How to Beat the Heat Without Spending a Dime

30 July 2012

The summer may be half way over but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less hot or humid outside. As much as I would love to go out and buy an air conditioner the minute I walk into my hot as hell apartment, I’ve learned over the course of my life that there are cheaper and greener ways to stay cool during the summer. Seeing as summer truly only lasts about a month where I live in Vancouver, I hate spending a bunch of money on things to help me cool off when I know fall is just around the corner. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of frugal solutions to beat the heat without spending a dime.

Make your own summer clothes – We all know the easiest way to keep cool is to wear the proper summer attire. Cut off jean shorts may not be all the rage these days, but some cut off shorts with lace definitely are. All you need is a bit of lace or crochet trims, some old jeans you can cut into shorts, and a needle and thread. If you have a pile of old t-shirts buried in a box somewhere like I do, you can easily convert them into racerback tank tops too. As long as you have some scissors and a bit of patience to follow of a few detailed instructions, you can make yourself a whole slew of new summer tops to wear to the beach or gym without even having to reach for your wallet.

DIY your own air conditioner – The best way to cool things down in your home is to make sure your heat is completely off and to open all your windows, especially at night. Also make sure to close all of your drapes or blinds during the day to reduce the amount of heat from the sun coming in. Once you’ve done all of these things, if still wish you had an air conditioner in your place, empty a bunch of ice cubes into a shallow container, place in front of your fan, then sit back and pretend that icy airflow is coming from someplace really cold like the arctic.

Lower your body temperature – Sometimes you just need something quick to cool down, and the best way to do that is to put your wrists under cold running water. The blood from your wrists will lower in temperature from the cold water and will then travel throughout the rest of your body cooling it down too. Another great tip is to put a spray bottle of water in your fridge for those times when you just need a quick sprits of cool mist. For those times when you are almost too hot to move, make your own freezer pack using a sponge filled with water sealed into a freezer bag. Put it inside your freezer and once it’s almost frozen it’s as good as a premade store bought ice pack.

Keep hydrated – You know you feel the heat more than ever when you are dying of thirst, so make sure you always have a bottle of water on hand. To ensure your water is nice and cold when you want it, take any spare plastic bottles you have at your house, fill them with water, then put them in the freezer to grab on your way out.

Eat spicy foods – Have you ever wondered why people who live in hot countries also eat some of the spiciest foods without getting heat stroke? According to the Huffington Post, when you eat spicy foods “Your blood circulation increases, you start sweating and once your moisture has evaporated, you've cooled off.” So maybe next time you feel like eating a bucket of ice for dinner to cool down, a plate of green curry might be a smarter choice.

How do you keep cool without spending any money?

(Image credit: ToastyKen, Kyle May, Jan Tik)


  • Nicole
    I did this tutorial to make cheap t shirts for the summer!
    • Anna W.
      Good job Nicole, you're very crafty! I sort of don't believe the tip about eating spicy foods :| Would prefer a cocktail to cool me down!! Thanks for the article Jess :)
    • Jessica M.
      Ooo I might have to try that!

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