25 Winter Survival Hacks
Winter can be a scary time, between the storms, icy and snowy roads, and the skyrocketing electric and gas bills that quickly follow! Fortunately, we’ve gathered 25 winter survival hacks to help you get through the season while saving time and money as well!
- Use vinegar to prevent icy windshields. To keep ice from building up on your windows, give them a good spray of vinegar. Just spray on the windows and ice will be less likely to build up. This means less scraping for you on chilly mornings!
- Use chapstick to keep hands moist. When your hands become dry and cracked, use a medicated chapstick to nourish and heal them. It is a great way to be more comfortable for around $1.
- Unfreeze locks with heat rub. Dab a little sore muscle heat rub (like Bengay or Icy hot) onto frozen locks to help unfreeze them and allow your key to enter.
- Place a pan of water on the heating floor vent to add moisture to the air.. or on the stove top, or in a slow cooker – you could also add spices or fruit rinds.
- Use an electric blanket. A basic electric blanket uses less energy than a space heater. If you are spending an hour on the couch or need your bedroom warmer, a heated blanket is your best option.
- Behold the power of foil. Place a sheet of foil behind your space heater or heat vents to help reflect the heat back into the space. Your face will feel warmer faster, and for less money.
- Spray your shovel with nonstick cooking spray before you use it, so snow doesn’t stick to it.
- Park facing the east. When you park facing the east you will have the help of the sun to warm your car and prevent snow and ice build up. Be mindful of this when parking during the winter months. Keep a small compass in your car in case you get your directions turned around.
- Make your toilet seat toasty. This seems a bit strange, but let’s not pretend you aren’t intrigued! Keep your toilet seat toasty by sliding knee high socks onto the seat. If your seat is a full circle seat, you can use scrap fabric cut to fit instead. How fun is that?
- Stock up on kitty litter. Keep kitty litter in your trunk so if you get stuck in the snow, you can put some down near your tires for traction. You can grab a bag for as little as $2 and it will store well all winter.
- Always keep blankets, food and water in the car in case you ever get stuck in the cold or a storm! Create an emergency kit for each family member with their personal items and favorite treats.
- Protect your feet with plastic. If your shoes are leaking, place some plastic wrap or a plastic baggie over your socks before placing them in your shoes. Just grab a package of baggies at your local dollar store and keep them in your car for when needed.
- Keep boots tall with pool noodles. Cut pool noodles to fit inside of boots so they stand up straight and don’t slouch. Snag pool noodles at your dollar store, or perhaps you even have a few in the garage.
- Set your ceiling fan to clockwise. Check if your ceiling fan as a reverse setting. If so, set it to clockwise so it pushes warm air back down.
- Use cardboard to keep feet warm. Whether you are at your child’s game or waiting in line on Black Friday, standing on cardboard instead of pavement can help keep your feet warmer. It blocks some of the cold on the ground and helps retain your own heat instead. Keep a small sheet of cardboard in your car for such instances.
- Try an old fashioned hot water bottle. Use an old fashioned water bottle to keep you more comfortable in a chilly room or to warm your towels or clothing up before use.
- Rub Vaseline along your door frame to keep them from sticking.
- Cover your side mirror of your car with plastic baggies. Removing them and revealing clear mirrors is a whole lot easier than scraping away ice and snow.
- Place an old mini fridge in your garage. You can safely store beverages in a mini fridge in your garage and never need to plug it in. The fridge will insulate the cold nicely and refrigerate your drinks for free.
- Use your credit card for emergencies. Not for spending emergencies, but for ice emergencies. A credit card is perfect for chipping away ice on your windshield if you don’t have a scraper on hand. You can even keep old or expired credit cards in your car (even old gift cards will work) for this purpose.
- Fill a sock with kitty litter (make sure there’s no holes) and knot at the end, then put that sock into another and also knot it at the end. Place under your seat or on your dashboard to absorb moisture and keep your windows from fogging.
- Warm up your wipers with socks. Lift your windshield wipers up and place socks on them until you are ready to drive. This way they won’t freeze to your windows. Your hands will thank you!
- Open the oven door. When you are done cooking and your oven is OFF, open the door so that the heat can escape and help warm your space. This is only advisable if you don’t have small children or pets running around, as it could pose a burn hazard.
- Use your floor mats when stuck. Stuck in the snow and don’t have any kitty litter? Use your floor mats under the tires to gain some traction.
- Make your own draft blocker. Fill a knee sock with sand, dried rice, or dried beans and tie or stitch closed. Place the sock along the bottom of doors to block the cold draft from coming in.
Do you have any special tips or tricks that you use when the weather is terrible?