Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Gratitude

If your family is thinking about cutting back on expenses, Summer may be the easiest time to do so. With Summer re-runs on television, it may be the perfect time to consider pulling the plug on the cable and spending more time outdoors. Instead of going out to eat at a restaurant, pack up a picnic dinner and go to a nearby park. Planting a garden may help lower your grocery bills, and if you're tempted to shop there are usually plenty of Summer yard sales where you can find all sorts of bargains.

Here are some of our family's favorite frugal things this Summer.
  1. Free Summer Concerts -- Contact your township's recreation center or check your local newspaper for free concert listings. We can usually find a free concert to enjoy about once a week during the summer months. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Sometimes we pack up a dessert or snacks like Homemade Granola Bars to enjoy during the show.



  2. Fresh Organic Vegetables and Herbs from the Garden -- I love cooking with fresh organic vegetables, but they can be very costly at the grocery store. This year, we planted our first garden and already we are enjoying fresh organic broccoli, lettuce, onions, peas, cucumber, and peppers at just a fraction of the price we would pay at the store.

  3. Free Summer Movies -- Regal Cinemas, AMC, and several other theaters offer Family Film Festivals featuring free or very low-cost admission to movies during the summer months. Days and times may vary, so check with your local movie theater.

  4. Homemade Bubble Solution, Bubble Wands, and Sidewalk Chalk Paint -- These are an instant hit with kids of all ages, and they are super-easy to make!

  5. Impromptu Nature Hikes -- Our family enjoys nature hikes quite often, and Emily enjoys her nature pack and field guides. Nature hikes help foster a sense of appreciation for nature, promote healthy exercise, and instill the motivation to conserve resources. And they are free!
What free or inexpensive activities is your family enjoying this Summer? I would love to hear about them! Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

10 comments:

Val in the Rose Garden said...

That is a pretty pea. ;)

Val

katydid6 said...

We spend a lot of time at the library during the summer. We take the time to browse the shelves as if it were our local bookstore, only everything is free! The added incentive of prizes through the summer reading program makes it even more fun.

I'm jealous of your peas! The rabbits ate all of mine :(

Christy said...

Great post. We love to take advantage of the summer programs at our library (puppet shows, concerts, etc) and our town recreation dept.

Mama King said...

Hi Valerie, We love going to our local farms that have animals to visit. We bring some carrots from home and feed the sheep, goats and bunnies. The girls love it! They just run around and enjoy the sunshine and animals. We will usually bring a picnic lunch to have on the farm. It makes for a nice morning.

Also our local museum is free on Thursday afternoons. A great way to cool off after a day outside.

Great post!

kate said...

I agree pull the plug on the Tv and get out there.

there loads of free things available to do from street markets and fates to local music festivals.

check out your local paper to find what's going on in your area.

Yippeee it's summer.

Stephanie Griffith said...

I didn't know about the movies! Thanks for the links! My mom is coming this week and I'm going to send my husband to the free movie with the kiddos so mom and I can have some girl time.

I love all of your ideas for free summer fun.

Valerie said...

@ Val -- Hehehe thanks!

@ katydid6 -- We are HUGE fans of the library too! The summer programs are really fantastic. We visit quite regularly.

@ Christy -- Wow, I wish our library did puppet shows, that sounds great! We have free story time and the kids usually do a small craft afterwards. Emily loves going there!

Valerie said...

@ Mama King -- What a great idea! Friends of ours own a farm and I've been meaning to schedule a visit soon... I'm definitely going to get on it because that sounds like a lot of fun! You are so lucky to have a free museum day! We have an art museum that is free on Sundays and they feature an art project for kids in the afternoon. We've been enjoying that a lot too!

Valerie said...

@ kate -- I didn't think we ever watched that much television, but when we cut out the t.v. I was amazed at how much time we suddenly had for other more interesting things! We are loving this time of year!

@ Stephanie -- That sounds like fun! We were going to do painting at the park tomorrow, but it may rain here, so we might be going to see a free movie instead!

MaryAnne said...

Great list, I love summer time for many of these reasons...

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