It’s not half nippy out there – and if you’re on a budget it isn’t going to be much warmer inside either. 

Student houses, for most people, are just over sized igloos. Their lack of double-glazing and unfavourable cost of central heating bills are just some of the reasons students spend days snuggled up to their pillow in fear of catching hypothermia. And, before you ask, no…it isn’t possible to freeze to death!

With the extra snowfall forecast this winter, we aren’t expecting our houses to thaw out anytime soon. But, instead of giving in to the gas companies and hibernating under the sheets until the sun shines again, be prepared! Here are some other simple options to help you survive those freezing winter months:

Layer up: extra socks, vests and tights

Just as your mother used to tell you before stepping outside, lots of thinner layers are the answer to beating that cold. That means doubling up on your socks and putting on an extra pair of tights. I’ll admit, it’s not exactly the height of fashion but when it comes to keeping warm this will almost always do the trick. I’d also recommend dipping into your student account and investing in some seriously snug fluffy socks. Apart from being comfy they are essential for staying warm. I wear mine every day during the winter months and they never fail to keep me feeling warm and toasty! This is due to the well-known fact that you lose heat through your feet and head therefore it is crucial to keep these parts covered to maximize body temperature.

All the “single” ladies (only)

Yes, it’s the age-old question: to shave or not to shave? We don’t like to admit it, as it’s often a grey area with us women. But, as the temperature drops and we start to feel a chill in places that are usually somewhat warm it’s hardly surprising many of us have decided to dispose of our razors and go au natural! For those lucky enough to have a significant other to keep them warm at night we salute you. However, for us single ladies we need a little help along the way and that could mean going on a shaving hiatus for the winter! Besides, I don’t know about you but, I spend more time in the shower just trying to warm my bones and revive myself before stepping outside than I do worrying about reaching for the Veet and doing some body lawn mowing?

Make every day a duvet day

There’s no better place than underneath your duvet once the harsh cold winter hits your house. As students we’re no stranger to the occasional day spent in bed, but that’s not to say the duvet belongs in the bedroom. Take it with you and set up camp in your living room with a film and a steaming hot cup of coco. It’s your call, but you needn’t stay cooped up in your room – make sure you enjoy the comfiest method of keeping warm there is.

Shut that door!

So, it turns out your mum was right. There’s no point following all our amazing advice about keeping warm and then go and leave the door wide open and let the heat out. But don’t worry, she may have been right about this, but the whole “if the wind changes your face will stay like that” is complete rubbish – I think!

Get some exercise 

You may not feel like it when it’s cold outside, but going for a run or making that dreaded trip to the gym – beyond easing your guilt after another night out – is an excellent way to keep warm.  If, like me, you’re not one for public displays of strength and exercising in front of others, why not lift some weights in your house, do an exercise DVD, or EVEN do some housework? No, I’m not pulling your leg. Once you start all that scrubbing and hoovering your house will feel like a sauna in no time. See: The lazy person’s guide to keeping fit.

Bottle it up

The old tricks are often the best. Take it from someone who always feels the cold (even in mid summer), the best way to keep warm is to make good use of your hot water bottle. If you don’t have one, why not? You may be able to get new-fangled technology like electric blankets these days, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned water bottle for keeping your toes warm in bed. And, of course, the cost of filling up your hot water bottle opposed to heating an electric blanket is going to be less. There’s no comparison: the HWB wins every time.

Get out

For your parents the winter regrettably marks the start of extra shifts at work spent anxiously scraping together just enough to cover the cost of chrismtas day. But, as a student, you face a “far more” daunting prospect: the end of year EXAMS! So if your house is too cold and you’re struggling to put pen to paper – leave it. Your university will no doubt keep your library pretty well heated, so why not get some revision done? And then, after a long days graft, treat yourself! Head down to your local pub – though this might not end up as cheap as you’d hoped.

Light a candle

A good candle can create a surprising amount of heat –  though of course you’ve got to make sure you keep an eye on it (or the house might get a LOT hotter than you want!) A trip out to your local grocery or discount store will provide you with hundreds of candles on the cheap! It’s true and the most valuable option of the lot are tee-lights. These little beauties can be extremely useful when you’re counting the pennies and actually smell amazing! Want an extra tip? Put your candles in the freezer for a few hours before you use them and they’ll take nearly twice as long to burn down – you’re welcome.

Bleed your radiators

If yours need bleeding they’ll be warmer at the bottom than at the top. This means air is trapped and the water won’t be circulating round properly. To bleed your radiators, turn your heating off, then open the bleed key (turn it anti-clockwise) and close it when water starts to come out. Be careful; make sure you’ve got a towel or cloth ready to catch the drips as they come out… the water can be hot. With your radiators working properly you’ll be able to have your heating turned down a touch, or not on for as long.

If all else fails, go home…

There’s no place like home.” Yes, it’s a cliché, but don’t we know it! As much as student life suits our desperate attempts at independence and self nurturing, nothing spells out warmth and relaxation like good old home comforts. Arriving home for the weekend to discover a freshly made bed and an actual “real-life” roaring fire is bliss! And, let’s face it, as much as we like to pretend our student house is the lap of luxury (who are we kidding) – we’re truly happy to be home.