Heat waves are record breaking for this time of year, and don't I know it! I'm not a fan of hot weather (just in case you haven't noticed by my whining over the years). I think it is much easier to get warm than it is to get cool and of course when it's cold I can work away, I just can't do that in the heat.
So with the predicted temperatures of over 40 degrees for most of Australia for the next few days, I went to the Cheapskates Club Tip Store to look for frugal ways to keep cool. Of course Cheapskaters came through - here are some of their favourite frugal ways to stay cool in hot weather.
Close windows, blinds and doors early in the morning, before the sun even peeps over the horizon.
Put draught stoppers against doors to keep hot air out.
Turn fans on early in the morning to circulate the cool air and keep it a little cooler.
Use wet sheets in front of fans to cool the air even more.
Keep ice blocks in the freezer. (We have reusable ice blocks, $2 a bag from Kmart and they are brilliant in the water cooler).
Keep plenty of plain water in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink just water.
Use damp hand towels, folded in half, across the back of your neck to stay cool.
Dress appropriately - if you're not going out bare feet and minimum clothing is OK. Especially watch babies and toddlers - no need for even a singlet on a hot day, just a nappy at home is fine.
Half fill the bath with cold water and let littlies (and bigs!) play in it. It keeps them cool and you don't need to worry about sunburn. When they're finished you can either bucket the water into the washing machine or onto the garden.
Do your housework early in the morning when it is coolest.
Think cold food: salads, cold meats, jelly, frozen fruit (banana, strawberries, watermelon, pineapple etc.).
Barbecue rather than cook inside if you must cook to avoid heating up the house.
Keep pets cool by freezing milk ro soft drink bottles of water and putting them out for them. Dogs,cats and rabbits will love to lie on them, chickens will flutter around them to keep cool.
Hose down dogs during the day to help them stay cool. Make sure they have a shady spot to lie too.
Use a personal misting fan - they really work! Kmart sell them for $5.
If you have window awnings, use them.
Sit with your feet in a tub of cool water.
Wear a damp sarong - see above for it being OK to dress to the weather.
Wet your hair.
Turn off as many heat producing appliances as you can - you'd be amazed at the amount of heat that comes off the new LCD/plasm televisions for instance. Turn them all off at the wall to save power and avoid heating up the house.
Keep your garden watered, especially any near the house. Amazingly a well-watered garden will help to cool your house.
Once the sun has gone down, open up the house to let the hot air out. If you can, leave windows and doors open overnight to allow the cooler air in.
And then start the process all over again the next morning.
Stay cool and safe everyone.