Stretching The Budget

I am always looking for ways to make my dollar and cents stretch. I tend to be a frugal yankee so I don’t like to pay any more than I have to for anything. Making do is a way of life in our house. Unfortunately the price of necessaries have been climbing, while the size of products shrink. I do want to be able to buy yarn but without cutting back somewhere that won’t happen. What’s a knitter to do? I’d like to be able to continue to budget the same dollar amounts for things and just cut back on the amount we buy. I have been able to do this somewhat successfully with the groceries but this winter we are feeding four where last year H was dining at school so there is a bit of a bump there. We have cut back on the usage of the car. Errands are all done at once. We walk when we can. The big bill I’m looking at as we roll into winter is heating oil. We got a fill up on the tank mid October. OUCH! I am trying to stretch that tank by keeping the temperature down on the thermostat. We only have one zone in our post WWII Cape Cod style house. That is leaving us feeling chilled so I’ve been looking into ways to insulate the house. First up are the drafty single pane glass windows. In the past we’ve tried the plastic stuff that covers the windows but there was little change with that. I’ve looked into insulating thermo curtains and boy they are pricey. Our windows, 15 and a sliding glass door, are odd sizes and all rooms have a window with a radiator below it making floor length (or standard) curtains impossible. My plan, and it’a a rough one, is to sew some curtains like the ones in this article. I think for the bedrooms on the second floor, where the rooms are easily 5 degrees colder than the rest of the house due to the single zone thermostat, these would be an ideal solution. Now to get started.


About nothingbutknit2

I'm a wife, mother and knitter. Watch out for my pointy sticks.
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6 Responses to Stretching The Budget

  1. Marilyn says:

    When we were in the farm house some of the windows were so drafty the curtains moved when it was windy. Anyway, we used the plastic but found that most of the leaks were between the woodwork and the wall so we attached the plastic to the wall instead of the woodwork. It really did help control the drafts….Maybe yours aren’t drafty though…just cold…then the plastic probably doesn’t do much!


  2. Michelle says:

    I’m a pro at stretching a buck. The best thing we ever did re: heating our home was converting to gas. Of course this only works if your town has that option. I’ve seen a huge decrease in the amount of money spent to heat my home. It’s pricey to convert but in the long run, it’s worth it. The tax deductions were nice too (so says my landlord). Just something to think about.


  3. YarnyDragonfly says:

    I like your plan. The thermal curtains look pretty too – better than plastic, which is what we use. We have a room that we actually close up during the winter – no heat and window gets stuffed with insulation then covered with plastic. Another room that we use in the winter gets the windows stuffed with insulation and then covered with plastic – makes it a little cavelike, but helps on the heating bill!


  4. Renee Anne says:

    Random thought about the yarn….have you looked into upcycling/recycling yarn from thrift store sweaters? There are a couple groups on Ravelry that have ideas and links to video tutorials. It would definitely help stretch the yarn budget 🙂


  5. Pumpkin says:

    Insulation is very difficult to install but totally worth it if you can, and those curtains are such a great idea and super thrifty! My parents have always heated their house with gas and also find it to be cheaper than electric.


  6. Susan says:

    I always find it shocking when they use thermal imaging cameras on houses in the winter and you can see the heat pouring out the windows. I think doing what you can is a good idea – hopefully, the house will stay warmer with less fuel, thus making your investment in thermal curtains a good one.


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