Are you getting ansty for spring like we are? It has been a long winter and we are ready for spring, sunshine, longer days and being outdoors. The daffodils are poking through, the temperature is slooooowly creeping upward and a big smile has returned to my face…well that is a bit of an exaggeration. I should probably say my smile is getting bigger…anyway… Spring isn’t just a change of season; it is a change of lifestyle as well. These lifestyle changes save us money and help our Family Balance Sheet.
# 1. April 1st is the official start of yard sale season around here. I love to have yard sales and I love to go to them. I have been busy all winter going through closets, drawers and cupboards to prepare for our first one in May. We usually put any money that we make towards our summer vacation. To keep prep to a minimum I don’t put stickers on everything, instead I have one table per pricepoint, i.e. 25 cent table or $1.00 table. I make signs on my computer and tape to the tables. I usually do another sale in July at my cousin’s house and after that sale I box everything up and take to the Salvation Army for a tax deductible receipt.
We like to go to sales too, but I try to stick to essentials, like clothes and books for the kids and my husband is always looking for tools. The whole point for me in having sale is to get rid of stuff, so the last thing I need to do is bring more stuff into the house. The thrill of finding an amazing bargain is what gets us out of bed very early on a Saturday morning.
# 2. I agonize all winter when I use my dryer knowing that cash is flying out the dryer duct. We don’t have a sunny spot big enough for a clothes line, but I have a huge sunny patio where I put two wooden racks to air dry our clothes. As soon as the temperature hits around 50 degrees and it is sunny I put my clothes outside to dry and I will continue to do this until the fall. I dry everything on these racks except our bed linens and my husband’s work clothes. I hang his work clothes on hangers in our laundry room. To help prevent crunchy towels, I do throw them in the dryer for about 10 minutes to soften up before I put outside.
3. As soon as the weather breaks, you can smell what everyone in our neighborhood is having for dinner because the grills have been dusted off and fired up. We hardly turn our oven on from May – October except maybe for baking desserts and even desserts can be done on the grill – grilled pineapple anyone?? For me the best part about grilling is that my dh loves to do it!! Our favorite summer meal is simply grilled marinated chicken and a garden salad.
4. For some strange reason I find it very therapeutic to grow tomatoes. Every year I grow a small vegetable garden of tomatoes, peppers and some herbs. This year I would like to expand my garden and maybe add fruit, like blueberries and raspberries. I still have some tomatoes in my freezer that I am going to use this week for a pasta dinner.
5. Let the sun shine in…the sun doesn’t just make me smile, it lights our home. It is so nice to not have to rely on a light bulb to light our house. I rarely need to turn on the lights from April – October.
6. Fresh air. For a few weeks before it gets too hot, it feels so good to turn off the heat and open the windows and air out the house. We have ceiling fans in the bedrooms and we try to go as long as we can before we give in and turn on the AC.
7. Walking, parks, bicycles…Free exercise. Just being outside lightens our moods and puts smiles on our faces. My husband and I walk almost every night when he gets home from work. We put the kids in the strollers and head out for about an hour. We have some of our best conversations on those walks and we really look forward to them.
Are you as excited as I am for Spring? What are you looking forward to? How does Spring save you money?