Summer is always welcomed after a long, dark, wet winter. The outdoors calls, the brightness and warmth invigorates, and it’s all-too tempting to get out and want to do so much! Unfortunately, this often includes a hefty price tag as well. So how can we have fun during the summer with the kids and yet still not break the bank?
Here are a few great ways to have fun and not spend a fortune (affiliate links are included). What are your favourite ways for a thrifty summer? Let me hear about them in the comments at the end of this post.
Ways To Save Money This Summer
Bike, Walk, or use public transport to get to work. Get some exercise and save money at the same time. Do the same with the kids (you may have to figure out whether there is a cost-savings for multiple people taking public transport over driving yourself) and call it an adventure.
Check out some local family-friendly festivals. Dragonboats, Art trails, village fetes, explore a new location and have a great day (pack your own lunch and don’t be tempted by all the ways to spend at these festivals, and you’ll do well).
Visit an animal shelter and learn about the animals there rather than paying the price to go to the zoo. Ask ahead of time if there’s anything you can bring with you. Old blankets and pillows can be crafted into beds for the animals. This could be a project you undertake yourself, or the shelter may be able to put you in touch with someone who does this. When we have a house clear-out we take our pillows, blankets, and towels to someone local who then passes them on to the people who turn them into such comforts. It’s a nice way to teach children how something so easy can mean so much.
If you’re able, go on your vacation in the off-season, or at least the shoulder season. Travel is less expensive then, as well as accommodation. This is one of the joys of homeschooling – you don’t have to have the same time off as the system.
If you’re staying home this year, check out activities in your area that are free. Museums, if they aren’t free, often have a free day a month, libraries may have summer programs for the kids with crafts and storytelling. Local parks and rec centres may have something on…and if not, get together with your mommy friends you haven’t seen for a while and meet up at the playground and catch up while the kids play.
Stock up on seasonal produce and meat on sale and make some great freezer meals. Take one out in the morning and pop it in the slow cooker. You won’t heat up the house, your dinner will be ready when you come back from a busy day. I love My FreezEasy.com for great freezer recipes (you can see my review here).
Don’t forget to shop by unit price when you’re checking out those burgers at the supermarket. Always make sure you are getting the best value.
Use Facebook to scout for second-hand groups in your area – sell your unused/unwanted items, and perhaps pick up a bargain for some summer play equipment for the kids.
Get out your winter games and have some fun with them. Board games, puzzles, a good game of Uno, they’re all fun but often forgotten about during finer weather. And if you take care in what you choose, many can also have an educational value to them as well.
Finish up those tasks you’ve been putting off. Now that the days are longer you may find you have more motivation. Start with the ones you already have the supplies for. You’ll feel accomplished, set a good example for your family, and you can cross something off that endless list!
Today we’re saving money by walking to a nearby playground and then we’ll head to the library to sign up for the children’s storytime and crafts sessions, as well as a couple of local history talks. On the way home we’ll swing by the seafront and see which birds we can spot and enjoy our packed lunch before coming back home to a table of kitchen science experiments. Not a bad day! Yes, it is definitely possible to have fun and not spend a fortune!