Summer – a season of relaxing, vacations, and fun. It can also be costly if you aren’t intentional with your money.
Saving money in the summer might be the easiest time to do so. Plenty of fun activities to enjoy outdoors, and many free entertainment options are available.
We know every penny counts, so we’ve put together a list of tips and tricks tailored to help you save money during the hotter months. You’ll be able to relax and have some fun without breaking the bank.
If you’re wondering how to save money in the summer, you might like these summer budgeting tips.
Best Ways To Save Money In The Summer
Our summer seems to be getting shorter every year. Is it because we are getting older and busier, or is the warmer season scientifically getting shorter?
I know that we are always trying to cram as much fun into the summer as possible while simultaneously trying to relax and enjoy the warmer weather.
The last thing I would ever want is to spend so much on fun that it would put a cloud of stress and anxiety over our family because we spent too much money.
So, let’s find some ways to save money this summer while making those unforgettable memories!
1. Skip day camps.
Get together with other moms in the neighborhood and put on a soccer camp. Ask a high school soccer player if they would like to volunteer their time and come one day to run drills and chat about soccer.
Try DIY crafts like paint and sip (lemonade) or making bracelets for an art camp.
How about a drama camp where kids rehearse and put on a play at the end of the week?
Design a theme and work around that every day.
Also, our town has a playground group sponsored by the youth commission that they offer every day from 9-12 noon. There are field trips kids can go on (some for a small fee) and lots of activities all summer.
These can be fun ways to save money this summer.
2. Save $100 by finding free entertainment.
Consider parks, free concerts, and making your outside movie night. My neighbors brought their TVs outside one evening and created their own “drive-in.”
Our neighboring town has free children’s movies in the park on a big screen numerous times during the summer. Friends with little ones bring popcorn, their refillable water bottles, chairs, and blankets.
There is a site called Kids Out And About that gives you all the great things for kids and families in your area. I was pleasantly surprised when I went in to look at what was happening in my neighborhood—some fun ways to save money.
We also have a local theater group that puts on plays for children for just a donation. My favorite is Shakespeare In The Park. It usually happens around August 2nd. We pack a picnic and make a romantic date out of it. It often falls near our anniversary.
3. Skip amusement parks and find free parks instead.
Amusement parks like Six Flags and Disney charge from $40 and up for a one-day admission. Consider spending the day at state parks, national parks, or the lake. Pack a cooler with your food and games to have lunch and swim. You only need a little money in your bank account for travel costs.
Many of our local parks have BBQ grills and playgrounds. I love the lakes we have near our home. Living in the Adirondacks, every town has a lake (or two)!
Go for a hike.
Print out a nature scavenger hunt and see how many things you can find in the local park – there are loads of simple ways to make nature fun for the kids without spending much money.
4. Make some money with a neighborhood garage sale!
I wrote an entire blog post about planning the ultimate garage sale. This is a great way to get rid of clutter and pocket money.
I love getting rid of stuff. We don’t have room for everything because we live in a small house. And it gets claustrophobic for me if there is too much stuff.
If you don’t love or use it – Think KonMarie Method – then sell it!
This could go toward debt, an emergency fund, or your frugal family vacation.
5. Skip the Car Wash.
It costs $10 to go through the car wash where I live for the basic wash. If you were to do that every week for the ten-week summer, that’s $100.
My husband would instead wash the cars himself, and I enjoy going through the car wash. Something about the water on the windows gives me a calming effect.
Why not do it yourself? A bucket and car soap are inexpensive. Enlist the kids and have them put on their bathing suits. A perfect example of how to save money in the summer and still have fun!
6. Close the curtains.
Keep your blinds and curtains closed. We have curtains on our three-season porch.
The sun shines in there first thing and warms it up. So we decided that putting up curtains would stop the sun from making it almost unbearable.
It works well. And by noon, we can pull them back again.
This could be a definite summer-saving tip!
7. Sell your old clothes.
Sometimes, taking your clothes to a consignment shop or sending them to an online sales shop will make you more money than selling them at the garage sale mentioned above.
Consider selling them on Facebook Marketplace! 80% of the clothes in your closet you don’t wear anyway. Am I right?!?
8. Pause your gym membership.
The weather is terrific, so find ways to work outside instead of heading to the gym.
Go for a walk, run, hike, play with your kids or garden. All of these ideas will keep you in shape and be fun.
Saving you money, too!
9. Hang your laundry outside.
Hanging your laundry on a clothesline is one of the many ways to save money on your electric bill in the summer.
I was brought up this way, and it brings me back to my childhood every time I smell sheets that have been lines dried.
It may save you a little money once, but if you line-dry your clothes every week, the savings will add up. Make sure you check your neighborhood guidelines for restrictions first.
10. Take a cheap vacation.
I am not going to tell you to skip vacations. I just can’t.
But we do love camping. And you can’t get much cheaper than $11 a night in a state campground. Here’s more on camping on the cheap. What a fun way to save money this summer!
Go on a road trip. Plan the destination and find inexpensive places to sleep. Explore the places around you.
Check out cabins, Airbnb, or family and friends with vacation houses they aren’t using.
11. Cook outside.
It’s the perfect weather to cook outside on the grill. Whether you have a small, cheap charcoal grill or a fancy stainless steel smoker grill combo, Dinner on the grill is fantastic.
And the best part is that it won’t heat your house and make your air conditioner work much harder.
Also worth mentioning is that a crockpot and an instant pot are great appliances to cook in the summer. If you have a back porch, outside area, or garage, you can plug it in there to keep the smallest of heat out of your house.
12. Invest in your water fun.
If you can afford it, some of the bigger inflatable-type pools are a little more expensive yet hold hours and hours of fun for adults and kids. We had one for years when the boys were smaller.
13. Turn off the cable.
Yup, it’s getting a little extreme here. But with the weather being so lovely out, who is sitting around watching TV in the summer? Plus, isn’t it all repeated in the summer anyway?
If it’s raining, you can watch movies on your Netflix, Huu, Disney Plus, Apple TV, or Amazon Prime.
Cut the cord for the summer and see how it feels!
14. Vacation with friends and family.
Do you have friends and family who always say, “Come visit anytime! We would love to have you!”? It might be a good time to take them up on their offer.
My niece lives on Hampton Beach, less than three miles from the coast. We love going to visit her. Treat them to a meal as a thank you!
What fun ways to save money in the summer AND visit with good friends and loved ones.
15. Take a look at the insulation.
Make sure there are no leaks in your doors and windows. Calk all spaces. Let’s not watch our money go out of the cracks. Ain’t nobody got money to cool the outside!
Summer is a great time to beef up your insulation to keep heating and cooling costs down. It doesn’t sound like too much fun, but ensuring there are no leaks around doors and windows while running air conditioning is a substantial saving.
16. Grow a garden.
So many people I know are growing a garden this year. More than normal. It’s a great way to save some money this summer, even just a simple salad garden with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and scallions.
Try a few containers with a couple of tomato plants. My cousin is growing strawberries in containers, which sounds impressive to me!
If you are not a gardener, try shopping at roadside veggie stands or farmer’s markets; it’s summer. My friend Heather visits her farmers market every Saturday in Baltimore with her son.
It’s not only saving on food but also a fun attraction for them both. Max sometimes gets a special treat, and they figure out what to make with all the yummy goodies.
17. Teach your kids to be entrepreneurs.
How many of us had lemonade stands growing up? Some may have mowed lawns or washed cars for extra money. Teach your children how to run a small business for some of their own pocket money.
18. Rediscover the library.
I love the local library. And they have great resources for kids, like reading clubs, board game clubs, and movie rentals.
Our Children’s Librarian has a lot of knowledge about rockets, so he puts a demonstration on often during the summer. They also have exhibits, too. One summer, we had moon rocks on loan from NASA!
19. Try a day trip.
We love to go for a ride, pack a picnic lunch, and explore in our backyard (or just a few hours away). It’s great to find some cool local stores to walk around in or a lake to wade in.
We also love to find the old covered bridges. There are many of them in Vermont, which is close to home for us. I would like to take our boat out to Lake Champlain this summer.
I do wish the ocean was a little bit closer.
20. Look for free days at local museums.
Many of our local museums have free days during the summer. The Children’s Museum, the Adirondack Museum, and the Aircraft Museum all have free days for local residents.
If you need help finding a free day, look for discount coupons online and in local newspapers.
21. Shop seasonally.
I’m not only talking about food (although that, too) but also more significant purchases. Appliances go on sale during Memorial Day and Independence Day. Also, many outside DIY supplies like landscaping and lumber tend to be discounted.
Keep your eye out if you are looking for something specific, and you might be able to find a good deal.
22. Use your car less.
With the nice weather, walking and riding your bike is easier in the warmer months than when it’s snowing or 20 degrees. Take advantage of good weather and dust off that ten-speed bike.
Also, since you have canceled or paused that gym membership for the summer, you will get some exercise, too!
23. Adjust the temperature.
If you have a cooling system, consider increasing the temperature to the highest you can stand it. Is it worth setting it at 67 and then putting on a sweater or covering it with a blanket on the couch?
Can you adjust it to 74? How about 77? What’s the best summer temperature to set the programmable thermostat to save money? Using the warmer months is the best way to save money on your energy bills. Opening windows when the sun is shining is better than paying out money on a utility bill!
These are some great budgeting tips and ways you can save money in the summer. Getting creative and allowing yourself to find joy in the simple living of warm summer days doesn’t have to cost a lot. Being with family and friends can be frugal. Adopting some habits around your house to cut costs can be painless.
Final Thoughts on Money Saving Tips for Summer
The summer months might seem like a nightmare when you work on a budget or have little money. You don’t want to use that credit card but don’t want to stay home with the kids through the summer vacation. One of these ideas is an excellent way to do something to save money or do something that is summer fun without a big load of extra cash suddenly being needed.