It is summer time. The kids are home from school. Your grocery bill is a little higher because you have to keep more food in the house. You fill up your gas tank more as you to take the kids from place to place. You have a few more expenses for a summer camp or two and there is the family vacation or stay-cation. Money, money and more money. Summer, even though the kids get a break from school, for adults (unless you are a teacher) it is business as usual and the expenses in summer may be a higher.
Buy the Sunday Paper
A lot of people don’t buy the newspaper because we can get so much of our news and information from the internet but there are still a few good reasons to buy your local paper, especially on Sunday! Buy the Sunday paper for the Coupons. The paper has a section full of coupons that you can use to buy groceries. The key to using coupons is only use the coupons for products you were going to buy or for something you wanted to try. Also, purchasing the generic brand can also save you money. Of course, there are some items where a generic brand just doesn’t taste as good. It’s your call what is more important at that point.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can save you a lot of money over the course of a summer. Paper products are always a good item to buy in bulk. When kids are home for the summer, take stock of what they eat the most of, which may be snacks, and buy that item in bulk for the summer months. Things that have a longer shelf life are always a good bet. If you have room in your freezer for meats and cheeses they are good bulk purchases as well.
The best way to comparison shop in over the internet. You save valuable time and money by doing some investigating before you go out to purchase anything. Subscribe to sites that send you up to the moment deals in the form of emails. You can always unsubscribe later. Make sure they don’t sell their lists to others or your one subscription could turn into 5
Your local public library has many free events in the summer. Libraries post a schedule of events in the summertime. Look for crafts or special events as well as a reading program. Kids can earn free books when they read and keep track of what they read in the summer! Just because it is summer doesn’t mean they shouldn’t stop reading! Many movie theaters offer free kids movies 1-2 times a week. Many usually start at 10am and they are first come first served. There are lots of activities and things to do on the week-ends. In Kansas City a good resource is Visit KC or Macaroni Kids.
Try to do fun things with the kids at home. Craft time, reading every day, make a journal, make a fort, art time, clean out closets and donate, have kids plan and cook one meal a week, have a board game day. Ask the kids what fun things they want to do. You’d be surprised what they’ll come up with. Give a small prize to the one who can come up with the biggest list. Why should mom and dad do all the work?
Keep your thermostat set higher in general and when you leave increase it only 2 degrees. Keep doors and windows closed; keep the blinds or curtains closed on the sunniest side of the house to keep heat down. Make sure your attic insulation is efficient. Good attic insulation can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. Cook dinner outside on the grill to keep the heat down in the house. Have a bonfire and let the kids cook hotdogs and s’mores on the fire. Better yet, have a no cook meal. Only have things for dinner that do not require cooking! Let the kids help plan the menu! Do your laundry at night when the sun goes down. Save your dryer and energy by hanging your clothes outdoors to dry. They may even smell better!
If you are one of those parents who can’t wait for your kids to get back to school, try and make the most of your summer and theirs by not only saving money but making memories as well!