Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Save Money This Summer!

Summer is here and that means sun & fun with the kids . . . and probably a bit of a spike in your family expenses.  Whether you’re paying for the kids to go to camp, planning a family vacation, or “simply” entertaining the kids while they bask in their three months of education-less bliss, a major concern for families in these approaching summer months is how to cut costs without cutting out the fun.

Luckily, there are a ton of ways to keep the kids entertained, the grown-ups sane and your wallet full.  Here are a few tips and ideas that will help keep the entire family happy (and healthy!)

+  Go to the Library – It may seem old fashioned and outdated, but I wouldn’t have any sort of appreciation for reading an e-book on my iPad if it weren’t for my mother dragging my initially unenthusiastic self to the library several times a week during the summer.  You may be met with a bit of resistance with school-age children, at first.  No one really child truly wants to spend their summer reading when it has such strong connotations of homework.  But, there’s a lot to be said about the library.  For starters, it’s air-conditioned.  Give your electricity bill a break and set aside a few hours a day where you can find relief from the heat at someone else’s expense.  Secondly, there is always a plethora of events and readings that take place regularly at most public libraries.  Third, there’s nothing quite as simultaneously mysterious and comforting as a library.  The weight of a book in your hands, the smell of the paper, the sound of pages flipping – children are very much sensory oriented, you’ll be surprised how engaged they become when reading isn’t just about scrolling down.
+ Tie Dye – It may not always be the best fashion statement, but it is a great, cheap and fun activity that will get the kids off the couch and outside.  All it takes are some inexpensive t-shirts (or old ones that are lying around the house) and a kit (or, sometimes preferable because they can be cheaper, stand alone dyes) and a grassy area to get messy in.  It’s a bit of a win-win situation: the kids get to flex their creative muscles; everyone gets to enjoy the sunshine, and a few new pieces to add to the kids’ wardrobe!
+ Farmer’s Markets – Teaching kids about great nutrition and eating well is something that needs to be integrated into their routine at an early age; the farmer’s market is a great, hands on way to teach kids about food, seasonality, and help them develop their palate and try new things.  Not only will you be helping to support local farmers, but eating and buying in season will also cut down on your grocery bill.  Take advantage of the weather, bring the kids and plan a meal together.  There is something immensely gratifying about learning where you food comes from, picking it out yourself, planning your meal, and executing it yourself.  Your kids will appreciate the meal more, learn about food, and perhaps even pick up some cooking skills in the process.  At times kids in the kitchen can get a bit frantic, but the good thing about cooking with fresh ingredients is that they don’t need a lot of prep.  Simple meals that are easy to prepare go hand in hand with fresh ingredients, and the pay off is tremendous!
Written By: Nicole Bostic of DebtConsolidation.com

2 comments:

Mommy said...

Alot of the time out local library has fun events for kids so this is a place we love to visit. My 2 yo daughter loves using her library card and going to check out the books she chose! lol.

My Adventures in Mommyland

Shell said...

My boys love going to the library!