For much of the country, the beginning of summer has already brought extreme heat waves. Record temperatures have already been reached in New England, the Midwest and other parts of the U.S. If you're looking for some cheap ways to cool down this summer, check out our list below and stay cool out there.
Cool off in the Backyard
It's not easy being cooped up inside the house all day, even if it's scorching outside. If you really need to get out, try the tried-and-true lawn sprinkler to cool down. Kids have been using this trick for years, but it's not just a fun game for them. It can be a cheap and refreshing way to stay cool for you, too. Just bring a chair onto the lawn and let the sprinkler do its thing. Not only will this keep you cool while you're outside, but you'll get some lawn watering done at the same time. If you're looking for something with a little more water, buy a kiddie pool and put a lawn chair in it. You can buy many of these pools for about $20. If you place them in the shade you can sit in the pool and cool off without getting burned. If you'd rather bring a little more excitement to your cool down though, buy a slip and slide for $15 and have fun while staying cool.
Another great budget-friendly summer fun idea is when you live in a community with a pool. If you do, take advantage of it! Some neighborhoods have pool access, but if you don't have a pool membership visit the pool with a friend who does have a membership. If you live in a big city, you may have access to a community pool for little or no cost. In cities like New York, kids under 18 can go to community pools for free.
Some cities also have cooling centers set up during the summer to offer a little reprieve to people walking around town. New York City has over 450 cooling centers set up, many of which are public buildings with air conditioning. You can usually locate a cooling center near you by going to your state or city's website. If this isn't an option for you, go for a walk in an indoor mall. You can do it for free and you can stay as long as you like.
Cool Yourself Down
Besides running the air conditioner, which won't help save money on summer bills, you can keep yourself cool by doing some pretty simple tasks like just staying in the shade and drinking lots of water. A good tip is to keep your pulse points cool. These are the places on your body, like your neck and wrists, where your pulse is. You can put a cold washcloth on your neck or run your wrists under cold water to lower your body temperature more quickly. The type of clothing you wear can also make a big difference in keeping you cool. Cotton will breath better than a lot of other fabrics and looser clothing will help keep you cooler than tight clothes. Don't forget about your feet either. Each foot can have about 250,000 sweat glands, so take your socks and shoes off to help keep yourself cool.
The Bottom Line
Try to stay out of the heat as much as possible and keep water with you at all times. If you have to venture out, or just want to get out of the house, be smart about what you wear, where you go and how long you stay. It doesn't take much to get overheated in extreme temperatures.