Staying Warm on a Budget This Winter

Useful Tips On Keeping Warm

As the chill of winter settles over South Australia, keeping warm becomes a top priority. For many of us, staying warm can be a bit of a challenge, especially with rising energy costs. But don’t worry, we’ve got some practical, low-cost tips to help you stay cosy without breaking the bank. VIVA’s tips are designed to be accessible and easy to implement. Let’s dive into how you can live the life of your choosing and keep the cold at bay this winter.

Layer Up!

One of the simplest and most effective ways to stay warm is by wearing layers. Layering traps heat between your clothes, providing insulation. Start with a thermal or wool base layer, add a comfortable jumper, and top it off with a cosy jacket. Don’t forget to wear warm socks, gloves, and a beanie to keep your extremities warm.

If you haven’t got the warmest clothes, then plan a trip to your local op shop (one of our favourite activities) and dive into their winter bargains!

Use Draft Stoppers

Drafts can sneak in through gaps under doors and around windows, making your home feel colder than it should. Draft stoppers (also known as door snakes in some households!) are a great way to block these chilly breezes. You can buy them inexpensively or make your own using rolled-up towels or old socks filled with rice or beans. Blocking drafts can make a significant difference in maintaining the warmth inside your home and saving on energy costs too.

Make the Most of Your Curtains & Blinds

Curtains and blinds are more than just decorative; they can also help keep your home warm in winter and cooler in summer. During the day, open your curtains to let in natural sunlight, which can help heat your home for free. As the sun sets (or around 4pm), close your curtains to keep the warmth inside and block out the cold. If your curtains are thin, consider adding a layer of thermal lining or hanging a second set of thicker curtains for extra insulation. Again, your local op shop is likely to have a range of window dressing choices.

Warm Up with Hot Water Bottles and Heat Packs

Hot water bottles and heat packs are fantastic for providing instant warmth. They are inexpensive and can be used in various ways, such as warming up your bed before you get in, keeping your feet toasty, or even just holding onto it while you relax. For a DIY heat pack, fill a clean sock with uncooked rice, tie the end, and microwave it ONLY for a minute or two.

If these are tricky to handle, ask someone else to do the heating activities for you.

Cook Up Some Warmth

Using your oven and stove can provide a dual benefit: cooking a hearty meal and warming up your home. Soups, stews, and casseroles are perfect winter dishes that can simmer away, filling your home with warmth and delicious aromas. After you’re done using the oven, leave the door open to let the residual heat warm up your kitchen.

Seal Windows and Doors

Sealing gaps around windows and doors can prevent heat from escaping and cold air from entering. Weatherstripping is a cost-effective solution that can be easily applied to window frames and door gaps. If you’re not sure how to do it yourself, there are plenty of online tutorials that can guide you through the process.

Use Heaters Wisely

Heaters can be an efficient way to warm up small areas, but they can also be energy hogs. Use them wisely by only heating the rooms you’re using and keeping the doors closed to retain heat. Always follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents, and consider using a heater with a timer or thermostat to avoid excessive energy use.

Get Moving

If you’re ok with it, physical activity can generate body heat and help you feel warmer. Simple exercises like walking around the house, doing some stretches, or even a quick dance session can get your blood flowing and warm you up. Plus, staying active is great for your overall health and wellbeing.

Embrace Warm Drinks and Comfort Foods

Hot beverages like tea, coffee, and hot chocolate can warm you up from the inside out. Enjoying a warm drink can make you feel cosy and provide a moment of comfort during chilly days. Similarly, comfort foods like porridge, soups, and stews can provide warmth and nourishment.

Snuggle Up with Blankets

Investing in snugly blankets can make a world of difference. Keep them on hand in your living areas so you can easily wrap up when you start to feel chilly. Electric blankets are also an option for added warmth but use them sparingly to manage electricity costs.

Share the Warmth with Pets and/or People!

If you live with others, spend time together in the same room to share body heat. Snuggling with your pet or person brings warmth and good feelings! Playing board games, watching movies, or simply having a chat can be a great way to stay warm and enjoy each other’s company.

Reach Out for Support

Staying warm on a budget in Adelaide this winter is possible with a bit of creativity and planning. By implementing these tips, you can enjoy a cosy, comfortable season without worrying about high energy bills. Remember, staying warm is not just about physical comfort; it’s also about taking care of your overall wellbeing. Stay safe, stay warm, and reach out if you need support.

VIVA Mutual’s Support Centre team is always available to share our expertise and experience for the benefit of Support Coordinators, NDIS participants and those who support them. Many of us live with disabilities ourselves and/or have family members with NDIS Plans too, so we know what we’re talking about. 

For a confidential chat with one of VIVA Mutual’s understanding and supportive folks, please call 08 8877 8000 or send us an email via

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