Look at me, playing nice with the other Internets. I've missed every other 20SB blog swap to date but I actually managed to catch one. Whee! Anywho - today I will be over at The Frugal Farmhouse, and Brandi will be... right here. As is how swapping generally works. It's like Trading Spaces, but with blogs. (Is Trading Spaces still on? I don't know. I don't have cable. Sometime you'll have to come over and I can show you the rock that I live under.)
The theme for this swap was "Summer" (as you may or may not have already noticed from the title) - I wrote something nostalgic and slightly angsty (as I am wont to do) and Brandi wrote something useful and insightful. Naturally.
Without further ado (that's right, you heard me: NO MORE ADO), it's swap time!
It can get really expensive to occupy all the kids time once they are out of school for the summer. Here are a few money saving ideas to combat the cost of having fun this summer.
- Cook on the grill- Why not make it a grilling affair! I don’t think you will find a person who doesn’t like a hamburger or hot dog. They are often one of the cheapest meals you can make. Why not take advantage of that wonderful weather and not heating up your house by cooking dinner.
- Drink water! There is nothing healthier for you that water. Rather than stopping at the gas station and grabbing a pop, fill up a jug with water for each person and take it with you.
- Get outdoors- go hiking, walk by the river, can you fish in your area? Each year in my area they have a free fishing day. Everyone can go fishing without having to buy a fishing license. Call your local fish and game office and see if they have a similar program.
- Take advantage of all the free activities- Check with your community there is always something going on for free, especially in big cities. Search craigslist, your local newspaper even online forums for free activities. It is a great way to get your kids involved in your community.
- Yard sales- Hear me out; you don’t have to necessarily buy anything. We look online for our local paper, scout out the most garage sales in one area then I park my car in a central location and we walk. We walk through looking at all the fun “junk” and if I see something on my need list for a great price then I get it, but only if it is on that need list. It is often a great experience to sift through some old antiques and see what people have.
- Line dry your clothes- Why heat up your house with a dryer when you can hang things outside? It saves energy and heat. If you run an air conditioner and your dryer that is just that much more your air conditioner has to combat the heat that your dryer is giving off. An added benefit also goes to your clothes. By line drying them you save years of wear. Constantly being heated up and tumbled around takes years off the life of your clothes.
- Garden- While this is the cheapest season to eat. Veggies and fruit are often well below $1 a pound. But you can even get the cost down further buy growing your own. You don’t have to have a huge yard to have a garden. I live in an apartment right now and have had success with growing tomatoes and carrots in a container. Every little tomato I pick is a great success to me!
- Suspend your cable- With all the outdoor fun you have planned now you won’t be hanging around the living room watching Jersey Shore.. so instead of paying that bill each month many cable/satellite companies will let you suspend your service for a certain number of months without interrupting your contract. This is a great solution to getting the kids outside and away from all that wonderful tv.
- Have a picnic- pack a simple lunch with a fun blanket and head to the park. It really doesn’t need to be a Martha Stewart spinach salad with roasted lamb, come on, who does that? Pack some sandwiches, grab a bag of chips and bottles of water and enjoy just being with your family. It would be the same amount of money to eat that at home, but why not drive down the road to the nearest park and make it a fun experience? Or even make it a family date night. Throw a roast in the crockpot in the morning, when done, grab a couple citronella candles and fancier blanket and place everything for your roast dinner in individual Tupperware containers, so when you get to the picnic you can just hand everyone their own Tupperware container and the mess in minimal. Set up the candles for “romantic” lighting and have a candle lit dinner in the park. Your kids will never forget it!
Whatever you decide to do this summer, make it one to remember! You don’t have to spend money to have wonderful memories.