We are in the full swing of summer when the living is easy, kids (and teachers) are off school, and the days are almost endless. I simply love the summertime and would spend the entire thing outside if I could.
I’ve discovered there are so many free and/or affordable things to do outside in the summer. It varies by location but here are some general tips for enjoying your summer frugally.
I love to bike through the park, on rolling hills, and through the countryside. You just see things differently from two wheels without a metal box surrounding you. I’m talking about the kind of two wheels you pedal versus the motorized kind, but either will do. However, the former is not only cheaper but also provides great physical activity.
I’m blessed to live in an area that has some beautiful bike friendly roads as well as Metroparks close by. Although, even if you have to drive your bike to a park, it’s still a lovely way to enjoy a summer morning, afternoon (if you like it hot), or early evening.
You can spend a lot of money on a hitch and a fancy bike rack, but you don’t have to. Here is a decent bike rack for a relatively low cost:
The last tip I have for biking is to take plenty of water and some snacks in your saddlebags, bike rack or backpack. This way you have fuel to enjoy yourself for hours.
Take a Walk Through a Park
Here in Cleveland, we have some pretty stellar Metroparks. Sometimes, I don’t feel like biking and would rather walk. This is a great way to meet up with a friend and catch up. You get a little exercise, fresh air, and companionship. Typically the scenery is pleasant and often times you can spot some wildlife.
The following are recent pics I’ve taken on walks through parks…
There are plenty of towns which provide free concerts in the summertime. Additionally, I am always seeing advertisements for movies in the park in the summertime in my town. Check out the local activity in your area and take advantage of it. Grab a friend, take the kids, bring some lawn chairs and head on down to local festivities.
This can not only be a great way to enjoy some entertainment for free but also a way to meet more folks in your community.
I personally get a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription from a great local farm who supports refugees. Each week on Friday I bike to the pick-up spot and get my crops for the week. It’s a lovely surprise to see what was harvested and plan my meal prepping around it.
Additionally, summertime means a plethora of farmer’s markets. A farmer’s market is a designated spot where a bunch of farmers and sometimes crafters come together to sell their goods. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon. The crops are reasonably priced and oh so fresh! You can even do a little negotiating because their goal is to leave empty-handed.
I haven’t been garage sale shopping in a while but years ago when I worked nights, a girlfriend & I would go garage sale shopping every Thursday afternoon. Like thrifting, you never know what you are going to find and I guarantee you’ll meet interesting people!
It seems the best days for garage sales are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Check out your local newspaper for listings and make an afternoon of it.
Many neighborhoods pick a particular set of dates to do a community garage sale. These are great because you can park in the neighborhood and walk around to all the different sales.
Furthermore, you may want to actually participate in having a garage sale and offload some of your stuff. Although, I have a friend who is having a lot of success on OfferUp. She has officially made $500 this spring and summer offloading stuff. So if you don’t have the time or bandwidth for a garage sale, that may be an option.
I love swimming and fortunately, my gym has an outdoor pool. Depending upon where you live, your neighborhood may have a pool that you have access to. If not, your city may have a community pool that you can frequent for a fee. It may make financial sense to buy a season pass to your city pool if you plan on frequenting it often.
Additionally, there may be swimming lakes in your town. I personally love swimming in a lake and fortunate for me Cleveland has a great lake with several lovely beaches.
Watch the Sunrise and/or Sunset
I’m a sucker for sunrises and sunsets. In fact, my most favorite time of the day is right before sunset. I don’t know what it is about this time of day but in it, I feel simple elegance and beauty. Especially if it’s been a day with a lot of physical activity.
As I watch the sky explode in an array of colors, I know in a short while my tired body can lie down in my comfy bed and get some sweet sleep. I feel well with the world and complete in my soul. For this gal, watching a sunset is waaay better than any TV show out there.
Having a little ice cream while watching a sunset can make it a little sweeter. 😉
Furthermore, summer sunrises or sunsets are completely free and usually beautiful from any vantage point but particularly lovely by a lake so find your spot and start a new habit. You’ll thank me later.
Cook Out with Family & Friends
This is always a winner and can be rather frugal if everyone brings something. Additionally, you can visit with each other while grilling some meat and veggies.
Board games and/or yard games can also be a great way to pass the time with your loved ones.
Well, there you have some frugal tips to enjoy summer wherever you are. I’ve found that everything is so accessible in the summertime. You don’t really have to go to some tropical and/or expensive place to enjoy all that summer has to offer.
Take advantage of the community events and parks at your fingertips.
Most importantly, enjoy it with your loved ones.
May summer find you well, healthy and loved!