that heart-warming statistic may not make you all warm and fuzzy inside, these money saving tips just might do the trick AND teach you a thing or two on how to save money at the same time.

Money Saving Tips to Survive Baltimore's Polar Votex:

1) 86 the Jewelry

As soon as the frigid air hits the metal of your latest and greatest accessories, they start absorbing the temperature. Fast forward a few moments and you now have a pair of ice cubes hanging from your ears instead of the dangly earring you thought you put on in the morning.

2) Bake Cookies

Bake anything for that matter. 375 degrees is pretty darn warm, so after you’ve taken your batch of mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, turn it off (write that down…turn it off) and leave the door open while it cools down. Heck, just using your oven often heats up your kitchen, so why not kill two birds with one stone – food and heat; multitasking at its finest.

3) Reverse, Reverse

While you may typically use your ceiling fans to cool down, running your fan on low in reverse actually pushes any warm air in the room down to your living area. Yes, running the fan in any capacity can increase your electric bill but because you are keeping it on low, the impact to your monthly bill will be minimal, if any.

4) Uncover Vents

This may seem like common sense, but when you are pressed for space in your living area (i.e. a Canton rowhome), a lot of times we forget about the vents that we covered up when we bought that new couch. Just do a quick walk-through of your house and make sure that nothing (furniture, towels, boxes, and pets) is covering up your vents, preventing the hot air from circulating properly. If your vents are covered, your furnace is working double (and charging double) to heat an area that will never be adequately heated.

5) Hot Beverages are Your Friend

Whether it’s coffee, tea, hot chocolate or your grandmother’s famous hot tottie, cozying up with a warm drink can help keep even the coldest of January days more bearable.

6) Dodge the Drafts

Putting Door Draft Dodgers™ against the bottom of your outside doors and windows may prove to be the best Polar Vortex $10.00 you’ll ever spend. These extremely affordable, genius inventions will not only help keep the cold air out, but you’ll also be saving on your monthly energy bills as your heating units won’t have to work as hard.

7) Who Doesn't Love Fuzzy Socks?

And here you thought you’d never get any use out of the fuzzy socks that you got for Christmas all those years. After you call your Mom and thank her, break out a pair or two of your favorite wool or fuzzy socks. Again – two birds with one stone – bonus points with the Mom AND warm feet – the multitasking continues.

8) Change Your Furnice Filters

When is the last time you changed the filters in your furnace? If you can’t remember, chances are it’s time to change them. Even if you can remember, it can’t hurt to check them and make sure they are clean and working effectively. Changing or cleaning your filters regularly will also help you increase the efficiency and life expectancy of your furnace while helping you cut energy costs.

9) Teach Me How to Snuggie

Yep – we said it. Don’t lie, you know you have, or at least want, a Snuggie®. Worst case scenario, put your robe on backwards, it’s really the same thing AND costs you ZERO dollars.

10) Cuddle up with Your 4-Legged Friend

Nothing is more heart-warming than sitting down on the couch and cuddling up with your 4-legged K9 or feline friend after a cold, blustery day. Trust me; if nothing else, it will put a smile on your face.

So there you have it: the official Baltimore Polar Vortex Survival Guide. We fully expect all of you to go home, take off your jewelry, break out the Snuggie® (equipped with fuzzy socks) and cuddle up on the couch with your favorite K9 or feline while eating chocolate chip cookies and enjoying a giant cup of tea. What more affordable way can you think of to stay warm, save money and eat chocolate chip cookies? Again with the multitasking…it’s like you’re a multitasking, money saving Czar or something.

Stay warm out there, Baltimore!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

The Best Things to Buy in the Winter

Spring Forward with These 5 Energy Saving Tips

How to Stay Cool when Temperatures are Hot



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