My little one has an official summer vacation this year. His preschool year ends this month, and he will be home with me until pre-kindergarten begins in the fall. I am looking for all options to enjoy the season while saving money for his upcoming tuition. I have a few tips to help you stretch your budget this summer, and some of them are FUN!
Find Free or Discounted Movies
I’m most excited about the discounts my local theater offers. For just $1, I can take us to the big screen to enjoy a few crowd-pleasers. We usually avoid the movie theaters since the cost can be outrageous for our family to attend, and we definitely splurge on candy and popcorn. Cheaper summer movies will be just what we need to enjoy popcorn and a movie without breaking the bank. Check your local listings or newspapers to find promotions.
Get a Library Card
Your local library does more than lend books. My favorite thing to do with my free library membership is rent audiobooks. I can do it all from my computer with my membership number and don’t need to worry about returning a book late. I stock up on audiobooks to listen to for a few weeks for zero cost.
Inside the library, there is a children’s area with computer games and reading nooks. There are also free arts and crafts days and music classes.
Join a Local Meetup Group
You may have a local Meetup group or other organization in your area that shares free or low-cost ideas for busy families this summer. Whether it’s a playdate at the park, or a day at the city pool, many groups get offered discounts or free events since they heavily promote the group online in exchange for reviews. If you don’t have a group in your area already, it’s easy to start one. I used to run a local parenting group, and word of mouth helped my group thrive.
Watch Your Appliances
With a busy social calendar of free movies and events, you can now scale back your finances inside your home. Electricity has the potential to skyrocket this season. Some utility companies allow you to pay the same price each month instead of having high-cost bills in the summer or winter. Alternatively, you could ask for a home energy audit to see where you can cut back. Opt for energy-saving light bulbs and look to see if your appliances are energy-efficient.
Monitor your air conditioner, as keeping it efficient will lower your bills. Getting regular HVAC service and repairs can cut costs long-term.
Invest in Solar Lights for Your Porch or Patio
We bought several of these last year at our local dollar store, and we used them to light our walkway and dock area. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to light up your space without using power.
Shop Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Look for weekly sales on summer fruit and vegetables like zucchini, melon, and peaches. We stock up and freeze leftovers. From smoothies to easy side dishes, buying seasonal food helps our weekly grocery budget stay in check.
Since the kids are home for the summer, it can be an expensive season trying to entertain them. Keep your budget in mind with these tips to save money on family outings and your home utilities. Every cent counts!
What’s your best budgeting tip for summer?
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