Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Frugality in a Blizzard

We are in the midst of a blizzard here.  We are drifted in at home, but we are warm and safe.  Overall we are getting the good end of the blizzard.  Our snowfall total is to remain in the single digits and we don't have the ice other areas are getting.  We have wind and lots of drifts, but we'll be fine.

A couple of years ago we replaced the windows in our house, so we don't have the drafts that we used to have.  We also got a corn stove around the same time.  We are in the country and before we had the corn stove we used propane to heat the house.  Propane would cost us over two thousand dollars each winter.  The corn stove cost two thousand up front and we spend about $400 to $600 per year for corn to fuel it, depending on corn prices and how much we need to run the corn stove.  We now have electric baseboard heat as a secondary source of heat to keep the insurance company happy, but they are set to come on at sixty degrees (read, we don't use them, but they will keep our house warm if the corn stove quit working).  They cost six hundred, but help us keep the house insurance and our peace of mind.

We live in a split foyer house and block off areas of the house we are not using.  We have a blanket covering the doorway to the basement right now.  We shut off the bedrooms during the day.  Actually last night we are camped in the living room and the bedrooms stayed shut.  The wind was blowing hard (40 mph gusts) and there was a chance we would lose power, so we wanted to make sure we were keeping the heat in the part of the house we were using.  The power stayed on and it looks like the wind has died down.

During the day yesterday I baked some cookies.  It was a fun activity that helped to heat up the house, make it smell good, and the end result was pretty good too.  I have some bananas thawing out for banana bread today for the same purpose.  I hang laundry inside in the winter and that helps keep the air moist.  We have extra food, batteries, and candles on hand.  The cell phones are fully charged.

Yesterday was a snow day from school.  So the three boys and I stayed home all day.  Today is also a snow day.  I'm going to have to get a bit more creative in keeping those very active boys entertained all day inside.  But we'll make it.  So far their dad hasn't made it in to work either, but the neighbor with the plow on his truck was just here.  (He tried at 4:30 this morning, but couldn't get down our road.)  So we may have to plan some board games or a WII tournament of sorts.  We will try to get some projects done around the house.  And we might cuddle on the couch and watch a movie.

Are you snowed in?  What do you do to ensure that your family is safe and secure in a weather emergency?


  1. We stayed cozy warm with our corn stove too. Don't you love it? Ours is actually multifuel, and we are burning wood pellets right now. Plus the pot belly stove keeps the family room toasty. Its nice to have the kids home for a snow day. I had not thought about hanging laundry to keep the air moist. Good idea.

  2. I swear, every time I read your posts I get this thought that "I wish I could be her kid, 'cause I'd love to have childhood memories like those!"

    Enjoy your snow days!