cheap-arse ways to keep cool this summer

by Becca Varcoe

As we approach the dreaded high-30s of the Australian summer, we start to see those ads on TV that talk about skyrocketing power bills and old ex-cricket players start plugging air conditioning units in between wickets. We hate to join in their white man chorus, but folks, keeping cool in summer can be a real challenge – especially when you don’t want to spend all your cash. If you have an air conditioner, well, good for you. Quit bragging. For those of us who are strapped for cash and sweating through what little sleep we can get, here’s a list of little tricks that might keep you cooler for cheaper.

stay cool 1

FREEZE YOUR SHEETS I’d recommend this one only for top sheets so you don’t get your mattress too soggy. Fold your sheet up and pop it in the freezer for an hour or two before bedtime. Then drape that baby over your sweaty self, and let the icy cotton do its worst (best).

BLESS YOUR COTTON SOCKS Maybe stay away from socks in the summertime, actually – but do invest in cotton. There’s a reason older ladies who wear lots of bangles and flowy linen pants look so chill in every season – they know their fabrics. Get into some linen blends, or some lightweight cotton that breathes well, and stay away from heavy fabrics and artificial fibres.

CREATE A MEGA ICE PACK USING A HOT WATER BOTTLE The noble hot water bottle is a year-round household hero. In the winter it keeps you toasty, but in the summertime you can repurpose it as a giant ice pack. Say farewell to those weird blue gel things you got in the school nurse’s office, and freeze your hot water bottle (half-filled with cold water) to create a big old rubbery ice pack.

THE OLD ICE UNDER THE FAN TRICK If you are not a millionaire and therefore cannot afford to cool your home with an air conditioner, this hack might help. (If you are a millionaire, a) why are you reading this list, and b) can you please buy me an air conditioner?) Grab a bowl and pop all the ice cubes you have in it. Place your icy bowl directly below the front of a fan and it’ll blow the icy cool air all over your sweltering bod.

DUMP YOUR PARTNER In the apocalyptic hell-scape that is the Australian summer, you don’t need anyone but yourself. You are Mad Max; you are Imperator Furiosa. Ditch your partner and refuse to make physical contact unless it’s absolutely vital. Do not share your bed; do not hug; do not hold hands. Keeping cool is the most important thing – physical intimacy is for sweaty chumps and losers who value love.

GET NIPPY WITH A REFRIGERATED BRA While I don’t want to encourage freezer burn on your private parts, this one really does work. People with boobs know they can be heavy, sweaty pains in the chest. We all have butts – and oh boy, do butts get swampy in the summer heat. Before bed, cool your delicates in the freezer before you don your bedtime apparel and lay spread-eagled as you drift off to sleep.

BECOME A HOMEMADE ICY POLE GOURMAND We’re already miles ahead of you on this one – we’ve shown you how to create watermelon ice blocks, as well as blueberry pancake breakfast icy poles. (Yeah – pancake icy poles.) If these don’t tickle your pickle, Smitten Kitchen has a bunch of great recipe ideas, too.

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