Ahh, summer. Time for flip flops, barbeque's and hopefully a chance to enjoy a little needed R&R. It's tempting to be lured by all the summertime pleasures: that pricey vacation, that new patio set, that shiny convertible. But there are several ways you can enjoy summer without going broke. Here are some ways to save money this summer.
Start with the flip flops. If you haven't seen the commercial, Old Navy stores are offering solid color flip flops for the entire family for only $1.00 a pair, tomorrow only May 23, 2009. Or, try for a free pair of Havaianas flip flops from the Seventeen Magazine Giveaway on June 6, 2009. You can see the official rules at Seventeen.com or they can be found in the upcoming July issue.
Take advantage of free summer fun in your area. Many cities offer events such as free outdoor music concerts, local summer festivals, craft fairs and even free movie nights. (If you missed my earlier post, select Regal theatres are offering a Free Family Film Festival this summer.)
Check out the community events section in your local newspaper, see what free summer programs your local library may be offering or enjoy free amenities such as parks and local beaches if you have access to them.
Look for free stuff that kids can do this summer, such as the 2009 Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program. Listen to The Consumer Queen's recent BlogTalkRadio show Free and Cheap Things to do With Kids this Summer for more great ideas.
Save money on your summer vacation by looking for great travel deals posted on the FatWallet Travel Deals Forum. You can also find money saving tips in my article How to Find Hotel Discounts and Travel Cheap. Save tons of money this summer by opting for a summer vacation closer to home. Go camping as a classic way to enjoy summer on the cheap, or opt to Vacation Cheap with a Staycation this year.
Go frugal treasure hunting at garage and yard sales, or make some extra money by having your own. Get the kids involved by letting them set up a lemonade stand, or better yet, make a killing having them set up a concession stand made up of items such as snacks and bottled water bought at local warehouse or discount stores. In my area, even I have been suckered more than once into paying $1.00 for a bottle of water at a yard sale on a hot summer day.
Have a GPS? Go on a high-tech treasure hunt this summer with Geocaching. Even if you don't have a GPS, consider creating your own scavenger hunt with family, friends and neighbors. Make a list of things people have to collect or find around town. Give clues and make riddles they have to solve in order to find the items. Play just for fun, or offer a prize such as the winner gets their garbage taken to the curb for a month by the losing players, etc.
What are you doing to save money this summer? I would love to hear your ideas.
Till next time - Cheap Cindy
photo: zenner, sxc.hu