Frugal families worry about their electric bills during the humid and hot days of summer because air conditioning may need to be turned on 24 hours a day. You may not have air conditioning, but you might need to run electric fans in every room which could also cause your electric bills to rise.
- Turn on the air conditioning (or all the fans) in your home while you are out, and keep it on while you are unloading and putting away groceries. This will keep you cool and motivated to put all the groceries away. Walking in the door to a cool house after being out in the heat will make you feel better.
- When you walk in the door, stop and have an ice cold drink of water before you start putting away the groceries. Take a break or a quick cold shower, if necessary. Once you've completed your prep work, turn off the air conditioning or some of the fans.
- Keep your home cool by keeping the lights off, if possible. If you can work in dim light, do so. Keeping the lights off will help keep the house cool.
- Do as much prep work as you can when you get home. Wash and cut up vegetables you will be use later in the week. If you have purchased bulk packages of meats and poultry, break them down into smaller packages using good quality zip locking bags. Label and date each package, and tuck away in the freezer as soon as possible. Remember to rotate your stock so that older items get used before newer ones).
- Having items prepped and ready to be used will save you money on those nights when it's so hot you don't want to cook but you know you have to because you can't afford to order take out or dine out. You can grab everything and throw it on the grill and still manage a nutritious and affordable meal without getting too overheated.
- Make sure your refrigerator, freezer, pantry and cupboards are clean and your stock is rotated: clean the refrigerator and freezer and rotate your stock the night before you do your grocery shopping. When you get home from a day of shopping, the last thing you want to do is battle your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Keeping your refrigerator clean keeps your food fresh and free of bacteria, which means the food lasts longer. Keeping your stock rotated helps you use up your older items before you dip into the newer ones.