Stay Warm …and Frugal!
Not to worry, there are ways to avoid the deep freeze in your apartment. The first consideration of course is $$. Heat is sometimes included in rent by law and sometimes not. What’s the deal with that? Well, it has to do with the way the heat is delivered to your apartment. Many apartments still have radiators, installed at the dawn of time, er, the 20th century. If you’re in this camp, you have no control over your heat. You just get it. Sometimes. Or, if you’re like me, you get it all the time to the point of t-shirts and shorts.
On the plus side, under law, radiator apartments must provide free heat. If your landlord is not providing you with enough heat, double check the by-laws of your state/city’s regulations and prepare to talk to your landlord. Most cities also have minimum temperature requirements so do check into that as well.
If you pay for your heat, you probably are looking for ways to insulate your apartment and cut down on your gas bill. One of the best ways is with plastic sheeting on your windows, which you can get at most hardware stores and/or Home Depot. You should also pick up some insulating tape you can use to close any gaps around the window frame. These keep the drafts out and seal out the cold. Buying heavier curtains is also a good idea if your apartment gets ice-box like.
Another suggestion is to do more baking. Heating up the apartment with an oven might sound kinda, well, frugal but it gets the job done. Russians have been doing it for centuries!
Finally, bundle up already and invest in a fleece robe and slippers. It might sound like an obvious suggestion but I never had either until one holiday season a few years back and it totally makes a difference!
Good luck, fellow eskimos — if you have other tips be sure to spread them along!