Winter on an Ameri-Budget: Save Your Cold, Hard Cash!

frozenThe holidays are over, and the dark winter drags on. While January can be a discouraging time, never fear! We have some special ways to warm your heart and your wallet during this dark month.

  • How to Save on Energy Costs

Due to heating bills, in the winter energy costs skyrocket, and when you’re living on a budget, it can be a huge chunk of change down the drain. Here are some tips about how to save money on your energy bills:

  1. Bundle up. We know, we know. No one likes to turn DOWN the thermostat, but it is one of the simplest ways that you can save electricity. Use those warm blankets & sweaters, and turn down the thermostat to the 68-degree marker. Add some rugs to insulate your floor.
  2. Use a Humidifier. Moist air typically feels warmer and will help you feel more comfortable. Plus, it will help keep your skin from drying out. Don’t have money for a humidifier? Increasing the amount of plants in your room or apartment can also increase the humidity.
  3. Use LED Lights! This almost goes without saying, but if you haven’t switched your lights to LED, now is the time. These bulbs pack a powerful punch to your energy bill. Plus, more light= warmer, more welcoming home in the darker season!
  4. Insulation, double paned windows, & you: The effect of insulation on your heating and energy bills is huge. Make sure your home is properly insulated, add towels (if you need) under outside doors. Ask your landlord if they will invest in double paned windows to decrease energy consumption.

Find more tips here:

  • DIY Heat Warmers

Keep your hands warm during the winter months and help reduce landfill waste with these DIY Heat warmers made from fabric & rice (what a cool project!)

  • Low Cost Indoor Activities (from

Seattle discount movie tickets are available at many Seattle movie theaters for the first show of the day around NOON, and a few for all matinees before 4PM. Discount movie times and prices vary by theater. Older or more out-of-the way theaters (see list below) are generally cheaper than multiplexes in densely populated retail areas. There may be Service Fees added to the theater’s posted prices. If available, IMAX, 3D and other formats beyond basic digital are generally higher by a few bucks.


Visit Seattle’s Volunteer Park Conservatory, located inside Volunteer Park at 1400 E. Galer St, Seattle, WA 98112 (Google map). Admission is $4 Adults, $2 Youth (13-17), and FREE for children 12 and younger. Free admission every first Thursday and first Saturday of each month. Open Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Open year-round including all non-Monday holidays.


PCC Natural Markets offers a 90-minute, fun, informative, and FREE class that leads you on a tour through the grocery store aisles to discover the many choices in organic produce, sustainably raised products, bulk foods, and much more. Taste products you haven’t tried before and learn about how they are produced.


The Microsoft Visitor Center (MVC), located in building 92 of the Studio West campus in Redmond offers free, self-guided, interactive tours. At the MVC, you will experience some of the latest products and technology that Microsoft has to offer. You’ll be able to explore hands-on exhibits featuring some of the company’s most exciting technologies for home and business. Through the exhibits, you’ll also meet some of the people whose ideas and creativity make Microsoft a world leader in computer and software technology.


Every Wednesday, you can drop-in for a free, 30-minute mindfulness-meditation session from 12:30-1:00pm at the Frye Museum on First Hill, where parking is also free. Registration is not required. These sessions are guided by Carolyn McManus, PT, MS, MA and Diane Hetrick, PT.


With all the amazing things to explore and do in Seattle, there are many ways to enjoy the winter on a budget. Happy January!



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