Well thank goodness summer showed up this year! I was getting a little tired of all that cold during the wintertime. But, with summer upon us it can sometimes be very easy to open your wallet and start spending money. Amusement parks, concerts, outdoor restaurants, ice cream; money just seems to slip right through all of our fingers. So how can you have fun, but still keep your wallet full of cash? Here are five tips that could help you reduce costs for the summer.
1) Limit Your A/C Usage
When it gets hot out, it can be pretty easy to run your air conditioning for much of the day, but there are ways to stay comfortable and leave that A/C unit off for much of the day. First of all, get in the habit of opening the windows at night when the temperature is the coolest. As long as it isn’t humid outside, this will cool down your house at no cost to you. Then, during the day, be sure to close the shades and limit the amount of direct sun that typically beats into your home. By blocking out the heat of the sun, your house will actually stay quite cool throughout the day.
One more helpful trick to keep that A/C off is to get a programmable thermostat. If your schedule is like mine, you’re not even home during the day and don’t need your house cool (with nobody there). Let the house heat up during the day and then program your thermostat to run before you get home in the afternoon. These only cost $20 and can reduce costs by nearly a hundred bucks throughout the course of a single summer.
2) Water Early in the Day
Many people wait to water their yard until the heat of mid-day (when they first think that the grass is starting to look a little brown). This actually doesn’t help your yard as much because some of the water will evaporate away, still other droplets actually harm the grass because they are reflecting the powerful light rays from the sun onto the grass blades, so only a portion of this watering is actually helping your grass.
Instead, learn to water your yard early. The moisture will stay for much of the day and will actually help the roots beneath the ground much more effectively.
3) Buy a Rain Barrel
I absolutely love the idea of a rain barrel. You know it is going to rain throughout the summer, so why not capture some of that natural water that comes out your gutters from your roof? All you have to do is buy a $10 barrel (typically a 55 gallon drum) and route your gutter into it instead of into the ground. You can use this water to wash your feet, water your garden, or to water your flowers around the house. It is a great savings throughout the year.
4) Cheap Entertainment
I mentioned quite a few activities (in the beginning of this article) that can cost a lot of money, but there are plenty of others things that you can do for practically nothing. Take a look at the list I have put together:
2) Going to the beach
7) Pickle ball (this is all the rage lately)
8) Going for a walk through your local park
There are many other activities that I am sure you can come up with that cost very little, or might even be free!
5) Cook Your Own Meals
Finally, cooking your own meals can be very rewarding and quite inexpensive! What do you figure it would cost to go out to an Italian restaurant and order grilled chicken with pasta? Between you and your significant other, this can easily cost between $40 and $50. Now, how much do you think it costs to make it yourself? You can buy a pound of fresh chicken for $2.99 and a whole pound of noodles for another dollar. Add some sauce for another dollar and you have made that very same meal for $5 total. Now that is quite the savings!
How are you limiting your spending this summer?