Summer is here and boy have I been looking forward to it! In my more recent years, my tolerance for the cold and winter has waned and I’d much rather enjoy a warm summer day than bundling up in my thermals and digging the car out of 12 inches of snow! Just thinking about it makes me cold, so yippee! summer has officially arrived and for the next few months, snow will be restricted to other corners of the globe and not here in central New Jersey.
Being ever on the lookout for ways to save some money, summertime offers several neat ways to save and I have compiled my faves which are things you can actually do yourself. So, here are nine great ideas you can use to save money during those warm months of summer.
9 Summer Money Saving Tips
1. Turn Off the A/C
This doesn’t mean you have to suffer through sweltering heat, but you should be aware of the weather so that you can maximize efficiency and save money by using the air conditioning only when needed. For example, if it is going to be a cool night, turn off the air before heading to bed and open a few windows. It can help to have cross-ventilation set up. To do this, open windows on opposite sides of your home, and set up a fan to exhaust out one window. This pulls the cooler nighttime air into your home, while removing warmer, stuffier daytime air and saves you money!
There are other ways to stay cool besides cranking up the A/C.
2. Cook Outside
Using the stove or baking in the oven can create a lot of excess heat that has nowhere to go except in your house. You can switch to using the microwave, but that isn’t really any fun, is it? Consider taking meal plans to the barbecue grill outside so that you can keep your cool inside. A bonus: cooking out turns a plain dinner into a fun picnic and some fresh air enjoyment too.
3. Let Your Laundry Dry Outside
If you have the ability to hang up laundry outside (not every homeowners association or rental property allows this), let the sun and warm summer breeze do the drying for you. You’ll be amazed at how fresh your clothes smell once they’ve been out in the sun. Even if you can’t hang up clothes outside, try using your dryer on a lower heat setting to save and even just partially drying your clothes like shirts and letting them air dry the rest of the way on hangers.
4. Take Advantage of the Extended Daylight and Evenings
Instead of retiring to the couch to stream a show, use the extended daylight hours to really enjoy the great outdoors. You’ll save a bit of money on electricity by not running all the electronics and indoor lights, plus maybe get some exercise. Star gazing or just sitting out in the backyard chatting away is relaxing and healthy too.
Take advantage of the longer days and sunny weather by getting outside to exercise. Get rid of the gym membership for now and do some bicycle riding, tennis, golf, swimming, or just plain walking around the neighborhood for your exercise. Don’t confine yourself indoors.
5. Replace Your Air Conditioner Filters
This can be easy to overlook, but a dirty filter can increase your cooling costs. Dirty filters restrict the airflow and the efficiency of the air conditioner, which translates into more run time and higher cooling costs. Filters are cheap, so replace them regularly.
One of the most important things you can do is to have your HVAC checked by a professional who will make sure those filters are clean or changed and that everything is working properly. A general rule of thumb is to clean your filters and get your unit checked at the start of every season. June is the time when the prices are lower to do a maintenance checkup.
6. Keep Your Thermostat Just a Little Bit Higher
If you can set your thermostat at about 75-78 degrees Fahrenheit and run a floor fan or a ceiling fan, that is more cost effective than actually running your air conditioner at lower temps. Plus it helps you save on your electric bill!
Many people like to turn the temperature up when they leave home thinking that may save some money, but you may actually be costing yourself more. It’s understandable to set it up a little higher while you’re gone and then turn it down, but stay within a couple of degrees because your air conditioner has to work harder and uses more electricity when it has to compensate for larger differences.
7. Be Prepared for Summer Power Outages
It happens almost every summer, you lose your electricity either from a severe storm or just plain overuse of area power grids and the stress it can put on systems when it’s really hot out there.
Prepare for it with fresh batteries and flashlights, and make sure you are using surge protectors for your important electronics like computers and TV’s. During summer storms and power outages, immediately turn off your appliances. It can help save you lots of dollars in potential damages to appliances from power surges when the power returns.
8. Plan Ahead for Next Year’s Home and Garden Projects
If you’re able to do some planting before the summer, try to make sure to plant some shade around your house. Believe it or not, that helps.
As summer begins to wind down, it is a perfect time to be on the lookout for season-ending sales. Landscape plants, tools, and other outdoor project materials tend to go on sale as people begin to look toward autumn and spending less time outside.
9. Have a Garage Sale or Yard Sale
If you missed your spring cleaning dates, then make up for it with a great summer yard sale! You can clean out your closets, garage, and basement, and sell some of your old stuff and pick-up some quick cash. Or try online selling if you decide that’s more your style. You might even discover some of your old hidden treasures while you doing the cleanup! Last summer we had a sale and we made well over $200 on what was a lot of junk to us, but a treasure to others!
Summer is a great time for family, fun, and enjoying life. It can also provide new opportunities to make a little cash and save some too, if you know how. These summer super saving tips can definitely help! Whether you’re staying local or travelling, I hope you have a great summer.
What ways do you use to save money and still enjoy the upcoming summer season? What can you share with us that we can try as well?