With summertime upon us, everyone is looking for ways to spend a little time outdoors, sleeping in, or traveling. To make sure you do not blow your budget, use these seven money-saving tips to keep your summer spending on track while still having a good time.
- Pack Picnics
Enjoying the outdoors is easier in the summer months because of the longer days and warm weather. Instead of hitting fast-food restaurants, plan and pack picnics, extra drinks, and snacks. This will save you money and probably be healthier for you too.
Sandwiches are perfect for picnics, but to mix it up, pack sliced cheese, meats, and crackers or make an Italian chicken pasta salad. This salad does not contain mayonnaise. To make it, mix cooked pasta, cooked chopped chicken breasts, and Italian salad dressing and serve cold.
- Get Paid to Shop
Most everybody has to go shopping, but did you know you could be paid to shop? Services, like Checkout Saver, are collaborating with big-box stores and other shops in a win-win setup. Individuals signup, and when they make a purchase via the website or at some brick-and-mortar establishments, they will receive a percentage of the sale back. This is possible because the servicer is sharing its affiliate payments with the shopper.
- Track Free Entrance Events
During the summer, some national and state parks will host free events. Typically, these parks charge an entrance fee, which goes toward maintenance and employees. For special occasions, such as centennial celebrations or state holidays, the parks welcome all visitors, free of charge. To find out when or if parks near you offer this, check their official government website.
- Find Free Money
If you know where to look, you can find free money. One avenue is to buy discount gift cards from your favorite stores. For example, you may pay $20.00 for a discounted card, but the spending power of it is $25.00. Establishments keep track of these discounts, and they can alert you when deals are available. Stores will often discount their cards for promotional purposes.
- Maintain Your Vehicle
Summertime means travel time for many families, and driving is often the preferred mode of transportation. Maintaining your vehicle can save you money. Check your tire pressure before heading out. Improperly pressurized tires can cause the engine to work harder and needlessly burn more fuel. Also, change the oil and filters as the manufacturer recommends.
- Adjust Your Thermostat
When it is hot outside, we are tempted to crank up the air conditioning, which can add to the power bill. If your region is cool in the morning, open up the house, let the cooler temperatures in, and close it up tightly before it warms up. Not running the AC for a few hours a day can help tame the bill, and so will moving the thermometer up a few degrees. You may find that you do not notice the change at all. Maintain the unit by replacing the filter when necessary and keeping the vents clean.
Having a barbeque saves money because you do not have to fire the oven or stovetop and because you are not doing that, the air conditioner does not have to work as much to keep the house cold. Barbequing cuts down on your power usage, and you get the added reward of a delicious meal.