Are you looking for ways to save money this summer? You are not alone! We’re going to talk about 11 ways to you can make sure your family can have a fun summer without breaking the budget.
The days are getting longer and the kids are getting antsy for the end of our homeschooling year. I can hardly believe we’re finishing up our 15th year of homeschooling! Heat, humidity and fun-filled days are just around the corner for this coastal South Carolina family.
Are you feeling a little anxious about how you’re going to afford the summer fun? I know how difficult it can be at times to balance the fun with the finances and would like to offer you some encouragement to kick off your summer with a stress-free, debt-free approach! Here are 11 ways to save money this summer.
Ways to Save Money this Summer
1. Take a Look at Your Budget (from Fall-Spring)
Just as there are different expenses during the summer months, there are also expenses that you won’t have (school lunch, extra-curricular activities, etc., ) now that you’re on a summer schedule. Earmarking those school-year dollars for summer plans (in your budget) will help you to not have to dig deeper for summer spending, but to be able to reallocate for the summer months.
2. Take a Look at Memberships
When considering trips to the zoo, children’s museums or theme parks, think about how much you plan to go this year. Would a yearly-membership make more sense? Often, the cost of a membership to places like this is equal to only two visits (with your family.) Another bonus is, with a membership, you can leave when the kids are getting tired and not feel as though you have to make a day of it.
3. Keep your Family in Mind with Pool Memberships
There are some things that just seem to fit into the idea of summer…pool memberships being one of them. Rather than jumping into joining the pool because that’s what everyone does, think about your family. Do you see yourself taking the kids without another adult? (Often, with little ones, the answer is “no.”) Do you see yourself going enough to justify the expense? If not, maybe choosing to go to a nearby splash park (or using the sprinkler in the backyard) is a better option, with the occasional special trip to the public pool.
4. Give Yourself a Limit on Big Activities
Summer is a great time to go to water parks, head to the museum, etc. Determining at the beginning of the summer how many times each month you plan to do “big” activities (and sticking to it) will help to ensure that you don’t spend more than you are comfortable spending on the big-ticket activities.
5. Backyard Adventures
Your backyard can be a great place to have adventures! Packing a picnic lunch and eating on a picnic blanket can make for an extra-exciting lunchtime. Not sure that the kiddos are quite ready for camping in the great outdoors? Pop a tent in the backyard for a close-to-home campout! Your yard is also great for making discoveries of different kinds of bugs and plants. One of the best parts is that choosing backyard adventures only costs you the expense of any supplies you may need.
While vacations to exotic destinations are a lot of fun, they can also be very costly. It’s easy to have your mind on a beach somewhere, and to forget all of the great places nearby. Is there a local state or national park that you could visit? Historic sites that you haven’t seen since you were a kid? Staycations will pack just as much experience for your family with a much more manageable price tag.
more Ways to Save Money this Summer
7. Family Fun at Home
Keeping the kids going this summer doesn’t mean that you always have to be on the go. Choosing favorite activities, such as baking, painting or doing crafts at home will keep your kids entertained while being more budget-friendly than always being out doing something. Pinterest and other craft sites are great resources for getting your creative juices flowing!
8. Healthy Snacks…in Your Freezer!
We all scream for ice cream! This popular summer treat can be a stress on the budget if you feel the need to go to the nearest ice cream parlor each time the kids (or you) are looking for a sweet treat. A more cost-effective and nutritious option would be to make and freeze your own juice pops or frozen yogurt, make your own ice cream, or to stock up at the store and have it ready for when those cravings hit. Looking to indulge? Choose a favorite ice cream flavor at the store and put a scoop (or two) into an ice cream cone.
9. Choose Lighter Meals (that go a long way!)
Summer meals often look a lot different than the meals that you eat during the cooler months. Does a heavy stew really sound good when it’s 85 degrees outside? Taking advantage of the warmer weather, when cooking, is another good way to save. Opt for summer salads or other light recipes that make leftovers, rather than heavier meals. This is also a wonderful time to use slow cooker recipes and freezer cooking! This summer change in your cooking habits will make for less cooking and less money spent on your grocery bill.
10. Explore Local Resources
Most communities offer oodles of opportunities for families during the summer (and most are low-cost or free!) Head to the library for reading time, put on your suits and go to the splash park or go check-out nearby festivals. A quick online search of your village’s website will lead you to all of the upcoming events.
11. Shop Garage Sales and Resale Shops
The summer months are also wonderful for garage sales. Heading to neighborhood garage sales (or local retail shops) will help you stock-up on summer play clothes and activity supplies, at a fraction of the cost.
Do you have great ideas on how to save money this summer? Please share your ways to save!
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