There are lots of ways to tweak energy consumption in your home.
I have found an effective—and attractive—way to reduce heating costs. The trick is to use insulating curtains—or draperies or blinds, depending on what works best for your windows.
The idea is to create a barrier that will keep out cold air. This is done in a variety of ways which can accommodate different budgets. The most basic insulating curtains have a thin foam backing that prevents cold air from coming in. Others have a thin reflective layer that functions the same way. More expensive and complex versions use multiple layers, with foam backing, a reflective layer, and cotton padding to block incoming cold air. In this type the insulating part is a separate liner. The thicker and more expensive versions also work better. And if you are handy with a sewing machine, you can make the lined curtains yourself. You can also buy premade thermal linings to attach to existing window treatments.
A few years ago when I first looked into replacing the ragged, worn-out drapes that came with my house, there weren't many places to purchase the insulated drapes. As environmental awareness has increased, insulated curtains have become more common, and you can buy foam-backed curtains and the attachable linings at nation-wide stores like Target or JC Penney. The more expensive versions are also readily available, with a little Internet searching. In my case, I purchased the draperies online, and had them altered to fit my house.
Simple cotton canvas draperies work well in my living room, and the white foam backing keeps out the coldest drafts at night. Just one more thing—don't forget to close your curtains at night! The new curtains will look lovely but they won't do their job if you don't close them. Happy winter, and stay warm!