Are you ready for cold weather?

Wood Stove

Even if cold weather is little more than a dream for some of you while you’re still having searing temperatures, it will come! For some of us, cold weather really never left this year, but either way, cooler or colder weather is coming and we need to prepare for it. It may seem early to be thinking about it, but better a little early than a little late.

Have you made a list of what needs to be done? Here’s mine:

• Check furnace or chimney and stove closures, seals and seams, etc. Replace filters on furnaces.

• Clean out coat closets. See what needs to be replaced before cold weather. If your household is like mine, cold weather gear is gratefully dumped on the first warm day of spring and heaven knows what kind of condition it’s in. Check to see if the kids need new sizes, too. (You might want to add something this year for everyone: Yaktrax!)

• Have the car tuned up and ready for cold weather driving. Make sure the tires are ok for ice and/or snow.

• Tend the harvest. Can, dehydrate and freeze produce that is cheap (or free, from the garden) right now for frugal winter eating.

• Take a look at window casings and doors and make any repairs that are needed. Replace caulking, tighten hinges, install weather stripping.

• Take advantage of sales on garden tools, paper, pens, pencils and fresh root vegetables.

• Look to nature to provide decorations and inspiration for the house. Everything from river rock to dramatic “weeds” can be, and has been, used creatively.

• Finally, don’t forget to lay in a stash of good reading for those long winter nights just ahead!

It makes good, frugal sense to meet the changes and challenges of each season as much as we can before they get here. Waiting until the last minute almost guarantees that you’ll pay a higher price and you may make mistakes by not having the time to think through purchases.

The coming winter seems to me to be more intense than ever in beckoning us to get ready. I keep wanting to can more, dehydrate more, make more plans for knitting warm clothing… but it might just be me. If it isn’t? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Get prepared while there’s still time!


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