Most people look forward to summer for fun, vacation, and a get-away from fall and winter for a while, but the summer months can be particularly challenging financially; The change in expenses from cool spring to summer if not properly planned, can make a big dent in one’s pocket. Generally, five things that can cause a rise in expenses in summer are groceries, electricity bills, clothing, entertainment, and transportation. Here are ways to save money in these areas:
Groceries: Always watch out for sales; most stores have weekly specials, which are posted at the entrance on a daily basis. The Sunday paper is also a good source of coupons for a variety of household items like cleaning products, hair and beauty, and selected items from the frozen section that one would normally skip due to high cost. It is always good to make a list with the children in summer. This way, there is a little bit of everything, and no food goes to waste because the kids do not like it. If possible, try to shop very early in the morning as this guarantees the freshest produce and deals before the afternoon rush.
Electricity Bills; Have your cooling system checked just before summer to save costs in the long run. Leave the thermostat on auto at 75 degrees. This saves more money than frequently using the switch button. Use energy-saving shades especially where sunlight comes in the most. Teach the kids to turn the lights off when not in use. if possible, cook in bulk and freeze and refrigerate for later, and making good use of leftovers will save a lot of cooking time and electric bills over the course of the hot summer.
Clothing and Household: The world wide web is actually a good source of clothing deals in summer. Stores like Macy’s, Sears, Kmart, Kohls, Christopher and Banks, and Fashionbug always have online-only specials that are a steal. Outlet malls too provide an excellent source of appliances during the summer months – take advantage of specials like Free Shipping and if looking for a particular item, check first in the sales, clearance or outlet section of the store. Even if you do not find that particular item, chances are you will find one better, or close to it at a cheaper price. If you have a little one you have been trying to potty train, the summer provides a very consistent opportunity to do this and save on diapers also.
Entertainment: Vacation or no vacation? If the choice is to stay put this summer, plan fun stuff for the family. Check out the local museums, parks, and recreation centers around your area. Stock up on board games like mancula, pinglo, checkers, monopoly, and candy land, to name a few. These can provide a good source of entertainment as well as bonding times for the whole family. Use the long summer months to read one or two books, and introduce the kids to books, especially classics like A Tale of Two cities, Oliver Twist, Huckleberry Finn, and Winnie the Pooh. One or two movie outings wouldn’t hurt either, have the children sit next to each other and save money by buying a big size popcorn bucket for everybody to share.
Transportation: It is always a good thing to carpool if you can. Get to work early so you do not have to sit in traffic using gas in the morning rush. If looking for where to buy gas, find a store that has cheaper prices than the rest, and try to fill up your tank there once or twice a week. Walk if you can and take in some wholesome Vitamin D in the process.
The summer months are long and fun, enjoy it while cutting costs!