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13 Cheap Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Keep warm on a chilly day with these spring-like tips

It was crisp on Dec.15, romantic on Christmas Eve. It was downright cuddly in front of the fire when the clock struck 12 New Year's Eve.

But now, if you're like most people, you've had it with winter. One of your favorite gloves is lost. All those snuggly sweaters and comfortable boots you pulled out of the closet so eagerly last Halloween feel heavy and stale, and you long for the freedom of heading out the door without having to suit up and shovel out.

See also: Six sexy foods for Valentine's Day

Woman scraping snow off window - cheap ideas for beating the winter blues

Small changes to your daily routine can help you beat the winter blues and save money. — Photo by Sharon Cooper/Getty Images

So until the spring sun rays come shining again, here are some tips for banishing the blahs.

1. Grow herbs in those garage-sale pots on your shelf. Not only will your little troves of yummy mint and savory basil make it smell like summer inside, you can snip and eat your pretties. (To get started, take a look at the top five indoor herb champs).

2. Swap homes. Someone's dying for a week of skiing, and you'd like sand between your toes. Often, these are exchanges that require nothing but synchronized calendars and trustworthy, thoughtful participants. Use a registered site such as Home Exchange for the place of your dreams, be it Lake Placid or Lake Como. Ask for references, and have several phone conversations, as well as exchanging pictures. Even weekend swaps are sometimes possible, and, for the footloose, a month at a time!

3. Get the birds back. Suet'll do it. Their presence will enliven your horizon and cheer you up.

4. With a clay pot, a little peat moss, some soil and a few minutes, you can have daffodils and hyacinths in February.

5. Listen to the sound inside a conch shell.

6. Make mimosas. Mix a bottle of champagne (or the less-expensive Prosecco) and a bottle of orange juice. Include the kids and non-drinkers with faux mimosas — orange juice and ginger ale.

7. Take a zydeco line dance class (it's NOT just country anymore.) Or Watch the zydeco line-dance queen getting down online, and if she doesn't make you happy, you have a bigger problem than the temperature outside.

8. Throw a tie-dye party. Surprisingly, and perhaps horrifyingly, this is a great deal of fun. You need about $5 worth of Rit dye in primary colors, and ask everyone to bring a plain white T-shirt. Mix the mimosas and plug in the zydeco, and you're there.

9. Paint a room yellow. And banish brown paneling with a coat of white, while you're at it.

10. It's not violet; it's not blue. Put on a periwinkle shirt or dress, and you'll feel a season lighter.

11. Put on a summer fragrance, like Burberry Summer for men or D'ete by Kenzo — or for superb bargains and the most creative colognes on earth, even organic, visit Etsy, the online marketplace for artists.

12. Take a walk outside at midnight and hold hands with someone, even your child or grandchild.

13. Get in the car, turn on the heat, open the windows, and put on 'Pet Sounds' by the Beach Boys. You may not be at the beach, but Brian Wilson's classic tunes can turn your winter frown upside down.

You may also like: 7 ways to break out of your comfort zone.

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