stay cool en-US Ask the Readers: How Do You Cool Off on a Budget? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-cool-off-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fan" title="fan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="">Therese</a>, Mary, and Melissa for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>The days are warming up, and they'll only get hotter as summer approaches. While it's easy to blast the AC nonstop whenever you break a sweat, this isn't the most energy-efficient or budget-friendly approach for most people.</p> <p><b>How do you cool off on a budget?</b> Do you stay indoors, or escape to somewhere cooler outside your home? Have you made any preparations in case a heat wave hits your area?</p> <p>Tell us about how you cool off on a budget 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 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> <a id="rc-79857d34" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><script src="//"></script> <p><strong>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.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, June 3rd at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after June 3rd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p><a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: How Do You Cool Off on a Budget?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about how you cool off on a budget 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">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Giveaways Ask the Readers stay cool Tue, 28 May 2013 10:24:30 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 975407 at 9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="pool" title="pool" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's getting hot, and it's awfully tempting to crank that air conditioning, but doing so can rack up costs faster than a Lindsay Lohan rehab stint! So if you're looking for a few places to go to help you beat the heat, here are some suggestions. (See also: <a href="">4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer's Electric Bill</a>)</p> <h3>1. The Nearest Pool</h3> <p>Nothing beats relaxing in the pool on a hot, sunny day. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a friend with a pool. If so, you may want to warn them, as a courtesy, that they'll be seeing a lot of you in a <a href="http://ttp://;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=2659646011&amp;pf_rd_i=1036592&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1550443902&amp;pf_rd_r=36703FD14CEB41298605&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">swimsuit</a>. Or perhaps one of your neighbors has one. If you don't know them that well, you'll need to make friends quickly so you can hear those magic words, &quot;Sure, you can use our pool any time.&quot; If you are out of options, you'll have to settle for the nearest public pool.</p> <h3>2. A Friend's Place</h3> <p>Just because <em>you </em>are trying to save a few bucks by keeping your electric bills low doesn't mean your friends are living as frugally.</p> <p>Find excuses to hang out at the homes of friends who notoriously crank up the A/C. You could invite yourself over to watch the new season of <em>Jersey Shore</em> on Blu-ray, show off the new <a href="">iPhone app you bought for your dog</a>, or demonstrate the many new <a href="">uses for vinegar</a> you just learned!</p> <h3>3. The Library</h3> <p>Pack up a few snacks, sneak in a mini-cooler, and head over to the public library. As long as you don't make a scene, you can sit there all day! The summer is a great time to catch up on all those John Grisham books you've been meaning to read.</p> <h3>4. The Mall</h3> <p>Be careful with this one; you'll want to be sure to avoid the temptation that window shopping brings. Unless you're <a href="">good at finding spare change</a>, you might want to leave the plastic and cash at home.</p> <h3>5. The Movies</h3> <p>An afternoon showing during the hottest part of the day is a great time to take in this summer's blockbuster hits. Movie theaters are notoriously chilly! Our last trip to the big screen resulted in us putting sweatshirts on the kids.</p> <p>With a movie ticket running $10 or more, costs can add up pretty quickly. A day at the theater doesn't have to kill your budget, however, if you know the secret of <a href="">watching free movies at the theater</a>!</p> <h3>6. A Museum</h3> <p>You remember all the fun you used to have at the museums when you were younger? Get a little nostalgic this summer with a trip to your local museum. You'll stay cool all day, and you may just learn a thing or two!</p> <h3>7. Summer School</h3> <p>Are you in need of continuing education credits or just looking to expand your horizons? Take classes at a local university or community college. Most schools offer some type of public courses to help the community.</p> <p>Not sure which ones to take? Start with <a href="">classes that build earning and savings power</a>!</p> <h3>8. A Lake</h3> <p>Pack up the car for a little road trip and hit the lake with some friends or family. I'll be heading to a lake in nearby Michigan this summer with our family for a little extended R&amp;R and some boating. I'm looking forward to being near the water and cooling off with a dip.</p> <h3>9. Coffee Shops</h3> <p>Your local coffee bar can provide you with some much-needed relief from the warm summer months with their air conditioning and perhaps an iced mocha. Don't forget to check these tips to <a href="">make your gourmet coffee more affordable.</a></p> <p>Any way you slice it, beating the summer heat doesn't have to be difficult, it just requires a little creativity. Stay cool, my friends, stay cool.</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jason Topp</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Lifestyle air conditioning stay cool summer things to do Mon, 18 Jul 2011 09:48:15 +0000 Jason Topp 604268 at 10 Ways to Make Your Own Ice Cream (and Other Frozen Treats) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-make-your-own-ice-cream-and-other-frozen-treats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Little girl eating ice cream" title="Little girl eating ice cream" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="196" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in elementary school, the last day of school was always exciting. Not just because of the whole end-of-the-school-year thing, but because we got to do two things: One, have a squirt gun fight on the bus, and two, get a soft-serve ice cream at the local ice cream spot, Mr. Pizza.</p> <p>Since those young years, ice cream has always been one of my favorite summer treats. But seeing as I live by myself and I try (although don't necessarily succeed) to not eat too many sweets, I'm not one to keep a pint or quart of the stuff in my freezer. Recently, however, I have become obsessed with making my own ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet. I get to control what goes into my frozen treats, make exactly what I'm craving, and choose between going whole hog with an elaborate recipe or just whipping up an easy, one-ingredient stand-in. (See also: <a href="">5 Awesome, Easy-to-Freeze Meals</a>)</p> <p>When the weather's hot (or you're just craving a frozen treat), follow one of these 10 methods to reach homemade ice cream bliss.</p> <h2>1. With an Ice-Cream Maker</h2> <p>I'll start with the most obvious of options. If you eat ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, or sherbet regularly, an ice-cream maker might be worth it. I purchased a mid-range Cuisinart ice-cream maker a couple of years ago, and it has served me well through several batches. All you need to do is add the ingredients and let it spin for a bit.</p> <h2>2. In a Plastic Bag</h2> <p>While many modern ice-cream makers use containers that you keep in the freezer, old-style ice-cream makers use a combination of ice and rock salt to get your cream good and cold. But you don't need an ice cream maker to follow the rock-salt method &mdash; a couple of Ziploc-style bags can work as well. Check out this <a href="">ice cream in a bag</a> recipe from's Guide to Chemistry, Anne Marie Helmenstine. Not only does she tell you how to make the ice cream, but she explains the science behind it as well.</p> <h2>3. Crafting a Freezer Sorbet</h2> <p>Sorbet &mdash; the frozen fruit treat that doesn't feature any dairy products &mdash; can easily be made by blending together a few ingredients, putting them in the fridge, and stirring occasionally. PJ Hamel at King Arthur Flour has great <a href="">step-by-step instructions for freezer sorbet</a>, including a store-bought vs. homemade cost comparison&nbsp;(homemade is less than half the price!).</p> <h2>4. Making a Semifreddo</h2> <p>This frozen Italian dessert (the name means &quot;half-cold&quot; or &quot;half-frozen&quot;) includes several of the same ingredients as ice cream &mdash; sugar, heavy cream, etc. &mdash; but is simply mixed and frozen until it sets. I'm particularly entranced by this recipe on Epicurious for <a href="">Meyer lemon semifreddo with summer berries</a>, as well as the even easier (and very elegant looking) <a href="">raspberry semifreddo torte</a>.</p> <h2>5. With Bananas</h2> <p>This awesome post from The Kitchn about making <a href="">ice cream with just one ingredient</a> &mdash; bananas &mdash; has been linked around the web again and again, and with good reason. Creamy, sweet, and easy to add to (chocolate chips, anyone?), this frozen treat is also super-healthy. Just don't leave the bananas in the freezer too long.</p> <h2>6. Adding to Existing Ice Cream</h2> <p>If you don't want to make your own base, consider buying an inexpensive chocolate or vanilla ice cream and adding your favorite mix-ins like cherries, pretzels, chocolate syrup, brownie bits, and so on.</p> <h2>7. Making Your Own Ice Cream &quot;Novelties&quot;</h2> <p>Similar to adding ingredients to existing ice cream, you can use homemade or store-bought ice cream to make your own versions of ice cream &quot;novelties&quot; (I always thought that was a ridiculous name for them). Check out recipes for homemade <a href="">Drumsticks</a>, <a href="">ice cream bars</a>, and <a href="">ice cream sandwiches</a>.</p> <h2>8. Putting Yogurt in the Freezer</h2> <p>It seems almost too simple to be true, but making frozen <a href="">yogurt</a> can be as easy as...well, freezing yogurt. Put a single serving of your favorite yogurt in the freezer for approximately two hours. Then simply open, stir, and enjoy. Just be careful not to let this sit for too long &mdash; as with the bananas, it's best when it hasn't quite reached a deep freeze.</p> <h2>9. Making a Raw Key&nbsp;Lime Pie</h2> <p>For a while, one of my very good friends was eating a raw diet, and I joined in on her raw adventures. One of my favorite recipes was <a href="">raw key lime pie</a>. The filling ingredients &mdash; avocado, lime juice and zest, agave, and coconut oil &mdash; might not sound like what you want for dessert. But trust me, this treat is cooling, sweet, and rich all at once.</p> <h2>10. Throwing Together 5-Minute Ice Cream</h2> <p>Frozen fruit, cream, sugar, vanilla, and a blender or food processor are all you need for a quick ice-cream fix with this <a href="">fast ice cream recipe</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you make your own ice cream or other frozen treats? If so, what method(s) do you use? Share in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Make Your Own Ice Cream (and Other Frozen Treats)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Meg Favreau</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Food and Drink articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink budget recipes ice cream stay cool summer Mon, 20 Jun 2011 10:24:48 +0000 Meg Favreau 584986 at Turn Off Your Air Conditioning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-off-your-air-conditioning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Horse bathing in the ocean" title="Horse Bathing in Ocean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="226" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a few places where it is impossible to live without air conditioning. These places are easy to identify: they were uninhabited until well into the 20th century. If the place you live now was not in prior days a desolate wasteland, unseen except by the occasional nomad or caravan, then air conditioning is not required. However, most people lack the skills for getting by without air conditioning. Here's a quick primer.</p> <p>First a little personal history. Back in the early 1980s I lived in Ft. Lauderdale for a couple of years. Finding money a bit tight, my roommate and I agreed to economize by turning off the AC. I was a bit doubtful about being able to manage, and I did get pretty hot and sweaty at times, but in fact it turned out to be pretty easy. Since then, I've largely avoided air conditioning wherever I've lived.</p> <p>So, here are my getting by without air conditioning tips:</p> <h3>1. During the heat of the day, go somewhere cool.</h3> <p>This was easy for me, because I worked in an air conditioned office, but there are plenty of other cool places: libraries, movie theaters, coffee shops, campus buildings, parks, forests, ponds, lakes, oceans, etc.</p> <h3>2. Manage your windows.</h3> <p>We would open our windows wide during the night and by early morning the interior would have cooled down nicely. On a work day we'd close the windows as we headed out, so the place would stay somewhat cool. If you're home during the heat of the day, things are a bit more complex, but you can still close your windows as soon as it starts to warm up outside and have an extra couple of cool hours indoors. Likewise, use curtains to minimize solar gain.</p> <h3>3. Live in an appropriate building.</h3> <p>I discovered what a big difference appropriate architecture made because various friends lived in homes that were much better than the one I lived in. One place in particular was a small block of apartments built before air conditioning was common. They had jalousie windows on two sides, to let breezes through. They were only one story, so there was no second story to get hot. They were made of masonry, which helped stabilize temperature extremes.</p> <h3>4. Install ceiling fans.</h3> <p>In South Florida, <em>everyone</em> had ceiling fans, even people who used their air conditioning all the time. A gentle breeze makes a huge difference in what temperature is comfortable.</p> <h3>5. Drink plenty of cold water.</h3> <p>Anything that directly cools your body is going to help, and cold water is effective and virtually free. Cold soda and cold beer are also effective, but cost money and add calories: use only in moderation.</p> <h3>6. Take it easy.</h3> <p>When possible, arrange for physical labor and exercise to take place when it's cooler. If your schedule will tolerate a siesta, that's a great way to manage the hottest part of the day.</p> <h3>7. Accept that you will be hot.</h3> <p>The various tactical adaptations mentioned above are really secondary. They key strategic step is purely mental: embrace the heat. Yes, you will sometimes be hot and sweaty, but that is hardly the end of the world. When you're uncomfortable, go someplace cool or take a shower or sit down in the shade with a big glass of cold water.</p> <h2>Important Caution</h2> <p>The very young, the very old, and people with certain medical conditions, can't handle as much heat as healthy youths and adults. People die every year from heat stroke. Especially vulnerable are people who can't take the common-sense step of going someplace cool:</p> <ul> <li>Children left unattended in a hot car,</li> <li>Elderly or disabled people who aren't mobile without help,</li> <li>People in neighborhoods so bad that they're afraid to leave their home,</li> <li>Athletes, soldiers, and prisoners pressured to continue working in the heat.</li> </ul> <p>If anyone you care about (or that you're responsible for) falls into a category like that, take the responsibility of checking on them and making sure that they're okay. A little care will go a lot further toward protecting them than just dumping an extra few hundred dollars into air conditioning.</p> <p><em>This post was included in the latest </em><a href=""><em>Festival of Frugality</em></a><em>.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Turn Off Your Air Conditioning " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Philip Brewer</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living air conditioning frugality stay cool Mon, 08 Mar 2010 15:19:29 +0000 Philip Brewer 5674 at