It is summer! The sun is shining. The weather is warm and the risk of snow is less than 5% (in Wisconsin). Summer truly is a wonderful time of year. It is also a wonderful time to get some really great deals. Here are some of my favorite ways to stock up in the summer to save money all year round:
1. Try shopping the farmers markets. We love to pick up fruits and vegetables at the farmers market for fractions of the cost that you would find at the grocery store. Plus, the vendors can give you tips on how to cook the foods and help you venture out of your comfort zone. How does this help you for the rest of the year? Canning. We pick up fruits and make jams. We also get a bunch of vegetables and make veggie stock that we use throughout the year.
2. Shop the yard sales. Yard sales are all over the place during the warmer months. Take advantage of this! It is a good way to pick up baby clothes on the cheap or grab some awesome pyrex or other glass storage containers for a dollar or less. I love the glass containers for storing leftovers because it doesn’t stain and the containers can handle a lot more washes. I have even heard of people picking up chest freezers on the cheap. Be careful not to pick up the junk at the yard sales though! If they are selling electronics, ask to plug the equipment in and make sure it works, most of the time they will agree whole heartedly.
3. Start looking for your holiday gifts now! The earlier you start the better deal you can find. When you get down to the wire, you end up shelling out whatever you have to to get the gift. Don’t wait, start making your holiday list now. It would also allow you time to make gifts. (Yes, I usually start thinking about holiday gifts in July.)
4. Pick up office and school supplies for less. Many office supplies stores start their school shopping sales in early to mid July. Now is the ideal time to pick up your binders for your financials and getting organized in general. The more organized you are, the less you spend money on extras of items you already own.
5. Get outside and get moving! Fitness can actually lower your health insurance costs. I don’t mean that you have to go for a 5 mile run, but get outside and walk. I make sure to take the time to walk at least 2 miles a day (dogs are rearing to go anyway so if you have one, take them out and have fun). For me, fitness has saved me $60 a year on health insurance costs by lowering my cholesterol (bad genes). Getting moving outside is free, reap the rewards without paying anything.
Other exciting ways to save money in the summer:
– Check out free concerts and plays. Many parks have free concerts or plays running throughout the summer.
-Many bars and rec programs have low cost or free sports leagues.
-Check out the community calendars. There is always something going on.