With temperatures across the country soaring into the triple digits at times, it’s easy to get tempted to turn on the air conditioning and hunker down inside until October. But you shouldn’t let the heat keep you from having a fun and relaxing summer. With a little bit of creativity, and sometimes some gumption, there are several activities you can enjoy to beat the heat without breaking your budget.
10 Frugal Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer
1.Explore a National or State Park
There are 58 National Park Service parks in the US, and most of them have hidden gems like waterfalls, creeks, rivers, and lakes where you can swim (at your own risk of course). It’s also easy to find mostly shaded trails to hike. Since you will only have to a pay a minimal parking fee, parks are great way to get out into nature and beat the heat without breaking your budget.
2. See a Matinee Movie
Especially if you’re trying to limit your AC use this summer, seeing a matinee movie is an inexpensive way to get out of the house and cool off for a few hours in someone else’s air conditioning. Plus matinees are usually cheaper than nighttime movies.
3. Make Zip Lock Bag Ice Cream
Zip lock bag ice cream is really fun to make. The bag gets really cold, so you will be cooling off in no time. Your hands will be freezing by the time it’s ready to eat. Since it only takes 5 ingredients, it’s also inexpensive to make.
4. Go Swimming in a Local Lake or River
Did you know that 50% of the world population lives within 2 miles of a body of fresh water, and only 10% lives further than 6 miles away? Utilize some of those nearby lakes and rivers to go swimming for free. River tubing is also a really fun way to cool off for free.
5. Take a Hike at a Higher Elevation
If you are lucky enough to live close to a mountain range, take a hike at a higher elevation. Not only will it be cooler up there, but you may even get to partake in a mid-summer snowball fight.
6. Make Virgin Frozen Daiquiris
Who doesn’t love a frozen, sweet, virgin, strawberry daiquiri in the summertime? Summer and strawberries are synonymous. Virgin daiquiris are a great, inexpensive way to beat the heat, especially if you have your own local strawberries stashed away in the freezer.
7. Wash Your Car
Throw on your swimsuit, get a bucket and sponge, and give your car a once over. This is an especially fun way to beat the heat if you have little helpers who may get over-excited to help with the hose.
8. Go for a Nighttime Ride in the Car with Your Windows Down
Sometimes the fans just don’t get enough air moving in the house. If you feel like you are going to sweat right out of your skin, go for a night-time car ride with the windows down.
9. Mall Walking and Window Shopping
Ask a friend to meet you at the mall to do some walking and window shopping before the stores open. You will get some exercise in the air conditioning without being tempted to go in and buy anything in the stores.
10. Have an Adult Slip and Slide Party
As with anything in life, proceed with caution. Any risks you take are your own. It’s also probably for the best to not mix alcohol and any activity that involves flinging yourself towards the ground. That being said, adult slip and slide parties are amazing. For the price of a shovel, a tarp, and a hose running the water, you can create a one of a kind backyard water party for kids and adults alike.
Beat the Heat and Still be Frugal!
Don’t spend your summer holed up inside with the air conditioning. There are all kinds of ways to beat the heat while minding your budget. Be creative, embrace your inner child, and indulge in the sweet memories of summer.
What is your favorite way to keep cool on a budget?