If you are on a tight budget then winter can be a worrying time as it's often when the energy bills will increase. Below are some tips for keeping warm without spending lots of money.

1. Insulation
Thick curtains that completely cover the windows will help keep warmth in and cold out.  Another suggestion is to check if your local council is running any schemes to help you insulate your home.  Closing doors between rooms will also help to hold in heat, especially if you are using a portable heater for an extra burst of heat.  Be mindful with portable heaters that they are completely switched off and unplugged at night.  Don't rest anything against or over them. Thermostatic heaters are good as they turn off automatically when the desired temperature is reached.  Also avoid using them in the bathroom as water and electricity can be a dangerous combination.

2. Reduce Moisture/Dampness
If your home is prone to dampness and condensation then you can pick up drip strip to put along your windows which wick away moisture and stop it from hanging in the air creating damp and mould. You can also get dehumidifying crystals from discount stores.  They usually come in a plastic case with a film cover that needs removing.  Place these on damp window sills and let the crystals work their magic.  Clean any mould that has formed using an anti fugal cleaner.  Sterilising fluid, commonly used for cleaning baby bottles, mixed with water will also do the job.  After you have cleaned away the mould try and get some fresh air into the room so that it dries thoroughly.  

3. Hot drinks 
Having hot drinks and warming meals like soup and stew will help keep your energy levels up and warm your body from the inside.  If you know you are going to be spending a lot of time in one room then make up a Thermos flask of your favourite hot drink and keep this with you.  If you are using the oven to cook a meal you could open the oven door once you have cooked your meal and turned the oven off.  This way you allow the heat from the oven to warm the room.  Obviously, if you have pets or small children you will need to keep an eye on the oven area so that no one will get burnt.

4. Layers
Lots of thinner layers will usually provide greater insulation and warmth than one thick layer.  The idea is that a layer of air gets trapped between the layers and this provides extra protection from cold.  When dressing in layers ensure that your first layer is tucked in so that you don't have bare skin exposed.  When covering your bed include wool, furry or fleece blankets. 

5. Draft Excluder's
Block any gaps around the bottom of the doorways and windows with draft excluder’s.  If you don't have a draft excluder one can be improvised using a rolled up bath towel.  Lay it along the bottom of the doorway to prevent cold air from blowing in. 

6. Reflect Heat Back Into Room
Placing a layer of foil behind radiators can help to reflect heat back into a room.  It can be secured in place using a small piece of masking tape.  This provides a reflective surface so that some of the heat will be reflected back into the room.  

7. Hot Baths & Showers
A soak in a hot bath or a hot shower can help to warm up the body.  For added comfort you can put your towel or clothing over radiators to warm.  Make sure you dry yourself thoroughly as this will help you to stay warm. 

8. Keep Extremities Warm
Keeping your head, hands and feet warm will help to keep the rest of you warm as these are the areas that loose the most heat.  Scarves are also extremely handy for keeping the neck free of drafts.

9. Get Moving
Exercise is not only a great way to get fit, it will also help to warm you up.  You don't need to leave the house or have any fancy fitness regimes, it could be something as simple as doing some housework or dancing round your home with some music on. Anything that gets you moving will help to get you warm.  Once you are warm resist the temptation to strip off any outer layers of clothing as you need them to help keep that newly made heat in.