Archive for the ‘Save Money On Entertainment’ Category
Summer is a time of fun, laughter, sunshine, holidays, relaxation and of course blowing out the budget. It is so easy to think that just because you are on holidays and the kids are relaxing so the spending can relax a bit too. But is doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to dread the end of summer when all the bills are starting to come in. Here are six excellent ways you can actually save money and have fun this summer.
1: Grow You Own Food
Growing your own food can no only cut down the grocery bills it is also fun. Get the kids involved and they will have fun in the garden for hours nursing and caring for their little plants especially when it starts bearing fruit. Seeds only cost $2-3 per packet, and seedlings cost not much more per plant.
Considering how many pounds of tomatoes/beans/cucumbers/strawberries etc… you can get from a single plant versus how many pounds of fruits and vegetables you can buy at the store for $3, both seeds and seedlings are a great deal.
Tell your neighbour what plants you are growing and swap/sell the excess produce. Farmers markets are also a great alternative, since they are cheaper and carry some of the freshest produce available.
2: Entertaining the Kids
Going to the movies with kids can be a financial minefield with all the temptations around. Instead arrange with friends and neighbours a combined movie afternoon/evening, hire out a couple of videos, make popcorn and sweets and make it an event both the kids and the adults will enjoy. Much less stressful and expensive.
As for amusement parks, hold out for promotional offers, which are frequent in the summer. Take your own lunch and snacks but make it a bit special (don’t just go with dry cheese sandwiches). Kids don’t like feeling like they are missing out so get a Bbq chicken, make some coleslaw, make gourmet sandwiches, pack some chips/crisps, anything to make the meal special. Get creative! Even this way it will be much cheaper than buying lunch at the venue.
If you like to entertain or spend time outdoors with friends, summer is the perfect time to do indulge. Summer entertaining is not only easy it can be done on the cheap too.
If you already own a grill, barbecuing is a great way to cut costs. If not, cook the food in your kitchen and bring it outside once cooked. Buy food items and meat in bulk at a wholesale store, use your home grown produce and make plenty of salads. Get your guests to each bring a favourite dish or drink and put it all on the table for everyone to share. Make your own home-made breads and salad dressings.
Theme-ing the evening is also a fun and memorable way to entertain. Have a German themed night with German sausage hot dogs with sauerkraut, German beers and apple strudel for dessert and get everyone to dress up in costume.
A Maxican night with tacos and enchiladas with Salsa dancing for entertainment. The possibilities are endless but the memories are timeless.
4: Household Maintenance
Summer is full of bored Teenagers. Get a few together or get your own kids involved and hire them to do your maintenance jobs such as lawn maintenance, window cleaning, car detailing, gutter cleaning, chopping wood, baby sitting and even your grocery shopping. This saved me an enormous amount of time and money as they only buy what is on your list avoiding the impulse purchases and you get free delivery.
In this current economic climate, it is time to get back to grass roots. How did most people holiday when you were a kid. People didn’t stay in 5 star hotels unless they were very wealthy. The majority went camping, out in to nature and enjoyed the outdoors. As kids that is the best type of holidays. Search out well maintained camping grounds, RV parks, and cabins in national parks, pack plenty of good food to eat and snack on and you have the making of a fantastic and relaxing holiday. I like to pre-cook a few meals at home, freeze it and you have low fuss, quick and easy, delicious and healthy meals ready to go.
6: Monthly Bills and Expenses
Gas prices tend to go up in summer because of increased demand. Try to choose regular gasoline, not premium, unless your car’s manual specifies a higher octane fuel. Driving smartly, following speed limits and avoiding aggressive stops and starts also saves fuel. In addition, look for opportunities to walk, bike, take public transit or carpool. Finally, avoid driving in rush hour as much as possible.
Use water wisely, watering your lawn in the early hours of the day and save your rainwater. Limit your AC use to the time of day when you need it most. Some people like to be cooler while they sleep; others may need the air more during the day while doing household chores like cooking and cleaning. Close all doors and curtains to keep the air in the house and close all doors to areas that don’t need cooling.
Turn off all electrical appliances at the wall and don’t leave the TV, computer, other electrical appliances running unnecessarily.
These are just a few suggestions, but there are so any more to ensure you not only have a fun and enjoyable summer but also a wisely budgeted one too.