With Memorial Day now in the rearview mirror, the summer season is officially upon us.
Take a little time this week to check off the items on this Summer Savings Checklist and you'll rack up savings all summer long:
- Buy a sun visor for your car windshield: This simple, inexpensive device will pay for itself in short order by keeping your car cooler when parked in the sun so you don't have to crank up the AC as much and burn extra gas.
- Stock up on ketchup: Right now is the best time to get good deals on ketchup, and there are lots of other bargain-picking shopping opportunities to keep an eye open for throughout the summer, according to Mark Di Vincenzo, author of Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon: A Guide to the Best Time to Buy This, Do That and Go There.
- Sprinkle coffee grounds in standing water: That's just one of my cheapskate tips for winning the battle against mosquitoes this summer.
- Buy a rain gauge: Monitoring weekly rainfall with a simple rain gauge can save you big money on watering your lawn, since most lawns require just two inches of water per week during the summer months. Keep track of how much rain you receive, then just top-off your lawn to bring it up to the two-inch level.
- Shop thrift stores for winter clothes: I was in my favorite thrift store the other day, and all sweaters were marked down to between $4-$10 to make room for warm weather apparel. Check your local thrift store now for possible deals on cold weather clothing.
- Clean/replace air conditioning filters: Cleaning or replacing the filters can reduce the electricity used by an air conditioner by as much as 15 percent, but that's only one of the simple tips for decreasing AC expenses.
- Get out the cooler for family road trips: Stock it with drinks and snacks rather than pay the not-so-convenient prices charged at roadside convenience stores.
- Put a bag of rice in the freezer: Keep a 5 or 10 pound bag of rice in the freezer during the day to use as a "chilly pillow" to help you fall asleep on hot summer nights without turning on the air conditioning.
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