Every time the air kicks on, I cringe. I hear dollars. Not that it costs an extravagant amount, but as the Oklahoma days get hotter, our bills get bigger. There are a few things that I try to do which helps keep the a/c from running all day.
*First* I run the dryer at night. Every bit of heat coming out of that baby adds to the house's temperature. That means I don't do one full day of laundry. Instead I do a load each evening, and fold it in the morning. Sometimes two. If I need to do some during the day, I try to hang a load outside.
*Second* I lower the temperature at night to 74 degrees, then raise it to 78 during the day. The a/c doesn't have a hard time keeping it there while we're all sleeping, and then it helps the house be cool during the day.
*Third* I try to keep the kids in or out. No in and out. It means thinking ahead a little bit. I make sure the kids are suitably dressed for the heat, drinks and sunscreen are in hand and towels are present. That helps limit how many times the door is opened and closed.
*Fourth* I plan my days. We have a blow up pool, so a lot of the kids' time is spent in there. I try to plan what days are total outside days and have 1 day a week that is indoors. There hasn't been rain, so it works. When we're inside, we play card games like Go Fish, board games, color, have 'toy time' and play the Wii. It's rarely boring. On outdoor days, we play in the pool, catch butterflies (or frogs, or turtles), swing and make a waterslide out of the playset slide.
*Fifth* I keep the blinds shut. I love the sunshine. I love the beauty of summer. I don't like the heat that comes in from the sun. So during spring and fall, the windows are open, the blinds are pulled. But when it starts being hot, they stay shut. We have Levlor blinds, which are heavy and really keep out the sun. The girls' room gets the hottest sun during the day, though, so I plan on putting blackout curtain up in their room.
Stay cool and keep the bills low!