With summer comes endless possibilities for adventure—and endless possibilities to drain your cash flow. We know you’re saving money all year round with our Penny Pointers, but there are ways to save in summer that you can’t do in winter. These tips will help you get ahead of the curve and still allow you to enjoy the season.
- Buy local, fresh produce
By shopping at local farmer’s markets and farm stands, you’ll find a much better deal than you would in the grocery store. These products haven’t traveled hundreds of miles and their prices aren’t marked up once they’re on the shelves. When you purchase from a community farm, you’re supporting your neighbors, your local economy, and your bank account.
- Limit your A/C use
We get it—the air conditioner is super refreshing on those sweltering days. The truth is, they use a lot of electricity (or fuel in your car) making them not so energy efficient. Instead, try keeping your windows and shades shut when the heat and humidity is at that “I can’t even” level. Only leave your a/c turned on during the workday when air levels are unsafe and you have pets at home.
- Cook meals outside
Most of us have an outdoor grill but if you don’t, or if you’re out of propane (it happens!), try roasting and cooking foods over the firepit. Kids will love the camp-out dinner vibes and you’ll be saving money on electricity, saving water needed to clean dirty dishes, and keeping your house cool from avoiding the heat of an oven or stovetop.
- Dry your clothes outside
By using a clothes line or portable drying rack outside, you’re keeping the temperature of your house down as well as your electric bill. Benefits of air drying your clothes outside include that fresh air smell, less static cling and wrinkles, and protecting the longevity of your clothes.
- Savor the extra sunlight
The longer summer days give us more daylight in the evening hours—hooray! This allows us to take advantage of the natural light and keep our electricity use down. Also, consider trading out iridescent bulbs with LED bulbs, which are 75 percent more efficient and last 50 percent longer. The extra sunlight doesn’t just save you money on lighting, it allows for extra time outside gardening, playing, and home maintenance tasks.
Now that you’re prepped with five ways to save money during the summer months, what are your plans with the savings? Visualizing your financial goals will make the process of saving much easier. If you don’t have any particular savings goals, it never hurts to think ahead to future financial situations. Here are few suggestions:
- Add to your emergency fund
- Vehicle maintenance
- Family vacation stash
- Snow tires
- Begin college savings
- Heating bills
- Contribute to your IRA
- Holiday parties
- Vehicle maintenance