Summer fun can get expensive, but we don't let costs cut out all our warm weather family activities. Instead, we look for creative ways to save money while out and about and that help us continue to take part in the things we like to do together but don't end up overextending our summer budget.
Still, we don't want to suck all the fun out of our activities by fixating on cost cutting and limiting expenses; therefore, we tend to do a few simple things that just make sense to us when it comes to cutting costs. Here are some of those items that keep our summer activity expenses down, but are relatively simple and don't hinder our ability to have a good time.
Freezing Bottled Waters
It astounds me at just how much of a markup there is on bottled waters at various entertainment venues. There's no way we're going to pay $4-5 or more for a bottle of water - something that we could drink for free at home or at worst, buy ourselves at the local grocery store for about 12 cents a bottle (yes, we recently bought a 24-pack of bottled water for $2.79, plus tax).
Therefore, when heading out to various summer entertainment venues, we will often stick a few bottles of water in the freezer the night before. Not only can these act as natural cooling packs to keep other food and beverage items cold during our trip, but as they thaw, we can then consume them at a fraction of what it might cost us to buy them from a vendor once at our location.
Splitting the Bill
It's really convenient when we find friends or family members who are interested in doing the same sorts of summer activities as us. Weather it's heading down for the Indianapolis 500 race or just taking a trip out to picnic at the park or going to the zoo, it's often great to be able to share the costs of various activities with friends. This way we're often able to split the cost of gas, parking, food, drinks, and similar expenses, breaking up the overall costs to be spread out over multiple parties taking part in the activity.
Knowing Before We Go
Knowing our summer fun destinations before we go can make a huge difference in just how much our adventures costs. By looking up our events and event locations online before we head out, it helps us to plan and look for ways to save in advance to our arrival.
We can check the rules and regulations for venues - finding out about pass-outs, food and beverage options, rules, prices, parking, and what is and isn't allowed to be brought into an event location (food, drinks, coolers, etc.). We can also find out about parking, any cost saving amenities that are offered, tailgating rules, discounts or special event days, and similar information.
For example, when we went up to West Allis, Wisconsin for IndyCar qualifying, we made an entire day of it. However, having read about and investigated the Milwaukee Mile racetrack and area before we left, while we weren't allowed to bring food and beverages into the location, I realized that since the event was free, we would be able to enter and leave the venue at will. This meant that we could leave ample food and drinks in our vehicle, which I knew would be parked nearby since I also investigated parking options ahead of time. This meant that not only was the event itself free, but it cost us little in food and beverage expenses since we could bring along our own items.
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