9 Easy Ways to be Frugal This Summer

9 Easy Ways to be Frugal This Summer

See 9 simple things you can do this summer to save lots of money throughout the season.


By: Shayne T.

Don’t think you can keep your budget in check this summer? Think again! You can be thrifty without sacrificing, thanks to these awesome tips. Check them out!

Between day trips, extra meals to serve, family vacations and daily paletas from the ice cream truck, summer break can put a huge dent in your budget. But with a little planning, you don’t have to sacrifice all your summer fun, and you might even have some extra cash for trips to la playa. Here’s how you can save:

Make food from scratch. Prepare food the way your abuela would. It probably seems like a lot of work, but it doesn’t require much more effort than loading up a van full of kids and hitting the drive through. Cook simple healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner at least five days a week and you’ll save tons of money (even more if you make snacks like ice pops, plantain chips, granola and popcorn at home rather than buying the pre-made versions.)

Bulk shop. Buying in bulk can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a few months, especially when it comes to paper goods and cleaning products, which you’re guaranteed to go through a ton of over the summer thanks to your clumsy kiddos being home 24/7. If you’re expecting plenty of visits from extended family, buying meat and veggies in bulk is also cost-effective.

Grow a garden. Just like making your own food will save you money, so will growing your own food. Your space might only allow for a few pots of herbs, but it’ll still translate into great savings compared to buying them at the grocery store. You might want to build a raised bed outdoors and grow some summer produce--tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, jalapenos and cilantro, all of which grow quite easily.

Upgrade and monitor your A/C. If your air conditioning units are on the older side, you might consider upgrading to more energy efficient models. Either way, be sure the filters are cleaned regularly so the machine doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home down, and try to keep it set around 70 degrees. 

Rethink summer camp. Summer camp tuition can be outrageously expensive. If your kids are set on it, see if there are any community or non-profit run programs available in your area. If not, try simulating camp in the neighborhood with planned daily activities and outings the kids and their friends can enjoy together.

Coupon (the easy way). Instead of having to sale shop based on whatever brands are cheapest, start couponing so you can save money on your favorite products. You can actually do all of your couponing online with services like P&G Everyday coupons, which allows you to either print coupons from home, or have the coupons sent to the shopper reward card for your favorite store. You can even find exclusive savings for online shops.

Stay local. Instead of planning a big vacation that involves paying for airfare or driving hours upon hours to reach your destination, find a fun destination to visit an hour or two from your home. You can stay overnight, or just spend the day. And don’t forget to search around for fun free activities within the same radius. Many towns host free or low-cost concerts, plays, festivals and other events.

Turn off the stove. Instead of cooking in your stove or oven every day, use your grill and/or slow cooker several days a week to save a ton on gas and electricity.

Head outdoors. Televisions, video games and computers, are all electricity suckers. Kick your kids outside to minimize usage (plus, it’s good for them). Go for bike rides with them, take them to the park, teach them how to play lawn games, plan a scavenger hunt, have a bonfire, pitch a tent in your backyard and go camping at home--anything goes, just make it fun.

What is typically your biggest summer expense?

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