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Today in Phoenix it was 113 degrees. I’m going to let that sink in for a minute. One hundred and thirteen degrees. It’s so hot, you literally bake, like a potato, from the inside out. Remember those saving money on sunscreen tips I gave you last week? I need sunscreen inside my body, because I’m roasting. Somebody poke me, I’m a turkey. (Side note: do you poke turkeys? I’m a vegetarian and have never cooked one. I’m just guessing you poke them…). These tips are more useful if you’re always out of the house so if you’re in your house most of the time then you should look on the spartan website to look at whether you should get air conditioning to keep yourself cool.
I’m not just telling you guys about the weather so you can feel good about your 80 degree, balmy days (PS. enjoy it for me or else!) I’m also telling you because if there’s anyone who knows about beating the heat, it’s people from Phoenix. We know how to avoid the sun like champs (minus the young fools who spend their time baking their insides and outsides by the pool).
Here are ten frugal ways for you to beat the heat this summer, just in case it gets up to 90 degrees and you’re feeling toasty 😉
- Pools! Be they city pools or family/friends’ pools, go to them! City pools are often very affordable, $2-3 a day for adults and children. Family and friends’ pools are even cheaper (aka free) unless your family/friends insist you bring over alcohol or food as a pool sacrifice, as mine do. Either way, still cheap, fun, and a great way to beat the heat!
- For those of us who don’t want to drive to a city pool and/or don’t have family/friends with pools, sprinklers! I know, I know, it’s very “playing in the backyard like a kid”, but hey, it’s the summertime, and what’s summer without some water? Turn on your sprinklers in the backyard and frolic like it’s 1999!
- Walk around the mall. Two words: free A/C. This requires some willpower, especially if you love to shop, but if you’re able to restrain yourself, you’ve just gotten in free exercise and not sweated to death doing it! Mall-wandering is also great for people-watching, too!
- Matinee movies. Did I mention free A/C? Okay, so it’s not free, but matinee movies are usually cheaper than movies after 4 p.m., so it’s a good way to see a summer blockbuster without busting your budget. And the free A/C!
- Visit a bookstore or coffee shop. Okay, so bookstores and coffee shops occasionally require you to purchase things in order to stay a while. However, if you’re a freelancer and/or blogger, hanging out at a coffee shop or bookstore could be a great way to get out, enjoy someone else’s A/C, and get some work done at the same time. A cup of coffee (iced, of course) is a small price to pay for that!
- Cat cafes! Do you have a cat cafe in your city? Many big cities are getting cat cafes (although, alas, not Phoenix anytime soon), and if you’re lucky enough to have one, visit it! Some cafes require you to purchase something or pay for an hourly slot, but some are completely free. Hang out with kitties, meet some other cat-lovers, and did I mention free A/C? 🙂
- Summer book club(s). Coffee shops are popular places to hold a summer book club, but think outside the box/shop! Beyond coffee shops, you could host your book club meeting at a local library, in an area where it’s okay to talk, or at a laid back fast food restaurant. Depending on its size, some fast food locations can be very spacious, and all you’ll need to buy is something off the $1 menu!
- Host a summer clothing swap during the day. The cooler, less time-consuming version of a garage sale, a summer clothing swap can be held with your friends, coworkers, or pretty much anyone whose wardrobe you admire (aka want to steal). Beat the heat by exchanging clothes with your friends, and get some new clothes out of the process too!
- Visit local (indoor) city events. Cities and towns often host free events throughout the summer. Type in your city’s name and “free summer events” to find free local events. Don’t discount these events as just for kids – many cities will have speaker series geared to adults, too!
- Consider a staycation. Depending on how popular your city is to tourists, you may be able to score deals on hotel or AirBnb rates. If you’re not sure, contact the hotel or AirBnb host where you want to stay and ask about summer rates. Not all locations offer them (I’m looking at you, Southern California), but it’s worth a try!
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Not to overstate my credentials here too much, but for the next 6 days, Phoenix is under an excessive heat watch and we’re supposed to break our record for the hottest days of June (114 and up this week). So when I say I know how to beat the heat, I really do. Otherwise I would be a melted puddle, and clearly I’m not a melted puddle (yet).
How are you staying cool without spending tons of money this summer? Do you live in one of those magical places where summertime is actually nice all summer long? 🙂 Note: there are affiliate links in this post, which don’t cost you anything and help support this site! 🙂