This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Lunchbox. Opinions and ideas are 100% my own.
Summer can be the most expensive season of the year as you strive to entertain the family and your grocery bill grows to include grilling and cool treats. Are there ways to save on summer fun? Absolutely!
Summer doesn’t have to be boring just because you don’t have a huge budget. You can still have tons of family fun while keeping your wallet happy.
Summer Fun for Families
1. Purchase season passes
Last summer, we visited a waterpark that was within driving distance and were shocked at the prices. For just a few bucks more per person, we could have purchased season passes and visited two or more times. But, it was at the end of the season. Not much chance of us coming back again before the park closed for the Fall.
This year, I played it smart. I subscribed to their email newsletter and when they launched season prices at early bird prices, I snatched them up!
2. Visit a museum on free days
Many museums have free admission one day each week.
Check your city calendar or just call and ask. One of our local museums plans a free afternoon for kids that coincides with a farmer’s market, making it even MORE fun. They have special activities for the kids in addition to an amazing wing just for the children to play and explore without damaging anything too expensive for mom to replace on a tight budget.
3. Host a movie night with a cheap rental
Call the neighbors or just snuggle up with your spouse and kids for a special movie night.
Swing by your local Winn-Dixie or BI-LO to pick up popcorn and ice cream. Since we try to make these nights super special, we grab a few spoons and a couple of pints of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, getting close and sharing.
Just give your rewards card to the cashier and let the magic happen.
If you see Ms. Mary, please tell her that I said, “Hello!” This lovely lady has been working at our local Winn-Dixie for fifteen years and is my favorite cashier.
Oh… Don’t forget to grab a movie from the rental box before heading home. Then, after dinner, it’s showtime!
4. Use wire hangers to make S’mores
It’s a tradition at our house. We gather ingredients for s’mores and wire coat hangers from our dry cleaned clothes (because they were free) and walk next door to our neighbor’s house for some ooey-gooey fun.
We roast marshmallows and visit, listening to the crackle of the fire under a blanket of stars. When the children grow tired of waiting for marshmallows to toast, they play “hide n seek” in the dark. Sometimes, we even give the children glow-in-the-dark bracelets or necklaces for added fun.
5. Head to the beach with cheap gas
I always get the giggles when I see my husband swipe our Winn-Dixie card at the local gas station. There are times when he is so excited that he will shout and exclaim how much we are saving with Fuel Perks.
And taking a trip to the beach is something we can do without a lot of preparation since there is a Winn-Dixie on the way. We put t-shirts and/or shorts over our swimsuits before leaving and swing by the store for lunch packs (the ones with the crackers, meat and cheese included), fruit, and bottled water. I know we are saving when we use our Winn-Dixie card because in addition to collecting Fuel Perks, I have my rewards card loaded with digital coupons I loaded using the Winn-Dixie app.
Then, we are at the beach within 20 minutes and can spend the rest of the day playing in the sand and surf.
6. Borrow a friend’s pool
We do not have a pool but we know a few people who do. It’s an easy swap to ask, “Can we crash at your pool today if I bring the ice cream?” Who is going to say “no” to a frozen treat on a hot day?
Nothing is better after hours of canon balls and belly busters than a Popsicle… unless you ask my boys who devour the Birthday Cake Ice Cream Bars by Good Humor. Did you see the look on my oldest son’s face? Franc was enamored by that ice cream.
7. Volunteer at the community garden Some of the best fun is had when you are giving back to the community, and it doesn’t cost you a dime. Our area food bank has a community garden and always needs help with weeding, composting, and seeding. The last few times we visited, they even let the children pick strawberries to take home and gave us each a tomato plant.
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