Last updated on January 7th, 2020 at 10:54 am
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Taking part in summer fun can be hard on the wallet. However, it doesn’t have to be when you know a few thrifty tips to help you cut the cost of summer fun.
10 Ways Thrifty Families Cut The Cost Of Summer Fun
1. Summer Reading Programs
Most libraries hold summer reading programs for children that come with some awesome prizes such as coupons for free ice cream from local businesses. In our town we are blessed with a library that runs a summer reading program for kids, teens, and adults. The different age groups often get the same rewards so our family can go for a round of ice cream together free of charge.
2. Free Community Events
Concerts in the park, parades, and more are just some of the free community events offered by many towns and cities. Check out your community’s newspaper for a listing of events.
Also don’t forget to look for low-cost rainy day activities such as free bowling or free summer movies offered in many communities.
3. Use What You Have
Sand can be scooped into a reused plastic ice-cream container just as well as fancy sand bucket. Bubbles can be made out of dish soap and water. The lawn sprinkler is the original splash pad.
Chances are you have plenty of materials sitting unused in your home that could make for some great summer fun. Go treasure hunting.
If you are coming up empty handed, search Pinterest for some ideas.
4. Create A Playground Group
My friends and I did this when our children were little and it was a lot of fun. Before summer begins, get your friends together somewhere or start a Facebook group where you can all chat, and create a list of local public parks in your area. Also note who is willing to have the whole gang over to play in their own backyard.
Pick a day and time that works well for everyone. On playground day pack up the kids and a snack to share and go to the playground of the week.
We usually threw in at least one backyard pool event each summer too.
5. Cool Treats At Home
Nothing says summer more than cool treats like ice cream or popsicles.
Save your wallet some serious strain by purchasing these treats on sale at your local grocery store and serving them as a family treat (psst…save even more with these 6 grocery saving apps).
Perhaps Friday night could be ice cream sundae night or Monday afternoon could be popsicles after sprinkler time in the backyard.
Of course, you can save even more money by making your own popsicles. Simply invest in a high quality popsicle mold like this one and fill it with whatever your heart desires (search Pinterest for homemade popsicle ideas).
Another fun summer thing to try is making your own ice cream. My family enjoys making this simple, 3 ingredient, no machine ice cream recipe, which we add our own flavorings to.
Psst…sometimes it is nice to take the whole family out for treats. For those nights use gift cards earned from programs such as Swagbucks (see my list of 18+ point reward programs to figure out which point program suits your family’s lifestyle).
6. Use Coupons
For Summer trips to the water park, try daily deal sites like Groupon.
For coupons for cool treats, look in that junk mail–it just might surprise you what you find. Also don’t forget to sign up for email programs offered by ice cream shops in your area, chances are they will send out coupons from time to time in their emails.
7. Split Treats
My husband and I love a quick date to the local privately owned ice cream shop in our area. To keep the price down (and our waistline too) we split a banana split or strawberry shortcake.
8. Pack Food
A cooler also comes in handy for mini trips too, such as a morning at the park, or an afternoon at the beach.
Buy each member of your family their own insulated reusable water bottle or cup and make sure to fill them up and place it in the cooler before any outing.
Keep several freezer packs in your freezer so that if you forget to take them out of the cooler one time you are still ready to go for the next trip. Simply grab one freezer pack out of the freezer and place the one you forgot about in the freezer.
Make sure you also have containers to pack lunches in too. My family has used these 2 compartment lunch boxes for years for our road trip picnics.
9. Raid The Dollar Store
Yes, it is true most dollar store items are not long-lasting, but sometimes summer items don’t need to be.
I find the sun fades our summer toys no matter what I have paid for them so when my kids were little I spent perhaps $10 to $15 each summer on new shovels, pails, beach balls, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes and more to keep the kids busy in the backyard all summer long.
Don’t forget to check the art supply section for craft items that will come in handy on those rainy summer days.
10. Resell Your Items To Create A Summer Fun Account
My Reselling page is full of tips to help you get the most for your items. I also have a printable checklist that will help you go through your house room by room grabbing as many things as possible to resell. My motto is toss clutter & gain cash!
There is nothing better than a bright and airy home free of clutter and a pile of cash in your hand in exchange for your hard work that you can then go spend on building some fun summer memories with your family.
Summertime can be fun without being a strain on the wallet.
What do you love to do in the summertime with your family?
Other Posts To Help You Plan Your Thrifty Summertime Fun
- 10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Camping
- 4 Thrifty Ways To Grab Your Summer Reads
- All You Need To Plan A Summer Full Of Fun For Your Family On A Tight Budget
- 10 Summer Dates That Cost Zero
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.