Summer can be a good time to save money. With a little care, we can take advantage of the warm temperatures, long days, and the growing season, and use them to our advantage.
1. Using energy costs money, but there are ways to cut down on usage, even in the hottest summers. When at all possible use natural methods of cooling your home, with ventilation, dark shades and awnings or porches. The days are longer, so there will conceivably be less time to use lights, and hopefully, the TV and video games will be somewhat replaced by outdoor activities.
Hang the laundry outside on the line to dry. Not only will you be saving money, your clothes will smell wonderful.
While you are saving money on energy, use some of your own, and if possible, ride your bike, or walk to work. You get exercise and save on fuel and eliminate some pollution.
2. Grow your own vegetables. Even a small pot of tomatoes or peppers can save you some money. You don’t need to grow a garden full to last the winter to save a little money on fresh produce over the summer months. If you don’t grow your own produce, take advantage of the local markets in your area.
3. Replace “eating out” with eating outside. It doesn’t take much to have a simple backyard cookout that is not only tasty, but a good way to get the family together out in the fresh air.
4. Visit the local flea markets and garage sales that pop up every summer. Many articles are lightly used, or even brand new, and marked much lower than retail. It’s good exercise, and interesting as well.
5. If you can’t afford a lengthy summer vacation, take the family to some spots of local interest, or for a picnic at a nearby lake or park. If the kids want to camp out, plan a family vacation in your own backyard.
Plan some day trips, and instead of stopping at fast food restaurants, pack some homemade baked goods and sandwiches. Taking along your own drinks is another money saver. If you have plastic water bottles around, wash and reuse them, or use the stainless steel variety, and eliminate the need to buy costly bottled drinks.
6. If you are planning on taking a vacation, check out the special deals on airline travel and hotels. Package plans are usually much cheaper. Book well in advance, and avoid holidays and weekends.
With a little creativity and some planning, summer time can be the season to save money and have some fun at the same time.