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5 Ways to Save Money on Summer Fun

Maxwell22 391 June 20, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Contributor: Carrie Smith, Payoff.com

Summertime is all about enjoying the outdoors while spending time with friends and family at amusement parks and barbecues. Entertainment dollars can add up, but with these money-saving tips, you'll be able to revel in the sun without worrying too much about your wallet.

1. Save Money On-The-Go


Modern technology is a beautiful thing, so why not use it to your advantage? Use your smartphone to find coupons, discounts and local deals to save money on movies, dining out, and activities for the kids.



Multiple apps like Slickdeals are available and offer the most up-to-date deals and savings on-the-go. There’s even a GasBuddy [gasbuddy.com] app that helps you find the nearest gas station offering the cheapest gas.

2. Bring Your Own Snacks and Drinks

Whenever possible, you want to avoid food and drinks sold at places like ballparks and state fairs. It’s not only more expensive but it will also eat into your entertainment budget -- wouldn’t you rather spend your money on fun instead of food?


Pack a basket full of snacks, drinks, and other food to help curb your hunger and your spending. And make sure you bring lots of water. Buying a bottle of water at a public park or beach could cost a pretty penny.

3. Be Flexible With Your Schedule

Summer is peak travel season. Airlines and hotels usually raise their prices because they know people will pay. Don't fall into the trap. To avoid paying extravagant prices, be flexible with your travel plans and research the best days in advance.


Sometimes it will be cheaper to travel earlier or later in the day, and having the flexibility can save you tons of money -- maybe even enough to go on another vacation.


4. Opt For Inexpensive Entertainment

There’s nothing more relaxing than heading down to the beach for the day with a good book which is pretty cheap in itself. If you borrow from the library, you won't even have to spend a penny.


Want to get in touch with nature? National Parks [nps.gov] offer certain weeks where you can visit for free, depending on each state. And with 401 national parks, that leaves you tons of options.

Also, don’t forget to check the local university’s website to see what kind of free concerts, art or museum exhibits, and other activities they might be offering. And, if you have kids, you might be interested in this list of freebies to keep them entertained all summer.

5. Enlist the Help of Friends and Family

While taking a road trip, or heading to the park for the day, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. They might be willing to offer up their house for you to stay for a few nights, or can lend you some camping or hiking equipment for the weekend.


You can also ask your friends to bring drinks to a pool party, or toss in some money for pizza. You don’t have to buy new stuff or pay for everything. More often than not, your friends will be willing to chip in.

Whether it’s being creative with your lodging or finding a coupon, there are lots of ways to have fun this summer without breaking the bank.

What are some ways you plan to save money this summer?

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8 Comments

1
Keep calm and drink water
800 Reputation
#2
Dunno about #2. A lot of ballparks won't let you bring a basketful of food and drink and for the Puyallup Fair (which is by me) one of the attractions is the food (Fair Scones). In my experience buying food at the ballpark, or even at the local Fair is actually an attraction. It's often gourmet food or tastes like it anyways. You can't get elephant ears at Safeway but you can get it at your local fair. Fair food for the win!

As for #3, I find that flying out during a week day is the best way to save money on flights. Leave on Tues, come back on Thurs, works great. Ya, it's true I could save a bundle with a 6am flight. It's also not very enticing to have to get to the airport by 4:30am where public transport is sketchy in my neck of the woods at that time of the morning. I'd much rather leave at 8am on a Tue rather than 4:30am on a Sat. There is something to be said about your biological clock and sleep patterns.
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#3
Good tips! I will be checking out gasbuddy.com. The Waze app also lets you check and compare gas prices for gas stations that are nearby.

I use discount travel sites like Hotwire or Priceline to find cheaper fares and rates. Also, staying at a vacation rental (vrbo.com or airbnb.com) can save you money compared to staying at a hotel.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Coupon Maven
391 Reputation
Original Poster
Staff
#4
Quote from stevenq View Post :
Dunno about #2. A lot of ballparks won't let you bring a basketful of food and drink and for the Puyallup Fair (which is by me) one of the attractions is the food (Fair Scones). In my experience buying food at the ballpark, or even at the local Fair is actually an attraction. It's often gourmet food or tastes like it anyways. You can't get elephant ears at Safeway but you can get it at your local fair. Fair food for the win!

As for #3, I find that flying out during a week day is the best way to save money on flights. Leave on Tues, come back on Thurs, works great. Ya, it's true I could save a bundle with a 6am flight. It's also not very enticing to have to get to the airport by 4:30am where public transport is sketchy in my neck of the woods at that time of the morning. I'd much rather leave at 8am on a Tue rather than 4:30am on a Sat. There is something to be said about your biological clock and sleep patterns.
You're right about the ballparks and fairs.

And yes, 6 am flights suck. Only time those make sense would be cross-country flights or international.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#5
I definitely agree with you on finding ways to save money during the summer! Thats a cool gas app! Totally dl right now. I normally go to the movies on Sundays because it's only $5! Check your local theatre that offers that. Bring my own food/snacks? I'm all about it. I go to the dollar tree or 99cent store for candy aand chips before the movie. For girls its easier we can "forget" that these snacks were in our bag. No harm no foul. For ball park games, its true they are strict n might search your bag. So I go eat an inexpensive meal/or eat at home beforehand and bring a small trailmix just in case. Since I ate beforehand I wouldn't mind spending on a beer while enjoying the game. I love the beach because its free! Try parking in the neighborhood to avoid parking meters. if you have a bike bring it so you won't have to rent one. Lastly, check your city's community website. There's always free events and activities for the community. Those are my summer frugile tips also :-). Thanks Maxwell, I can add to my savings this summer with the gas app. :-)
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Coupon Maven
391 Reputation
Original Poster
Staff
#6
Quote from savingsavvy View Post :
Good tips! I will be checking out gasbuddy.com. The Waze app also lets you check and compare gas prices for gas stations that are nearby.

I use discount travel sites like Hotwire or Priceline to find cheaper fares and rates. Also, staying at a vacation rental (vrbo.com or airbnb.com) can save you money compared to staying at a hotel.
I love hotwire! Kayak is another good one too. Haven't checked out vacation rentals yet, but will keep in mind. Smilie
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Coupon Maven
391 Reputation
Original Poster
Staff
#7
Quote from MissLurker View Post :
I definitely agree with you on finding ways to save money during the summer! Thats a cool gas app! Totally dl right now. I normally go to the movies on Sundays because it's only $5! Check your local theatre that offers that. Bring my own food/snacks? I'm all about it. I go to the dollar tree or 99cent store for candy aand chips before the movie. For girls its easier we can "forget" that these snacks were in our bag. No harm no foul. For ball park games, its true they are strict n might search your bag. So I go eat an inexpensive meal/or eat at home beforehand and bring a small trailmix just in case. Since I ate beforehand I wouldn't mind spending on a beer while enjoying the game. I love the beach because its free! Try parking in the neighborhood to avoid parking meters. if you have a bike bring it so you won't have to rent one. Lastly, check your city's community website. There's always free events and activities for the community. Those are my summer frugile tips also :-). Thanks Maxwell, I can add to my savings this summer with the gas app. :-)
Yea, so true about forgetting snacks for the ladies! hehe. eating beforehand is a handy idea! oh yeah, I totally park in the neighborhood too to avoid paying hefty meter costs or worse, risking a $65 parking ticket! yay for gas app!
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#8
save all kinds of money then go to gamble at the casino and get ahead of the game, dine fancy and smoke weed.
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#9
I just wanted to say on point #2--bringing your own food is awesome. Few if any people know you can bring food into Busch Stadium III. Most assume with post 911 inspections you would get caught. Guess what you can bring in picnic food in softsided coolers that fit under your seat and drinks in sealed plastic bottles.

Why pay $4 for a soda, when you can pay .75-1 for a 20oz bottle at the grocery store.

Why pay $7 for a sandwich, when you can bring in a footlong from your favorite deli. More food, better quality and cheaper.

I feel blessed buy Busch Stadiums food policy, no many of you don't have that luxury.
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