The cold winter seems like a distant memory by now, and finally got over the hump of a cool spring, and it is now time to get out of the house and enjoy what the warm summer has to offer. Unfortunately, having more activity and fun tends to make expenses go up pretty significantly, not to mention the kids are now out of school, so it is good to help save a few bucks whenever you can. Fortunately, there are ways that you can make a few adjustments in your life that will add to your wallet and actually either end the month with money in your pocket, or cut in some areas to spend on having fun.
Control Cooling Costs
The air conditioning has probably been cracking now that temperatures have gotten in the 80’s and 90’s during the day, so what is a good temperature to keep it at? I do enjoy being cool at night for sleeping, so if you can turn it down to 68 degrees at night, what about during the day? There is no reason to keep the house that cool while you are at work all day, so setting the temperature at 72-74 is still cool enough to keep the kids and pets cool during the day, but avoids kicking on all day with rising costs. When temperatures go down at night you can even get away with cracking open the windows and letting the cool summer breeze in.
Avoid Watering Lawn During the Day
Sure, we need to water our lawns, probably every day, in order to remain green all summer, although with a lack of rain, it makes it pretty hard to hide the brown spots (hey, at least it means further in between grass cuts as it is not growing as fast). The sun and heat hit its peak during the day, so watering then would just mean needing more water to stay ahead of drying pretty quickly. The best watering times would be early in the morning, or even better, later at night after the sun goes down.
Fire up the BBQ
Of course, it is easy to go out to eat; they cook, serve, and clean up after you, but it comes at a premium price. Grocery shopping to keep the fridge, pantry, and freezer will always be a money saver instead of going out to eat, but at least now that it is the summer time it can be a little more fun to stay home, crack open a beer, and fire up the grill. With so many options to cook on the grill now such as pizzas and vegetables, it doesn’t always have to be hotdogs and hamburgers.
Have a Stay-cation
We all love to travel, but it makes more sense to get out of state during the cold months and head somewhere warm. In the summer, you can take daytrips to places in the state you have not seen before, such as maybe the beach or a new brewery, but better yet, if you are fortunate enough to have friends or family that have a pool or live on a lake, have a staycation. Even sitting in your backyard around the bonfire at night can still seem like a mini getaway, and it’s not costing anything.
Plant a Garden
It was warm so late the previous year that our garden was still pumping out tomatoes and peppers well into November, so much in fact that we have to freeze them, or we just gave them away. Planting a garden can be a great source of free vegetables for months, and doesn’t cost much more than a few dollars to start up. To take it a step further, if you hook a rain barrel up to your gutter, you can collect free rainwater to use to feed your flowers and garden, instead of just going into the ground or down the sewer.
Always Look for Discounts
There is so much competition as summer is a huge travel season, so it doesn’t make sense to book without finding a discount somewhere. Whether you shop around the online travel sites, or look at Groupon, there are plenty of deals out there. I now look at Groupon for my summer concert tickets, as you can scoop up many of the lawn amphitheater tickets are steals at $15-25 each, and that is all in and does not have the hefty fees that go along with it from sites like Ticketmaster and resale sites like StubHub.