Early Preparation for Winter, of Sorts

I have heard from different people that they are concerned about the upcoming winter months. In all honesty, I am concerned myself. The road from Dornbirn to the mountain village...

Some of the questions I receive are: How can I make it through a winter here? Will I make it through the winter? Have I cut all of the corners that I can?

I have no idea.

I keep analyzing everything myself, wondering what more can I do. I am set up with the food cupboard for the lean weeks. I am all set to call for an appointment to determine how much fuel assistance I will qualify for. I got rid of the DirecTV.

You may ask: What else can I do? A tough question, and not one that I am sure I can answer with 100% accuracy. Here is what I have done.

* I loaned my brother the last of my savings which, when paid back in a week or two will give me $445.00 which will all go toward the last DirecTV bill and the electric bill. I have a credit with the oil company, which will be gone when the furnace gets cleaned – I skipped this last year, so I have to do it this year for my piece of mind. It is an old, though well-running, furnace.

* My stimulus check went to pay bills as well, all $300.00 of it.

* We should be all set for clothes, which mostly came from the GoodWill.

* To be sure that all runs smoothly, I will vacuum out all heating vents, wash the covers, and rinse the furnace door screen. I will also vacuum around the furnace. These will be done just before the heating season, as well as again in January as our furnace guy suggested.

* Also, I will be keeping the heat at 55* at night if possible, and 60*-62* during the day during the winter months. We will keep plenty of blankets easily accessible, slippers on our feet, and warm clothing on our bodies. We will also keep more blankets on the bed.

* However, for a short period of time each day, I will put the heat up for showers.

* I always bank the trailer for winter, and plug the heat tape in underneath (obviously before banking), but this year we will also put plastic on the windows. I will try to remember to attempt to seal any air leaks as well.

* I will try to be stocked up on as much food, household cleaners and personal hygiene items as possible.

* I hope to be able to get two things to help with the water/sewer bill:

1. One of the shower heads that you can push a button to stop the spray while you lather up, and

2. One of those toilet gadgets that allow you to save water when you flush. This is different than the bottle of water in the tank – which will be staying.

* We will keep bags in the freezer for both leftover veggies and leftover fruits. The veggies will go into stews, and the fruits into smoothies and breads. When these items are on sale, we will stock up some and freeze.

* We rarely ever eat meat any more, and will mostly be living on homemade breads/muffins, salads, pasta, rice, and beans).

* We will likely turn the lights off in the evening, getting important things done during daylight, and saving what we need minimal light for to do in the evenings. I have an over abundance of candles, as well as oil lamps, that we could be using instead of the lights.

* I will try to cover the three windows that we do not use in the winter with heavy blankets. The one in the pantry is never opened, and the two bathroom ones are small but let in cold air.

* Also, I will not be heating the pantry (small bedroom) as it only stores food and other items.

This is all I have for now. Feel free to add your ideas. They are much appreciated.

Anyone have any good vegetarian baked beans recipes? Other vegetarian bean recipes?

Thank you,



2 thoughts on “Early Preparation for Winter, of Sorts

  1. Hi Shannon,
    I think you are wise to think ahead like this. That kind of thinking will get you through I am sure.

    Doing the same here as well. My little home is all-electric and do we get slammed here in the winter.

    A few tips:

    If you need extra blankets, try looking for them now – even at yard sales or Goodwill.

    Use your crockpot for meals – that will help to save energy. I’ve not had my oven working now for a long while. I only use the stove top, toaster oven and crockpot to cook in. It’s a blessing in disguise and saves us a lot on the electric bill.

    Can you “put up” any food right now? Freezing veggies, fruits or doing any dehydrating or canning? Every bit you can do know will help to save on any food costs this winter.

    Pay ahead or pad any bills you can right now – even if it’s $10 here and there, it all adds up and will help in the winter months.

    Baked beans are so easy to do in the crockpot. I usually cook up a batch of navy beans one day and then the next I make baked beans. I’m not a measuring type of cook, but I add brown sugar, molasses, cut up onion, some prepared mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper. You could add a little meat for flavor, but we mostly eat them vegetarian too.

    Good ideas and an important topic to discuss now. Take care.

  2. Thank you for the tips, Lyn. I haven’t had much like finding blankets at yardsales. I have only found one so far. Maybe others are thinking the same way I am. I do intent to check out the thrift shops over town.

    We did come by some blankets for free, though. One had been my grandmothers, and my mother-in-law recently gave us five twin size blankets. These will fit my daughters bed, or can be used in the livingroom.

    I love crockpot lasagna, and my brother makes pasta sauce in his. I intend to try an oatmeal recipe in mine. We generally eat vegetarian meals, so I am looking for soups and such that I can learn to make in mine.

    I bake from scratch almost all winter, so the oven gets used a lot. If anyone can tell me how to make breads, pies, cakes and cookies in the slowcooker, then I would be willing to give it a try.

    I don’t know if I can get ahead on the bills, but that is my next plan of action. I have already cut out the DirecTV.

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