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It’s the summer of high inflation, meaning everything; from gas to groceries, to plane tickets to eating out. That’s not keeping Americans from enjoying the busy vacation and gathering season.
Whatever your plans are, there are plenty of ways to save and reduce the impact of the higher than usual costs.
Let’s start right where you live.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that American households will spend an average of $454 on electricity over June, July and August, or roughly $151 per month.
You can cut that cost down by being energy efficient. Close doors to rooms you’re not in. Try alternative cooling methods at night, like leaving windows open, using the fan, or switching to lighter bedding.
You can also use a smart thermostat to set a slightly higher temperature in your home when you aren’t around. There are rebate programs available in Arkansas for smart thermostats from Entergy.
Speaking of temperature, it’s the time of year to enjoy the outdoors! More time there, means less time in front of the screens. Look at any streaming services you can do without. You can always add it back whenever the next season of your favorite weekend marathon arrives.
The summer is a great time to stock up on summer clothes… for next year!
Seasonal sales happen earlier and earlier with some summer items discounted as early as June. That’s especially true for summer apparel like shorts and swimwear. The longer you wait, the greater the discounts, though, the smaller the supply and variety.
If you wait until August, you can typically save on things like garden tools and porch furniture, and if you wait a little longer, September and October, you can find the best deals on barbecue grills and lawnmowers.
You can also save at the grocery store. Prices at the grocery store are definitely up, but that just means you have to shop smart.
In-season local produce – which include corn and tomatoes in the summer – tend to be fresher and cheaper than out-of-season produce. Buy the generic options instead of the name brand. You can also hit up the local farmer’s market for produce and meats, eggs, and baked goods.
If you love to grill, go with hot dogs or frozen meat as both are cheaper. In the case of steak, switch to a cheaper cut of meat and stick it in a marinade before it hits the heat.
Finally, raid your pantry. If you’ve got stuff that’s been in there awhile – canned produce and other products – why not finally use them? They’re already paid for
Yes, gas prices are HIGH. That’s why it’s worth looking around a little bit instead of just going to your usual fuel pump.
Whether you’re staying in town or hitting the road for vacation, look for the pumps that are a little further off the highway. The first station you see is rarely the cheapest. Also, if you’re on a road trip, do some pre-trip planning. Prices vary per state, so it might be cheaper to stop and fill up before crossing state lines.
While you’re driving, Avoid abrupt accelerating and braking. It’s safer AND will improve your fuel economy. So will using your cruise control on the highway and turning off your engine when parked rather than idling.
If you’re running errands, get them all done in one trip. Avoid multiple trips each day if possible to cut down on gas usage. That includes filling up the tank.
If you do plan to fly off on a vacation this summer, avoid the most popular travel days and times. According to the travel site Hopper, You’ll save an average of $75 on domestic airfare when you fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday instead of the weekend. If you can, schedule your vacation for late in the summer - like August or even September and October if possible - rather than the peak summer travel period to save a bundle.
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