Summer Money Saving Tips

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Phew, it’s hot!  Summer is heating up and so are the utility bills.  Here are a few money savings tips to help you stay cool this summer and keep more of your hard earned money in the bank!

  • Put your curtains to use – If any rooms in your home get direct sunlight, help keep them cooler by closing your blinds and drapes during the peak hours when the sun is shining straight in.  It really does make a difference!
  • Turn on your fans & check the spin direction – It takes a lot less energy running a fan on high vs turning on your AC.  If you have ceiling fans, check they are spinning in the right direction (typically counterclockwise if you look up at the blades).  You should feel the air blowing down if you stand underneath.
  • Change your AC filter – sometimes it just gets too hot for fans alone and using AC is necessary not to get sick.  Install a new filter to help your unit run more efficiently and avoid unwanted particles blowing into your home.
  • Cool down at the grocery store – One great thing about grocery stores is they love to blast the AC and you don’t have to pay a dime to get in.  Head over to the magazine aisle to catch up on the news and then pick up some popsicles for later.
  • Eat more meal size salads – Not only will you feel good eating lots of raw greens, your apartment will stay cooler with the stove and ovens turned off.  You can buy a whole bag of salad at the  farmers market for just $1 or $2, and seasonal fruits & veggies like nectarines or cucumbers are tasty, healthy toppings.
  • Shower at the gym – If you have a gym membership, it’s not too late to get in shape for the beach and you can also save on your water bill by showering there.
  • Collect rain water & leftover ice – Summer is full of BBQ’s and there’s always leftover ice that just goes to waste.  Save it in a canteen or water barrel along with collected rainwater.  Affordable containers come in all sizes and you’ll feel good saving the environment by reusing water for your lawn, house plants, washing the deck, etc.

Now Here’s a roundup of a few great posts I’ve read recently around the web:

Things Totally Worth Splurging Money On by Financial Samurai – Some things in life really are worth the extra money

Google Updates Pagerank And The Yakezie Rises by Yakezie – Way to go Yakezie!

How to Get S*** Done In Half the Time by Get Busy Living – Why we all need to a Not To Do list

Smell The Roses by Buck Inspire – Work hard but don’t forget to enjoy life.  Definitely check out the video too – hilarious!

Networking Saves Money And Your Health by Financially Consumed – Important things to know about Obama-care

Why Experimental Learning Is Better Than Book Learning by Money Reasons – Put your ideas into action!

Thrill Money Investing by Moneycone – Tips on how to increase profits in your investment portfolio

Happy 4th of July everyone!

“Personal

Unconventional Guides

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Financial Samurai July 4, 2011 at 9:01 am

There’s nothing better I like than stepping into the grocery store on a hot summer’s day and opening up the freezer where the popsicles are and going ahhhh!

It’s damn hot in SF! What’s up with that? Happy 4th!

Best, Sam

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Sydney July 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

Me too me too! I should have gone to the freezer aisle last night b/c I was melting with no AC. We sure are having a crazy heat wave, phew! But we better savor it before it’s back in the 60′s again. :) Happy 4th to you too!

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cashflowmantra July 4, 2011 at 8:25 pm

No air conditioning??? I would just die. I love the tip about going to the grocery store to cool off. Our AC broke last week and we had to go 3 days without. It was in the mid 80s only but it did get kinda hot inside. I was keeping all the blinds shut. It was tolerable but not enjoyable. I loved going to work for the car AC and the AC at work.

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Sydney July 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Luckily it’s normally only hot enough around 2-3 weeks of the year to need AC where I am so it’s usually pretty tolerable. But on the hot days like we’ve had lately I love going to the freezer aisle at the grocery store. Aaaaah the icy blast feels so nice :)

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Benny July 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

At the restaurant where I work, we have a walk in freezer. When it’s HOT outside I’ll step in there for a few seconds to cool off.

Also there’s this store where lots of restaurant owners buy food and supplies. Their cooler is huge!! In the winter, spring and fall, I have to wear a jacket to go inside. However now I walked inside with shorts and a tshirt and don’t want to leave!

Thanks for including me in this list!

Hope you had a great 4th Sydney!

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Sydney July 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

That sounds awesome. I spent an hour inside Barnes & Noble today and the icy blast of AC was ah so nice. And the mocha frappuccino I got on the way out kept me nice and cool on the way home. :)

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Denise @ The Single Saver July 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Great tips. Here’s another to add to your list… only run your ceiling fans when you are in the room to enjoy them. Fans cool people, not rooms, as the wind give you the illusion of cooler temps without actually cooling down the temps at all. So, don;t waste energy running them when you aren’t there to enjoy them.

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Sydney July 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Exactly. Most people are pretty good at remembering to turn the lights off when they leave a room and we should do the same when using fans. Fans move the air around us which makes us feel cooler without changing the room temperature. Weird but true. Thanks Denise :)

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MoneyCone July 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Nice tips Sydney! By the way, why does a fan have direction switches? As you point out, you get the maximum benefit by checking the direction of the blade. The house we purchased had fans with bi-directional switches and it never made sense to me! :)

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Sydney July 5, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Good question Moneycone! The direction the blades spin should be changed depending on the season – summer or winter. It seems weird, but yes you can benefit and save money using a ceiling fan in winter!

Why is that? Well, cooler air is heavier than warmer air. In the wintertime, reversing the spin direction of the fan helps mix the air in the room. The hot air blowing into a room from the heater is lighter than the existing cooler air in the room, and rises up to the ceiling. When the heat rises to the ceiling where we can’t feel it, we tend to keep cranking up the thermostat in order to feel warm.

With the ceiling fan running in reverse, the cooler air that’s settled to the floor gets swept up, mixes with the warmer air above, and then circulates down. This makes the room warmer down below and increases energy efficiency.

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Moneycone July 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Thanks for the detailed explanation Sydney! Who knew there was so much science behind it!

Thanks again!

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Lucas July 8, 2011 at 12:37 am

You could also hang out and work in air-conditioned cafés, but I guess the price of the coffee would make up for the energy savings :-)
Anyway, if you needed a reason to go to a café, I just gave you one!

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Everyday Tips July 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I was shocked by how much of a difference my room-darkening blinds made in keeping the heat out of a room. My room and my son’s room both face west, and we both have the same blinds. My blinds were closed, and his were open. I walked into his room to put something away, and his room was quite hot. My blinds were closed, and I was shocked how comfortable the room temperature was in comparison.

Great points.

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Sydney July 9, 2011 at 9:07 am

Yeah it can easily make a difference of 5-10 degrees sometimes! My husband is always getting on me for making our rooms dark like a cave with all the windows covered but I can’t help it. It really keeps things cool! I guess I just need to be a bit better at opening them in the early morning and early evening so we get some natural light in during the day. :)

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Paul @ The Frugal Toad September 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm

These are great Sydney! I do most of these since I live in Phoenix!

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