Many of us spend more money during the summer because we’re surrounded by more temptations. Too hot? Head to the cool mall. Kids bored? Head to a theme park. Summer blockbuster? Have to get to the big screen. You get the gist… To help you save more money, we’ve compiled some cost-conscious tips and affordable alternatives to popular summer activities:
Don’t Eat Out, Eat Outside – “Eating out” doesn’t have to mean eating in a restaurant. On a warm summer night, hit up the grocery store and purchase treats for a picnic or barbeque. You could supply a week’s worth of picnics for the cost of one date night at an upscale restaurant. Plus, picnics and outdoor dining can actually be more intimate and enjoyable.
Sign up for Group Deals – Group deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, which offer big discounts to local hotspots, are gaining huge followings. Sign up for daily emails and learn how you can save 50 percent or more on spa treatments, restaurants, community classes, leisure activities and more.
Skip the Big Screen – You don’t really need to see movies on the big screen if money is tight. For less than $10 a month, you can watch all the movies and TV shows you want with streaming , such as Netflix or Hulu. Host a marathon movie night where you and a group of friends catch up on old movies or TV shows. Marathons last longer, and microwaved popcorn cost pennies in comparison.
Seek out “Staycations” – You don’t have to travel far for some R&R. Many resorts and spas offer “staycations” with big discounts for local residents. You get all the amenities without transportation costs and travel time. Search resort websites and discount travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline. If you do plan on traveling, learn how you can save more money on your summer vacation.
Take a Trip to the Library – Remember those days before computers, cell phones, and tablets? Many kids swarmed public libraries during the summer. You can spend hours browsing the children’s book section. Libraries also host author readings and other events popular with kids. Check with your local library for a community calendar.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors – There are a ton of activities you can take advantage of outside. Try fishing, Frisbee, camping, swimming, biking, star gazing or get creative with a scavenger hunt or homemade obstacle course.