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Smart Ways to Save for the Rest of the Summer

Saving money in summer

Summer vacation is just about mid-way through, which means if your kids haven’t began to hint that they’ve finally grown tired of  playing their mundane videogames, they soon will. And of course they’ll turn to you, the parent, to pay for their fun. But if you’re short for cash this summer, that doesn’t mean you still can’t show your kids a good time.  There are plenty of free (or almost free) entertainment and activities that you and your family can partake in. To learn some smart ways to save for the rest of the summer and to get some ideas of what you and your family can do, continue reading below.



Reduce Energy Costs. One of the easiest ways to save money this summer and to make sure you have some spare cash to spend on your kid is to first make sure that your summer utility bill doesn’t bankrupt you. It might seem hard— after all people’s automatic response to the sweltering heat is to turn their home into an igloo. But this sort of reaction can actually make your bill amount to a ridiculous number. While using ceiling fans is always the cheaper alternative, if you have no other choice but to utilize the A/C because you live in a city that gets extremely hot during the summer, then at least make sure that your house is equipped to maintain the cool air in your home so that you are not “wasting” money—so manually clean the vents to remove air-blocking dirt and dust bunnies, replace the filters, lock the windows, add in-expensive silicone caulk on door and window cracks, and close the blinds or add curtains to block the sun’s hot rays. Some other ways to save on utility bills are the following:

  • Lower Thermostats: Changing your water heater dial from “hot” to “warm” (140 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit) can save you as much as 5 percent in energy costs. Cooler water temps will feel better in the summer anyway.
  • Grill Outside: Stove tops and oven heat up the house and you A/C has to work in over-drive to cool the house again.
  • Line-Dry Laundry: Use the summer heat to dry laundry instead of your expensive dryer.
  • Drink Cold Water: Even if you’re not thirsty, water helps you naturally cool down so you don’t have to depend on the A/C too much.
  • Keep a Bottle of Lotion in the Fridge: Slathering on cool lotion (whether on yourself or your kids) will help cool down the body an in instant, again, so you don’t have to depend on A/C too much.


Kid Entrepreneurs. Another easy way to save money this summer while simultaneously keeping your tween or teen active is to put them work—get rid of the costly gardener and dog groomer and let them take care of a few things around the house. They can mow the lawn, wash the car, clean the family pet or the pool. No matter what it is, as long as it involves water and the outdoors, your child will most likely not object.  Making your child help you cook is also a good summer time activity, just make sure that it’s something that is easy and fun to assemble/make such as a homemade pizza, sun tea, popsicles, or homemade ice cream.

And while it might be a little too late for your older child to find a job as a life guard for example, that doesn’t mean he or she can’t make some extra cash as a baby, house or dog sitter.



Season of Garage Saling. Not sure if it has something to do with the longer sunny days, but the summer is the season of the garage sale—they’re everywhere, and you should definitely take advantage and find some neat and really cheap things that can keep your kids entertained all summer long, including  toys, books, and board games. Really strapped for cash? You can even host your own and make some quick income.

Free (Or Practically Free) Summer Family Activities. If summer camp, amusement parks and or a family cross country road trip is not within your budget, there are fortunately still tons of inexpensive activities that you can do with your family to make sure they don’t die with boredom on their time off of school. Be on the lookout for free events and festivals in your area, but until you come across a rally great find, consider this list of free (or practically free) summer family activities:

  • Participate in a family hike
  • Go on a family bike ride
  • Avoid costly restaurants and do outdoor picnics at the local park—remember to bring bread to feed small animals such as birds, fish, ducks and squirrels
  • Pitch a tent in the back yard and go “camping”—you and your kids can even make s’mores in the microwave or stove top to get that real-camping experience
  • Most Barnes and Nobles have a weekly free children’s story time that includes a free snacks and crafts. Don’t have the time to take them to an event like this? They can get the  story time experience for free in the comfort of their own home.
  • Check out books from the local library
  • Host scavenger/treasure hunts (can be an indoor or outdoor activity)
  • Go swimming at the neighborhood pool, natural spring or river/ lake
  • Purchase newly released movie and game rentals for a $1 at the Redbox—the promotional codes “DVDONME” and “REDBOX” will get you one free movie rental
  • For newer movies, check local theaters and ask whether they offer any discounted summer programs for children—Regal Cinemas offers a program called Summer Movie Express where select 10 a.m. rated G and PG movies are $1 on every Tuesday and Wednesday (lasts through the end of August). Participating Cinemarks also offer a similar program that offers $.75 admission a person for groups of three or more.
  • Volunteer planting trees, at the animal shelter or even community theaters and symphony—kids will have a blast playing with the dirt or animals and you might even get a pair of free tickets for helping out at the latter areas
  • Lastly, see if your local fire house or manufacturing plant offers free tours—children love to see how things work.


Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online schools. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez