You’ve looked forward to summer and now that it’s almost here (Summer Solstice is on June 21), you may be worrying about bills. A change in temperature, for example, means that you’ll be running your air conditioner longer.Fortunately, there are many ways to ease the financial pressure.
By planning well, you can enjoy the warm weather and the change in season without paying more than necessary. In fact, if you think things through far enough, you might even have some cash left over each month.
Let’s take a look at how you could save money in the summer when it comes to air conditioning, grocery bills, and home improvements.
Today almost no home is built without air-conditioning, and it’s hard to imagine what life must have been like in the 1960s when only about 12% of homes enjoyed the luxury of cooler indoor temperatures.
If your air conditioning has issues, you may need to get these out of the way before the demand for HVAC services hits its peak. While you may have some nifty handyman skills or know someone who does, you would probably be better off if you got the right people for your air conditioning installation. Save your DIY enthusiasm for other projects that don’t matter as much if you mess things up.
You might be surprised at how improving the efficiency of your air conditioning will save you money. You’ll be able to get more cool air circulating through the house without using as much energy. Since about half of the energy you use in your home will go toward keeping the temperature comfortable, even a small adjustment, can increase your comfort level and drop your utility bills.
Besides fixing or installing air conditioning, here are some other ways you can save money when it comes to cooling the house:
- Use a programmable thermostat. On average, this will save you about $180 a year on heating or cooling your home.
- Don’t keep the air conditioning running if no-one is home.
- If it’s not too hot, then an open window and a fan may be more than enough to keep you cool.
If you enjoy gardening because it helps you get back in touch with nature, then you might want to think of home gardening, which is gradually increasing in popularity. If you like the idea but don’t know how to do it, there is plenty of information available. Besides reading gardening blogs or buying gardening books, you can also join a local gardening club.
Here are 5 reasons you might just want to take this idea seriously:
- 1. It takes your mind off your regular job and gives you a chance to putter around without fretting about things.
- 2. You will save time and money on your grocery shopping.
- 3. You will be eating organic vegetables without paying your local supermarket’s high price for organic foods. You might be surprised how delicious pesticide-free food tastes and how quickly it gives you a surge of well-being.
- 4. You will get plenty of sunshine and exercise.
- 5. If you join a gardening club, it will be a chance to make new friends.
How much can you save by growing your own vegetables? Let’s suppose you just focused on the veggies you might use in a salad, say spinach, Swiss chard, and arugula. According to Penny Hoarder, “A bag of prewashed grocery store lettuce that gives you maybe enough for two salads can cost up to $5. (Not to mention how hard it is to find a totally wilt-free bag.) Or, for $2 to $3, you can buy a seed packet that will keep you supplied with fresh salad greens every day for roughly five months.”
Besides saving hundreds of dollars on fresh salad, you’ll find it easy to grow, tend, and harvest, and, of course, everything will taste much better. You will develop a better appreciation for fresh foods.
If you’ve been thinking about doing some home improvements for some time now, summer is a good time to get your projects out of the way before high humidity interferes with setting paint or concrete. Besides impressing your neighbors and your spouse, you will probably enjoy the process more in the fine weather. Additionally, you’ll be able to get a lot of discounts on tools, equipment and materials as the home improvement stores will be offering all kinds of special sales.