How to stay warm in student accommodation

It isn't half nippy outside - and if you're on a budget, it's not going to be much warmer for you inside, either. Here are a few smart ideas to keep warm without breaking the bank on central heating.

Student houses, for most people, are just jumbo iceboxes. Their lack of double-glazing and our aversion to central heating bills means that the majority of us just expect to be very cold from October through March.

With the extra icy spell that January seems to have thrown us, we aren’t expecting our houses will thaw out any time soon. but instead of giving in to the gas companies or staying under your duvet until the sun shines again, here are some other simple options to help survive the freezing winter months.

Layer up: extra socks, extra vests, extra tights

Just like your mother always told you, as did the laws of science, lots of thinner layers are the answer to beating the cold. That means vest under tee, under top, under shirt, under jumper.

Movie days and duvets

I’m not suggesting every day should see you strapped under the duvet at the cost of your degree, but come sleepy weekends and empty evenings, invite your roommates in to huddle instead of suffering on the sofa in the cold.

Slow roast dishes

Instead of cranking up the heating in every room of the house, be economical and plan ahead. Rally up your housemates for a good old-fashioned hotpot, roast or casserole. Healthier than a Pot Noodle and generates more heat than a hob.

Double up on duvets

Tuck yourself into a duvet-sandwich with one on top, and one under your base sheet. Asda Basics or Primark’s finest will be just fine, and for the cost of a tenner you’ve got a comfier, cosier and less shivery night’s sleep.

Hot-water bottles

Splurge three or four pounds now and you’ve got the ultimate snuggle buddy to see you through the rest of the season. Once you’ve spent the night with a hottie, you don't go back.

Shut the doors

Obvious, yes, but not always executed. Student digs house six or more people the majority of the time, each with different schedules, habits and smoking practices. That’s a lot of door opening and porch hovering...

Light candles

It sounds silly but you’d be surprised at the amount of heat candles generate. Plus, it sets the mood for an evening, so stock up next time you’re at the supermarket.

Do some exercise (cleaning)

Work up a sweat (even in the iciest of digs) by cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming the lounge or dusting every nook and cranny. Feel the benefits and score praise from your housemates.

Have a hot toddy

Mulled wine, hot cider, Bailey's latte: the answer to long work nights in winter.

Go to university instead

Yes, this involves stepping out into the frosty outdoors at first, but once you get to uni, you’ve got a whole day of free heating and toasty warm libraries. Plus, there’s bound to be a cosy pub on campus somewhere.

Alice Tate is a student brand ambassador for i. She blogs about fashion here, and you can follow her on Twitter here.

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