Now that winter is over and the weather is turning nicer, a lot of people will be wanting to know how they can save some money in this particular time of the year. Many of us have just spent the winter paying almost double for our utilities and while the warmer temperatures certainly mean less use of the heater – which is great for the heating bill – it also means there are lots of opportunities to save some money for that summer vacation or to just put a little away for the more expensive parts of the year. Here are some awesome things you can do to save money in the spring.
Keep That Sweater On
Jimmy Carter once infamously told people to “put on a sweater” in order to save on heating oil costs during the winter. He was roundly criticized for making such a statement from the warmth of the White House during the energy crisis in which there was a shortage of things like heating oil and gasoline. We’re not saying this in the same tone; we are not at all suggesting you suffer in order to save a few bucks. However, if the weather has turned slightly warmer but hasn’t exactly given way to a tropical climate, your heater will likely kick on a few times each evening as the cold nights are still somewhat cool.
Consider readjusting your thermostat, especially if it is a smart thermostat wherein you only have to program in a new setting to adjust for the change in weather. This can help make an already lower utility bill, well, even lower, and save you a few dollars in the process. We know no everyone can just put on some warmer clothes and put up with a little nip in the house, so go with what works best for you.
Get Your Fall Clothing Now
This is the time of year that stores will be putting up their fall and winter clothing on sale. Of course, if you are buying for your kids, it’s tough to gage how they will grow in the next few months, but some things like coats and so forth can be grown into. Keep an eye out for sales, and only buy what’s discounted instead of just shopping for wholesale wardrobes; in many cases the jacket that cost 50 dollars last fall will be on sale for 20 this spring.
Cut down on the Shower Time
Many of us like to soak in a hot bath or under a warm shower just to get the body temperature up and feeling warmer during the cold months. But now that it’s getting warmer, give some thought to eliminating baths and spending less time in the shower in order to save on water heating costs as well as water if your neighborhood or town is metered for it. It’s a popular myth that taking a bath saves water; many people think that because the water isn’t running must mean that less is being used. Try this the next time you take a shower, plug the drain and see how much water accumulates. Most folks are surprised to see their tub less than half full.
Consider a Gardening Hobby
Do you live on a property that has an unused piece of earth just sitting there? Gardening can be a great way to teach the kids about self-sufficiency, and you can save money in the process. Grow your own veggies and save. Plant and grow tomatoes, peppers and other small veggies that can save you money on grocery shopping because you won’t have to buy them, and they will have that amazingly fresh taste because, well, it’s fresh.
Trust us. If you like salsa, then you haven’t lived until you’ve made some out of fresh veggies you’ve grown yourself. There are a few side benefits to this as well.
Getting the kids outside for just 20 minutes a day pulling weeds and watering the garden will have all kinds of health benefits in the long run, and if you live on even a slight incline, plants help keep soil in place when it rains and prevents erosion. If you live in an apartment, do an online search for ‘window gardens’ and find out if the property where you live will permit one. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Spring Clean with Your Own Homemade Cleaning Products
Mixing your own cleaning products will save you money if you intend to do some spring cleaning. Make sure you follow all directions carefully and mix the ingredients in the correct proportion for safety’s sake.
Sell That Stuff You Don’t Need or Want
And don’t just have a yard sale, beat the neighbors to the punch by having yours early in the spring. Many people wait until May or the summer to get rid of their unwanted stuff, but there’s a good chance you can attract a few more interested customers by holding your sale in early April. In addition, you can save some money by heading out the local yard sales after you’ve held yours and get some needed stuff at a major discount. Just make sure you’re not buying back your own stuff. We heard a rumor that a neighborhood in Phoenix has been selling the same garden gnome to each other for 20 years.
Cut down on the Winter Eating
It’s just a natural human tendency to eat more often and eat a little extra in the winter months. People and animals have been eating like this for thousands of years. But if you want to save some money, take a look at your menu and make a few changes in the spring to lighter fare. Have salads more often and reduce the intake of meat. Produce is always cheaper than meat products.