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How to save money in the summer
Summer is coming, who is excited? Summer means the kids are out of school, travel plans, BBQ, swimming and lots of fun. Unfortunately, it can also mean spending more money on activities.
This doesn’t have to be the case! There are lots of ways to save money in the summer. Hopefully, you already have a budget, so make sure to create a category for summer activities if you haven’t already. If you don’t have a budget, head over here to learn how to start a budget.
So, what can we do to save money in the summer? Here are 10 of my favorites.
1. Turn your AC up or off
I’m sorry! I know this isn’t a popular opinion. Most of the energy costs for your home involve heating or cooling. Want to save money this summer? Take it easy on the A/C. Just a few decades ago, most people didn’t even have air conditioning in their homes. They also spent more time outside. Using the A/C less and spending more time outside is good for both your wallet and health.
Try turning the A/C up a few degrees or even turning it off. Using fans and drinking cold beverages like a smoothie are other things you can do to cool off without air conditioning.
2. Cook outside
Cooking outside keeps the heat out of the house, and who doesn’t love food cooked on the grill? Alternatively, cooking with a crockpot or the popular InstantPot is an alternative to using the oven and a great option for busy days.
3. Hang your laundry outside
If you’re able to air dry your laundry, you’ll be amazed at how fresh and clean they are. Some people don’t like the feeling of air-dried laundry (my husband included) but you can always throw them in the dryer for a few minutes at the end. Even if you throw them in the dryer for five minutes to fluff them up, you’ve still saved on energy. As a bonus, the sun is also great for stains on white clothes or cloth diapers.
4. Go on vacation, on a budget
NOPE, I am not going to recommend a staycation. I know that’s the popular recommendation, but I think there is nothing wrong with taking a real vacation if you save money and make it happen. I wrote a post about how to save money for a vacation, make sure you check it out! We make travel a priority, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with a staycation, but I believe that there are plenty of deals out there that make travel well worth it. You can read about how we took five people to Florida for $800, flights included. We didn’t use credit card miles, etc., we just found good deals.
My top tips are to stay in an Airbnb and choose a budget airline. Learn more about how to save on hotels and lodging here, and watch our video about saving money on flights.
5. Rethink summer camp
Summer camp is fun, but it can be expensive. Day camps are becoming more popular, and they are often more affordable than traditional summer camp. As a paranoid mom, I can’t imagine sending my kids off to people who I don’t know overnight anyway. That said, I loved summer camp as a kid, and I’m glad that day camps are out there as an alternative.
6. Rent out your home
If you’re planning to travel throughout the summer, you can always rent out your house for extra cash! Airbnb has been offering this for a while, and TripAdvisor has recently gotten into the vacation rentals game too.
Renting out your home can be a scary idea, but it makes sense if you plan to be gone anyway. You might be surprised how much money you can make by using your home as a vacation rental.
7. Join the library
Going to the library is one of my kids favorite fun (and free) activities. Libraries often have summer reading programs as well as classes and other free or low-cost events for families during the summer.
8. Switch to DIY
Okay, you can do this any time of year, but the summer is still a great time to switch to DIY products. By making your body products, home products, and cleaning products you are saving money, and being more environmentally friendly by eliminating toxins in your home. Here is my favorite DIY laundry soap recipe to get you started.
Want to do more for the environment (while saving money)? Check out my top 10 reusable items that save money and reduce waste.
9 Start saving for Christmas
Say whaaaat? Sorry, I had to throw it out there. I’ve said it before, but Christmas should never be a surprise. Overspending on Christmas or going into debt can be avoided entirely by budgeting and planning ahead. Check out 10 ways to save money on Christmas to find out more. It’s never too early to start planning.
10. Kids activities
Kids activities can be pricey, but you can find ways to save. KidsBowlFree.com has locations for free bowling (you have to pay for shoes, but it’s still a good deal) and many movie theaters have free movie days in the summer. Do a Google search or check out the newspaper for free activities in your area.
Simply spending more time outside is another great way to save money in the summer. Simple outside games like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and water activities are inexpensive and can provide hours of fun. I like to check out Dollar Tree for cheap outdoor toys and activities.
How do you save money in the summer? Share your best tips in the comments. Did you like this post? I’d love it if you used those share buttons and shared it with your friends on social media!