Frugal Living 

Best Summertime Frugal Tips

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Best Summertime Frugal Saving TipLast week, we held a Best Summertime Frugal Saving Tips Contest and from the 75 worth entrants, we selected one winner – Deb – to receive the $50 Zappos gift card. We plan on doing more of these in the coming months, with different themes, so keep an eye out for those!

Here was Deb’s tip:

Summer is always a good time for projects. Challenge yourself to do projects using recyled materials. My daughter and I made a faux headboard for her twin bed using 3 shutters that were lying around in our garage. For some extra bling we hot glued old white Christmas lights to the back of the shutters. She has a fabulous headboard that cost us $0.00 to make. We have also made tote bags for the grocery store, necklaces, and even a quilt out of old t-shirts. All of our summer projects have been completed using items we have around the house.

Here were some of the other standout entries (no particular order):

Glen Craig
We make a shopping list before we go food shopping. This way we go in with a plan of what we are going to eat and we can stick to the list instead of picking things out out random. This helps keep our buying to what we need and will use.

Steve W
Refrain from visiting casinos.

Ashley R.
I make sure my minimum amount I want to save is automatically drafted from my paycheck so it’s gone before I get it. I pay bills and spend like normal according to my budget. The day before my next payday I transfer whatever remainder I haven’t spent into my savings accounts. I often end up saving up to four times the minimum amount every month.

Frugal driving of car:
1. “Do not use breaks!”. I mean almost . Keep distance, stop accelerating when the car before you breaks, then coast to it without using your breaks. Do not accelerate if you are going to break soon (like red light, stop signal etc ahead of you).
2. Do not run engine over 2000 rpm. Tachometer is no less important as speedometer.
By using 1 and 2 you get freeway mileage on city roads.

Line-dry your laundry, especially linens, towels and jeans. If outside drying seems to leave them too rough for your liking, put them in the clothes dryer for 5 minutes. This fluffs them and then they can be finished outside.

  1. You save on your utility bill.
  2. You save wear and tear on the clothes dryer.
  3. You don’t fight the A/C with unnecessary heat.
  4. Sheets dried outside smell and feel sooo good.
  5. You stock up on your vitamin D from the sunshine while you are doing it.
  6. It feels good when you are doing a little bit of good for the greater whole.

Hospitals and clinics will pass on many never used disposable items that are wonderful for household use. These items are clean and durable. Trash bags, surgical towels, and other items have become staple items around my house. I use washable surgical towels for kitchen dishcloths, dust cloths, and finally on dirty cleaning jobs before tossing them. Many are better made than what can be purchased. I haven’t purchased trash bags in over a year.

Share a nanny with another family.

Quality summer child care for school age children can be quite expensive. The cost for a nanny for one child isn’t always financially practical when compared to a family with 2 or 3 siblings. We are sharing the cost of the nanny with another family that also only needs care for one child. Now, the boys can have fun playing together and the parents enjoy excellent child care at a more affordable price.

“We take advantage of all the free summer activities in town. So far this summer I’ve taken a free craft class (with all materials provided) at the local library; seen a free Shakespeare play (Romeo and Juliet) at a downtown park ; run through the sprinklers at a local farmer’s market on an extra-hot day; and gone to a free concert in a local park. Coming later in the summer is more Shakespeare (As You Like It and Hamlet), a free Jazz concert, and free “Trek in the Park” (Star Trek actors ensemble) in a park just a few blocks from my apartment.”

Ron Pare
This, being a well kept secret can save enormous dollars especially in the summer months. The subject is LIQUID CHLORINE. Wanting to save money, like everyone else, I got to thinking about what in our home costs us a lot of money. The first word to my mind was “electricity”. Further thinking about that we came up with several ideas that I tried. The best and most efficient savings came from our pool. Every time I went to have my pool water tested they alwaysw sold me a container or two of LIQUID CHLORINE. On a hunch, I bought a floater that goes in the pool and I put three chlorine tabs in it and left it float and do its thing. I did this for 5 months during the winter, and not even using my pool filter other than for vacuuming. Lo and behold my electric bill came down at least 25%. I had the water tested each of the 5 months and the water was perfectly balanced. Now during the hottest months of the year I run the filter 1 1/4 hours a day and still just use the tabs. Talk about great. My last electric bill was $124 and the previous month was $76 when compared to last year it was almost double that figure. Add in the cost of the liquid chlorine plus the electric savings and we’re talking a good chuck of money. Hope this gets everyone’s attention.

Brannon Hungness
Camping in State and National Forests for free! They can be found on google maps and with a quick search detailed information can be found about each one.

Also, look up the area (by zip or nearest city) on for great deals on meals.

Karen Crepeau
When Christmas is over, I buy the 75% discounted wrapping paper in designs and colors that can be used for any occasion, for any season. In fact, I scope all discounted holiday wrappings (i.e. Valentine’s Day) for their ability to be used for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Just Because.

One I use all the time is looking for coupons/promotions before checking out online. It’s so easy to google and you often find a code or two for some money off or free shipping. Couple that with cash back portals and you get a nice discount!

My husband grows a big gardern every year and what we don’t use or can, we either trade /barter for items we can use . Another thing we do is use some of the items we have canned for Christmas gifts. Homemade Apple Butter and Salsa are favorites !

Joey K
My favorite tip to save money is to use cash when I spend it.

Most of us reading this likely try to limit our spending anyway, but I have found this trick works great to save for my vacation every year.

I simply do not spend coins and singles, and instead put them all in my savings jar. So for every meal that is $6.75, I save the other $3.25 of the ten dollar bill I break. If I get someone at the drug store and its $4.60, I save the .40 cents.

At the end of the week, I may only have put away $15 or $20, but that same $15 or $20 is no longer in my pocket to spend when I want something like a cold Coke or a candy bar- reducing my excess expenditures and increasing my savings!

We use water from our rain stone to water our garden which in turn gives us nice fresh vegies and herbs all summer long.

Wherever you live, look for the nearest grocery salvage store. The one I frequent has a big variety at crazy-low prices. So what if the soup can is dented and the bread is one day old?

The most cost saving thing I have found is all year round. I have several cats and I want then to have flea treatments. I like Advantage (never Advantix, that will kill a cat) and buy for a large size dog, usually PetShed or one of the other mail order places. I often compare prices to see who has a sale. Then when I receive the tubes, I us a small syringe that I got from my vet and told him what I needed it for. They gave me the smallest one without any needles in the syringe. I use about 2 ml per cat just like I would out of individual tubes. I usually have leftovers, and that gets sealed in a small plastic container in a baggy along with the syringe. If you have pets, you know expensive buying the individual tubes can be.

Thank you for all the entries and congratulations again to Deb!

{ 3 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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3 Responses to “Best Summertime Frugal Tips”

  1. Scott says:

    @Mark – Be careful, some dents in cans are not safe.

  2. zapeta says:

    What a collection of good tips! Lots of smart readers around here…

  3. eric says:

    Congrats Deb 🙂

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