Everyone loves summer! Kids are out of school, there are family vacations to go on, grilling to do, and… higher bills, summer allergies, lawns to mow…
Okay, so not everything about summer is great. But after doing some significant research on the most common causes of higher expenses in summer, we've gathered some great tips and tricks for saving money over summer months. There's no time of year when your wallet should feel an increased strain, and these easy solutions can help you keep your summer sweeter.
Monitor Your Air Conditioning
Roughly half your household's bills are likely going towards heating and cooling your home… or at least, that's what Energy Star claims. For every degree you turn down your AC, you can save several percent on your energy bill. A good trick is to turn the AC off when you leave for work, and turn it on when you all get home. Also, consider opening windows and doors to let in natural breezes. You'd be surprised how much this can help cool off a home! The average programmable thermostat saves households approximately $200 a year.
If there are rooms in the house you don't use often, ensure that the vents to them are closed, so that you're not paying more just to cool or heat them. And of course, replace your filter frequently! The typical home air filter should be replaced every 3 months, and can dramatically increase your home air conditioner's efficiency.
Let the Lawn Go Natural
Whether you tear out the sod and replace it with seasonally-strong alternatives or simply stop watering it, you can save a lot of money by reducing your lawn's water needs. Alternatively, if you love the look of a lush, green lawn, consider making use of a home made drip-water system using rain barrels. Given the fact that lawns usually only need to be watered every 7 to 9 days, not only will this save water costs; but it's often better for your lawn! Likewise, a good hose such as Gilmour's Flexogen® garden hose, will water your lawn in efficient way so that the least amount of water (and money!) is wasted there. It's worth the investment!
Grow a Garden
Most seed packets cost between $1 and $3; a very small start-up cost for a garden. Given that most mature plants will yield enough vegetables for several meals, the amount of savings should really be a no-brainer! And if you're worried about having enough potting soil, call to local garden centers, who might be able to recommend the best places to get compost for free.
Save Money on Entertainment
If you live near a metro area, resist the temptation to go out to dinner or the movies, and plan to go to free local entertainment instead! Many cities throw music festivals, food events, movies in the park, or other free events. And even if events aren't free, they might be cheaper than going out; try to compare costs wherever possible. And of course, there's always the outdoors! Make plans to have picnics in parks, or to go on short local camping trips! Especially if you have kids in tow, this can be a fun way to relax together for little more than the cost of renting a camping space (usually no more than $15) and cookout materials!
Save While Shopping
Did you know that gas tends to increase in price in the summer, because more people are driving? A great way to save money in summer is to use the car less often. If at all possible, avoid a summer car trip, and go on a close-by staycation instead. Try to limit frequent trips out for shopping and groceries, and instead try to make one big trip once a week.
And when you do go shopping, be certain to coupon and look online for deals and sales. Use cards or in-store promotions which offer cash back rewards, and try to avoid buying items at full price. Spring and summer is when many retailers offer big sales and blowouts, so keep an eye out for an opportunity to save!
Build Habits Which Save
Saving money during summer is often as simple as thinking about where your increased spending in summer usually goes. Do you throw a lot of summer parties which wind up costing quite a lot? Consider getting decorations, food, and disposable items from other retailers or in bulk so that they cost you less! Do you hate the heat, and crank up the AC? Consider adding a fan tower in the room you most often occupy, so that you can cool off without cranking up the AC!
Building the habits which save in one summer can ensure that you save money every year! And as a great tip, a lot of the same habits which lower your expenses are also better for you and the environment. For example, using the car less reduces your carbon emissions, and growing your own garden is technically much more “green” than buying mass-produced and shipped produce from the local grocery.
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