7 Tips for Extending Your Summer Entertainment Budget

7 Tips for Extending Your Summer Entertainment Budget


With the Memorial Day weekend upon us, the unofficial start to summer will be arriving with it. Never mind that it could be cold, dank and rainy where you live; temperatures will certainly rebound and in short order you’ll be humming the strains of (Love is Like a) Heat Wave.

7Unemployment remains high across much of the nation while a significant number of Americans would probably say that they are financially stressed. Letting the summer go by without taking part in what the season has to offer is a major bummer, but by keeping the following seven tips in mind, you can extend your entertainment budget to enjoy more for less.

1. Getaways – A week at a popular Jersey Shore destination can set you back financially, but only if you insist on vacationing during the prime months of July and August. If you’re able to arrange your trip in the shoulder months of June or September, you should be able to enjoy a significant near peak season discount. In any case, use the Internet to dig up deals—you may be able to find a July 4th bargain if someone has canceled or the owner decides not to head out himself for the week.

2. Movies – Summer means blockbusters and this year you certainly won’t be disappointed. But ticket prices are spiraling ever higher as are soda and popcorn prices. You can still enjoy a featured flick with the family, but that may mean taking in a matinee. Or, if you live near a Drive-In theater, you could take the entire family for just one flat fee. Bring along the snacks and you’ll save even more money.

3. Swimming – If you don’t have a pool, but your town does, you may be able to join for a discounted rate. Lots of municipalities now offer shortened season passes, understanding that some families don’t want to be at the pool day in and day out to make it worth their while to join. Consider a day or weekly pass; opt for a monthly pass if you expect that you’ll use the pool a lot over the course of one month.

4. Libraries – Public libraries offer mostly everything for free, though some charge a small fee to rent recently released videos. Libraries often feature special events including book readings, story hour for the kids, an art show or even a play. Help your school age children cultivate a love for reading this summer by encouraging them to take out books.

5. VBS – Churches, as part of their outreach to the community, will often host a Vacation Bible School program for elementary aged children. Some programs are free or charge a small fee to cover the cost of snacks and a tee shirt. Half day or night programs are usually offered, giving your offspring a chance to enjoy time with other children while learning about God’s love for them.

6. Parks – Day trips to theme parks can be a blast and some parks discount their tickets through online specials or specially marked cans of soda. Consider a midweek visit to avoid the big crowds and to find the best discounts. Arrange your trip with several other families and you may be able to secure a group rate discount.

7. Barbeques – Whether you call them barbeques or cookouts, the time spent cooking at home can be the most entertaining of them all. Consider asking family members and friends to each bring a favorite dish with them while you supply the meat, plates, utensils, condiments and drinks. Make this a weekly or bi-weekly event throughout the summer, rotating from one home to the next. Everyone will have an opportunity to host at least once, distributing that burden while maximizing the savings across the board.

As always, keep your eyes peeled for special events that come up throughout the summer months including local fireworks, state fair, county or town picnic, you name it. Set up your “Google Alerts” to receive notification of local happenings–a great way to make sure that you stay in the information loop.

Adv. — Are you looking for online deals? The nBuy Shopping Plaza can connect you to more than 5,000 retailers including entertainment providers.


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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".