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Kids crave and devour the freedom and fun of summer, but parents sometimes grimace at the extra expenses summer brings.
I hear from many families that their grocery bills skyrocket in the summer now that the kids are home and hungry (for me as a homeschool mom, this is typical territory!). Avoid prepackaged snacks that are in individual portions – those single bags of chips, crackers, and yogurt might seem easy to grab, but they really take a chunk out of your pocket as you spend just as much on packaging as you do on the actual food product.
Make iced coffee for your own afternoon treat when the kids are running through the sprinkler. We don’t usually take a huge family vacation during the summer, but instead do lots of short, stay-cation type of days between baseball tournaments and 4-H events.
Check out your local library for free summer reading program activities – we have the zoomobile, magicians, and great acts that come a few times a week to perform for the kids – all free of charge. Visit Barnes & Nobel to sign your kids up for their summer reading program with great prizes.
If you have great ways to save during the summer without cutting out the fun in the sun, I’d love to hear from you! If you are a stay-at-home mom or work-at-home mom you might notice a sharp rise in expenses now that the kids are exploring all of their summertime options.
There are a few simple and efficient ways to keep your grocery budget from eating away at your savings.


This summer buy an inexpensive set of plastic storage containers and snack sized zipper seal bags and create your own single servings. We all crave more beverages during the hot summer, but don’t get sucked into spending extra on bottles of drinks for you and the kids.
I make a pot of coffee, turn off the pot as soon as it has percolated, then poor over ice and keep in the fridge. Even if you don’t dine further than the backyard, a PB&J is suddenly a wonderful entree when pulled from the hampers of an old fashioned picnic basket, especially atop a checkered cloth.
Many of these are free or inexpensive, take advantage of beautiful outdoor weather, and teach the kids something in the process (but shhh, don’t tell them that!). Local theatres often offer inexpensive summer movie showings one day each week just for kids. These often come with great coupons on local attractions, and you might even learn a thing or two about your own backyard. Our son is heading to a friend’s house this week for a marathon of Risk with a group of guys.
Home Depot has workshops just for kids where they learn to build things like birdhouses, and the materials are usually free. My kids like to select one or two of those and a book on CD for those boiling days when we are ready to crash from the heat.


She is also on an incredible journey as she home schools her 4 children, and is supported through it all by her husband of more than 15 years, Steve. You can still create wonderful summer memories with your kids without breaking your budget by taking a few frugal shortcuts.
I buy natural applesauce and spoon it into mini cups for fruit in the go (just keep it refrigerated). When I’m ready for a glass I just poor over crushed ice and add a liquid coffee flavor (my favorites are peppermint or caramel). Then the rest of the summer I can yell “Road trip!” and head 1.5 hours to the zoo for an afternoon of hiking the trails and watching the creatures. Take turns with other parents hosting a game day each week or month, and everyone can chip in for snacks.
The offers pertain to my zip code so they are relevant, and the deals can really add up in a hurry. You can package your own yogurt, crackers, cereal, dried fruit, cheese, or practically any other snack your kids are craving.



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