6 Steps to Summer Savings

Posted by Steph Kaye on Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 at 10:10am.

The time between Christmas shopping and summer spending is a joyous occasion in which your wallet has the chance to take a breath.  With summer expenses such as lawncare, pool maintenance, air conditioning, and kids being home from school, you may discover that your bank account needs a little CPR.  

Lang Premier Properties presenst six ways to save during the summer:

1. - Gardening

Vegetable gardening is a great way to cut down your gorcery bill AND eat healthy.  Seeds run roughly $0.50-3.00 a packet, depending on where you shop.  Seedlings cost about the same amount per plant and, depending on the number of pounds of produce you can get from a single plant in contrast to the number of pounds of produce you would purchase at the market, seeds and/or seedlings are a great savings.  Perhaps gardening isn't your thing.  Consider investing in a community garden plot or joining forces with close friends who know what they are doing.  There are many ways to get excess produce throughout the summer months and farmers markets can be a convenient, fresh, low budget way to get those much needed fruits and veggies for a fraction of the usual cost while offering support to local farmers.  

2. - Children's Activities

Going to a movie can cost upwards of $20/person by the time you factor in your ticket, popcorn, and other desirable munchies.  Movie rental subscriptions such as Netflix or Hulu are a great way to bring the cost of the movie viewing experience way down.  You could also choose a matinee and bring your own snacks.  
Consider keeping an eye out for Groupon deals when it comes to theme parks and summer vacation getaways in order to avoid paying premium peak season prices.  The same principle applies when it comes to food: try to avoid purchasing snacks at the park and consider the savings of stashing your own food.  Visit a dollar store for snacks rather than pay $4.00 for an amusement park candy bar.  
Perhaps you are accustomed to taking your children with you to run errands.  It is too easy to run through a McDonald's drive-thru when little Bobby gets a craving and, before you know it, you have paid for meals in addition to the cost of the basic supplies you needed while running your errands.  You might be surprised to discover that hiring a babysitter and running as many errands as you can WITHOUT the kids could actually be more cost effective.  

3. - Utilities

Summer home utilities can be a killer to the budget.  You can cut down on your water bill by sprinkling your lawn early in the morning or late in the evening.  Afternoon is prime time for the water meter as water evaporates off your lawn faster in the afternoon, thus requiring more water to get a decent irrigation job done.  
In some cases, it might be cheaper to hire a service to perform your lawn maintenance and landscaping rather than doing it yourself.  Of course this depends on the amount of extra money you have in accordance with your free time, however you might find a neighboring teenager looking to earn a few bucks.  You will be saving money while benefitting the efforts of an entrepreneurial teenager.  It's a win-win situation!

4. - Party Time

Patio furniture is a tempting purchase for any avid outdoor host.  Consider purchasing outdoor furniture later in the season rather than over Memorial weekend.  You will find that the prices are lower after the onset of the summer season and your purchase should consist of durable, low-maintenance items as outdoor furniture is subjected to varied weather and tends to fade, crack, rust, and break. 
If you are one of those neighbors who loves to host a patio party every weekend, do the cooking yourself!  Utilize that grill and cut out the costs of catering.  Purchase bulk items at wholesale prices or consider a potluck and harvest some of your home-grown produce.  This will greatly decrease the cost of your summer barbecues, thus adding to your enjoyment.  

5.- Summer Bills

Limit your air conditioning use to one time a day, when it is most needed.  If you like to be cooler when sleeping, run your AC during the night.  Utilizie fans as much as possible and turn off your air conditioning when leaving your home.  When running the AC, make sure all doors and windows are closed as well as closet and bathroom doors and close vents in less utilized areas such as guest bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, or home offices.  Make sure your AC filter is clean as a dirty filter will cause your AC system to work harder, driving up the monthly utility bills.   

6. - Auto 

Increased summer demand tends to elevate gas prices and combining errands can be a great way to save money.  Try to scout out the cheapest gas station as you drive your usual route.  Consider using a phone app such as gasbuddy.com and try to use regular rather than premium gasoline unless otherwise specified by your vehicle owner's manual.  Follow speed limits and avoid abrupt stops when possible to extend fuel.  Walk, bike, and carpool as much as you can and avoid rush hour so as not to spend time idling your vehicle, eating up more gas. 

If you'd like to learn more, please don't hesitate to message Lang Premier Properties online or call us at 1-855-526-4466.

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