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You do have to be prepared. And hardy!

Stay Warm Cheap: Tips from the Andes and the Inuit

1. TURN OFF HEATER

Here in the Andes, almost no one uses a heater. That's for the rich folks. When it is snowing outside, we put on lots of layers of clothes. However, it doesn't get much below freezing here, since we are so close to the equator. So, if you live in a more artic zone, you can save money the Inuit Way.

2. DIG A HOLE

To save money on heating and stay warm when temperatures drop to minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, dig a hole. (Of course, the hole is best dug in Summer. Plan ahead!). Traditional Inuit houses are big holes in the ground. Line the hole with tree trunks, for stability. Cover the hole with a tree trunk roof, about a foot above ground level.

Put a single small window in the log wall (yes, above ground level). This window never opens. It is your porch light. Build a loft bed.

Light a candle. (The ancestors as recent as circa 1950 A.D. used a whale fat lamp with a moss or lichen wick, but candles are easier to come by nowadays).
NOTE: The candle must be kept lit 24 hours a day. This is your sole heat source.

The excellent insulation of your Inuit-style house will keep the heat in and let it accumulate. Hang out on your loft bed, near the ceiling. It will get so toasty warm you can hang out in the nude. Store your perishable food on the floor. It is nature's icebox.

To make the front door, dig a tunnel. Make it bend like a kitchen sink drain pipe. The cold will sink in from outside and be trapped in the bend. You will climb up the next part of the tunnel to enter your home at loft-bed-level where it will be cozy warm. Save tons of money on your heating bills!

About Lynette Yetter

Lynette Yetter is the author of the books "72 Money Saving Tips for the 99%" and "Lucy Plays Panpipes for Peace, a novel." Lynette is a permanent resident of Bolivia and a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at Reed College.

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