It's mid-June, and summer is officially and undoubtedly here, accompanied by heat and humidity. It's a bit better up here than near the coast line - actually pretty dry, and the nights are deliciously cool - I'm so grateful for that, it's difficult to fall asleep while you're all sticky and sweaty - but we're still in Israel. Our little house accumulates heat during the day, and because not all our mosquito nets are fixed yet, we can't open all the windows as wide as we'd like.
It's very tempting to just push a little button and turn on the air conditioner, but if we do that, I know our electricity bill is soon going to double. After Shira was born, we used the air conditioner heavily to keep our house warm (I know, I know, we could have found more frugal ways, but we were too overwhelmed back then to think about it) and got our biggest electricity bill ever.
Last summer, we lived in a house without air conditioning, and somehow managed. This summer, I'm challenging myself to live as though we don't have an air conditioner - at least most of the time. My husband might turn it on for an hour or so after he gets back from work, but otherwise, I'm designing alternative methods to battle the heat:
~ I keep several bottles of cold water in the refrigerator, and make sure ice trays are full so we can always enjoy a cold drink. I also made a pitcher of lemonade yesterday - very refreshing.
~ Cool showers. Several times during the day, if necessary. Very refreshing as well, especially if your hair is wet.
~ I dress lightly at home - meaning that I wear a skirt made from light fabric, a short-sleeved shirt, and no hair covering. I know it's not always possible for those who have visitors coming and going frequently during the day, but we don't have that many.
~ Baking has been put on hold. Instead of cakes and cookies, I make fruit salad for dessert. I just throw in some chopped pears, bananas, pineapple and dried fruit and berries. Can be served with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
~ I try to do all my cooking, as well as outside chores such as hanging laundry, working in the garden and grocery shopping during hours when heat is not at its high - early morning or late afternoon/evening.
What are your favorite frugal ways to combat the summer heat?