High Utility Bills & High Temperatures│5 Ideas for Smart Summer Savings

5 Ideas for Smart Summer Savings

The first day of Summer officially arrived although it seems we have skipped most of Spring this year!  Have you noticed your bills are much higher than the previous Summer? It’s no surprise that while the days are longer and hotter, utility bills are headed on up too. We don’t expect that anyone would choose to sit inside with the air off, so with that, we have a list of some ways to save so you can stay cool while keeping your costs at a minimum.

 

Air Dry Your Clothing

Do you have a place to hang your clothing outside? Cutting back on your electric bill by letting all your laundry air dry is a great way to save this Summer. Although the time it takes to dry your clothes does take longer, it will keep your clothing looking brighter and actually extend the life of the clothing rather than tossing it in the dryer every time.

Find A Pool

Pack a snack and spend the day by the pool. This is a great way to give your AC a much needed break for the day. After you leave the pool, find a spot for a shaved ice or ice cream cone and soak up some of the air and cool off.  For parents, this is a great way to get the kiddos tired and settled down for a quiet movie and bed time!

Here are a few other awesome ideas for your kids to do this Summer that are free!

 

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Unplug

We tend to leave all of our phone chargers, laptops and other devices plugged in at home when we finish using them. Before you lock the front door, walk around your home and unplug any devices that are not being used. One way to eliminate this head ache is plug everything in a power saving strip so that when you are in a rush, you just turn the strip off and can head out the door or invest in an outlet timer.

Clean Up

The refrigerator is one appliance you cannot unplug but you can still cut costs by keeping the back side of the fridge clean! Once you move all the toys, goldfish and crumbs out of the way, you’ll see the coils on the fridge in the back or bottom of the fridge. They need a good cleaning each month which can help you save money as well. Just a quick once over with your vacuum each month can help you save.

Are you a renter?

It can be hard to cut cost on a unit that you can’t fix some of the issues that cause your bills to be higher, like the front door needing to be weatherized so the air does not escape. Here are a few ways you can save without calling up your landlord:

  1. Change air filters on air conditioner/furnace
  2. Thermostat settings-can cut costs 3% each degree over 75
  3. Cold Water-wash your clothes in cold which can save you about 50 cents/per load of laundry you do

Get out and enjoy your Summer to the fullest with your friends and family! Whether you are hoping to save up for a new vacation, a new home or just to put money back into savings, we hope these tips will help you get there this season!

 

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

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Ballparks On A Budget

Ballparks On A Budget

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For once, feeling blue is good! (Royal blue that is) and dare I say it, but baseball season is finally here again! If you have looked at the ticket prices at Kauffman Stadium lately you’ll notice they have not gone down. In 2018, the average ticket price for a Cubs game at the highest end of the spectrum is nearly $60 while the KC Royals average about $34 a ticket. If you were hoping to spend a day at the K, you may be looking at a few hundred dollars between parking, tickets, and those fan food favorites. I fully believe that once in a while an experience at the stadium is worth it (wherever you call home) but there are a few other options in Kansas City that may have slid passed you.

Here are a few (alternate ways) to enjoy my favorite pastime, without striking out on all the fun:

Watch the game at one of the local bars

Power and Light, Chicken N Pickle, Westport or your local Johnny’s Tavern are just a few favorite spots of mine to enjoy a good game. With a great patio, some fun outdoor games, and a cold beer you’ll still be able to enjoy time out in the sun with your friends.

Buy tickets in the top section

Chances are, you will end up wandering around the stadium in-between innings and can hang out in the bar out in left or right field. At some point you may ask yourself “Why did I come to this game, and pay for those seats?” It was for the Dippin’ Dots or maybe that is just me! But, if you are adamant about going into the game, purchasing a ticket for $19.99 in the nosebleeds won’t break the bank.

 

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Pack a snack

Unopened plastic water bottles (limited to 1 per person) are acceptable as well as small bags (16×16) of snacks. These can be taken into the stadium with no trouble. For more information on what you are allowed to take into the stadium, check out the Royals website here. Tailgating is another great option to feed your friends and kids before going in and to avoid the high cost of the concession snacks.

 

Catch a T-Bones game

With free parking and fireworks every Saturday, this is a great alternative option for families that are wanting to take their kids out for a fun baseball experience. Select seats are $11 and there is entertainment just about every inning.

What I didn’t talk about is the one way I prefer to catch all of my baseball games-by radio. Although it may be old school (millennial’s cant be old school, or so I’ve heard) there is something fun about relaxing on the patio at home and listening to the announcer describe the scene. If you are a true fan of the game, it’s fun to imagine what the field looks like and the sound of my favorite guy walking through the isles of Kauffman Stadium yelling “Lemony, Lemony, Lemonade!” That is what this time of year is all about.

Whether you choose to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kauffman this year or decide to do something totally different, Kansas City offers many outdoor activities  for families on all budgets!

A note from the Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

When To Make These 6 Big Purchases!

 

Timing really is everything! Who knew making large purchases had a “right time” too? If you tend to be organized and can set aside and plan out when your big purchases will be made, this guide is for you. For most, appliances and must-haves tend to give out at the most inconvenient times. In an effort to maintain the trend,  start planning ahead! With all of this in mind, here are the top 6 best times for major purchases that may make an appearance in your future:

1.Mattress Sales-Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day
The three day weekends have been a huge hit for mattress sales! In an effort to attract customers with a lot of time on their hands, many stores go out of their way to advertise for huge blow out sales on mattresses. Good rule of thumb is to replace your mattress every 5-10 years. Are you due for a replacement? There are only a few short weeks left before Memorial Day!

2. New Pool-Fall
Although you may not want to wait until Fall, it will end up being a great saving for you in the long run. By no means are home pools cheap but getting one built late in the season has the potential to really cut cost. Contracting builders during the end of the busy season and summer months can be a huge savings. Materials are cheaper and discounted prices and sales start. Peak season on pools means the cost of labor is high. Plan ahead and spend the final months of summer planning your dream oasis. You’ll be glad you did!

3. Major Appliances-May, September, October
Home ownership means getting excited about deals like when refrigerators go on sale! May is ideal for those new refrigerators. Apparently, Mother’s Day is a big day for large appliances although I doubt that is what she really wants as her gift. Other large appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers are marked down September-October. Old appliances on the floor will be marked down during those months to make room for new models on the show room floors.

4. Furniture Deals-January
In an effort to turn a new home into the home of your dreams, furniture pieces are a must. Many outlets will lower their prices by up to 50% on the original prices of the pieces. In an effort to make room for new products again in February for new furniture they will host New Year deals and close out sales. This is a great time to take advantage of the big-ticket items you may have had on your wish list.

5. Engagement Rings-Summer
It may seem that social media tends to be blown up with weddings and engagements during the summer months. And rightfully so! To maintain the movement of rings through the stores, many jewelers lower the prices through the summer months and into August. Rings are especially expensive around peak holiday seasons like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. If you’re significant other is expecting a fancy stone, you may want to do research and plan accordingly. Your wallet and soon-to-be spouse will thank you!

6. Plane Tickets-Early December, Late January, Early February
The only way to catch most of these deals is planning and patience. For plane tickets, the best time to travel is to prepare and plan for “dead times” when crowds are small, and season is slow. A few weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great time for travel. Many families plan and spend more than necessary in an effort to travel to see family for the Holiday’s. If you can, plan your trips before the actual holiday falls. In the end, the hectic traveling and sometimes delays may not even be worth the stress and cost when it is all said and done.

We are all about educating our consumers and saving them money! We hope these few tips will help you when you are thinking about making your next big purchase this year.

 

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A note from the author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington