The warmer months offer ample opportunities to cut costs and boost savings. You can potentially save hundreds of dollars a month by taking advantage of seasonal opportunities and reorganizing your daily routine. Here’s how to get started:
- Save on Air Conditioning – If possible, cut down your overall air conditioning usage and take advantage of floor and ceiling fans that consume significantly less energy. Consumers in hot regions should use programmable thermostats, which can cut down energy costs as much as 20 percent. Additionally, be sure to replace your air filters regularly. Dirty filters are less efficient and increase cooling costs.
- Save on Electricity – Open windows, drapes and curtains whenever possible and turn off the lights. Do more outside – eat, read and go for evening walks. It’s also more energy efficient to cook outside, as it reduces appliance usage and prevents the home from heating up more.
- Save on Laundry – Give your dryer a break and let the warm summer air dry your clothes for free. You can also use cool water in the washer more frequently, which can actually clean your clothes just as well as warm or hot water.
- Save on Food – Seek out seasonal fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or local farmers’ markets, which cost less than out-of-season finds. You can also grow your own herbs and vegetables. Swap your garden goods with neighbors for more variety.
- Save on Gym Memberships – Consider putting a hold or freeze on your annual gym membership during the summer months. Take your workout to public parks, local trails and free recreational facilities.
- Save on Gardening – If your garden or landscaping requires frequent watering, try to water in the early morning or evening. During the hotter hours, water evaporates more quickly, requiring you to water more often. If you’re considering new landscaping, opt for low-maintenance plants or rock gardens. Those in dryer climates should seek out drought-tolerant landscapes.
- Save on Transportation – Rather than driving, consider carpooling and public transportation a few times a week. If driving is a must, search for the best gas prices in your neighborhood using sites like GasBuddy.com. You can also ask your boss whether telecommuting a couple days a week is a viable option.
- Save on Childcare – Pool your babysitting resources. If there are several kids in your neighborhood, hire one babysitter to watch all the children and split the costs among the parents. You can also rotate your children between family and friends, each adult taking one day of the week to watch all the children.