I'm entering my 10th summer as a stay at home mom The 3 boys ended school on Friday and I'm determined to keep this summer fairly frugal and cheap.
One thing I have already done to ensure I save money is to use our ice cooler. . One of the biggest money wasters for me is grabbing food and drinks out because I am not properly prepared. Not only for my wallet, but for my waistline as well. If I get to the point of extreme hunger (which is common when I'm ill-prepared) - I don't go for healthy options out and about. I go for Burger King, Mcdonalds or Dunkin donuts . I got a number of coolers in the house - I just have to remember to stock it with drinks and snacks before we go out every day or night.
I do try to hit all the free movies that are offered during the summer at the local movie theater or at the park. There is also a great number of free concerts. We will pack a picnic dinner or maybe do an early one and hit them.
Another way for me to stay frugal is I made a "Summer Essential" box and it's in the trunk of my car. I just took a shoe box sized plastic container and put sunscreen, bug spray, bandaids and some other first-aid stuff in there. And it's staying there. I will admit that I have fallen victim to the "We're going out to do something fun today!" and have been caught without sunscreen so I just go and buy a bottle With a bottle or two always in the car, I don't' have to worry about dropping $6-$10 on a bottle when I already have it.
We have an above ground pool so there are always extra kids visiting from the neighborhood . I don’t want to be scrooge but I am not feeding every single kid. I do have some extra snacks but I don’t go out of my way and they can drink water from the tap. The pools does keep the kids busy and it is much cheaper than heading out to the water park.
The boys do have a few weeks of camp and that can be pricey so I need to budget our other activities plus we do have a week at the lake house with extended family this year.