You don't have to pay a high energy bill to keep your apartment warm this winter.

Keeping your apartment toasty during the long months of winter can seem to be an unending challenge. The frigid breeze always somehow manages to find a way in, but keeping the heat cranked up can really dig a hole in your pocket. At the end of the day, this leaves many renters trying to find a way to stay warm without breaking the bank. Of course, there are several simple changes you can make such as layering your clothes, changing out your bedding for thicker sheets and cuddling up with a loved one to share warmth. However, if you're still feeling a bit chilled, here are five additional ideas for keeping your apartment warmer this winter: 

1. Let the sun in 
During the cold season, pulling back your curtains and raising your blinds can let in a lot of cold through your windows, especially if it's dark or stormy out. But if you have a chance to soak up some direct sunlight, by all means take advantage of it. Open up your blinds or curtains whenever the sun can shine through, as it will naturally heat your living space. Although, once the sun has gone from view, make sure to close the curtains so that you retain the warmth. Take note of what time of day each window in your apartment gets direct sunlight, that way you can create a schedule for when the curtains can be pulled back and when the window should be covered up. 

2. Invest in candles 
Candles are perfect for setting an intimate mood for a romantic dinner or get together with some friends. Of course, candles also serve as a great way to warm your apartment on the cheap. Remember to blow out all of the candles in your apartment before leaving, and make sure not to leave candles unattended when you're not in the room. 

3. Weatherstrip your windows 
Weatherstripping your windows puts an extra layer between you and the blustery outdoors. This is also a great way to seal air leaks or cracks that are constantly letting in cold air. When purchasing weatherstripping, work with an employee at your local hardware or home goods store to find the product that is most suitable for the weather conditions in the area. If weatherstripping is already present in your apartment, double check to ensure it hasn't become damaged or worn out. In the case that the weatherstripping appears aged and ineffective, it may be time to ask your landlord to replace it. 

4. Buy an area rug 
People often don't think of the floor when it comes to retaining heat. Like any other surface in your abode, the floor can take away your much treasured warmth. To mitigate this issue, purchase an area rug that will not only stop your flooring from sucking up all the heat, but also make your apartment more cozy. While buying a rug might be an immediate cost, in time it'll save you on having to turn up the heat to keep your feet warm. 

5. Seal off gaps 
Windows might not be the only point in your apartment in need of being sealed off. Check your doors, mail slip and vents for potential breaks in the seal. Odds are you'll be able to find leaks relatively easily since you'll feel the cold air entering your living space. If you're struggling to identify leaks, light a match around the area in question to see if it blows out or sends smoke in a particular direction.