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4 Easy Ways to Save Money This Summer

4 Easy Ways to Save Money This Summer -- Mint.com:blog

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Summertime isn’t all fun and games!

The season of suntans and lazy poolside afternoons can also mean expensive treats and an unwanted energy bill spike.

Keep summertime affordable (and stay cool) with these money-saving tips:

Make Your Own Iced Coffee.

If your summer routine includes a standing iced-mocha date at your local coffee shop, you’re about to be spending extra money!

Iced-coffee is almost always more expensive than its hot counterpart (sometimes by as much as 20 percent), so your summertime caffeine fix can start to take a toll on your wallet.

But here’s a solution: homebrew your iced coffee!

If you don’t want to just chill hot-brewed java, there are a number of iced-coffee makers on the market (we like Bodum’s simple French press design).

Still need convincing? Check out how to make barista-worthy coffee drinks at home - including instructions on the proper way to make iced coffee!

Be Selective with Appliances.

Machines like clothes dryers, ovens and dishwashers are a summer double-whammy: they give off major heat when they’re running and they can cost you big money during peak energy hours (which are typically between 3 and 7 PM during the summer).

To see just how much these appliances cost you each day, check out GE’s handy data visualization tool.

You can’t avoid appliances entirely (clean clothes are important) but it is possible to avoid the periods of highest energy rates.

Try running laundry cycles at night or early in the morning, and skip the oven during peak hours. You’ll save money, stay cooler during the day and decrease the humidity in your home. Triple win!

Get More From Your Windows. 

If you have central AC, the breeze circulating through your house keeps you cool, but it also costs you serious cash.

In fact, your air conditioner accounts for about 70 percent of your home’s summer energy use, which carries over to your utility bill in a big way.

If you live in an area that cools off when the sun isn’t shining (sorry, Southeastern U.S.), open your windows at night! You’ll give your AC a break without overheating.

Tip: To maximize the air that flows in through your windows, create a crosswind by opening two windows directly across from each other!

Time Your Lawn Care.

The heat of a summertime sun means water evaporates quickly, meaning you’ll need more water to maintain green, lush grass.

To keep your energy and water bills as low as possible, water your lawn in the morning. The best time to kick the sprinklers on is between 5 AM and 8 AM, or right before the sun rises.

Never water your lawn between 10 AM and 6 PM, because the heat and sun will evaporate your water!

Tip: It may seem like a good idea to water at night, but leaving grass moist overnight can promote fungal growth, so stick to the morning if at all possible.