Pinching the pennies this summer? Wondering how you are going to make it through the summer with kids at home with no cash for camp or a vacation?
Here are a few ideas to make this summer fun on any budget:
1. Take a pool tour- Can't afford the local pool membership? Ask your friends if you might be able to join them as a guest or use their own pool. The trick is, ask a few friends. I know, it's total mooching but I bet your friends would be happy to relieve you from the heat wave that is summer. If this feels horribly presumptious, suggest a trade. Offer to trade for a meal delivered to their door or babysitting. Exchange pool time while picking up the mail, dog sitting/walking while they travel and wouldn't be using the pool anyway.
2. Invest in popsicles- Go straight to your local price club and buy mass amounts of Flav-or-ice or other kid favorite popsicles. Let your kids eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, well, maybe just for snacks. A lot of snacks. A little water, food coloring and sugar never hurt anyone right? These cheap treats will keep everyone happy and kids will say, "Remember the summer mom let us eat all those popsicles? That was awesome!".
3. Take advantage of the free stuff- Most movie theaters offer a free movie once a week before the regular shows. We pack away a tiny ziploc of candy, juice boxes and buy popcorn at the theater. Any bowlers in the family? Check out the cool program where kids can bowl free for the entire summer.
Most local parks and recreation centers have all kinds of great concerts and programming during the summer, look local.
4. Pick something- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, oh my! Picking fruit and vegetables can be fun and save your grocery bill. There is nothing like being on a farm, grove or patch and picking your food right from the ground, bush or vine. Pick-your-own is a great site to help you find a farm near you.
5. Commune it up- We're all in this together. Gather your friends and gaggle of kids and do the summer together. Create your own at home camp with art activities, slip-n-slide, and afternoon movie showings. Kids will tribe up and parents will delight in the shared company. Prepare a meal together to split and send home for dinner and the day is done. Many hands make light work. It is the village at it's best.
Do you have any ideas for enjoying a thrifty summer? Share them with us in the comments.