Frugal Living · Recipes

What To Eat When The AC Is Broken

Two weeks ago we turned the AC on in our house – we hadn’t used it much at all since late November – and we discovered that some time in the last month or so, our unit had met an untimely death. Being an extremely hot natured person, I can deal with not having heat a lot easier than I can handle not having AC.

I know. You’re probably wondering why it’s a problem to not have AC in February. We had a couple “cold” days with nights in the 40’s, but the past week was in the high 70’s -reaching record highs for this time of year. Our thermostat is usually set on 68, making it pretty hard to get our very first world spoiled bodies to sleep at 76 degrees! Paul always says it’s a good thing I wasn’t a pioneer. He’s SO right. LOL.

From the initial HVAC house call to the time our new unit will be up and running will be about three weeks. I’ve been pretty creative with making meals that don’t cause the house to get any hotter than it has to be. I know I’m not the only person who will experience a broken air conditioner this year – so I thought I’d share my menu with you!Β It’s stressful enough to have the expense of replacing your whole heating and air system – so why add the extra expense of eating out all the time?

If you found this post because you googled “what to eat when the AC is broken,” you have my most sincere sympathy! πŸ™‚


  • Smoothies
  • Guilt Free Iced Coffee (instead of making a batch of cold brew, I just took my coffee to work and drank it in my cool office)


  • Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla SoupΒ with Brown Rice
  • Chopped Veggie Salads and Sweet Peppers with Hummus
  • Chicken Salad – cook the chicken in the slow cooker or use a rotisserie chicken


  • Club Sandwiches/Pickles/Fresh Fruit
  • Chicken Sausage Skillet/Brown Rice (I keep cooked rice in the freezer, or use the microwaveable cups)
  • Soft Tacos/Salad/Chips and Salsa
  • Slow Cooker Sloppy JoesΒ (you don’t have to brown the meat for this recipe!)/Steamed Broccoli
  • BBQ Chicken Legs in the slow cooker/Tossed Salad/Steamable Veggies
  • Chicken Sausage Dogs/Fresh Fruit
  • Chick Fil A – because why not. πŸ™‚

As you can see, the slow cooker and the microwave are your best friends!Β 

I’m so thankful that our air died early in the year and not in August! We have ceiling fans in every room, a box fan and several little fans (I told you, I’m hot natured! πŸ™‚ ), so it really hasn’t been too bad. Keeping the kitchen cool has been a big help, especially since I tend to get hot when I cook. I hope wherever you are, you’re cool and comfortable today! πŸ™‚


12 thoughts on “What To Eat When The AC Is Broken

  1. Losing the A/C is such a pain, but it sounds like you’ve been able to cope well. And this time of year is SO much better than losing it during the Dog Days of Summer!! Seeing your menu makes me excited for summer meals around here! I love crisp, cool foods! πŸ™‚

    Our A/C is getting old, so knock on wood it does its job again this summer. I would be bad pioneer, too! My parents only had a window A/C unit until I was in 2nd grade, so it was a lot of fans then, too. Getting that central air was so amazing! I felt like we won the lottery! These days, there’s a big oak tree that shades the southwest corner of the house, which also helps tremendously with heat.


    1. We had window AC when I was growing up too – it was always so freezing in the room with the window unit and then the rest of the house was so hot. Those were the days! Hope your AC unit holds out this summer!


  2. This evening we enjoyed your delicious chicken tortilla soup recipe! Instead of adding cooked shredded chicken I placed partially thawed chicken breasts on the bottom of my crockpot and put the other ingredients on top. After 6 hours on low the chicken was so tender and easy to shred before placing back in the crockpot. This recipe is a keeper!


  3. I feel sorry for you. You are much too young to be feeling the heat. Wait until you hit about fifty. UGH! I am always warm so in the winter I can’t wear layers or pull over sweaters. Very seldom do I get out my wool coat out. Thanks for the sharing the recipes.


  4. Another thing you have taken after me, not tolerating heat very well. My heart goes out to you. We had to put in a new furnace on New Year’s Day when it was 8 below, and I made out a lot better, than I do when I’m cooking and the oven is on and I’m rushing around. the Kitchen fan is a God send. That same day, as the furnace man was coming in the door to install the furnace, our Ice Maker water would not shut off, and flooded the area around the refrigerator, before we could pull the fridge out and shut the faucet off. Then last Monday the water meter man came to the door to tell me that our Usage for water that month was way, way out of normal, that we had a water leak somewhere. It was like that for a week before the Insurance company plumber came to fix the leak today. Our next water bill will be outrageous. We will have to take the papers down to the water company and plead our case. The year 2018 is not starting out to be our best year, needless to say. Even so, it could be worse, and I am thankful for the many blessings we enjoy!


    1. Oh my goodness! That is NOT the way you want to start a year! I’m so sorry! I feel for you with the water bill – that’s what happened with our heat bill to alert us that there was an issue. No fun!


  5. Oh Whitney I sympathize with you so much! Our house has a south facing kitchen with a sliding glass door AND a large kitchen window and it gets so hot in the summer! I’ve been known to cook dinner with a cold pack on my neck! I can’t stand to be hot, especially when I’m cooking! So these recipes are perfect for me to use in the summer, even when our AC is working! My husband always says I go straight from having the heat on to having the air conditioning on! I can be cold and not complain a bit but I can’t stand to be hot! Hope the next few weeks pass quickly for you! Have a great week!


    1. That’s me too, Tina. I don’t mind being cold but once it hits 70 degrees in the house I’m DONE. πŸ™‚ I love your “cold pack on the neck” cooking strategy! I just might try that! πŸ™‚


  6. Smoothies are all the rage for afternoon snacks at my house. Love that you’re making lemonade out of lemons and still cooking yummy meals for your family. I have gotten out of the routine of using my slow cooker. I need to take advantage of it more often.


    1. I got a new slow cooker (mine was 8 years old) and it makes such a difference! It cooks so much more evenly. I’m loving it! (So sorry this reply is delayed, I don’t know how I got so behind!)


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