5 Ways to Save Money This Summer
The summer should be a season full of fun activities with friends and family both indoors and outdoors. If you’re tight on money, however, you may feel limited in what you can do. Fortunately, summer weather provides many ways to save money that simply don’t exist any other time of the year. By using some of these money saving tips, you’ll have more cash in your pocket by the end of the season for other spending needs.
1. Stay Cool for Free
In many cities, rates for electricity can go up dramatically during the summer. This can cause your bills to skyrocket if you’re running your air conditioner all day. You can save money by making sure your air conditioner is well maintained and your filter is clean, but there’s no substitute for simply using it less. Fortunately, there are countless public places you can go that are air conditioned and provide entertainment for the whole family. Summer is the perfect time to explore nearby:
• Shopping malls
• Public indoor pools
• Coffee Shops
Going out isn’t an option for many people during the summer. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you set your thermostat to 78 degrees while at home for optimal comfort and energy savings. This may be a bit too warm for you, but fans, cold drinks, and other remedies can make you very comfortable. If you really want to save a few bucks, raise your thermostat by a few degrees while you’re out of the house.
2. Vacation Where the Deals Are
Travel website are jam-packed with amazing deals to save money on vacation destinations throughout the world. If you’re a family that loves to go on trips during the summer, why not let a great bargain help you find a new, exciting place to visit? Travel packages can save you thousands of dollars on great destinations, and they often include everything from air fare and hotel to food, drink, and excursions. If you already have a specific destination in mind, you may be able to find a great deal by being flexible with your scheduling. Traveling can be significantly inexpensive during back-to-school season. You can also save a lot by booking a vacation rental through a private party. You may be amazed by the great locations available through many sites. When you travel, shop a few grocery stores to save money instead of going to restaurants.
3. Save Money on Food
No matter where you live, summer is a time to find some fresh fruits and veggies. Take advantage of all the local fruits and vegetables grown in your area by visiting a nearby farmers market. It’s difficult to eat for less than $5 per meal eating out, but you can easily beat that cost by making your own meals. With all the wonderful recipes available online, you should never be short on ideas for a great meal. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, and you have the space, you can also grow your own fruits and vegetables in your garden during the summer. Fresh herbs grow very quickly and add a ton of flavor to a variety of dishes. Just a few pots of basil, chives, rosemary, oregano, and other herbs will pay for themselves in just a few weeks. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can grow herbs and smaller vegetables like tomatoes.
4. Drive Less
If you live only a few miles or less from the places you work or do normal errands, summer is a great time to start walking or biking instead of driving. Not only will you save money on gasoline and vehicle maintenance, but you can even stop your gym membership with all the exercise you’ll be getting. You’ll save money, enjoy the local outdoor environment, and feel a lot better about yourself. In addition, try to carpool with others as much as possible to save even more. You don’t need to get rid of your car, but using it a lot less can save a ton.
5. Shop Smart and Early
The holiday season is much closer than you think, so why not start making purchases for people you know you’re giving to this year. Summer is the perfect opportunity to save money on gifts you’re going to buy anyway. That’s because retailers are desperate to boost their sales numbers during the usually slow period between Mother’s Day and Labor Day. According to research by Lifehacker, summer is the best time of year to buy things like video games, tools, kids’ clothing, bicycles, and wine. It’s also a great time of year to buy airline tickets if you’re planning on traveling during the holidays.
Saving during the summer doesn’t have to be limited to this list. You can find creative solutions to match your own lifestyle by thinking about alternatives to things that are a big expense in your life. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You can always switch back to the usual routine.