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How to beat the heat – and stay on your budget

It's summertime. It's hot. You're miserable. The kids are bored. What can you do that will cool you all off that won't do in your budget? There are lots of inexpensive ways you can cool off and escape the hot weather.

1. Go to the beach or hit the community pool, or head for the nearest lake or river. You may also want to set your sprinkler system to go off during the hot part of the day, so you can kill two birds with one stone – you and the kids get to cool off, while you water your plants, trees and shrubs.

2. Eat cool foods. It's not a good idea to eat heavy, greasy foods when it's hot outside. Stick to cold veggies salads and fruit. 

3. Make use of that library card you've been carrying around. You can not only pick up some great summer reads, but many libraries also offer movies and even CDs, and they have children's programs.

4. Switch to cold water. Take cool showers instead of hot. You'll get refreshed – and clean.

5. If you have a cavern near where you live, explore it. Caverns are usually abut 54 degrees year-round. You can have your kids research bats and caves, and then head to a real one for an afternoon to explore.

6. Go to the movie theater. Although it can get expensive to take your family to the movies, check to see if your town has a dollar theater, or go to a matinee. Alternatively, you could also set up a theater at home, and rent "cool" movies that have a wintry setting or theme.

7. Host a make-your-own-sundae party. You can save money by making it pot luck, and ask everyone to bring their favorite ice cream and fixings. 

8. Summertime is not the time to bake or use a slow cooker, since this will heat up the house. Use your grill as much as possible.

9. You can maximize your air conditioning by turning it up a bit in the morning when it will need to work the least, to cool your house down. Then turn it back down, and close your blinds and curtains to seal in the cool air. 

10. Change your light bulbs. CFL bulbs give off a lot less heat than incandescent light bulbs and will keep your house much cooler. They also last longer and are more energy efficient. 

Published Jun 23 2011, 11:19 AM by moneycoach
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