Now that summer is almost upon us, we are noticing a rise in expenses. Gasoline prices, food costs, and our electric bills are all increasing. Despite this, there are ways to minimize the expense and still maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
Many of these tips are familiar, but a good reminder always helps.
Make meals quick and easy
Ground meats — such as hamburger, ground chicken, or ground pork — can make a quick and easy meal without breaking the budget. Add a little pasta and you have a family favorite in 30 minutes or less.
Considering that the stove, whether gas or electric, heats up a house in a short time, quick and easy meals may also save on your electric bill.
Using the oven for casseroles or meal prep can also quickly heat up a house. A toaster oven, if you have one, can do many of the things a traditional oven can without excessive heating.
Keep energy, cooling use low
Be practical when you need to leave the house, and limit the number of times you go outside. Constantly opening the outside doors lets the cool air of the house out and the heat of the summer in. While you are inside, keep the air conditioning set at 77⁰ or 78⁰ and check the air filter regularly to keep it clean.
Hang clothes outside instead of using the dryer. By using the summer sun, you can get fresh smelling clothes, a good dose of vitamin D from the sun, and you avoid heating up the house with the clothes dryer.
Ceiling fans and oscillating fans are good investments. They circulate the air and help the air conditioner do a more efficient job. If you have them, it is always a good idea to use them.
Conserve gasoline usage
To conserve gasoline, make one long trip to take care of errands instead of several short trips. Another saving tip is to use regular gas in your car’s tank rather than the higher grades if your car can handle it. And keep the car maintained. General maintenance on your vehicle can save on repair bills in the future.
These ideas are not new, and they are definitely not unique. Yet we often forget about the little ways we can save money and still be comfortable. With rising prices, every little bit saved goes a long way toward helping you stay within your budget and still enjoy your time at home with your family.
Mary Fox Luquette, MBA, CLU, ChFC is a finance instructor in the BI Moody III College of Business at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.