Ideas for Staying Cool without Breaking the Bank

It is HOT!! and I am melting! Seriously, the northeast is under a heatwave and I am not happy.  The house we are living in right now has no central AC and we are sweating.  Southerners, don’t roll your eyes!  I lived in Louisiana for years so I *know* HOT.  So I asked you on the CSWM Facebook page for ideas for staying cool without breaking the bank and here are some of the ones you shared:

  • Cool ties will help to keep you cool on hot summer days. You soak them in water and then place them in a cooler or frig. They get cold and then you put them around your neck.
  • Keep a spray bottle full of ice water and turn it to fine mist. Spray! Feels great! Also, freeze a block of ice (use an empty ice cream container) and then sit that in a casserole dish and put it in front of a fan right in front of you.
  • Wrap a wet bandanna around my neck if I have to go out of the house in this heat! works great!
  • Get out of the house:  go to the mall to window shop for a few hours or stay at the library until they throw you out
  • Growing up in a house without AC, I loved putting my pillow or top sheet in the freezer. Mom always closed off the rooms that we weren’t using so the fans would be concentrated in the rest of the house. Even now in a house with AC, I keep unoccupied rooms closed off.
  • Hang out in the basement too, it is much cooler down there.
  • Keep the blinds/curtains shut and get some fans to circulate the air.
  • Get a block of ice or a big mound of ice in a tub and run a fan behind the ice. It is the old fashioned way of cooling off and it feels much cooler than just the fan.
Thanks so much everyone for your tips and ideas.  Hopefully these tips also help others in the same situation.  Leave me a comment if you have a tip to share.

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  • Leslie


    Here’s a variation on your block of ice in front of the fan suggestion:

    We live in New Mexico so we KNOW hot!

    Every night we freeze a gallon of water (think plastic milk jug). Then we place that in front of the fan when we are working at our desk. This way we get to enjoy BOTH the cool air and the cold water as the ice melts. (PLUS it doesn’t make as much of a mess on our desk. We just set the jug on top of a towel.)

    Best of luck staying cool while you share your HOT deals with all of us!

  • Kellee

    I am a Southerner! I live in Charlotte, NC and I am ROOOOOLLLLLING MY EYES!

    My advice is to sit in front of the fan with a glass of lemonade!

    I’ll pray for you!

  • Dani

    I’m in the Northeast & it is hot!!!!!!!!!! I spent sometime down south (OK to be exact) and its worse here than it was there!!!!!!!

  • I’ve got cold meals planned for dinner this week…the last thing we want at the end of a hot day is a hot meal!

  • Kimberly

    I live in Florida where if its hot its HOTTTTTT and if its cold its FREEZING mostly due to the humidity!! I have a/c but it doesn’t always seem to work right and I’m still miserably HOT here!! So I put dark sheets over my living room and kitchen windows/blinds and its helped out quite a bit! I also keep bedroom doors and the bathroom door closed when no one is in them. I also have something called a Carpenters Fan that I turn on while I’m using the oven/stove to keep it cool in the kitchen and it works pretty good too. It’s A LOT better than a regular fan!! Best of luck to you!!

  • Rainey

    Thankfully here in so calif its almost cold in the afternoon, I LOVE IT!!! I am sure that it will end soon and the energy bills will be in the hundreds again but right now I am loving it here!

  • Joy

    Ha! Try camping in this heat. Just got back from camping in a tent for four days with my boys (8 and 11) here in CNY. And these are boys that were born in SC (the armpit of the South; LOL) and lived there for half their lives. So you would think it wouldn’t have bothered us at all. But between the heat and the dang deer flies, they were miserable even though our campground had a pool and a little river to play in. Wish I had thought about the ice water in spray bottle. Have to remember that for next year.

    Thank goodness our house has central AC. Hoping there are no power outages though.