Summer Savings Guide

May 2018

Summer is fast approaching and along with it typically comes a lot of opportunities to spend money. By planning ahead, you could save money and still enjoy those favorite summertime activities such as family fun, traveling, or working around the house. This guide was designed to provide you with tips to help you plan and save this summer.

Family Fun

Love getting together with family but worry about the cost? Don’t worry, there are a number of ways to have fun without breaking the budget. Here are just a few no and low cost suggestions:

  • Plan a Family Game Night. Select one night a week to turn off the TV and other electronic devices and let the games begin. Feature board games, card games, and other games such as dominoes, pickup sticks, or jacks.
  • Plan a Weekend Film Festival. Determine a movie theme (sci-fi, comedy, detective/thriller, cartoon/family, or TV series), select the movies/shows and start watching! This can be done in one single weekend, or spread out throughout the summer.
  • Hike or Bike a New Trail. No matter your location, you can find a trail near you to explore. There are a number of online websites and apps that can help you find a trail near you. You can also create a self-guided walking or biking tour featuring an interesting topic, such as local architecture, historic sites, or nature-related subjects.
  • Find a Free Community Event. Go to your favorite online search engine and enter "free events and entertainment" and the name of your city (or the location you’d like to visit). You’ll be surprised at how much there is to do.
  • Go Camping. Set out for a weekend (or more) to enjoy some nature. Many state parks offer tent rental sites or rental cabins that are very economical for a family vacation. To find a state park, just check out the official state park site for your state, or nearby states/states you want to visit. Many state parks also have lodges with hotel type accommodations. Pick a park that has activities your family enjoys; most are free or have only a nominal cost.
  • Plan Your Own History Tour or Other Special Focus. Take a tour where you check out the history, recreation opportunities, and foods of a city or area in easy reach of your home. Do your research, plan a route, identify sights and activities, and reserve affordable lodging.
  • Look for Deals. Many area museums and attractions occasionally offer specials or deals. Before you plan your activities, consider using a daily deal site, such as Groupon or LivingSocial, for last minute discounts on attractions, restaurants, and lodging.


Summertime is a favorite time for traveling. These resources provide many tips for saving money on travel.

Around the House

Summertime can be rough on your household budget. Warmer temperatures typically mean higher cooling costs. Lawns and gardens may require more water. Here are just a few tips that can help keep you and your budget cool:

  • If you have an AC unit, be sure to clean or replace the AC's filter regularly to keep it running efficiently.
  • Use window coverings to reduce the amount of heat that comes through your windows.
  • Use native plants in your landscaping. Native plants typically use less water and need less fertilizer and pesticide.
  • Use mulch in your landscaping. It will help hold moisture in the soil and can help cut down on weeds.
  • Instead of using the oven which can heat up the house, use the stove, microwave, grill outside, or fix a one-pot dinner.
  • Replace your shower head and toilet with those that are more water efficient.
  • Plant some trees. Trees provide shade in the summer which can reduce the temperature of the air reaching the house. They also provide a windbreak in the winter.

Here are some additional resources that feature tips for savings around the house:

  • The Energy Saver Guide offers tips for saving money and energy at home and on the road. It's from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and is available in English and Spanish.
  • The Energy Saver website, also from the DOE, provides information about improving the energy efficiency of your home. Learn more about heating & cooling, weatherizing your home, designing an energy efficient home, and saving electricity and fuel.
  • WaterSense from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provides tips for saving water indoors and outdoors. It also has information about how we use water and how to check for leaks
  • GreenScaping, a brochure from the EPA, provides landscaping tips that can improve the appearance and health of your lawn and garden which also saving time, money, and natural resources.



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