Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summertime-Trying To Be Cool.....And Frugal

I am at heart a warm weather person. I was not always this way, but living in Texas for five years has probably ruined me. Growing up I lived in the midwest, Germany, and Connecticut.  As an adult I have lived all over. My twenty years in Virginia yielded hot summers, but also traditional fall and winter. Germany was another four season locale. While I enjoy the changes of seasons, neither my body nor I appreciate the cold any more.

Still, summers in Texas have at least one major "non-frugal" aspect.  This of course, is the cost staying cool. house. Going without air conditioning is not an option. I keep my air at 80 during the day, and still pay over 200 dollars a month averaged through the year. The heat also means that I spend on indoor entertainment more than I would at other times of the year. Most of my "entertainment and recreation" in the spring and fall is centered around season events and festivals and the occasional road trip. In the summer many of those type of events go by the wayside.  More time is spent indoors, and often people travel during July and August.

Under normal circumstances I would be using my limited extra funds to take leave of Texas during August. I would probably have driven to Denver to visit family with a stop in Santa Fe or some other location.  I might have taken that gulf coast trip. This year, as I look at the possiblity of selling my house shortly, I am staying close to home. I'll be doing some very minor improvements to the yard cleaning and decluttering for possible sale.

This means that I have been looking for frugal and cheap ways to beat the heat and entertainmyself. I still appreciate lazy summer days, including those spent by the pool. Still, I've made a few frugal plans for the rest of my summer:
  • It so happens that there are quite few films this summer that I want to see. Since my local movie theater shows movies for 5.00 during the daytime, I'll be taking advantage of movie air conditioning and seeing at least one movie a week. I may even pay extra and see a midnight move or so!
  • It's been my pleasure to explore this past week and realize that Dallas and Fort Worth do in fact have some major museums with free entrance (some suggest donations).  By packing this cooler (the best gift my kids have given me in recent times) I can hit a museum or two for a few bucks.
  • It's the height of farmers market season in Texas. There are many near me, each with it's own unique flavor (the one in my city is in an old square and has people demonstrating spinning) My goal is to hit one each Saturday morning. Obviously this will not be free, since of course I will come home with produce, and perhaps other gourmet items in the process.
  • My dinner group and meetup group continue throught the summer. Both groups where the price of admission is often just a dessert or salad, its a chnace to get out on occasion.
  • Finally, it's not free, but Restaurant Week is begins August 13th. This two week period is when all the best restaurants in the DFW area have a three course prix ixe menu for $35.00. The obvious goal is to hit as many of these places as possible. I've already picked my first two choices.  This is the one time of year when I can eat at the best French restaurants for a reasonable price!
  • Closer to home, I have a list of books I want to read much longer than my arm. I really need to make a separate blog tab for booklists and reviews. My primary choice in fiction are mysteries (authors such as Lee Child and Robert Crais). However I also read other genres and the new Ken Follet trilogy book will be coming out in August. Add to that books on crafts businesses, canning, and quilting and reading alone could keep me busy all summer.Right now I'm reading a book on small art towns in the US in preparation for September travel.
  • As always, I also have a long list of quilting and sewing projects. In fact, I always feel strange, because this is the time of year I work on things to sell for the fall.  Christmas and fall fabrics abound.  Quilters and sewers will understand when I say I took a picture this past week of every single one of my Unfinished Objects as further motivation.
  • Im going to cook and can. Yes, this means heating up my kitchen. My goal is not necessarily to can fruits and veggies per se, but more unusual items such as pie fillings, conserves, pickles and things that I can use as gifts.  The canning and my book of small desserts (miniature lmon meringue pies anyone) will keep my kitchen busy when I am in the mood.
Much of my summer will be spent chillin', cooling off in the association pool, and doing free stuff and money making stuff around the house.  Should I be bored though, I have a host of low cost funt hings to keep me busy through the Texas summer.

1 comment:

  1. This is our first summer in a very hot location (Las Vegas). We were thinking we could save money by being frugal with the AC but unlike putting a sweater on instead of cranking up the heat, there isn't much you can do to reduce the need for air conditioning!

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