Despite the unusually warm autumn weather, Winter will soon be upon us and for students, winter is almost more terrifying than essay deadlines. Anyone living in private rented accommodation will immediately sympathise with the perils of winter which seems to turn houses into permanent freezers for about 4 months. I’m sure the freshers living in halls who are reading this will be feeling extremely smug as their heating is on all year round (oh, how I miss Monte), but for those cash-strapped students living in their igloos, here are some top tips for keeping warm without having to turn up the expensive heating…
- Put a jumper on
It sounds simple but it’s amazing how many people just don’t do it. There have been numerous times this semester when I’ve wandered around the house in a T shirt and shorts grumbling about how cold it is when my housemate has said “Just put a bloody jumper on!” Get a thick woolly one, or grab a Uni hoody from the Union Shop and it’ll keep you cosy.
- The onesie
Guaranteed to have you sweating in about 10 minutes, the onesie is both incredibly warm and incredibly fashionable (debatable). Primark do various styles for as little as a tenner. My friend even wore his tiger onesie to Sobar once and I have spent several hungover days sat in front of the TV dressed as a rabbit feeling very ill, but very warm. If you’re averse to the onesie, buy some extra blankets and leave them around the house to snuggle up with.
If, like me you suffer from poor blood circulation, socks are a must. If your feet are cold, the rest of your body suddenly seems to freeze as well. Whether standard cotton socks or big thick slipper ones, having something on your feet will give you an instant warmth boost. For extra toastiness, pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Shut the windows
Another obvious one, but if your windows aren’t completely shut then that ice cold air will sneak its way in and turn your toes blue. It’s also a good idea to cover your windows with something if there any gaps, and shut the curtains as soon as it goes dark to make sure any cold air is blocked from getting in.
A seemingly horrible tip, but it really does work. Whether its working out in your room, tidying up your inevitably messy house or having a mental game of twister with your housemates (guaranteed to warm you up, if only through embarrassment), keeping active and moving about will help you work up a sweat.
Soup is a staple winter food and there’s so much choice! You can also put your favourite in a flask and take it to uni – saving you paying for lunch in the café and also keeping you extra warm – bonus!
7. Hot water bottle
Arguably one of the greatest inventions after the wheel, the hot water bottle gives instant portable warmth and will make you feel about 6 years old again. Go all out and get a cover for it (I have an elephant one) or just cover it in a tea towel or two to make sure you don’t burn yourself.
- Get close and personal
Drag your mates into the living room to watch a film or have dinner; the extra bodies will heat things up. Depending on how much you like them, insist on penguin-huddle group hugs from time to time whenever you feel particularly chilly.
- Leave the oven door open
After cooking something, leave the oven door open to let the heat escape into the room to add some extra warmth. If you’re a terrible cook and have only just grasped how to use the microwave then pop a post-it on the oven door reminding the next person with any discernible skill to do this for you.
10. Have a hot bath
If all else fails, get in the bath. Throw in some bubble bath, some rubber ducks and have a blast. Just make sure you have a dressing gown to put on the instant you get out!