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The Heat is a-Comin’! Broke-Ass Summer Solutions

Updated: May 22, 2013 23:49
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If this past week is any indication, the heat is a-comin’ and, going into my second New York City Summer, I’m reminded of a few things.

I desperately need an AC

First of all, let’s just be clear that the thought of me installing an air conditioning unit in my window scares the hell out of me – not to mention the fact that there are so many of these heavy-as-(expletive) boxes protruding from buildings, directly over sidewalk pedestrians’ heads. Again, terrifying.

How do I not have one already? I just moved here from California last August and sweated it out (literally) ’til the fall, relying solely on a fan to get me through the rest of the 90-degree/100-percent-humidity summer fun. Never. Again.

As a broke girl who chucks her money away to Williamsburg’s sky-rocketing rent every month, forking over another $100+ for this contraption that I’m already terrified of is really the last thing I want to do. But it’s either that or go back to taking three or more showers a day, which my dermatologist will tell me not to do because my eczema will come back (seriously, Northeast – we don’t have humidity and weird skin problems in California).

All the New Yawkers say to go to P.C. Richard & Son for my AC, but again with the price thing, getting it home, etc. And I’m really skeptical about Craigslist (although that’s what led me to write for Broke-Ass, but cash-for-appliances is another thing). Luckily, my friend just moved into an apartment with AC included (I know, right?!) and is selling her practically new window unit to me for cheap. So my advice if you’re in the same boat is to harass your friends via Facebook, Twitter, anything, and find someone you know who’s selling theirs and will give you a sweet deal. Oh, and A+ if you can find someone willing to help you get it to your place and safely and correctly install it.

On that note, do I have any volunteers?

Sucking the fun right out of summer

Mo’ mosquitos, mo’ problems

So on top of the whole eczema thing out here, we have another skin issue to contend with during the summer months, and that’s mosquitoes. Great, another thing to spend money on: nasty-smelling mosquito repellent. But unless you want giant red welts on your arms and legs that you’ll relentlessly scratch at for days (because that’s fuckin’ sexy), it’s the only way. Maybe …

I’ve yet to try any of these DIY remedies, but there are a bunch of granola-y websites out there that claim things like eating a ton of garlic (done and done!) or spraying grain alcohol and herb-concoction on yourself (will cheap beer work?) will repel mosquitos just as effectively (and DEET-free). Plus, homemade versions will likely end up costing less in the long run.

I stumbled upon a site called The Frugal Girls, and they’re claiming Listerine, dryer sheets, and Avon lotion all repel these blood suckers – and that all sounds good to me.

Sayonara, straight hair!

Summer. Heat. Humidity. A lethal combination to naturally curly hair, especially when it’s been straightened. I’ve tried the expensive “climate control” products from Ouidad and the like, and I hate to say that, for $30, I would have been better off getting a couple of classy martinis at the Conrad Hotel (the Maple Spiced Martini is to die for). Time to pack away the flat iron and embrace the curls for a few months. And the best part is, keeping them from looking like a hot frizzy mess is pretty cheap. It’s called whatever conditioner you have and $4 Garnier Fructis anti-humidity hairspray. Put conditioner in your wet hair, scrunch, hairspray the shit out of it, and let it dry without touching. Then re-scrunch with something slimy in your hands – cheap hair serum, coconut oil, whatever – and you should be looking more like Taylor Swift and less like Mia pre-makeover in “The Princess Diaries.”

So get your paws on a good AC (one that won’t drop out of your window and kill someone below, ohmigod!), repel those mosquitoes with homemade potions, and get a cheap hair routine down, and you’ll be off to a great summer! Oh, and keeping deodorant in your purse is not a bad idea, either.

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Rene Beight - Femme Frugale

Rene Beight - Femme Frugale

Yearbook/newspaper nerd turned marketing professional/freelance writer. Originally from San Diego, Rene now resides in Brooklyn's most hipster neighborhood, where the rent's not cheap, but the whiskey is (coincidence?). On weekends, you can find her wandering the flea (but buying nothing) and squandering away her late-night pizza to the stray cats next door. She's addicted to chocolate almonds, long runs in the City, apocalyptic thrillers, and nachos. Talents include belching at will.