If you live in a cold climate, you are probably feeling the relief that accompanies a lower heating bill now that spring is here. On the other hand, if you live where the mercury is rapidly rising, your air conditioning bills may be starting to increase as well – I know mine are! Spring brings its own unique challenges when you’re trying to save money, but in many ways, you can be a bit more frugal once the temperature warms up. Here are a few ways that you can save money this spring:
Plant a garden. While starting a garden might require a financial investment, keeping one going is not very expensive, and you’ll soon save money on produce. Starting from seed is the most frugal way to garden, but if that seems too daunting a task, look for cheap plants at farmers’ markets or even on the clearance rack at your local home improvement store. If you have avid gardeners as friends, they might be willing to share some of their plants with you, as well. Aside from providing you with homegrown vegetables, a garden is a low-cost hobby.
- Mow your own lawn. Buy a lawnmower and forget calling a landscaping company to take care of this for you. In years past, we paid $100 per month for mowing and trimming. Yes, it was nice to have it taken care of each week, but when we were able to find a lawnmower on sale last summer, we took advantage. All it takes is a couple of gallons of gasoline every few months. An added benefit is that you get in a good workout if you have a big lawn or some hills.
- Open the windows! Turn off the climate control in your house and let the sun and breeze in. This is not a good option if you or someone in your household has pollen allergies, but if not, get some fresh air and watch your electric bill plummet.
- Do some spring cleaning. Vacuuming out your dryer hose makes the appliance run more efficiently, and reduces the risk of a house fire, besides. Clean out your freezer. An organized freezer means that you have the room to stock up on good sales, and a full freezer runs more efficiently, saving you money. While you’re sprucing up the inside of the house, spring for a tune-up on the car if it’s due, as this will make it more gas efficient (and will save you money on costly repairs… what is it that they say about an ounce of prevention?).
- Hang out your laundry. Let the sun and wind dry your clothes for free. If you don’t like the way the clothes feel after hanging in the sun, you can always throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes afterward to soften them up.
- Take advantage of free outdoor events. From nature festivals to snow-free hiking trails to outdoor concerts, your neighborhood may be home to a wide variety of warm-weather free activities. Participate in these in lieu of more expensive entertainment options.
- Buy winter clothing for next year. If the kids are going to need new coats and boots anyway, you might as well buy them now, while they’re on the clearance racks. Now might be a good time to buy used winter gear as well; check out yard sales and thrift shops to see what people have brought in over the last few weeks, as they were packing away their winter clothing in preparation for spring.
Do you have any money-saving tips for spring to share?