Winter-proofing during the summer

Now the warm weather is here, the last thing you really want to be thinking about is the cold, dark winter. But actually, there are some easy things you can be doing now to make the forthcoming winter more bearable and cheaper.

Get your boiler serviced

The first of these is to do with your boiler. While the sun is shining, there is no better time to get your boiler serviced. For one thing, even if you have to wait a few days before the boiler can be serviced, you are not reliant on the engineer getting to you as quickly as possible. While the sun is shining and the weather is warm, there is no emergency. And, with most people not considering the health of their boiler during these warm months, chances are you will be able to make an appointment much quicker than in the winter months when everyone is suddenly panicking because their boiler is malfunctioning.

Spring-clean your cupboards

While you are thinking about house-hold chores, why not give your cupboards a spring clean. Throw open the windows and really be ruthless with those items you have crammed into all those nooks and crannies. That old sweater that has not been worn since 1999 could go, and so could that old radio/cassette player that you put in the cupboard when you bought the latest digital radio. Find out when your next car boot sale is and make a little bit of money out of things you really don’t need anymore.

Also check the backs of your for cupboards, it is amazing how many jars, tins and packets have been shoved to the back of the cupboard and are now months, if not years, out of date.

 

Just like granny used to make!

Years ago, while the fruit trees and vegetable patches were abundant, our grandparents would be busy bottling, pickling, jamming and chutneying everything they could. This was their food for the winter months. Making jams and chutneys is enjoying a bit of a revival thanks to all the cookery and gardening shows on television. Now might be the time to discover your inner ‘good life.’

If you have a fruit tree or a vegetable patch, you might find you have a glut of fruit and vegetables. Clear a space in your shed or cupboard to store some home-grown or foraged produce over the winter. For example, if you store apples in an air-tight container, they will keep until well into the winter, just make sure when you put them in storage, they are blemish free and unbruised.

Potatoes and onions are the same – make a space in your shed and you will be able to store the summer’s glut and use them in stews and casseroles well into the autumn and winter. It is also a good time to get hold of soft fruit to make jams. Again, you can make the jam now and store it in air-tight jars until you need it. Check out the best jam making ideas at www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes. These are just three ideas of things you can be doing this summer that will make winter seem a lot less miserable.

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