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The Best Time to Buy Everything at its Lowest Price

I used to think that saving money by seasonal shopping was grocery shopping at farmer’s markets in the summer, buying pumpkins in the fall, and not something I could not do the six months out of the year where nothing grows locally during the winter.   It wasn’t until I wrote a monthly What Goes On Sale and What to Buy on Clearance series that I realized I couldn’t have been more wrong.   I learned that almost everything from food to household goods to cars has a time of the year where it goes on sale because: There is a seasonal abundance (like fresh produce) The store has some of  last season's stock left in storage and wants to make room for the current season There is on end of season clearance to make room for next season’s goods on the store shelves There is a sale due to a celebrating an industry month (such as National Craft Month, National Camping Month, national holidays,etc.) There is a mega

11 Ways to Save Money on Summer Fun!

My family likes to live big on a little budget and one of the best times to do that is during the summer! There are so many money saving opportunities you don’t realize are sitting right under your nose!

Now I’m not trying to sound like a know it all financial expert with a list of frugal demands because I have failed as well as succeeded in almost all of the suggestions on this list.

Some of these money saving suggestions may be new to you. Some may not. Others might be a reminder to pick up something that went by the wayside.

I fully support the very real and valid idea that there might be something on this list that doesn't apply to your family, where you live, or you simply do not want to do it.. That’s perfectly fine in Lazy Budget Chef Land because my intention is to offer a list of options, not absolutes.

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I’m always thinking about kind and frugal folks like you - that's why I some ideas I'm sharing are from companies I like and personally use, even if I don't partner with the company right now. 

When you get the goodie, I might get a few coins thrown my way that keeps me supplied with enough coffee and tacos to keep bringing YOU smart budgeting ideas every week! Thank you for supporting Lazy Budget Chef!

1. Attitude is everything! Try something new, be more adventurous, and have a sense of humor if it doesn't turn out (but celebrate it when it does!) – Taking a step out of your comfort zone is a risk but it can have financial benefits. Yes, sometimes the answer to “how bad can it be?” is “pretty bad”  but at least we have a funny story to show for it.

2. Take advantage of the subscriptions and memberships you already paid for – The The first thing financial gurus tell you is to cancel your gym, cable, pool, etc. memberships to save money. I say if you already paid for it and actively use it, keep it if it is not a hardship. For example, my family uses all of the services included in our Amazon Prime (learn about our subscription here) like streaming commercial free music here through Amazon Prime Music, streaming free movies on Prime Video (especially when away from home,) and listening through this link to Audible books when driving to and from our destination we absolutely get our money’s worth. (Disclosure: I am including some affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

3. Consider getting a short term summer job at a county or state fair, amusement park, concert security or food service, etc. to make a little extra cash. Or consider a side hustle such as selling extra flowers, plants, or vegetables from your garden, mowing lawns, cleaning pools, holding a yard sale, or the smartest one I’ve seen, buying a case of Dollar Tree holiday impulse items online bottled water, hand fans, fairy wings, bubble wands, glow necklaces, etc. and selling them along city parade routes. Smart! 

4. Take advantage of free and cheap frugal fun – bike rides, walks, street fairs, local festivals (watch your spending!,) parades, etc. Do an internet search for free things to do in your area, pack your sense of humor and be adventurous! Free movies and concerts outside may not be the first run or famous bands but it’s an no to low cost evening out. Who knows? You might find you like something you normally wouldn’t go see.

Instead of paying spendy rental fees with brought our own bikes to get around Put in Bay. That way we had extra in our vacation budget to Eat!All!The!Things! (and we did.)

5. Make your own bottled water, iced tea, lemonade, etc. – When it is hot, all I want to drink is water. My refrigerator is full of reusable water bottles like these filled with DIY filtered water (learn more about it here) that makes it easy to grab one on the go more for eco friendly convenience than anything else. It also saves a few coin and that’s cool too. 

Our Fourth of July Parade Central. We use our insulated backpack picnic basket, reusable dinnerware, and blanket set (learn more about the best Christmas present I ever got and never knew how much I needed until I started using it here) all the time to bring food and snacks on our adventures. A big water bottle fits perfectly in the insulated wine bottle caddy on the side.

6. Consider a hobby that pays you back in food such as fishing, foraging, growing vegetable or herb plants, etc. and preserve your bounty for later.  I amazed how many people take the time to grow fresh herbs and waste them when all it takes is popping those herbs in a dehydrator for a few hours and storing them in an empty jar. 

Fresh Basil!

7. Consider canceling subscriptions or memberships you don’t use in summer – For example  if you don’t watch a ton of movies or TV during the summer, consider canceling a premium cable channel, Hulu, Netflix, etc for the summer months and start them back up in the fall.

8. Alter kids school clothes that are too hot to wear during the summer and they will grow out of by next fall into summer shorts, cut the neck band off a slightly small t shirt, etc. You don’t need to be seamstress to cut pants into shorts and hem them with iron on hem tape (learn more here).  Best of all this way you can control how long or short you want them to be! This tip also works for adults!

I ripped a hole in a pair of khakis I cut into shorts the first time I wore them (of course.) Instead of tossing them I fixed the hole with an iron on patch. 

9. Vacation during the week when hotel, gas, and travel prices may be slightly lower than on weekends. Some tourist areas may have discounts or specials during the week in areas people usually only spend weekends. Traveling in the off season if possible is another budget saver.

By taking advantage of discounts and coupon specials that are only valid on weekdays on Put-in-Bay, we were able to have even more fun than we already planned!

10. Think outside the box when comparing prices and booking vacation hotels. I had a ton of browser tabs open checking hotel price sites against Air BnB, etc for a New Orleans vacation. On a whim I checked Groupon and found  Groupon's hotel prices beat the discount travel sites I checked by almost half including Air BnB! (get the info here)

Is there a Groupon? became a running joke on that trip.

And it turns out, for the most part yes. We pretty much got  2 for 1 deals on New Orleans walking tours by checking Groupon here and Living Social before booking. We ended up doing everything time allowed and accidentally under budget. It’s not like this for every area but I learned that it is best to take a few minutes to check first!

11. Prioritize your spending your goals and preferences not what someone else thinks is best for you or pressures you to do –  Cut back on expenses in one area that is low priority to you to spend in an area that gives you pleasure without guilt. It is OK to be weird!

What are your summer money saving tips?

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