Five Simple Tips to Reduce Family Summer Spending without Cutting the Fun!

There’s something about summer that just makes people want to have fun and splurge. Once it hits 70 degrees, everyone is ready to venture outside for some summer fun; often a costly endeavor. Whether it’s taking a vacation or just a local outing, there are ways to limit spending. Practitioner Julie Casserly offers these tips and ideas to limit summer spending:

  1. Take a “daycation”: Take a “daycation” to a destination close to home. Hop in the car, drive a few hours and let the family fun begin.
  2. Grab some cheap deals last minute: Booking tickets in advance might not always give the best deal.  Waiting until the last minute to book a flight could end up saving a bundle. Many airlines offer special fares and discounts during the week for weekend flights. United’s E-fares offer incredibly cheap flights to almost every major city in the United States. Head over to their website every Wednesday to see which deals are available for a last-minute weekend trip.
  3. Leave the plastic at home:What’s a $2 ice cream cone, really? Those little purchases add up, especially if they are being made on a credit card. Pick one or two days each week and spend only cash.
  4. Buy local:A great way to spend cash only is by shopping locally for groceries. Surf the web for a local farmers market and buy essential produce items there instead of the grocery store. Everything from fruits and vegetables to homemade nut butters and even some breads and pastries can be found at the farmers markets. If it’s in walking distance, leave the car at home and make it a fun morning activity for the whole family. Plus, farmers markets are typically cash only so no impulse credit card charges can be made!
  5. Grill gourmet at home: Foods taste better when cooked over an open flame. Grilling your vegetables, cooking seafood and baking cakes all taste delicious when cooked outdoors. Why is cooking outside cheaper than using the oven? The oven creates heat; when the house gets hotter, the air conditioning blasts longer resulting in a higher electricity bill. The Internet can be great for finding some creative and delicious recipes so spend one or two days a week cooking outside on the grill.

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Photo credit: Anissa Thompson

Updated on 19 June 2012 to correct the spelling of Julie Casserly’s name. Originally published June 2012.

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