Summer is near and soon we’ll all be enjoying gatherings with family members and friends, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. Summer can also be expensive, however, as gatherings and destination locations add up over the next three months. Today we’ll share 7 summer money saving tips that will help you enjoy the summer months without breaking the bank or putting a hole in your budget.

1. Save on transportation costs

Bike or walk when you can. Practice hypermiling. Plan outings at or close to home. There are many ways to save on gasoline and car maintenance costs in the summer if you’re willing to be creative.

2. Do fun from scratch

Instead of going out for pizza, make pizza at home by making a homemade pizza crust and adding your favorite pizza toppings. Dump the local ice cream shop for a gallon of vanilla and the fixings for an ice cream sundae bar or root beer floats. Forego your favorite BBQ joint and learn how to cook ribs at home.  There are many fun outings that people pay hard-earned money for that can be imitated at home for a fraction of store costs.

3. Find substitutes for your favorite expensive summer outings

Instead of going to the water park, spend a day at a nearby beach you haven’t been to. Instead of a week-long summer vacation, plan several day trips or a 2 or 3 day trip. Forget the state fair and have a “state fair food day” at home, or hit your local county fair, which often offers many of the same attractions for a fraction of the price. Make a list of your favorite summer outing destinations and brainstorm ways that you can emulate them for cheap.

4. Make your home your vacation destination

Buy an inexpensive above ground pool or some fun outdoor toys or games instead of opting for an expensive vacation. Find out what types of activities each family member wants to do and see if there’s a way to do that activity or a reasonable facsimile thereof at home.  By planning a “staycation” where you don’t leave your city, you can also save big on transportation costs.

5. Plan potluck gatherings

Plan gatherings at a park or at your home where everyone brings their favorite dish to share so that the costs are divided up between guests, thereby avoiding one person having to bear the entire financial burden. People often love potluck gatherings as it gives them a chance to show off their cooking and baking skills.

6. Check online for coupons and discounts

Many businesses have summer specials geared to get customers in the door. If you have a favorite summer fun destination that you just can’t give up, check online for coupons or negotiate a discount before you go and see if you can save some cash. Also, all summer passes or yearlong passes can also offer money savings if there’s a particular destination that you plan on frequenting this summer.

7. Redefine what summer vacation means to you

A relaxing day on a hammock or playing bocce ball in the backyard followed by a great dinner on the grill can be the perfect vacation with the right attitude.  Make a list of local fun activities or destinations that you can do without having to spend a night away from home or pay for an expensive resort or cabin. Or choose to go camping instead of “resorting”. State campgrounds have inexpensive rates that give people the opportunity to enjoy a wilderness summer vacation on the cheap.

Summer costs do tend to escalate for many people, however; by implementing the summer money saving tips above, you can find ways to enjoy the summer and still have a happy and plush savings account come fall.

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