Winter is already here, and when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, he tends to nip on your wallet, too.
That's right—between holiday parties, gift-giving, heating bills, and all the required snow and wet-weather gear you need, the winter months can get pretty expensive. So any time you can save some dough during the holiday months is the truest miracle of them all, and we've got a few winter life hacks that just might ensure that miracle—and make MacGyver proud.
The shoes you already own are probably expensive as is, and if you live in a snowy or rainy area, they can get ruined by excessive moisture. Instead of adding "new pair of shoes" to your gift list every year, use a wax candle—or just some beeswax—to protect the ones you already have.
Just rub the wax on your shoes, then blow dry them for instant waterproofing! But before you rub your mom's favorite lavender candle on your new Air Jordans, you should know that the video tutorial below only applies to cloth and canvas shoes, so don't attempt it on other materials.
The cold in your home can be quickly exacerbated by air traveling through the gaps underneath your doors, causing a chilly draft. In order to maintain the heat throughout rooms, take a pipe insulator, slit it down the middle, and slide it underneath your door.
This way, you won't need to scrunch up towels or sheets that need to be moved in and out of the way whenever you open or close the door. (You could also buy a draft stopper, but they usually cost more than a pipe insulator, especially if you already have the latter on hand.)
Another way to keep your home toasty without touching your heater is to play with bubble wrap. That's right, the days your mother told you to stop playing with bubble wrap after a freshly opened package came to your door are over… well, kind of.
Instead of popping each bubble with satisfaction, cut the bubble wrap to fit your window. Using a bit of water, wet the window (after cleaning it) as well as the bumpy side of the wrap, then just attach it to the window. The bubble wrap helps insulate your home and will stay on until you decide to peel it off, and won't leave any mess or stains along the way.
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Anyone who has ever lived in a place where it snows can tell you how much it sucks to get ice off a vehicle's windows in the morning. Not only does it take forever, but there's always the horrible possibility you might crack your windshield—which is an expensive fix.
Instead of using a scraper, try adding ¾ cups of vinegar and ¼ cups of water into a spray bottle, then spritz it on your windows at night. Not only is this method safer than using an ice pick or scraper, but you can sleep in a couple extra minutes knowing your windows aren't frozen over. (Rubbing alcohol can also work in lieu of vinegar.)
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If don't own a car or simply prefer to cycle, riding your bike requires a bit of winter-proofing.
Simply grab a bunch of zip ties, then place them on your tires for added grip in slippery terrain. While this technique is meant to beef up street bikes, you could theoretically do this with mountain bikes as well for some added traction. (Obviously, you shouldn't do this if your bicycle has rim brakes.)
Whether you're traveling this winter, or plan on staying inside the entire season, you'll be able to save a few bucks and stay warm at the same time.
- 7 Tips for Staying Warm While You Sleep at Night
- How to Stay Warm During a Winter Storm Without Any Electricity
- How to Make an Elegant No-Gas, No-Electricity Heater for the Winter
- How to Make a Microwavable Heat Pack Using a Sock & Dry Beans
- 12 Cold-Weather Hacks to Get Your Through Winter
- 12 More Cold-Weather Hacks to Get Your Through Winter