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Summer is on the horizon. Warmer weather, sunny days, and vacation season.
Are you wondering how you’re going to save this summer?
It’s a season where expenses rise and if you haven’t been preparing for it earlier in the year, it could swallow you up.
First, it’s vacation season.
When you vacation, there are all kinds of expenses that can add up, like:
The list goes on. And, this doesn’t necessarily mean a big splurge vacation either. It be anything from a small weekend getaway to a mini road trip. When vacation exists, there are going to be costs.
Another reason why Summer is an expensive season is because when the weather is sunny and warm, people want to do more, indoors and outdoors. There’s more activity, period.
Here are some examples:
- Water sports
- Amusement parks
You have to ask yourself, “When did Summer get so expensive?”
Not to mention, whether you’re traveling or doing activities or not, the cost of fuel always rises every summer.
I have had friends that were grateful their child attended summer school, just to have something occupy their time so they didn’t have to invest in all the summer activities, which can add up and become expensive.
This New York Times article talks about the families that can’t afford summer and what summer looks like for people around the world. Very eye-opening.
So now that you’re scared straight thinking about the costly season approaching, let me shock you back to reality.
Three words and they are summer savings hacks. Keep reading for this huge roundup of 24 Summer savings hacks for millennials.
Summer Savings Hacks for Millennials
You might wonder what a summer savings hack is. Well, according to Lifehack.org, a life hack is defined as help, tips, and guidance to improve all aspects of life. They help with happiness, productivity, relationships, and more.
There are life hacks for just about everything including cooking, shopping, eating, sleeping, driving, and yes, saving!
These summer savings hacks are mind blowing little tricks to totally transform your summer. You’ll get to enjoy the season stress-free, with no worries of money, while still enjoying yourself and partaking in fun activities.
Here’s the list!
This group is dedicated the fun stuff. How you can enjoy the fun summer stuff without breaking the bank? These are free and affordable activities and fun things to keep you busy and entertained over the summer. Dive in!
1. Embrace Free Activities
This is how you stretch your budget over the summer. You do a mix of free and paid activities. Free activities can be so much fun. You aren’t the only one who wants to save money so you’ll have company when you’re partaking in free local events like:
- Music in the park
- Free city festivals
- Exercising with a friend
- BYOB Potluck night
- Movie night
- Game night
This is a small change but it’ll save your wallet, big time.
2. Use Coupons
When you do participate in a paid activity like a theme park, water park, or fairs, you can save by using coupons.
Where to find coupons?
The best place is your local newspaper. You can also find digital coupons online, like the website for the event that you’ll be attending. This includes finding coupons on restaurant websites for dinners out with family and friends.
For more coupons, you’ll like this list of the 14 best places to get coupons.
3. Choose a Natural Park Instead of a Theme Park
A one-day pass could easily be $50 to $75 per person. If you’re traveling with your family, multiply that by the number of family members. It can be quite costly.
Check out a natural park instead and take in the great outdoors and gorgeous scenery, for the grand price of zero or very minimal, compared to an amusement theme park.
4. Grab Day Passes
Day passes to theme parks, the zoo, museums and other places can be expensive, don’t get me wrong but, if you visit a lot, the price starts to make sense. Let me explain.
When I was a banker, one of my coworkers used to buy her granddaughter passes to Six Flags ever year. Six Flags is a popular theme park in our state. A season’s pass was around $70 but it lasted for the entire season and paid for itself in less than 2 visits!
And, her granddaughter went to Six Flags at least once a week during the summer so it was a great investment than provided a lot of fun and entertainment to her granddaughter. Plus, all these perks:
- Bring a friend for free, on select days
- Unlimited visits
- $300 in discounts on food, games, souvenirs, and more
- Access to the water park free
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more benefits than this. So bottom line, a day pass can make sense.
5. Visit the Community Pool
We did this at least 3 times a week in our community. The pool area was very nice, had many seating areas, BBQ pits, drink machines, covered patios and tables, and a kiddy pool.
Families would pack coolers of food and drinks and snack and swim all day long.
My son loved this. It was a good time and free!
Summer Savings Hack on Food
It’s summertime, everyone is happy, eating and drinking. It’s really easy to have your food budget balloon out of control. Not with these hacks! Take a look at these easy ways to save money on your food costs this summer.
6. Light and Simple Summer Meals
Summer is the time for light eating. You don’t want your stomach full for all the summer activities you might be doing. Planning make ahead meals, taking advantage of fresh, summer produce in season, and embracing simple no-cook dishes are ways to make your wallet happy this summer.
Make Ahead Meals
This should be a tried and true practice all year. If you do meal planning, you’re going to save money. No more running to the store midweek on a food run or grabbing takeout on the way home because you failed to plan that night’s meal.
Meal planning and preparing make ahead meals eliminates all this!
How you do it? Cook once and have food for the entire week. It’s so easy and it will make you love cooking again.
We do this especially during the summer when there’s lots going on. I plan and prep my meals, make a grocery list and do my food shop. Then, I plan Sundays to make meals for the entire week. It only takes a few hours and I’m done cooking for the week. It’s great!
In Season Produce
Delicious summer produce is the best! Take advantage. Here are some fruits and veggies that you can enjoy all summer long:
- Green beans
And, if it’s on sale, even better. Fruits and veggies can freeze very well and are perfect for thawing out later for smoothies, in salads, sauces, juices and more.
Simple, No-Cook Dishes
This is the epitome of summer, no-cook dishes. Because who wants a hot, heavy meal in summer?
Here are some light summer meals you will love, no cooking required:
- Salads (all kinds-pasta, sweet, salty, creamy, etc.)
Need ideas for grilling and preparing in under a half hour? Explore this page full of 15 minute meals you can try all season long!
7. Grocery Saving Hacks
You will love these grocery hacks. Try as many as you can this summer!
- Indulge in frozen treats (it’s cheaper than going out for ice cream)
- Save money and plan a free day of activity at a local farm that lets you pick your produce
- Buy what’s on sale (freeze and can the extras)
- Start an urban garden at home
- Try meatless Mondays (saves money on meat)
- Buy inexpensive protein cuts and grill them (grilling makes everything fun and taste delicious)
- Drink more water (stay hydrated and save on sugary sodas and juice that you’d buy otherwise)
Then, of course, there’s these lovely savings hacks that are great for summer:
Hit Up the Farmer’s Market
Great deals all year round, delicious food, and you get to support local farmers. The farmer’s markets in my town are always a full event, with music, singing, and visiting with the locals. It’s fun.
Learn How to Properly Store Produce
Before I learned how to store produce the right way, I’d waste so much money on rotting strawberries, soft lettuce, and throwing out heaps of other fruits and veggies that went bad.
Proper storage can save you so much money and contribute to less waste.
Get educated and learn how to properly store your produce.
Save on Staple Items
The best way to do this is to buy in bulk. Aim for the necessities that you’ll need all the time like:
- Toilet paper
- Olive oil
- Canned goods
Try Stretching Your Meals
My mother-in-law has told us many stories about how she used to do this with her mother when she was a child. Stretching your meals is done to make the food you have last longer and feed more mouths. In a household of 13, it was a necessary practice for my mother-in-law’s family.
Here is how you can do it at home to save money:
First, take note of the supplies and food you currently have on hand.
Then, learn to use leftovers creatively. Chop them up, mix them, freeze, blend, do what you can to turn them into something else delicious.
A delicious example is taking stale cookies and blending them up to make a cookie crust for pies or bar desserts.
Rely on fillers to bulk up meals like bread, pasta, and rice. You can stretch a meat dish further, like spaghetti and meat sauce, by using potatoes or beans.
Use meat sparingly and try to use every part of the vegetable when meal preparing.
And, did you know that you can regrow vegetables at home? So, don’t toss out the end stump of lettuce.
More ways to stretch a meal, if you’d like some additional ideas.
8. Drink Specials at Happy Hour or Late Night
You don’t have to give up drinks with friends. If you take advantage of happy hour specials or drink late night, you could save as much as 50%.
And, this isn’t just for alcoholic drinks.
My son and I take advantage of Sonic happy hour all the time, getting route 44 size drinks for a dollar and change! You can’t beat it!
9. Drink at Home
You can also just drink at home. Make it a cocktail night and buy all the ingredients, invite friends over and have a cocktail hour in your living room. You’ll stretch your money a lot further and if you have friends chip in to bring snacks and drinks, you’ll have a little party for a fraction of the price of going out!
10. Embrace the Summer BBQ
Nothing is better than firing up the grill at home. It could easily cost $40 to $60 to feed a family of 4 at a steakhouse. You could spend the same amount and cook at home, with food for the entire week!
For vacation-goers, these travel hacks will blow your mind. These are little ways to save money in preparation for your trip and while vacationing. Take a look.
11. Road Trips
Road trips are almost always cheaper than flying, especially if you’ll be going with a group. Even with the cost of renting a vehicle, it still ends up being less and you’ll end up with more freedom, having transportation at your vacation destination, which saves you money on:
And, you’ll have the ability to explore everywhere you’d like, instead of being held captive to your hotel and surrounding area.
When my sister turned 21, my parents took us to Las Vegas for the first time. It was a trip like no other and it became a family tradition for many years. Today, I’ve been to Vegas almost a dozen times.
In all the years we went, we had never visited downtown Las Vegas or any areas beyond the strip.
This past year, we splurged and got a rental and got to experience the famous Fremont street, along with seeing some historic parts of the city. It was really great.
To think, we never visited outside the strip because of transportation cost and convenience! Yet another reason in favor of the road trip. Plus, road trips are fun and tons of memories are made.
In my annual New Orleans road trip last year, I can count at least half a dozen funny memories that will stay with me forever, including crawling out of my SUV on hands and knees barefoot at a gas station while trying to escape a wasp that had flown in the car. The whole gas station was looking at our car in awe, as I was screaming and flailing at the wasp. We all had a big laugh, afterward.
12. Avoid Buying Travel Supplies
This could save you $50 to $100. Never buy travel supplies. Do these hacks instead:
- Wrap shoes in shower caps instead of buying shoe bags
- When taking a flight, bring an empty water bottle with you to the airport, and fill it after you pass security
- Roll your clothes when packing suitcases, to save space and avoid a second suitcase (less baggage fees)
13. Select Unpopular Destinations
If you want to save money traveling, pick an off the grid location, where you can escape from expensive, crowded tourist areas. Ask family and friends for advice. Or, look at this list..
- Xian, China
- Montreal, Canada
- Houston, Texas, USA
- Zanzabar, Tanzania
- Port Salut, Haiti
Here are 27 budget travel destinations to give you some inspiration.
14. Set up Deal Alerts
This is so simple and can save you a ton. How it works? You can set up a custom alert to notify you when the price drops on a flight/travel deal. Set up deal alerts for fares that the airline posted by mistake. How can you find those? Look to Secret Flying and The Flight Deal.
Learn all the ins and outs of deal alerts and saving money here.
15. Book on a Tuesday
You might have heard this before. Tuesdays are the best days for booking airfare. Not much to say about this. Try to book on this day of the week for the best prices!
16. Go for a Cruise
If you want to travel for cheap and/or visit multiple destinations on a budget, go for a cruise!
Though I have never experienced a cruise, I have a good friend that goes cruising at least once or twice a year, visiting the most luxurious, amazing places around the world like Alaska, Belize, Brazil, Mexico, and more.
The average cost for himself on a 4 or 5 day cruise is under $400!
Here are some cruise hacks to help you save even more:
- Book early
- Use a travel agent or third party for your booking
- Book during off peak times (like during the school year)
If you get the opportunity, try a cruise for a chance to explore new destinations at a discount!
Summer is a huge shopping season. It’s the turn in the season to warmer weather, time for swimsuits and sports apparel, vacation wear and more. Here are the best in summer savings tips for shopping.
17. Grab a Groupon Deal
If you don’t know about Groupon, it is a daily deals website that offers incredible deals on everyday things like:
- Restaurant deals
- Discounts on your salon or nail salon visit
- Dry cleaning discount
- Sales on apparel, footwear, and other shopping goods
- Travel deals
Groupon is really incredible for travel deals. The last deal I saw was a 4-5 day trip to Italy, for $1,400 for two! You can also find steep discounts for amusement park tickets, hotels, indoor and outdoor activities like miniature golf or water skiing. Head to Groupon and stake out the deals.
18. Use Ebates
This hack should be used year round. I certainly do!
Ebates is a cash back resource for online shopping. Join the site for free, then, get the browser extension. There are two ways to get cash back:
- Through the site, Ebates.com
- With the browser extension
Cashback through the Site
Earning cash back through the site is such a breeze. Visit Ebates, login and head to a retailer on the site. When you click the retailer, it will take you to their website and once you checkout, you will earn cash back straight to your Ebates account. Easy!
Cashback with the Browser Extension
Install the free browser extension and when you land on a retail partner of Ebates, the extension will activate. It will show you the cash back amount you will earn once you buy. Then, after you make your buy, the extension logs it and applies cash back right to your Ebates account.
19. No Tax Weekend
This is a staple in my state, Texas. It may not be available everywhere but if it’s available in your state, take advantage.
No tax weekend is the weekend before school starts in the Fall. Retailers offer no tax on apparel and footwear, along with some amazing sales for back to school.
Whether or not you have school aged children or kids at all doesn’t matter. Take advantage!
Head to no tax weekend and buy up your clothes for the rest of the year. You will get some pretty irresistible savings.
These hacks are great for all year round as well but especially critical during summer when certain bills (like your electric bill) can climb sky high because of cranking up the air conditioner. Take a look.
20. Cancel Cable
It’s summer. Who’s indoors watching television, anyway?
Now, cancelling the cable doesn’t mean you go without television. There are tons of cheap alternatives.
Our cable bill used to top $200 every month. It was ridiculous. I was such a TV nut, I just took the hit until I discovered some awesome alternatives, which saved me more than half! Take a look:
What you’ll love?
First, the price. Some of these television/movie services are as cheap as $10/month! Take that, cable!
Hulu ran a deal over the holidays for $.99 for an entire year!
Others are totally free, like Xumo.
21. Cut Your Gym Membership
Cut your gym membership, or at least pause it. Take advantage of the great weather and work out at home or outside.
- Walking in the neighborhood
- Yoga at the park
- Walking tours
- Exercise videos in your living room
Give this a try.
22. Save Gas
Over the summer, gas prices go sky high. Save on fuel costs by bicycling to run your errands. It’s a great form of exercise, you can enjoy the great outdoors, and save on gas.
Bring a backpack or strap a basket to your bike to carry items you purchase. Take friends along and make it a fun outing.
23. Set A/C Warmer When Away from Home
This is a little trick that my sister does and she does it all year round. I’ve always enjoyed a super cold house so I could never do this until just recently.
Here’s the trick:
When she’s at work all day, she sets the thermostat to 78 degrees. Then, when she arrives home, she’ll lower the temperature but only by a few degrees to make it slightly cooler.
Over time she has grown accustomed to the warmer temp and it doesn’t bother her having the house at 75 to 78 degrees most of the time.
I started to adopt this change and have made great progress, changing from keeping the house at 68 degrees to 72 degrees and 75 degrees when away from the house all day.
It’s the little things that make a big difference and help your utility bill!
24. Block Out the Sun
This is a little trick I learned from my husband and in-laws. When I was growing up, we always opened the curtains, and let the light shine into the home. My parents loved the light. We didn’t even have curtains in most rooms, we had light sheers.
My husband’s family is the total opposite. When you walk into their home, it’s dark. The windows are covered with thick, dark curtains and the curtains are drawn.
Blocking out the sun like this, keeps your house cool and saves on your energy bill, especially during summer.
I’ve started doing this in my home now, especially in rooms that aren’t occupied, like the living room when I’m in the game room upstairs.
Close your shades, drawn the curtains, close windows and doors to block out the sun and save money.
These savings tactics will help you enjoy an affordable summer the way you like! Do you have ideas for summer savings hacks? Comment below so we can hear your thoughts.