There are ways to help keep your house cozy without breaking the bank. Try a few:
Open those curtains - The same reasons that had us keeping the blinds or drapes shut during the long, hot summer should have us opening them up now! Open them as soon as the sun begins to shine to let nature warm the air in your home. Try to open only those curtains that actually have sunshine coming through the windows to minimize heat loss & be sure to close them all when the sun goes down.
Turn off the heater - When no one is home that is! There's no sense in heating the entire house when it's empty (your pets will be just fine at home with the heater off while you're at work or out shopping - they do have fur after all!)
Add a layer - It may seem like a no-brainer, but just adding a sweater or sweatshirt will allow you to turn down the thermostat several degrees. If you're really set on saving $, add a hat (yes, it does seem silly to wear a hat indoors, but you lose a good portion of your body heat through your head!). Okay, so a stocking cap during the day is taking it a bit far - but how about when you sleep (just think of all the pictures of old-time nightclothes, they always had a "kerchief" or hat on! - it was for a reason!)
Close the vents - If there are rooms in your home that just don't get used, say guest rooms, close the heater vents, you can always open them up when company comes.
Add a rug - Hardwood floors are absolutely gorgeous and so nice and cool in the summer, but icy cold on your feet when the thermostat drops. Add a few area rugs and your feet will do a happy dance.
Replace your Filter - I can't stress this enough. A dirty air filter will only cause you grief... it makes your heater work harder, thus shortening it's lifespan, plus it can't work efficiently if it can't breathe!
Bake something - Using your oven when it's cold outside will help to add a little extra warmth to your house. Not only will it be toasty while you're baking, but the oven will continue to radiate warmth long after you're done.
Hot water - take a hot water bottle to bed with you like grandma did! They're perfectly safe and will keep your tootsies warm for hours. Take a long, hot bath to warm your bones.
Plug the gaps - anyone can get out the caulking gun (or some of those new single-use caulk packets) and seal up gaps that let in cold air. Check around your windows, around electrical outlets and light switches. You can also buy those plastic plugs that go into the sockets to keep kiddos from shocking themselves - they work great for that, but will help keep drafts out too! Be sure to add any weather-stripping around doors as necessary and don't forget those cute little draft-stoppers that go along the bottom of your doors!
And my last tip for keeping warm without raising your thermostat is my favorite...
Snuggle up with someone or something you love - Cuddle with your honey, or your pet and you'll share body heat.
With the economy in the state that it is, shelling out extra cash for the heating bill is definitely not on any one's "To Do" list - try a couple of these tips to help keep a handle on rising energy costs.