30 Family Summer Savings Tips
Saving money, especially during the lazy-crazy days of summer, can start from simple steps that can then become habits without too much thought or effort. Thanks to these 30 tips, creating special summer memories doesn't have to break the bank or leave you stranded at home all summer:
1. Use summer downtime to teach your kids about money. Encourage entrepreneurism and lemonade stands. Have them make their own piggy banks. Open up savings accounts for each. Set goals for earning and saving, and offer fun rewards for meeting them.
2. Leave your car behind as much as possible. Add baskets and racks to bikes and give them a seasonal tune-up. If you go long distances, bring along a tire repair kit.
3. Visit websites before you go anywhere to check for discount coupons. Competition between destinations can yield sweet savings.
4. Grow your own cutting garden. Fill an entire bed from end to end with varieties like daisies, lilies, gladiolas, sunflowers, and zinnias.
5. Scour the house for plugged in appliances you simply do not use in the summer. Unplug what you can.
6. You don't want to find out your AC doesn't work on the hottest day of the year and incur a rush repair. Check for needed maintenance and replace filters in early summer.
7. Teach kids that the best things in life are not always new. Shop garage sales, flea markets, and local thrift shops for summer clothes and shoes.
8. Decrease oven use. When you must cook or bake, get a jump on it in the cool morning hours.
9. Build a raised garden bed to keep out weeds and pests and plant a whole summer's worth of salad greens. Pace plants to harvest on an ongoing basis.
10. Check neighboring towns for free music performances and festivals. Meet up with friends each week for low-key afternoon or evening of fun.
11. Encourage lying about by hanging a hammock, scattering lounge chairs throughout the yard, and leaving a stack of blankets by the back door.
12. Visit the library each week for a steady supply of reading materials and educational media. Remember, the library is often cool on extremely hot days.
13. Have cooler; will picnic! Make sure you own a sturdy cooler on wheels with a drip tap at the bottom. Buy re-usable ice packs. Clean and dry out after every use. Or fill with ice and bring along a whole days' worth of hydration rather than paying for expensive sugary drinks.
14. Have a full-family yard sale. Let kids sort, price, and sell for a couple of days in exchange for a percent of the profits. Or spend the money you make on a carnival or state fair.
15. Lower the heat setting on your dryer. Hang partially dry sheets and towels out to dry in the sun.
16. Use your slow cooker in the summer and make your own BBQ sauce, baked beans, or ratatouille.
17. When the big summer movie that you all want to see comes out, eat lunch at home first and then go enjoy the matinee.
18. Fire up the grill to keep the kitchen cool. Purchase meat in bulk, divide, marinade in freezer bags and stock the freezer. To save on gas, grill a few items for the week over the weekends.
19. Make note on your calendar of free days at museum and nature center to battle summer boredom.
20. Cut your own lawn or teach your older kids how to cut it. Make raking a family affair.
21. Save on air conditioning. Open upstairs windows before bed. Turn fans on low for the night. Close windows before the sun gets high in the sky. Close curtains on the sunny sides of the house as the day goes on.
22. Keep firework purchases to sparklers and attend free public fireworks display instead.
23. Set aside yard-maintenance mornings every other Saturday for an hour or two of weed pulling and planting before the temperature spikes.
24. Scope out free, local water parks. Arrive early to beat the rush on the hottest days.
25. Cancel your cable TV for the summer. You might not miss it.
26. Kids love to contribute. Offer to pay your kids for jobs that would otherwise cost you more. Take advantage of their skills like car washing, garage cleaning, furniture painting, window washing, and digital photo sorting.
27. If you don't have a community pool, YMCA, or school pool, locate the closest options and head there on the hottest days. Don't forget to check for free swim times.
28. Give each child five bucks to spend at the farmer's market. Eat breakfast at home before you go. Then enjoy free samples at the market for dessert.
29. Invest in a few inexpensive sprinkler heads. During the hottest weeks of summer, turn on the sprinkler at set times every afternoon.
30. Keep a bag of swim towels and bathing suits, binoculars, and hand-held pruners in the car, so you will be ready to get wet, bird watch, or collect an impromptu bouquet at a moment's notice.
Happy summer savings!