Best Ways To Save Money In The Summer

Are you looking for ways to save money in the summer? Summer is here! We are already a few weeks into summer, and if you are feeling the summer money pinch, this blog post may be coming at the perfect time for you. Summer is the most expensive time of the year for many people. This…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: April 12, 2024

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Are you looking for ways to save money in the summer?

There are many different ways to save money in the summer, so that you can enjoy it without worrying about when your next paycheck is going to come in.Summer is here!

We are already a few weeks into summer, and if you are feeling the summer money pinch, this blog post may be coming at the perfect time for you.

Summer is the most expensive time of the year for many people. This is the season for children being out of school, summer vacations, and more, and all of these things may mean that you are spending more money than usual.

However, that doesn’t always have to be the case!

For us, the summer months are actually some of our most affordable months. We are already fairly frugal people, but there are many things that happen in the summer that make it even more affordable for us (such as fun outdoor activities and free festivals to attend).

In today’s blog post, I am going to talk about the many different ways you can save money this summer, so that you can truly enjoy the season without worrying about when your next paycheck is going to come in.

Below are several ways to save money in the summer:


Enjoy the outdoors to save money in the summer

The summer can be a great time to enjoy the outdoors. Even though I am currently typing this in Mississippi, where it’s extremely hot (100 to 105 degrees for several weeks now), that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been going outside.

I’ve actually been riding my bike around 4 to 5 days a week. The key here is that I go for early morning bike rides, before the temperature makes it too unbearable. This is great because I start the day by getting in a good workout.

If you are in another part of the world, you may be able to enjoy the outdoors no matter what time of the day is.

No matter where you live, I’m sure there are outdoor activities that you can enjoy. Perhaps you could go for a hike, walk your dog, go rock climbing, go for a swim, go on a run, and more!

The options are endless.


Combine errands to save money in the summer

I’m the type of person who combines all of my errands. If I need one thing, I will wait until there are more things on my list to do or get.

This is good because it saves me valuable time, and I’m not wasting money on transportation such as gas.

However, I know that not everyone is this way. I know many people who will go out of their way to get one small item, even if they don’t need it right away.

If you are looking for a way to save money or time, this may be a good way to help. If something can wait, then you might as well save yourself some time and money by combining your errands and getting multiple things done at the same time.


Ride your bike and do errands to save money in the summer

If you have errands to complete, then, if you can, you may want to ride your bike to complete them. This is a great way to save money in the summer because you can get in a good workout, enjoy the summer weather, and complete an errand all at the same time.

Remember though, bring a bike lock with you so that your bike is safe! Also, of course, wear a helmet and use any other safety precautions that you deem necessary.


Turn your AC up a few degrees

It’s hot outside for most of us. I know this.

But, you may be able to save a little on your utility bills this summer by turning up your AC by just a few degrees.

I couldn’t find information on what the average person sets their thermostat at, but I always see social media statuses where people talk about what temperature their AC is set at during the summer. Many of the commenters usually say that their AC is set below 72 degrees and sometimes even as low as 65 degrees!

To save money, I recommend setting your thermostat at 76 to 78 degrees when you are home, and when you are going to sleep, or if no one is home, then you may even want to raise it a few degrees.

Doing this can save you around 10% or more on your next electric bill.


Block out the sun to save money in the summer

Our RV heats up quickly, so on hot days we make sure to block out the sun by closing all of the curtains. This keeps a lot of the heat out and helps keep our RV at a better temperature.

This can even help you if you live in a “normal” home 🙂


Use a programmable thermostat

If you haven’t yet, a programmable thermostat is something you should invest in. They are relatively cheap and you will most likely make your money back within a year, or maybe even just a few months.

With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature at exactly what you want it to be for different times throughout the day. This way you don’t have to constantly change it, as it will automatically change on a set schedule.

For example, your AC will automatically turn up when you leave for work so that you don’t waste electricity or money cooling a house that no one is in. You can also program it for while you are sleeping, for the weekend, when you are on vacation, and so on.

I did a simple online search, and I was able to find plenty of programmable thermostats for less than $50, well worth the small investment.


Know when to use your oven

It’s hot in the summer, I don’t have to say that twice. As I said before, I am currently writing this blog post in Mississippi, where it’s been around 100 degrees for several weeks now (we will be on our way to cool Colorado when this blog post goes live).

Due to the hot temperatures, we are careful when it comes to what we cook. We haven’t used the oven a whole lot, and if we do, we make sure that it’s not scorching hot outside. After all, we live in an RV, so using the oven heats up our entire home.

Instead, we try to use our slow cooker when it’s hot outside. I love a good crockpot meal, plus they are so easy to make.


Visit the library to save money in the summer

The library can be a great way to catch a break from the heat (they are always so cold!) and find a good book to read or movie to watch.

Your local library can offer many frugal ideas for you and your family.

You can borrow books or movies, which you can then bring home and have a fun night in with friends and/or family members.


Meal plan to save money in the summer

Meal planning is something that has completely changed our lives. We eat healthier than ever, we are saving money, and we have less food waste.

Did you know that the average person wastes over 40% of the food they buy? Yes, 40%!

If you have trouble eating at home, then try the $5 Meal Plan. They send meal plans directly to your email.

It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free), and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 or less per person. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well! If you are interested in joining for free, click here.


Shop garage sales to save money in the summer

It’s garage sale season, so if you are looking for something to buy this summer, you may first want to search around at garage sales.

This can also be a fun way to spend your morning. I have many friends who LOVE going to garage sales, and because things are so cheap, it may be worth it to you.


Find free events to save money in the summer

I recommend checking out your town’s calendar and website to see what free attractions and events are offered.

Also, if you live near a national park, you may want to find out when their free entry days are. They usually have a few each year, which can be a great way to save money while enjoying amazing views. There are free entry days coming up in 2016 on August 25 through August 28, September 24, and November 11.

What ways are you saving money this summer? What are the best ways to save money in the summer? Please leave a comment so that we can all share our best summer savings tips!


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. 😀 I’m trying to be more frugal this summer and I like your list…I am using bike more often is possible or walking but use car few times in the summer….

  2. Amanda-LivingFullyandFree

    I like that you provided suggestions on how to save money by doing things you are already doing, like biking to complete errands, and using your crockpot rather than your oven.

    I hope you’re having fun in Mississippi!!!


    1. We’re in Missouri now 🙂 On our way to Colorado!

  3. Kate @ Cashville Skyline

    Tons of amazing ideas here, Michelle! I’m actually skipping any big trips this summer. There are so many amazing spots to visit locally — waterfalls, state parks, and the lake. It’s easy to feel like you’ve traveled without being far from Nashville.

  4. We swim with the kids at the neighborhood all summer. We pay for it in our neighborhood dues, but it’s a pretty cheap activity after that. We usually bring a cooler with snacks and drinks over to the pool and let the kiddos swim all day.

  5. Summer can get SO expensive! This is why budgeting is so important. I think that’s why my readers love my “21 Days to a Better Budget” so much! 🙂

  6. Great tips, many of which my wife and I implement. We have found that a little DIY work to spruce up our own outdoor oasis has reduced our desire to spend during the summertime.

  7. Haha I know what you mean. Now that I live in an RV, I get that same look a lot. Haha!

  8. Lots of rain, I’m assuming?

  9. Amanda

    Awesome list, Michelle! We use most of these ideas too! Many people visiting our house think it’s a little warm (thermostat at 78!), but it’s all a matter of what you get used to and it saves us a ton on utility bills.

    We are heading to CO with our camper soon too – looking forward to cooler temps!

    1. Awesome! Where is Colorado are you going?

      1. Amanda

        We are heading to Grand Lake – plan to do some hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. Where are you guys going?

        1. Awesome! We’ve brought our RV to Grand Lake a few times and LOVE it! We plan on bringing the RV up there in August or the end of July. First, we’re going to Silverthorne and going to Dillon Reservoir, then we just plan on hopping around in Colorado for a few months 🙂

          1. Amanda

            We’ve never camped at Grand Lake, so glad to hear you loved it! Silverthorne is such a beautiful area. I think it’s great you are checking out the whole state! Sounds like a great time!

            1. Yes, we love Colorado! We’ve done this once a year for the past several years haha.

  10. Shanetta

    My boyfriend and I have been going to a lot of free events in our area this summer. Our favorite is the concert series that is hosted every Friday right off the water. We also eat before we go, so we save even more.

  11. Hi Michelle! We also find ways to avoid the oven by making more salads or grilling. Plus, I take the kids to free activities and pools in town rather than spending money. I should try biking more 🙂 Thanks for the great tips!

    1. Summer is great for grilling. I’ll use any excuse I can to grill! 🙂

  12. Apathy Ends

    Summer weddings and vacations have rocked us again this year.

    We use Amazon ti buy 80% + of our non grocery items. Saves a lot of inconvenient errands and trips to the store.

  13. Kim @ YourFinanceProfessor

    Oh gosh…I’m in Mississippi. The weather is unreal. We try to save in the summer by eating in as much as possible while we are not so busy. Also, we try to take advantage of as much at-home or free fun that we can. Since we are traveling and running around so much during the year, nobody really minds relaxing at home.

    1. It’s so hot! We then spent time in Missouri, and it was just as hot 🙁 AH! haha

  14. I do a few these. I’ve been keeping my AC at 78 degrees for the past few summers. I also use a fan. That has helped keep my bill under $50 for the last 2 summers.

  15. I always turn my thermostat up when I go to sleep. Saves a nice bit of money on the electric bill! If possible, also make sure the fan is on in each room. Makes turning up the A/C easier!

  16. These are great points Michelle!

    We are saving on fuel and energy by using public transport as we’ll be spending the summer travelling around Europe by train!

    1. Sounds like a great summer!

  17. Hi Michelle,

    Elna mentioned your blog in a post she did so I wanted to come by to check it out. 🙂

    These are great tips for saving money during the summer. I like the idea of going to the public library – it’s a win win because we stay cool and I can read to my grandsons. 🙂

    I already do some of these like adjusting the AC temp, keeping the sun out and I try not to use the oven at all – the slow cooker is my best friend in the summer. 🙂

    Great info – passing this along. Have a great week.


    1. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  18. Aaron @IncomeHoncho

    Wanna know another way to save money? Sleep in the basement…finished basement of course hehe. That’s what we’re doing and it feels great down there. Excellent tips:)

  19. Frugal summers is tough but these are great ideas! I’ve found that meal planning has helped save us tons of money & of course much healthier! Free events as well, unfortunately we can’t go outside or turn up the AC in the summer heat of Arizona lol

  20. Awesome post Michelle. I love hearing others’ ideas for saving money and this one geared toward summer savings hits the spot! I especially like the ideas of combining errands and closing the curtains to give some shade.

    Keep up the good work! ~Brian

  21. Monica@wellideclare

    Yes! Having everyone at home during the summer is wonderful and VERY expensive. We are saving money around here using many of your suggestions as well. We look for free events within the community. The library has quite a bit of entertainment for children and it IS nice and cold. We also try to buy seasonal produce at the farmer’s market. I buy more than I need and freeze it. My husband makes it into popsicles during the summer and smoothies during the year. I enjoy reading your tips! I’m in the south and it is HOT and humid! Enjoy Colorado!

    1. We need to freeze some food. It’s a little more difficult in the RV, but I know we can do it!

  22. Lindsey

    While we are at work we turn the AC WAY up. Our cat loves the heat actually, so this doesn’t bother her at all. It actually makes her come out from under the bed and lets her sunbathe in the sun. We also use our ceiling fans to help when we’re looking to keep cool indoors without raising the thermostat.

    Another way we’ve learned to save money was by making our own popsicles. I was able to whip up a recipe using items already in my home and now we have lemonade popsicles whenever it’s hot!

    1. Lemonade popsicles sound wonderful!

      1. Lindsey

        I’ll be sharing the recipe on my blog soon 🙂

  23. Great ideas, We have visited the library a lot this Summer! The kids even joined a reading program and ended up getting free tickets to the zoo. I love combining my errands too! I hate wasting gas by running somewhere when I know I need to go out another day near the same place.

  24. Thank you so much for this refreshing post. Oh! makes me think: I need to enjoy summer in the pool 🙂

    1. I need to visit a pool too 🙂

  25. ZJ Thorne

    Museums often have free days each month, too. I love that. You get to learn and have a free activity.

    1. David @ Thinking Thrifty

      Museums are one of my favourite free things to do. We have some great ones here in Manchester.

  26. We switched our central airconditioning to window type ones so we wouldn’t end up cooling places cooling places where there aren’t really any people. This has helped lower our energy bill to around 30% this summer! Now we’re thinking of getting rid of central heating altogether.

  27. Staci@streamline365

    Summer=crock pot meals to avoid oven heat! Cool, free activities like the library and community events, and luckily I prefer it warmer so a thermostat at 78 degrees! (Though on the flip side I suffer through our 68 degree house in the winter!)

  28. Why don’t power companies install them on peoples roofs? they can pay the fit to them selves and get bulk prices on the panels. 🙂

  29. John

    Everybody makes fun of me for not liking the AC turned too low.. at work I have to wear a sweater for crying out loud!