cooling http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11002/all en-US Best Money Tips: Ways to Keep Cool Without AC http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-keep-cool-without-ac <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-keep-cool-without-ac" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_summer_ice_cream_656424114.jpg" alt="Woman keeping cool without AC" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to keep cool without AC, tax tips for newlyweds, and how to flip free stuff from Craigslist.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://blog.cheapism.com/how-to-stay-cool-without-ac-3649/">10 Ways to Keep Cool Without AC</a> &mdash; Switch out your satin and silk bedding and sheets with high thread count for lightweight cotton sheets and blankets. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dontmesswithtaxes.com/2017/06/10-tax-tips-for-newlyweds-june-weddings.html">10 tax tips for newlyweds</a> &mdash; Make sure to let your employer know if you have changed your name or address. While you're at it, update your W-2 to account for your changed status. [Don't Mess With Taxes]</p> <p><a href="http://flippingincome.com/flip-free-stuff-from-craigslist/">How To Flip Free Stuff From Craigslist</a> &mdash; There might be specialty buyers for certain items. Reach out to music stores for instruments or antique shops for wooden doors and furniture. [Flipping Income]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Save-Money-Expensive-Cities-43642596">9 Painless Ways to Live Out Your City Dreams and Still Save Money</a> &mdash; Don't be afraid to speak up if you can't afford to take part in certain plans with your friends. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/20668/say-no-someone-asks-money.html">7 Ways to Politely Say No When Someone Asks for Money</a> &mdash; Don't beat around the bush. Simply state your answer and move on; there's no need for a long, drawn out explanation. [Everything Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2017/06/21/complainers-finish-last/">Why Negativity Is a Social Killer</a> &mdash; Negativity can be contagious. Someone who was feeling pretty good can feel their positive vibes drain away when they're stuck in a conversation full of complaints. [The Art of Manliness]</p> <p><a href="http://lifeguider.com/how-to-get-to-work-early-top-5-tested-and-proven-ways/">How to Get to Work Early: Top 5 Tested and Proven Ways</a> &mdash; Check the weather and traffic reports so you know if you'll need to leave the house earlier or take an alternate route. LifeGuider]</p> <p><a href="http://www.theorderexpert.com/increase-productivity-lies/">Want to Increase Your Productivity? Stop Telling Yourself These 4 Productivity Lies</a> &mdash; Productivity apps are great tools, but they won't solve all your productivity issues. [The Order Expert]</p> <p><a href="https://www.dumblittleman.com/how-to-overcome-obstacles/">How To Overcome Obstacles: 5 Ways On How To Be A Conqueror</a> &mdash; When you feel overwhelmed, shift your focus to the little pieces of the larger obstacle and tackle those one at a time. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/18-clever-ways-to-make-frugality-a-highly-social-endeavor/">18 Clever Ways to Make Frugality a Highly Social Endeavor</a> &mdash; Organize rotating baby-sitting with another family. You save, they save, and everyone wins! [The Simple Dollar]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-keep-cool-without-ac">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill">4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer’s Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wear-frozen-clothes-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-the-heat">Wear Frozen Clothes and 9 Other Ways to Beat the Heat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-being-uninformed-costs-you-money">How Being Uninformed Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-living-on-one-income-a-status-symbol">Is living on one income a status symbol?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips cooling Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Amy Lu 1971278 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What is Your Favorite Way to Cool Down? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-way-to-cool-down <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-way-to-cool-down" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_summer_ice_cream_000049478816.jpg" alt="Woman eating ice cream as a way to cool down" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-way-to-cool-down#comment-777330">Kristin</a>, Matt, and Paul for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It's been feeling a lot like summer in many places lately, but summer has <em>officially</em> begun! One &quot;activity&quot; typical for this time of year is trying to cool off in blistering heat. Cranking up the AC is an easy way to do it, but there are many different (and very creative!) alternatives.</p> <p><strong>What is your favorite way to cool down?</strong> How do you keep it budget-friendly?</p> <p>Tell us how about your favorite way to cool down and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_k8usjswc" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa193" rel="nofollow" class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa193/">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after June 29th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how about your favorite way to cool down and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-favorite-way-to-cool-down">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">Ask the Readers: How Do You Care For Your Pet Affordably?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: How Do You Save? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-who-are-your-favorite-personal-finance-gurus">Ask The Readers: Who Are Your Favorite Personal Finance Gurus?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Giveaways Ask the Readers cooling Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:00:14 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1464538 at http://www.wisebread.com Wear Frozen Clothes and 9 Other Ways to Beat the Heat http://www.wisebread.com/wear-frozen-clothes-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-the-heat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wear-frozen-clothes-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-the-heat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cold-4767152-small.jpg" alt="frozen clothes" title="frozen clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With heat waves sweeping across the U.S. and other countries, you&rsquo;re probably feeling hot right about now. So am I. But before you reach for the air conditioner switch, resist the call for instant gratification and try out these energy-saving methods for cooling off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a>)</p> <h2>1. Wear Frozen Clothing</h2> <p>Weird, right? Placing your clothes in the freezer <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5857596/sorry-levis-freezing-your-jeans-will-not-ungross-them">won&rsquo;t clean them</a>, but it should cool off your threads and, by extension, you. Drop your clothes in a large ziplock bag to keep from mixing with the food. I haven't actually tried this myself, but it seems workable in theory; surely it's more cost effective than standing in front of the fridge with the freezer door open.</p> <h2>2. Wear Loose Clothing</h2> <p>Sweat evaporation cools you off. What helps sweat evaporation? Air circulation. What increases air circulation against your skin? Loose clothing. It&rsquo;s especially important to wear light and loose clothing if you live in a humid area, where your sweat can evaporate very slowly. Go with a breathable fabric, like cotton.</p> <h2>3. Cool Your Pulse Points</h2> <p>You can <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5571072/know-your-bodys-cooling-spots">target your body's pulse points to cool off</a> because your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin in those areas. A cold, wet towel against your neck should do quite nicely!</p> <p>You can also cool all your pulse points at once by taking a cold shower. Granted, the initial shock of ice cold water can be quite, well, shocking. I usually start at slightly cooler than lukewarm, then slowly turn the knob over to as cold as I can stand before my teeth start to chatter. The resulting cold shower is simply divine.</p> <h2>4. Use a Programmable Thermostat</h2> <p>A programmable thermostat will help you control your impulses &mdash; no turning on the A/C willy-nilly as soon as you feel a tad warm &mdash; and it will automatically turn off the cooling even if you forget to. The goal is to have a good stretch of time each day when the air conditioner doesn't kick on at all. According to the <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/tips-programmable-thermostats">U.S. Department of Energy</a>, &quot;You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7&deg;-10&deg;F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.&quot;</p> <p>One high tech option is the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GDHYPQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009GDHYPQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="blank">Nest Learning Thermostat</a>. Once it&rsquo;s connected to your home Wi-Fi, you can change the temperature, adjust your settings and schedules, check how much energy you&rsquo;re saving &mdash; all from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. With its activity sensors, it knows to go into energy-saving mode when no one is home. About a week after installation, the Nest will develop a personalized schedule to reflect your preferences and habits. Plus, it will continue to adapt as the season changes. Pretty neat, huh?</p> <h2>5. Open and Close Windows Wisely</h2> <p>For a low-tech approach to cooling, be judicious about your window-opening. Keep them closed during the day, especially during the peak heat hours of 10 a.m. to whenever it doesn't feel like you'll melt if you walk to the mailbox. While you're at it, draw close the curtains, too, to keep the sunlight at bay. Only open your windows a crack if there's a breeze to help with airflow, and make sure to close them when the breeze drops.</p> <p>Once the sun begins to set, though, and it starts to get cooler outside &mdash; go wild. Open your windows with abandon. Let out the trapped warmth and enjoy the (hopefully) relatively cooler night air while you can... because come the next morning, the cycle begins anew.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Hot Things</h2> <p>Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But you'd be surprised how much heat our everyday machines give off. Be aware of what machines and appliances give off significant amounts of heat, and try not to power them for so long that they warm up the room. Even if you're not wrapped around a laptop, some computers and game consoles can get pretty warm if they're on long enough. And don't get me started about the oven! Mostly because I don't want to go there &mdash; I love baking! But I try not to do any baking when it&rsquo;s super hot out; we definitely don&rsquo;t need the extra heat inside.</p> <h2>7. Eat Cold Things</h2> <p>This is one of my favorite anti-hot options. From iced drinks to ice cream and frozen yogurt to frozen fruit, I love the way the chill follows the food down my throat to my belly. I like my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat">cold drinks</a> thick, like slushies or milkshakes, or with something chewable for my mouth to work on, such as boba (tapioca balls, commonly found in milk teas); the semi-solids keep me from downing the entire thing in under a minute. To stay hydrated, though, a cold glass of water is the best way to go.</p> <h2>8. Use Ceiling Fans</h2> <p>Use ceiling fans to increase the air circulation of a room &mdash; but make sure the blades are turning counterclockwise when you look up. You want the air to come down at you from above. While a spinning fan doesn&rsquo;t <em>actually</em> decrease the temperature of room, the airflow creates a wind-chill effect that makes you <em>feel</em> cooler as the sweat on your skin evaporates and your body sheds the heat. But don&rsquo;t leave it on when there&rsquo;s no one in the room; it's only effective as a cooling method if someone is there to feel it.</p> <p>No ceiling fan? No problem. Grab a stand-alone fan, plop it in front of you, and enjoy. For some serious cooling, spritz yourself with some water as the fan runs.</p> <h2>9. Play in the Water</h2> <p>You don't have to be a kid to play in the water. No one will judge you, not in this heat! (And who cares if they do? Water is fun!) Look for parks with sprinklers or water play areas. For some wet and wild fun at home, blow up an inflatable pool or run across the glorious path of a hose when your lawn needs watering. I guess you could just jump into the nearest available swimming pool, too.</p> <h2>10. Borrow A/C</h2> <p>Whether you don't have A/C or just want to save electricity at home, you can always share someone else's A/C. Coffee shops and discount theaters are great places to linger a few hours without needing to spend a lot &mdash; even an indoor shopping mall will work if you're careful with your wallet. However, my favorite by far is the library, where it's always free, and there's always something to do. In fact, many libraries are also cooling centers, where people can go for some A/C, water, and sometimes even medical attention. Check with your city or community center to find one near you.</p> <p><em>What energy-efficient strategies do you use to cool off?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wear-frozen-clothes-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-the-heat">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-summer">20 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill">4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer’s Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-dumb-ways-youre-going-to-waste-money-this-summer">9 Dumb Ways You&#039;re Going to Waste Money This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat">Cold, Frugal Drinks to Keep You Cool in the Heat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cooling saving energy summer Thu, 01 Aug 2013 10:36:38 +0000 Amy Lu 980836 at http://www.wisebread.com Cold, Frugal Drinks to Keep You Cool in the Heat http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drinking-5061173-small.jpg" alt="drink" title="drink" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The mercury is rising, and you are thirsty, but the idea of a boring old glass of water has you reaching for your wallet (and a $5 mixed coffee at Starbucks). Stop! Put your money down and step away from the counter. You can make your own delicious beverages that will quench your thirst and protect you wallet from summertime pillaging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a>)</p> <h2>Flavored Water</h2> <p>Staying hydrated during a hot summer couldn't be simpler than drinking water. Water is cheap, plentiful, easily accessed...and kind of boring. Fortunately, it's easy to change from flavorless to delicious in a couple easy steps.</p> <p>You've probably had lemon or cucumber-flavored water at a restaurant. All you have to do is slice up your favorite fruit and let it sit in a pitcher of water for a couple of hours. Try adding sliced pineapple, guava, grapes, or grapefruit for an exotic feel. Want more savory alternative? Lightly mash a combination of herbs like mint, basil, sage, and thyme, and add to your water. Then simply pour the water through a strainer into your glass. You can keep refilling the pitcher, using the same herbs, for a couple of days. Combine herbs with fruit slices for a truly unique flavor.</p> <p>If you enjoy the smell and taste of flowers, try using a wooden spoon to masticate some rose petals from your own garden and adding them to water or other beverages. Jasmine flowers and violets also add a wonderful fragrance and taste.</p> <p>Try Xin's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">naturally flavored water</a> recommendations for even more tasty varieties of healthy, cheap, and delicious water.</p> <p>If your tap water has a chemical taste, try filtering it first. My fair city of Seattle has a clean water supply that is treated heavily with chlorine, so I filter the heck out of that stuff.</p> <h2>Spritzers</h2> <p>If flavored-but-flat water doesn't excite your tastebuds, consider adding sparkling water to your favorite juice beverage. Watering down your juice with some fizzy goodness reduces the number of calories you are taking in and saves money, too (seltzer water is cheaper than juice, after all). This is going to sound totally weird, but one of my favorite beverages in college was half a glass of chocolate milk cut with half of glass of seltzer.</p> <h2>Coconut Water</h2> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_water">Coconut water</a> is very lightly flavored, but stuffed with electrolytes that help replenish your system when you're sweating buckets. Coconut water isn't always cheap &mdash; look for larger containers, rather than individual juice boxes, and cut in half with water to get extra hydration. Or check your local Thai and Vietnamese grocer for a supply of fresh baby coconuts or packaged coconut water.</p> <h2>Cold Brewed Tea</h2> <p>Sun tea was a tradition where I grew up, but because <a href="http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/suntea.asp">sun tea can harbor dangerous bacteria</a>, consider making refrigerator tea instead. User four teabags per quart of cold water, and refrigerate for six hours or more.</p> <p><a href="http://coffeetea.about.com/od/recipes/tp/topsummer.htm">Cold-brewed tea</a> shouldn't be limited to just black or red tea. Try making icy herbal teas like chamomile or mint, or use green or white teas for that boost of antioxidant power. You can also add lemon, herbs, fruit juice, or a pinch of your favorite sweetener for added tea-rrificness. If you're watching your calories, go easy on the sugar &mdash; if you like sweet tea, use half sugar and half <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E6LBXK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000E6LBXK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Splenda</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001Z7CC9O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001Z7CC9O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Truvia</a> to get sweetness without the added calories.</p> <h2>Iced Coffee</h2> <p>There are some hot summer mornings that don't permit you to even THINK of drinking hot coffee. Iced coffee to the rescue! The secret to making iced coffee that doesn't suck is cooling it correctly without watering it down. You can either brew coffee extra strong and add ice, or make coffee ice cubes that you then add to regular coffee that has been cooled to room temp or refrigerated overnight. Add cream and sugar as usual, but remember sugar will take longer to dissolve.</p> <h2>Homemade Frappuccinos</h2> <p>A blended coffee drink is so hard to resist on a hot day, but if you are consuming more than one per week, you can probably save yourself some cash by creating <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/07/afternoon-coffee-break-recipe-for-frappuccinos-at-home/">frappuccinos at home</a> rather than shelling out the big bucks at a café. If you don't have an espresso machine, you can still <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/05/homemade-frappuccino-recipe.html">create delicious blended coffee drinks</a> using super-strong brewed coffee or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZhllAxvil8">instant coffee</a>. You can always opt for decaf, and making your own frapp means that you can choose low-carb or sugar-free options (not possible at Starbucks).</p> <h2>Super-Light Cocktails or Mocktails</h2> <p>When the evening rolls around, my liquor cabinet doors swing open. Now, I love me a stiff drink as much as the next lush, but during the hotter months, sometimes staying hydrated means going easy on the booze. Watering down your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">cocktails</a> a bit means that you can enjoy two or three hydrating drinks without ending up face-down in the foyer. Also, if you really cut back, you'll be saving beaucoup bucks.</p> <p><strong>Gin and Tonic</strong></p> <p>The gin and tonic is a traditionally popular warm-weather drink. To enjoy a lighter version, opt for diet tonic water, add extra lime juice, and only use half the amount of gin that you would normally add. I like to make my summertime G&amp;Ts in a highboy glass, with freshly made ice, smashed homegrown herbs, or even a bit of sliced up over-ripe fruit (strawberries and blackberries are a particular favorite).</p> <p><strong>Sangria</strong></p> <p>Use up a bottle of not-so-hot wine by mixing up a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/sangria-recipe4/index.html">pitcher of sangria</a>. Combine wine, citrus-flavored soda, a pinch of brown sugar, and a couple shots of brandy. Pour over ice, and you have a refreshing beverage without too much of a buzz.</p> <p>Even cheap white wine tastes pretty good paired with chilled seltzer water and a splash of <a href="http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1030139&amp;cid=TPV-Googlebase">elderflower liquor</a> (St. Germaine is not cheap, but a little bit goes a very long way &mdash; and there are other, <a href="http://www.thatchersorganic.com/">less-expensive elderflower liqueur</a> options).</p> <p>Other flowery options that you can find at upscale grocery stores include drinkable rose water and orange-flower water. A small bottle might cost $10, but you'll only need a teaspoon to take that bland rosé to rivetingly rosy.</p> <p><strong>Bloody Mary Veggie Madness</strong></p> <p>Are you a big fan of bloody Marys? During the peak of summer's bounty, when your table is overflowing with homegrown tomatoes, make your own fresh tomato juice and enjoy a bloody Mary (virgin or not) that is lower in calories and a little less sweet. I actually loathe the taste of canned tomato juice &mdash; too much like watery ketchup &mdash; but my homemade tomato juice brings all the boys to the yard, with or without vodka.</p> <p><strong>Mocktails</strong></p> <p>A <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/14/AR2009041400721.html">good mocktail</a> is nothing to sneeze at. Finding a way to balance sweet and sour, bitter and savory can take some doing, but cutting back on booze is better for us all, decreasing our heft while increasing the heft in our wallets.</p> <p><em>What are you favorite summer beverages? Do you like cold drinks at all, or do you find that hot beverages are more your style? </em><em>Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cold-frugal-drinks-to-keep-you-cool-in-the-heat">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unexpected-delicious-drinks-you-can-make-at-home">Unexpected, Delicious Drinks You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals">Beat the heat with cool summer meals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-be-grilling-on-gas">10 Reasons You Should Be Grilling on Gas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap drinks cooling iced coffee summer Thu, 04 Aug 2011 10:36:25 +0000 Andrea Karim 649083 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer’s Electric Bill http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/electric bill.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Energy increases are common this time of year, and with many families already struggling to pay the utility bills, it can seem more burdensome than ever.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>There&rsquo;s no one-size-fits-all method to kicking your increase to the curb, but these four tips are sure to put a sizeable dent in next month&rsquo;s &ldquo;total amount due.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Avoid the A/C</b> &ndash; Yes, I said it.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I wasn&rsquo;t too popular when my first Wise Bread post <a href="../../../../../../living-without-air-conditioning-can-save-big-bucks-this-summer">suggested that consumers leave it out of their summer routine</a>, but no one can deny the negative energy impact (and wallet distress) that the window A/C or whole-home cooling unit can bring.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If you&rsquo;ve managed to make it this far into the season without turning it on, <a href="../../../../../../living-without-air-conditioning-can-save-big-bucks-this-summer">read my tips</a> for keeping it off a bit longer.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If you&rsquo;ve already turned it on for the year and are rethinking that payout of $40-180 a month for cold air, there&rsquo;s still time to make some adjustments to your routine.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It&rsquo;s not for everyone (especially those in certain climates and at risk for health complications), but many of us grew up without air-conditioning.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We can probably get by without it in a pinch, and for those who are finding it hard to put food on the table, it&rsquo;s a decision that should be seriously considered<o:p>.</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Attack the other Major Offenders</b> &ndash; With the air-conditioning issue already addressed, you can look forward to systematically tackling the other energy suckers in your home.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Common ones include electric clothes dryers, electric stoves, and your water heater.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>While no one is suggesting that you quit using them altogether, adjustments can be made to positively affect that utility bill, and many of these habits are complimentary to warmer weather behavior.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Some things I do specifically in the higher-rate months include:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <ul> <li>Replace my electric clothes dryer with a <a href="http://www.laundry-alternative.com/products/Spin_Dryer.html">Spin Dryer</a> and a clothes line. (I&rsquo;m still mastering the art of this, and crunchy towels are common.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I love the &gt;$15 a month in savings, however, and my clothes are lasting much longer!)</li> <li><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p>Skip the stove.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If I can&rsquo;t BBQ outside (which is a flavor-enhancing summer hobby I love, anyway), <a href="../../../../../../4-sort-of-small-kitchen-gadgets-that-equal-big-savings">I choose the crock pot</a>, instead.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Slow-cooking is a delicious way to make cheaper meats more flavorful, and clean up is a breeze.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(My kitchen doesn&rsquo;t get as hot, either, allowing me to keep my A/C off even longer!)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></li> <li>Wash clothes on cold.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>My &ldquo;green&rdquo; friends are doing this anyway, and with the exception of truly mucky farm clothes, we find it to be just as effective as washing with warm.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>By keeping showers brief and letting my dishwasher handle my cleanup (with a shorter cycle), I&rsquo;m using my hot water heater much less.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Those of you with &ldquo;time of use&rdquo; rates might want to consider <a href="http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13110">putting your water heater on a timer</a>, so that you&rsquo;re heating your water when it is cheapest.)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></li> <li>Using power strips with smart controls.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It&rsquo;s not enough to have a power strip plugged in if you&rsquo;re too lazy to turn it off.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>My power strips all have master outlets that control the others.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(When my PC is off, for example, the printer, speakers, and fax machine turn off, too!)<span style="">&nbsp; </span><a href="../../../../../../the-lazy-environmentalist-teaches-us-to-be-green-with-little-to-no-effort">The Lazy Environmentalist</a>, Josh Dorfman, recently told me about remote-controlled power strips.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They might be worth checking out!<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><i style="">For additional information on some of the gadgets you can use to identify the energy wasters in your home, see my <a href="http://www.tomsguide.com/us/energy-killawatt-pharox,review-1197.html">Green Your Home with Tech: Electricity</a> over at Tom&rsquo;s Guide.</i><span style="">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Pay Your Bill On Time</b> &ndash; This one should be a no-brainer, but it amazes me how close I come to the due date every month!<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Because my electric bill is one of my most expensive home costs, and my utility company is the only bill that doesn&rsquo;t offer an online payment method, I find that it almost slips my mind each month. <span style="">&nbsp;</span>Late charges will vary by provider:<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Some charge only a percentage of your bill, others can slap on a $15 fee or higher.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Because electricity is something you can&rsquo;t do without, it&rsquo;s easier to pay that fee than to argue &ndash; so be sure you get that bill paid on time!<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Many utility companies offer level payment plans, so look into this if you find that it&rsquo;s harder to pay during certain months of the year, or check into non-profit assistance programs in your area.)<b style=""><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Bribe the Kids</b> &ndash; I admit to motivating my kids with money from time to time.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Since I pay the electric bill, it pains me to see lights left on, the TV buzzing in an empty room, and an unattended dryer lint trap.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It does me no good to run around the home and trying to undo all the wastefulness of my children, so why not have them see what I see?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Currently, my husband has offered my daughter 20 cents on every dollar of savings over last month&rsquo;s electric bill.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>She is VERY excited about the opportunity, and I see her dutifully turning off lights and appliances around the house each day.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Sure, I could pocket all the savings for myself, but would there be much to save if I had to do it alone?<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Tackling the electric bill is a high-priority in many homes this year.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I have just experienced a 7% rate increase, and there&rsquo;s speculation of more straining energy costs in the near future.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Take some time to learn about your energy use, make some adjustments, and keep doing what works.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>You really only need electricity when you&rsquo;re using it&hellip; so be diligent about conserving it when you&rsquo;re not.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-savings-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">8 Savings Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Are we too clean for our own good?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Green Living Lifestyle air-conditioning cooling electric bill savings utilities Mon, 15 Jun 2009 17:24:52 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3268 at http://www.wisebread.com