Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer time and the living is easy...

I have to admit, I sure was happy to get back to 95 degree weather. My blood has definitely thinned. I always have said that fall is my favorite season, and maybe it would be if we lived in New England. But for this season of life, I'm choosing summer!

Here are some summer money-saving tips:

1. (Has anyone tried this? I haven't...and I may end up playing the fool...) Fill a ziplock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in a problem insect area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Every since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away. Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened. (thanks, Deb L.)
2. Travelling invariably = eating out, no matter how much we plan. Always check http://www.restaurant.com/ for the zip in the area where you are going. If you have small kids, just feed them off your plate. Never order anything to drink except water. When we go to any fast food place, our kids get two items off the $ menu. If they want more than that, they have to pay. (They usually don't...and they always get water because any other drink counts as a choice:)
3. Gradually increase your AC settings by one degree every few days. We already set ours on 81. And we are quite comfy. I freeze in most public places and at our church. This is a huge cost saver.
4. Instead of delicate-fabric detergent (think Woolite) for your bathing suits and other fragile items, use a pea-size amount of shampoo in a sink of cold water. (The shampoo should be free if you are using my other strategies!!!)
5. Get books on tape/cd from the library for long road trips. We so prefer this over videos.
6. Make sure to take advantage of any free summer concerts and other entertainment offered in your area. Here in High Point, we are enjoying Party on the Plank on Thursday evenings. Go High Point!!
7. Buy now for winter...all those clothes are on deep discounts. If you NEED summer clothes, go to a thrift shop.
8. Instead of going out to eat with friends, invite someone over and set up the grill. You can have some great steaks for far less than restaurant prices!
9. If you have a gamer hound at your house, consider http://www.gamefly.com/, where you can rent games for far less than buying them.
10. Make sure to read by blog post about summer freebies for kids!

Happy Summer!


  1. I cannot agree with your embracing of this weather, and I've lived here my whole life. The hot & humid weather of summer is my least favorite thing about NC. I'm all about saving on energy costs in the winter - setting the thermostat a little lower and getting cozy with sweatshirts and blankets. But I tend to undo that saving in the summer - I hate being hot in my own house and I think that regardless of how incremental the changes were, I would be sweating at 81. See why I need to go to Maine in July? :-)

  2. First time I heard the penny added to the bag. My aunt has them hanging in her horse barn and believes in them.

    I've traveled with restaurant.com coupons before. It is worth remembering to look.

    On gamefly, buying and reselling on e-bay is cheaper than gamefly. My brother had gamefly subscription for a long time. I just did the e-bay thing and I'm sure I've spent way less money. Especially if you wait till a game has been out for 6 months. You can buy games that are just a year old for really cheap. This is cheap summer kid entertainment. Get a couple wacky games that you'd never pay $50 for and spend only $10. These games are good for hours. I recommend Marble Blast. Guide a marble through a 3-D maze. It kept my 15 year old and my 6 year old busy for a long time. -Bill

  3. Dillard Outlet at Oakhallow Mall in Highpoint has great deals on winter clothes. They always have sales on top of the discounted prices. They just had 50-70% of mens clothes and we got good deals on dress shirts and mens dress pants. ($20 for pants, $10 for shirts) The pants needed to be hemmed but it was worth it. If you ask the cashier they will give you a number so you can call weekly to find out the sales for the week. -Lori R.

  4. Being a born and bred "Maina", I have to say I LOVE the cooler temps. We are supposed to get up to 90 or so with high humidity the next couple of days and I really dread it. We don't have an air conditioner but our house usually won't go over 80 or so inside. But when it is that hot I look for excuses to go swimming in the pond. :) For us, I think it is the extreme temp changes that make it so unbearable. One day it is 75, sunny, dry, and breezy. The next day 95 and humid. Just such a shock to the system- especially if you are an outdoor person. Throughout summer I literally pray for September to come soon! Thank you for a practical and enjoyable blog!
    Penni Hill, Corinth, Maine

  5. It gets into the 90s in Maine in the summer? This information is ruining my picture perfect vision!! Oh no!!

  6. Yes, it does get in the 90's in Maine!! :) We have had 4 or 5 days (since early May) in the 90's and several in the upper 80's. And Humid!! - Ugh it gets so stuffy! Already today it is 82 degrees this morning and the humidity is 59% and rising. Yesterday it was chilly and in the high 60's, tomorrow it is supposed to be only the high 70's. In July and August we have been known to have a 2 week stretch of the high temps and high humidity. Although it is very rare to have it hit 100, it does on occasion. I think the fluctuating temps are why the hot days seem so hot to us here. --We just aren't used to it.
    Keep up the good thoughts of Maine, though! It is the most beautiful place on earth! And I would so much rather have the heat off and on for only a few months than for most of the year like down south!:)
    God bless, Penni