Stay cool with these summer savings

Summer 2018 River

Exploring local parks is a great way to enjoy summer cost-free. Pictured above is Riverfront Park in Point Pleasant, W.Va. This park is a good place to exercise as well as take in nature’s beauty. 

 

After a cold winter and hectic spring, summer is often seen as time to bask in warmer temperatures as well as relax. This summer allow yourself to embrace the season by not breaking the bank.

There are many ways to save money and still have a great summer. The first thing you can do is take advantage of the warmer weather by heading out to your community parks. Parks are typically a free place where the entire family can enjoy various activities as well as exercise together.

Many parks also host various festivals during the summer months. These events are typically low-cost or free. From concerts to children events to plays, area parks are a great place to have fun in the sun. Don’t just stop at parks, spend the summer exploring all your community has to offer. From museums, libraries, theaters, hiking trails to local restaurants and shops, discovering where you live can be an exciting and inexpensive adventure. Summer is prime time for community events, check out this post to see what our local areas have on schedule.

Other ways to enjoy the season without putting stress on your wallet include the following:

  1. Embrace the joy of a staycation. Over the years, more people are choosing to spend their vacation time at home. While travel is fun, it can be a relaxing change of pace as well as a huge money saver to use your vacation time for a week at home. Take the staycation to enjoy your hobbies or find new ones; rest and rejuvenate; catch up on your favorite books/movies; partake in local events; work on house projects; and anything else you’ve wanted to do but just haven’t had the time. Looking for more staycation ideas? We’ve got you covered here.
  2. Take turns hosting dinner parties. Rather than going out with friends host your own meals at each other’s homes. Cooking or grilling out at home is cheaper than going to a restaurant. Dust off some board games and make it a fun evening in.
  3. Participate in a progressive dinner. If you would rather not cook a full meal for everyone, you might enjoy a progressive dinner with friends and neighbors. The way this event works is each household makes a portion of the meal, as in someone hosts appetizers, while another hosts the main course, and then desserts, etc. Along with food, make the evening more enjoyable with games or movies.
  4. Watch movies at home or take advantage of theater discounts. It’s no secret that summer is popular for most blockbuster releases. Unfortunately a trip to the cinema can be quite expensive, especially for a family. From tickets to pricey snacks, repeat trips to the movies end up costing quite a bit. If you really want to see a movie when it’s released, check your local theater for discounts. Most theaters offer some type of discount day, while others may even offer additional savings with family pricing. For other summer movie enjoyment, peruse your streaming services and make it a home theater experience. Grab your microwave popcorn and settle in for an inexpensive evening of fun.
  5. Camp in your backyard. Don’t have time or money to actually go on a camping trip? You can still have a camping adventure with your family from the comfort of your own backyard. Set up a tent or bring out sleeping bags to snooze under the stars. Share campfire ghost stories, make s’mores and enjoy the fun parts of camping without the cost of travel.
  6. Plan a day trip. If you don’t have the time or money to travel far for a summer vacation, see what places you could go to and enjoy in the span of a day. From amusement parks, water parks, zoos and ball games, see what is within range of your family. As always, keep an eye out for any special discounts as well.
  7. Go on a picnic. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a picnic with your significant other or family. All you need to do is pack a lunch, grab a blanket and you are all set!
  8. Visit or host a yard sale. Instead of spending time shopping at malls, you can save a lot of money by taking advantage of yard sales in your community. Summer tends to be a popular time for these events. If you are looking to earn some extra cash and de-clutter, host your own yard sale. Get the entire family involved as this can also be used as a learning experience to educate children on the value of a dollar.
  9. Cut cable. An easy way to save money this summer is to simply cut your cable services. Many network shows are on hiatus during the summer months. While spending more time outdoors you may find you are watching far less television this summer.

Along with spending less on activities, you can also save money this summer by making a few simple changes at home:

  1. Keep your blinds/curtains closed. In most areas summer equals hot, which also means your air conditioner works harder. Keep your curtains closed to limit the amount of sunlight entering your home and reduce your air conditioner’s workload. According to the US Department of Energy, doing this also can decrease the amount of sun generated heat in your home up to 77 percent.
  2. Fill in air gaps. Checking the sealing of your home and fill in air gaps. This will not only help you in the summer, but should also help your home stay heated this winter.
  3. Cook outside. Not only is summer the perfect time to break out your grill, but it can also be cost effective. Ovens and stoves tend to create more heat within your home, which can put additional stress on air conditioning. Grilling also eliminates the cost of running kitchen appliances.
  4. Hand wash your dishes. Handwashing dishes rather than using your dishwasher can help offset costs that may result from increased air conditioning in the summer. We know life gets busy, so if you need to use your dishwasher only do so when it’s full.
  5. Unplug appliances not in use and turn off lights when you leave a room. These small tasks can reduce energy costs, especially if you find your bills going up during the summer due to increased air conditioning.

Remember if you need help sticking with your summer budget, check out OVB’s Benjamin Tracker. Have a wonderful summer!

 

 

 

 

 

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