Summer Cash Savers


Don’t let the calendar fool you—summer is officially here, at least in my neck of the woods. We have been sizzling in 90-degree (plus) heat for more than a week.

Despite the crazy hot temperatures, my daughter and I saw a man cutting his lawn with a push mower at 11 a.m. yesterday when the mercury had to be pushing 89 degrees.

Come to find out, the guy is not as nutty as I thought. In fact, he’s probably smarter and richer than most of us who use a power mower to cut our grass. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, consumers can save hundreds of dollars each year by investing in a push reel mower. Since the push mowers don’t use gasoline, you can pocket the savings.

What’s more, the EPA claims that most of us waste additional money because we can’t pour straight. The EPA estimates that each year, Americans spill enough gasoline when refilling their mowers to surpass what was spilled by the Exxon Valdez. In addition, it cost money to drive back and forth to the gas station to retrieve the fuel needed for traditional lawn mowers, so by using the push versions we can save at least $50 per summer in travel expenses.

Another way to save this summer is to do your homework. This is especially true when school is out and you are looking for affordable childcare for your kids while you are at work. If you have a full-time job out of your home, summer can be an expensive season. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the costs of summer childcare. For example, if you are working on a budget, skip the costly summer camps. Instead, check with your city or county about affordable day camp options offered through the Parks and Recreation Department. Community centers, churches and the YMCA are also viable alternatives to expensive private summer camps.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.