Simple Summer Hacks

Once the summer heat hits, priorities shift to finding resourceful ways to stay cool, hydrated and away from invasive insects. To enjoy your favorite summer activities, follow these simple and frugal hacks that will ensure a breezy, bearable and hassle-free summer.

Soothing the Burn
Sometimes wearing sunscreen, sun hats or sunglasses aren’t enough to avoid getting burnt by powerful UV rays. If you find yourself with a nasty sunburn, alleviate it with homemade aloe vera ice cubes. Fill an ice cube tray with 3/4 aloe vera juice and freeze for an hour or overnight. Rub ice cubes on or near your burn to soothe and cool the skin. Store remaining cubes in a freezer bag for later use.

Say Goodbye to Bug Bites!
When pests appear, many of us turn to store-bought sprays and repellants to keep the bugs away, but these often contain toxic chemicals that can have harmful effects on the body and the environment. Avoid bug bites and dangerous chemicals by creating an all-natural insect repellent. Fill a 10-ounce spray bottle with equal amounts of water and witch hazel. Add 15 drops of an essential oil such as peppermint, citronella, lavender or tea tree. Spray this treatment on the body as well as the surrounding environment.

If you have an itchy or irritated bug bite, treat it with homemade itch cream. Melt 3 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons beeswax in a saucepan, mix slightly, then add 10 drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oils. Let cool and apply directly to bitten area.

Six-Pack Solution
Upcycle your leftover six-pack carton into a handy storage holder. Place utensils, napkins, ketchup, mustard and other picnic necessities in your creative caddy and jazz it up by resurfacing with fun decorative paper.

Creative Condiment Containers
Bringing full bottles of condiments outside can be a pain, and letting them sit in the heat for too long can cause them to spoil. Save time, dishes and space by serving condiments in a muffin tin. Pour different sauces into individual muffin compartments and set a serving spoon in each vessel. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil between uses.

Bug-Free Beverages
Keep bugs and other unwanted extras out of your summer refreshments by topping your glasses with an upside down cupcake liner. Poke a hole in the bottom of the liner, wrap it around the top of your glass and enjoy your drink through a straw. Foil cupcake liners may shape to your cup better and have a more secure hold than paper liners. Be cautious when using these covers for kid drinks, as these liners don’t substitute as lids.

Dual-Purpose Water Bottle Ice Packs
Instead of adding extra components to your already-packed cooler, freeze a few water bottles ahead of time and use them as ice packs to keep your food cold. When the water melts, you’ll have an ice-cold beverage to enjoy.

Seat Belt Spray
To avoid painful burns and blisters from scorching summer seat belts, keep a spray bottle filled with water in your car and spray the hot plastic strap and metal buckles. The heat may warm the water in the spray bottle, but evaporation will quickly cool the seat belt, allowing you to fasten comfortably.