As we move into July, it marks the middle of summer break for some and really just the beginning for other households. In our house, we find that summer also happens to bring new budget challenges. Longer daylight hours, no rigid school routines, and increased social opportunities all have a way of increasing both our enjoyment of summer, and the amount of money we spend.
Wondering how to get a handle on it? Well, these easy summer saving strategies are a start!
Save on Food
Honestly, food could be the largest increase in our summer budget. Kids and parents alike tend to eat more during long hours spent at home. Pools, road trips, and even the beach make us inexplicably hungry, and if we aren’t careful we could double our grocery costs. Which is never an option for this frugal family! Here’s what we do to get handle on soaring food costs in the summer:
- Eat what’s in season – Thankfully, summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies. Buying and cooking with what’s in season saves us a great deal on the grocery bill each week.
- Cook once, eat twice – This is a common theme for many a frugal foodie. By making a large dish or recipe for lunch or dinner, it means leftovers as snacks or another meal for later.
- Plan ahead – We are on the go A LOT in the summer. Flexible schedules are great, but to save time and money, we rely on meals like these crockpot recipes to save us from buying dinner on the go during the week.
Save on entertainment
Hooray for the bazillion hours of daylight we get in the summer! However, as every parent knows, this can easily lead to boredom which leads to a multitude of suggestions from kids that can cost a fortune. My goodness, a simple trip to catch a summer movie like Jurassic World can cost a family of four over $50. Rather than blow the budget on increased entertainment costs, here’s how we maximize summer saving strategies with these boredom busters:
- Free events – Most major cities offer multiple opportunities to check out museums, live music, and the zoo for free during special days in the summer. We make a calendar to try them all.
- Potluck dinners – Hands down our favorite low cost entertainment options is gathering with good friends and sharing good food. Here are tips to keep dinner party costs down.
- Use Pinterest – We can honestly admit our addiction to Pinterest for crafts and activities, especially in the summer. You too? Try here and here.
Save on shopping
- Shop smart – Here’s what to buy any month of the year and which foods to stock up on in summer.
- Try a capsule wardrobe – Surely, you’ve heard about this trend by now. If not, here’s how you get started on your capsule wardrobe. (It’s an incredible step toward conscientious shopping.)
- Maximize deals, discounts and coupons – This is not just part of summer saving strategies, but a year round smart approach to keeping your budget in place.