The July 1st weekend marks the start of summer for most Canadians. Typically, the sun is shining, people are in a good mood and we are ever hopeful that this summer seems to last forever. But summertime also means extra trips to the cottage, extra gas for the car, more entertainment costs and more meals eaten outside the home. All this can add up if you are not careful. To offset these extra expenses, summertime savings are everywhere. You just have to know where to look and be creative. Sacrificing other expenses even for this short period of time will allow you to spend where you wouldn’t normally spend.
This time of the year is exciting at local markets such as the Halifax Farmers Market. Plants, veggies and fruits are finally coming into season. There is no better time to support local and plan meals around what is in season such as strawberries, peaches, blueberries or eventually apples.
Free music, outdoor films, plays in the park, street performers and activities are everywhere in the summer. Even if the weather sometimes doesn’t cooperate, the activities keep on coming. Check out social media for what’s free in your area. The cheapest water excursion in Metro is the Halifax/Dartmouth ferry. It’s quick, cheap and you get the best view of both sides of the harbour. Take a hike on a “new to me” walking trail or dust off that bike and explore many of the trails in Metro. We have some of the best beaches in Canada. It cost nothing to grab a towel, blanket and a Frisbee and enjoy our coastline. Invite those you love over for a BBQ or a fire pit marshmallow roast. It cost nothing to enjoy the company of friends/family.
Using the BBQ can help you reduce your summer power costs. Having the stove on inside during the summer heats up your space which means turning on the air and using more power. Close your blinds in the day when no one is home to cut back on the heat the sun produces. When possible, let the cool evening air float into your place instead of turning on the air. Love the smell of fresh sheets? Hang dry your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer. Consider cancelling your cable, home phone and newspaper for the summer. With all the free activities you will be doing outside you won’t be home to enjoy them anyway.
Wait a few weeks to buy bathing suits, towels and other summer items. Retailers will want to purge the shelves for “back to school” items soon enough. Why pay top dollar now when waiting can save you money. Considering a winter get a way down south in Spring 2020? The summer is the best time to buy clothes or sunscreen for your trip. They are plentiful and usually on sale. Wait until after Christmas and selection will be low and items expensive. Plan ahead! Most garden centers pop up for only a few weeks at the beginning of the summer. By the end of July, retailers liquidate what merchandise is left and close for the season. Waiting to buy shrubs, perennials, and annuals can save you a lot of money at the cash register.
Many who collect rewards points use them at the end of the year for Christmas purchases. However, why not take double advantage of already reduced costs. Use the points for already discounted travel or summer items. Travelling more this summer? Sign up for every reward card possible including gas rewards. The savings by summers end could add up to at least a tank of gas. Every little bit helps.