Summer’s finally here and with it comes lots of great activities like beach going, camping, swimming, cookouts, and don’t forget about that heat! With so much to do this summer, it’s easy to relax and forget about how much you’re spending to have fun, but there are many simple ways to save money this summer as you enjoy this wonderful season. Saving money in the summer might even let you have more fun in the summer! Follow money saving tips for summer fun.
Seven Ways to Save Money This Summer
1. BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair to Beach!
Everyone knows that BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) can save you a bunch when heading out to a restaurant to eat, but for beach goers the equivalent is BYOC—bring your own chairs. Many beaches and outdoor areas offer chair rentals by the hour or day, but these prices are absurdly expensive. It’s cheaper to buy your own chairs and use them throughout the summer (and even for years to come). And while we’re on bringing your own stuff to the beach, it would be thrifty of you to bring your beach umbrella, towels, and to pack a picnic when you head out to the beach.
And don’t forget to pack lots of water! Buying water is one of the biggest unnecessary expenses out there. Your tap probably has suitable drinking water so fill up a big canteen before you set out for your fun summer day. People selling water at the beach are often selling at much higher prices.
2. Help your air conditioner run more effectively.
One of the most significant extra costs of summer is the cost to cool your home. Air conditioners are electricity hogs, and they have to work extra hard to keep your home cool in the summer. Set your thermostat at a reasonable temperature (around 70º F) and turn it off when you’re not home—these tips are no brainers. You might find that a smart thermostat as a Nest might save you considerable money. Better yet, your power company might even subsidize a purchase purchase. Renters can save energy too!
If you really want to save money this summer, get yourself a Mistbox. This smart, solar powered device can save you 20-30% of the cost to cool your home and will pay for itself within one hot summer season. The unit costs $449, which is a lot of money, but it qualifies for a 30% Green Tax Credit, which makes it only $315 after cashing in on that. Mistbox uses the power of mist to cool the hot air before it enters your home air conditioner, making your a/c work less to achieve the same cool result. There’s even an iOS app to help you track and manage your savings! Pay a little up front to save a lot in the long term with this cool device!
3. Do your laundry old school style.
The sun is a powerful thing and can be much cheaper to dry your clothes under the sun. If you grab yourself a clothesline for a couple of bucks you can save yourself the costly process of having to run your dryer. Hang your washed clothes on the clothesline during the heat of day and let the sun take care of the rest. This is an easy, old school way of saving money, but it’s one of the best. Especially because you’ll have so much more to dry during the summer—including towels and bathing suits—a clothesline can not only save you money, but time when your dryer is full of clothes.
4. Buy local produce.
In many areas, summer time is the best time to find fresh, seasonal produce. Lots of fruits and veggies flourish in the summer, so you’ll be able to find the freshest stuff at reasonable prices. Local produce is often your best option in terms of price and flavor when you want a natural treat. Check out your local farmers’ market to see what’s in season. One great thing about fruits and vegetables is that they’re typically sold by the pound, so you don’t have to buy in bulk to get a great deal. If you want to do local produce one better then you can start yourself a small vegetable garden. It’s pretty easy to grow herbs and other flora and produce like tomatoes. It doesn’t get any more local than homegrown, and you’ll find the price and the quality is far superior to anything you can get in a store.
5. Skip the ice cream truck.
Everyone loves ice cream and popsicles. But that ice cream truck rolling through your hood charges up the wazoo for artificially flavored sweet treats, which don’t even come with an extra alcohol kick. If you make popsicles at home you have your choice of ingredients and can even toss in some of the fresh herbs and fruit that you’ve stored up buying local produce. Read up on some of the best recipes for homemade popsicles on this Food Network blog. Just be careful how much alcohol you put in your popsicles, as these homemade sweets are addictive!
6. Ride your bike (or walk).
So you bought a bike a while ago with the intention to use it instead of the car or public transportation? But, because it’s been so cold you’ve made up excuses as to why the weather has prevented you from riding it? Well, now that summer’s here, there are no excuses. It’s the perfect time to take out your bike. Fill up the tires for free at any gas station, spray some WD40 on those metal bits, and you’ll be up and running in no time. Summer is the perfect time to ride to work, or even walk. If you don’t have a bike, you can always find one for cheap on Craigslist or for free at org. Even if you’re just riding public transport, that will cost you $100+ per month. A bike is a great way to save!
7. Find free things to do.
The summer is a great time to find free activities in your town. In Houston for example, there’s plenty of free stuff to do—from visiting parks and museums to tasting free samples. Here’s a great Thrillist post about free things to do in Houston. It’s easy to find free activities in your area. If your city has a Time Out Magazine, browse through that for upcoming activities. And don’t worry, the magazine is often free, and you can find the content online anyhow. If you’re more of an adventurer, then you probably don’t want to stick to the activities listed in some magazine. Go out and make your own free activity. Explore the nature in your area, visit a national park, find public museums, giveaways, and public series and concerts. It’s easy to have fun for free!
Summer is a time for fun, and fun can be frugal as long as you know where to look. Save money this summer everywhere you can, and consider where you are logging expenses and if they’re really worth it. Always look for ways to save in the long run, as opposed to shortcuts for savings that will cost you more after a while. If you can stick to these sweet summer savings tips, your summer will be good, hot, fun time!