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Five Ways For Parents To Save Money This Summer

The arrival of summer is always welcome. It can, however, get expensive, particularly if you have kids to entertain. The good news is that a bit of advanced planning can help keep your wallet cool even when temperatures rise. With that in mind, here are five ways for parents to save money this summer.

Sketch out a basic plan for the summer now

List out anything you need to do and anything you want to do. Try to prioritize both. This should give you a loose framework for the next few months. It should also highlight any blanks you need to fill in.  

For example, when the schools go on holiday, you may have to make your own plans for keeping your kids entertained. Realistically, you can’t guarantee your kids are going to be happy just playing with their regular toys/games. You might get away with this if they’re into sports or other activities and can still do these over the summer. Even then, however, it’s a good idea to look around for other options you can use in case they get bored.

Local internet sites are a great place to find out about free or low-cost activities for kids. You want to keep checking regularly because some of them will have limits on numbers. The internet is also a good place to find lots of kid-friendly activities you can do indoors or in public outdoor spaces. Some of them even have educational value.

Getting some plans down in writing also gives you the chance to research the most cost-effective way of implementing them. In particular, look for any special deals or offers, especially time-limited ones. Where possible, research different approaches to completing any tasks you have lined up. See if there are any tax advantages to choosing one approach over another.

Check your home’s insulation

The purpose of home insulation is to stop heat transfer between your home and the outside world. In winter, you check your insulation because you want to keep the heat inside your home. In summer, you check your insulation because you want to keep the heat outside your home. There’s no point in running air-con if the cold air just heads straight outdoors.

Consider hanging bamboo curtains behind your entry doors. This is a double win. Firstly, it improves your insulation so the opening of a door has less impact on the temperature in your home. If you’re going in and out regularly, this can really help to lower your air-con bill. Secondly, it helps to keep bugs out of your home.

Learn how to make ice cream

Shop-bought ice cream can get really expensive. It’s fine for an occasional treat when you’re out and about. For regular home desserts, however, it’s far more economical to make your own. You don’t need a machine although it does help to have an electric whisk.  

Basically, the trick to making ice cream without a machine is to whip the cream thoroughly. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and have them stay in place (for a short time). Just remember to stop when the peaks are still soft. This is much easier to do with an electric whisk but you can do it by hand if necessary.

Buy some roll-up water bottles

Everybody knows that using refillable water bottles helps your pocket and the planet. Every parent also knows that kids often have a habit of leaving empty water bottles lying around. If that sounds like your kid, then the answer may be to invest in roll-up water bottles.  

These are basically pouches so as your kid empties them they get flatter and flatter. Once they’re empty, they can be shoved into a regular pocket or just about any kind of bag. Many of them come in bright colors and most will let you write your kid’s name on them in marker.

Invest in reusable straws and ice cubes

Drinking through straws may help to keep your kids’ clothes clean but buying packet after packet of plastic straws is seriously bad for your budget. It’s also bad for the environment. Some places have banned the sale of use-once plastic straws. If, however, you still live in a place that allows them, take the initiative and buy reusable ones.

Reusable ice cubes may sound like a crazy idea but actually, they can be a really smart investment. Essentially, they can save a whole load of space in your freezer. You can then use that space for food. What’s more, reusable ice cubes can be used to keep food and drinks cold without the issue of them melting.