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Summer is approaching. It’s the season for warm weather, fun in the sun, and activities.
Are you trying to figure out what you and your family are going to do, without busting your budget?
You want to enjoy the season, partake in outdoor activities, and have fun but you want to do so affordably.
Check out these 21 summer savings hacks for the whole family to try.
Can you save money over the summer? It feels like everything is so expensive. Families actually save up all year to fund their summer! But, you can enjoy summer on a budget.
Go on vacation, go swimming, explore outdoor activities like hiking and fishing, go shopping, and much more.
These ideas will save you money, connect you with free and/or cheap activities, offer budget tips for going out, having fun, and spending time with your family. Here we go!
1. Unplug Appliances
This savings hack is one that should be practiced all year long. Unplug your appliances.
Energy bills can climb during the summer season. Help offset that by unplugging appliances, to help lower your electricity bill because appliances plugged in, even when not in use, still consume energy.
If you aren’t using it, unplug it. Go through every room in your home and do this to kitchen small appliances, televisions, electronics, and more. Then, watch your electricity bill shrink.
2. Avoid the Carwash
You want your car sparkling clean and looking its best so skip the carwash and wash it yourself! With a $10 to $20 investment, you can buy all the supplies you need to wash your car all summer long.
My family actually made this switch recently. We were big on carwashes. In our area, you can get a full wash including vacuum for $5 and it’s a good wash.
It’s $5, you really don’t think much of it. But $5 each on 2 cars a few times a month does add up. We swapped out our carwash venture for washing at home in our driveway.
We get outside, our son runs around splashing in the water, and we actually do a better job cleaning our cars!
So, skip the carwash so you can save your wallet, get some activity in and soak up the sunshine while you hand wash your car yourself!
3. Caulk Your Windows and Doors
Keep your A/C in and prevent that cool air from escaping your home by caulking windows and doors.
You don’t have to be super handy to get this done. Head to your local hardware store, grab the tools and get to it, sealing up those windows and doors. You can save up to 20% on your energy costs, according to Dave Ramsey.
Here are some other ideas to help you save money on energy costs:
- Take shorter showers (use a timer)
- Replace your shower head because an efficient shower head can greatly reduce your water usage
- Fix leaky faucets
- Fix running toilets
- Invest in energy efficient appliances
- Talk to your providers about discounted rates
Most of my energy providers offer discounts to senior citizens, military veterans and students. It pays (literally) to ask your energy provider about opportunities to lower your bill. Try one or more of these tips to help reduce your utility bill.
4. Vacation Locally
Want to enjoy a fun family vacation over the summer? No need to splurge on a cross-country trip or international getaway. You can save more than 50% by vacationing locally. Here are some ideas you’ll love:
- Local bed and breakfast
- Local resorts
- Statewide theme parks or natural parks
- Staycation at your favorite hotel
In my city, we have a ton of different entertainment options including 3 water parks, 2 amusement parks, and lots of historic places and natural settings to explore. Find the gems in your town and have fun getting to know your city.
5. Vacation Splurge on a Budget
If you do want to enjoy a big vacation, some questions you might be wondering about might include:
How can I get vacation cheaper?
How can I save for a family vacation?
How can I save money on beach vacation?
How can I save money on holiday?
There are plentiful savings opportunities when booking your vacation before you book, during vacation planning, and on your vacation.
First, before you book and while vacation planning, look at destinations you can visit off season. A good friend of mine visits the Bahamas in late November.
He gets an incredible deal and is able to visit the beautiful Bahama islands. Pick a destination with favorable exchange rates, sign up for price alerts with booking engines like Kayak, and take your time to find a good deal for your trip.
Then, while on vacation, travel off the tourist path and check out places that the locals head to. You will save a lot of money steering clear of the high markup that tourist spots are known for.
Here are some other tips to help you save on vacation:
- Negotiate room rates directly with the hotel
- Use your credit card miles or rewards when booking
- Take advantage of your affinity perks to get discounts (like a AAA Club member discount on rental car, for example)
- Use a rewards card when you book
- Pack light
- Travel midweek
- Consider travel insurance
For more money saving ideas, read our article on 10 save money ideas to help you prepare for vacation.
6. Embrace Free Activities
It’s all about balance. Not saying that you can’t splurge on a theme park or day outing but mixing in free and paid activities will help your budget go that much further.
There are a ton of entertaining activities that most cities offer to their residents free of charge or at a very low price.
Take a look at this quick round up for some ideas:
- Music in the park
- Local library and library events
- Feeding ducks at the pond
- Walking in the neighborhood
- Reading in the park
- Flying kites
- Free movie night
- Free plays
- Free concerts
- Free festivals
Check with your city to see what events are available in your area.
7. Have Fun in the Outdoors
Outdoors activities let you take advantage of the gorgeous, warm summer weather.
Try hiking, camping, fishing or other outdoors activities. It will give you a chance to get some activity in, play outside and when you’re done for the day, you can look forward to a good night’s rest, recovering from the day.
8. Organize a Garage Sale
Summer is the season for garage sales. Garage sales help you accomplish many things: clear out stuff from your house and raise money.
It takes a real effort to organize one of these things, if you haven’t had the pleasure of setting up a garage sale for yourself yet.
You’ll be doing things like sifting and sorting through your things, figuring out what will stay and what will go, pricing every item and organizing it all for your garage sale.
Then, the day off, wake up early to set up and be outside for at least a handful of hours as you welcome guests that come by. Don’t forget about getting permits and putting signs up in the neighborhood to advertise.
9. Cook outside
Summer is the time for barbecues. It’s great weather and many people love firing up the BBQ grill. Did you know that cooking outside can actually save you money?
Pulling the heat of cooking outside means you get to keep your home inside nice and cool. It saves on energy costs. Not to mention, all the added perks of outdoor cooking:
- It’s fun
- It feels like summer
- Yard games
Give this a try this summer.
10. Get a Summer Job
Making more can help you save more. Increasing your income over the summer with a summer job is a great way to do this. You can work an after-work job like:
- Driving people as a Lyft or Uber driver
- Delivering groceries for Instacart
- Running errands with Postmates
- Delivering food with Grubhub
Or, you can start your own side business:
- Pet washing
- Car washing
- Organizing closets
- Cleaning houses
- Computer repair
- Hanging pictures or curtains for homeowners
- Furniture assembly
- Moving people
If you are responsible and love kids, babysitting might be a good fit for you.
Duties may include things like picking up kids at their bus stop, preparing an afternoon snack, helping with homework, light housework and meal preparation.
For pet lovers, pet sitting is a total dream job. This could include feeding the animal, taking for walks or letting loose in the back yard, just to name a few potential job duties.
You can scale this kind of job pretty quickly, expanding your client search to your network like school campus, neighborhood, church, or community center.
Pet washing, like petsitting is a perfect job for pet lovers. You’ll likely be washing animals like dogs either indoors and outdoors.
This call also extend to grooming like shaving down their coat, trimming finger nails and brushing.
To get started in this kind of business, ask friends and family, consider creating flyers and putting them in public places, or advertise in online classifieds like Craigslist.
You would get paid to wash cars. My partner did this while in college. This was actually a full-time job for him and he got a chance to travel. He would drive around the country washing and detailing cars.
He earned a great wage plus a travel per diem and he did this during summer break while he was a college student.
You could work for a car washing company or start a home-based car washing business, attracting clients in some of the ways we described above:
- Posting flyers
- Advertising online
- Family and friends
Organizing closets for a living might seem like a job that many people wouldn’t hire for, but you would be surprised.
It’s easy to have your closet turn into a mess, from the hustle and bustle of life, managing a household, job, school, or more.
A professional closet organizer will be in charge of bringing organization, clarity and less stress to the client’s life, creating a dream closet that they can take over and manage with ease.
This creative business is popular among homeowners, who generally have larger closets than renters.
Everyone loves that feeling that a clean house brings. For me, I can’t function if my space is dirty or messy and a lot of people share this sentiment.
My dad has actually regularly used house cleaners for years and I have too, off and on. A good house cleaning may take a few hours and leaves your home sparkling clean, fresh and smelling great.
Life can get too busy sometimes. Why not outsource this chore to a professional?
That’s where you’ll come in. House cleaning is an in-demand job popular among communities and areas across the world. You can work for a house cleaning company or start your own business.
Consider this example: You could charge $50 per visit and make a healthy part-time income with just a handful of clients.
This is a business that can be scaled as well, hiring out staff to take on more cleaning jobs and starting an entire agency.
This one can make you think.
If you have the skills to fix computers, there can be a lot of money in this. Computers will always need repairing and this flexible gig can be done part-time or full-time.
You can find clients locally, online, in job banks, your local newspaper, on social media or online classifieds like Craigslist.
This is a real side job. You’ll get paid to hang pictures straight. It’s not too difficult to do with the right tools like a level, ruler, and/or pencil. Some people just can’t hang pictures well so they outsource this task to others.
Assembling furniture is a skill that is very in demand.
People don’t want to bother with trying to assemble their furniture and equipment so they outsource this tedious task to professionals who need little to no supervision to put together shelves, desks, and more.
This is where you come in. If you can read instructions and handy with tools, this is the kind of work that goes by fast and can help you earn extra money fast.
Summer is a big time for moving. It’s the perfect time since school is out and movers can make a great living during this season.
Get hired at a moving company or if you have a truck and equipment, start a part-time moving company yourself. Make sure you follow up to ensure you get all the right permits, bonds and licensing, if going this route.
Share your knowledge with the world, teaching and inspiring others, while you make money blogging. Bloggers can make part-time or full-time income. Find a topic you are passionate about or have expertise in, and blog about it!
Here are some popular niches:
- Personal finance
Check out our 7-step guide to starting a blog, to help you get started.
When it comes to hosting, we recommend using HostGator since you can get monthly hosting at just $2.95 per month when you use our link.
If you long to start your own business and have interest in starting an online retail store, look into e-commerce. You get to be your own boss, make the rules, and control every aspect of the business.
If you adopt a dropshipping model, you can start your own online store with very little startup capital and make a part-time or full-time income working from home.
Ready to get started? Check out this e-commerce platform comparison.
Inspired to find a side job? Here are 11 best side jobs that will make you an extra $1,000/month or more.
11. Freelance on the Side
Evaluate your skills and freelance on the side. Start by thinking about your tasks in your primary job.
Could you do that work as a contractor?
Do you have skills that could be monetized?
An easy, fast way to get a freelance job would be through applying to one of these freelance marketplaces:
When I used to work as a banker, I took up freelance copywriting for a while and got to explore my creative side, writing for various well known publications including Krazy Coupon Lady.
Copywriting is an example of a very lucrative skill that blossoms in the freelance industry. Here are some other skills you might have that could easily be monetized through freelancing:
- Graphic design
- Web design and development
- Video editing
Not to mention, all the perks that come with being a freelancer, like flexible schedule, competitive pay, and possible tax write-offs.
12. Save Online Shopping
Shop for summer wear, swimsuits, vacation garments and more, saving with the online extension, Honey.
It’s easy. Just visit Honey and grab the free browser extension. When you land at an online retailer site, Honey will trigger, scouring the web for the best online discounts to apply right to your shopping cart.
Here are some other cool opportunities to save shopping:
- Earn cash back with Fluz app
- 11 best apps to save money shopping
- Walmart Save Money Secrets to read about
- How to earn gift cards while shopping
13. Save In-Person Shopping
If you live in an area that offers the popular “No Tax Weekend” that we enjoy here in the South, take advantage.
It’s usually a week or two before school starts back up and to compliment your no tax savings, retailers offer some incredible shopping deals and discounts that you can load up on.
Plus, coupons! Physical and digital coupons are available in the mail, newspaper, or in person at stores.
Don’t miss this!
14. Save on Concert Tickets
If you are a fan of summer concerts, you can save $10 to $25 or more using discount sites like Scorebig.
15. Save on Sporting Events
If you are a sports lover, look at local high school and college games which may be free or cheap. Keep your eyes open for ticket promotions for the major league games too. You could fall into a great deal.
16. Visit a Kids Workshop
Take the kids to workshops, hosted by Home Depot and Lowes. These workshop classes are a fun activity to keep the kids busy. Check your local hardware and crafts stores too, as they may offer comparable classes during summer for the kids.
17. Save on Gas
Gas prices soar over the summer. People are traveling, moving, and generally on the go more, compared to other seasons. Use the GasBuddy app to locate the best deals on gas in your city.
Here are 31 more ways to save on gas this summer.
18. Escape Away on a Picnic
Summer is the perfect time for picnics. Put together a picnic, outdoor or indoor.
As a child, and still today, I don’t like bugs. It’s a real fear and something that kept our family from doing many outdoor picnics. The ants and the bees just creeped me out so my mom started doing indoor picnics for us.
We’d lay a blanket on the ground and eat on the floor in the living room. We would have all the fixings of a regular picnic, sandwiches, pasta salad, crackers, cheese, the whole spread.
It’s a memorable time that I will never forget and a cheap, fun way to eat as a family that beats eating out at an expensive restaurant, any day!
Save money on pricey takeout for your family and plan a picnic instead.
19. Save on Groceries
These grocery saving tips are perfect year round not just for summer. Take a look:
- Use apps, like Ibotta or Checkout 51
- Shop the sales
- Shop multiple stores for the best deals
- Buy in-season produce
- Make a list
- Never shop hungry
If you want to challenge yourself even more, try shopping for groceries on a cash budget. That will definitely keep you on track to shop within your budget.
20. Try Free Kids Events
These kids free events are abundant in my city, especially over the summer. Here are some examples:
- Kids eat free nights at restaurants
- Kids swim free pool days
- Free bowling
- Free movies
- Free kids concerts
- Free roller skating or ice skating
Check with your town to see what local free events offer free entry for kids.
21. Visit the Community Pool
This was a staple activity for our household over the summer. We live in the South so it gets very hot during summer. We’d wake up early and head to the pool when they opened.
It was great because it wasn’t busy. Most people head to the pool around midday, which is the time when we’d leave.
So, we had the pool to ourselves for hours, during the coolest part of the day and then head home around lunch time to eat and nap.
The pool in our neighborhood was free was it was a fun, affordable activity that we couldn’t get enough of!
There are ways to save money with these summer savings hacks for the whole family to try. Did some of these ideas surprise you?
We hope you found this roundup useful and you try one or more of these wallet-friendly hacks to save money for summer. Are there summer savings hacks that you personally do that aren’t on our list?
Comment down below so we can hear your ideas.