FINANCES: Summer Savers

Summer is a great time to look to save money and the longer, lighter and warmer days offer opportunities to cut back on energy expenditure, in particular:

Only use Air Conditioning when necessary: Check the forecast and if it is going to be a cool night, turn off the A/C before heading to bed and open a few windows instead. Try cross-ventilation – open windows on opposite sides of the house and use a fan to pull the cooler night air into your home, while removing warmer, stuffier daytime air.

Eat out at home. Using the stove or baking in the oven can create a lot of excess heat that has nowhere to go except in your house. Consider taking meal plans to the barbecue grill outside so that you can keep your home cool – it also turns dinner into a fun picnic.

You can purchase fresh produce at much lower costs in the summer. It is a great time to eat healthy and light. Visit your farmer’s market to get the freshest food, or a farmer’s stand. You can also go to a farm that allows you to pick your own produce if you want to break up the monotony.

Gardening and growing your own food is a great way to save on food costs in the summer. It is easy to set up a container garden, and you can even have one on a balcony. Herbs, tomatoes and peppers are all easy to grow in containers.

Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Full. One of the simplest energy and money savers – food acts as insulation, and lessens the amount of time that the fridge has to run to stay cool.

Dry laundry outside. If you have the ability to hang up laundry outside, let the sun and warm summer breeze do the drying for you. If you have to dry indoors, use that fan again to pull fresh air over them, or use your drier on a cooler setting.

Light Evenings: Sit outside and take advantage of the long, light evenings to read, relax in the garden or pursue outdoor activities such as walking or cycling, istead of sitting inside  watching TV.

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