Seasons of Saving

11 03 2011

With Spring quickly approaching I decided to brainstorm various ways to save money this season.  Here are a few tips to save money during Spring and the other seasons of change.

 SUMMER–SPRING
 
  • Lower Cable Service.  When the weather is nice people tend to spend more time outdoors rather indoor.  You can lower your cable service by dropping a premium channel or two; therefore saving you money! 
  • Stay-Cation.  So, what is a stay-cation?  A stay-cation means you have decided to plan your vacation locally – close to home.  I know it may not sound very exciting to plan a vacation close to home, but if you are looking for ways to save this could be your opportunity.  Think of this, the average family can easily spend $3000/year on a vacation (–American Express poll).  That would total saving $250 per month for that yearly vacation.  Instead, a quick trip to the park or beach can work for your family and be easy on the budget!  Another idea would be to start a walking group with friends in the neighborhood.  The friendship compounded with exercise are great!  Your local library may have book clubs and/or events for children and adults.  Some museums offer free admission on certain days of the week (usually Tuesdays).  The possibilities are endless.
  • Dine Out.  An alternative to dining out at a restaurant would be dining out at the park.  Plan a picnic dinner for the family.  Pack sandwiches or pizza!  A family of four can easily spend $40 dining out at a restaurant (and that may not include the tip!).  But by packing your own food, snacks and beverages you can easily save $30!  Plus, there’s something to be said about picnics during the summer – those are where the best memories are made!
  • Sell Clothes and Winter Gear.  When switching out from winter to summer clothes, take note of ignored and unworn items.  Decide which pieces could be sold (or donated) because they weren’t worn.  When it comes to winter gear, perhaps you have a few too many sleds and/or skis.  See about selling them to gain a few extra dollars for your pocket.
FALL–WINTER
  • Cook More.  Cooler weather hinders going out and many of us are more inclined to order in.  In an effort to save money, why not take up cooking?  And what better time than during that first snow storm of the season?  You can create a family event – get the children involved and maybe design a menu!  There’s nothing like home-made food while you’re watching the winter football games – an easy dish is chili with beans (check out Bush’s canned beans labels for recipes).  For those kitchen cooking newbies, Williams-Sonoma offers free(!) cooking classes.  See that post here.
  • Sell Clothes.  When switching out from summer to winter clothes, take note of ignored and unworn items.  Before packing away those summer clothes, contemplate which pieces could be sold (or donated) because they weren’t worn.
  • Sell Summer Gear.  How many of us purchased inflatable pools, garden supplies or other outdoor items?  And how many of us actually used some of these things?  Implementing the same principle above, evaluate which items you would want to sell.
  • Ditch the Movie Theater.  Recreation, more often than not, is indoors during the winter.  Take movie theaters for example, you must pay per person and if you’re a family of five you can easily spend $50 (not including snacks/beverages).  However, if you rent movies for $4.99 with your cable provider you can save a nice chunk of change!!!  Grab a box of popcorn for around $2 and make a pizza pie, I guarantee you could have just as much fun at home than you would at the movie theater (also, you’ll save gas money).  If you want to save even more, visit your local library for movies.  See that post here.
  • Play Board Games.  Sometimes entertainment can be in the form of electronic games.  And we know how expensive those can get!  Why not play a board game around the table with family and friends?  Board games have an average cost of $5, compared to their electronic cousin $100+.  Keeping it simple will save you money.  And if you decide to host a game night with other families, have everyone bring potluck meals to cut down on the cost of food.

 We want to hear from you . . . drop us a comment.  In which ways do you save money during the winter, spring, summer and fall seasons?

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