I’m dreading winter. That dread seems to spill over into fall, despite my love for pumpkin spice everything. If you’re like me, you’re looking for a few ways to savor these last little bits of summer. I was in the craft store yesterday and nearly fainted- the fall stuff is already out, and quite frankly- I’m. not. ready. I’m going to truly savor summer before it’s gone, but of course- on a budget!
If you’re not ready to say goodbye to summer but don’t have much money to spend, read on!
1. Go Camping
I’m not much of a camper, but I tried it this year and LOVED it. Get people together for a quick camping excursion, even if it’s just in someone’s backyard. As they say, “I’m outdoorsy in that I like getting drunk on patios,” so if that’s more your speed- find a great outdoor locale and pack the sangria!
2. Speaking of Sangria…
The season is full of amazing cocktails that you won’t enjoy (as much) in the other parts of the year- sangria, margaritas, mojitos and our favorite, boozey ice cream or popscicles with a twist.
3. Not So Into Booze? Make Ice Cream
You don’t need an ice cream maker, but you can make some amazing pops and smoothies with the abundant fruits of the season. See if you can borrow someone’s ice cream maker or find an alternative to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.
4. Enjoy Free Movies In The Park
Grab a blanket, some popcorn and see when your local parks have free movie nights under the stars. Get folks together and stock up on snacks- it’s much better with a big group or for a fun and frugal date night that will cost you nothing but the cost of snacks!
5. Play Hooky
Winter last year was rough- I’m still recovering from it! If you feel the need to be spontaneous, you might feel a fever coming on- better call it in! Of course, don’t leave your coworkers high and dry but sometimes it’s great to take a mental health day to call one in and live out the Bruno Mars “Lazy” song or go spend some time outside!
6. Get Nostalgic
What were you favorite summer activities as a kid? Playing with water balloons, or busting out the sidewalk chalk might only cost a few bucks, but it’s fun! Personally, I loved flying kites as a kid and I adored a good water gun fight! You don’t have to have kids to act like one- take a trip down memory lane and pick up supplies at the dollar store.
7. Unplug For A Day
There are no better distractions than the ones that require electricity. Make it a point to go a day without Netflix (my addiction!), text messaging and Spotify. If you have a record player, bust it out. Don’t have a record player? You can find one here! Use up your old film and take photos the old fashioned way. Have an adventure without constantly checking your smartphone.
8. Invite Friends Out For A 5k
Not much of a runner? Well, it’s better with a friend! Start a summer run club to get ready for a fall race. If you’re interested in doing a 5k, there is still plenty of time to train together. Find a weeknight, morning or weekend and get a group together- promising a treat if you all make it stick!
9. Go On A Tapas Picnic With Summer Foods
Fresh foods are cheap, plentiful and delicious this time of year. Round up fresh fruits, cheeses and dips for some great summer tapas (a fancy word for us frugal folks that’s a.k.a. “finger foods.) that don’t require cooking. Eating outside on a picnic bench or blanket is so relaxing and there’s no stress in planning.
10. Do A Serious Declutter
Summer is a time of openness, airyness and freedom- but not so much if you’re drowning in paperwork, clutter and you want to pull your hair out every time you go to do something at home. I recently did a deep declutter around the house and it was exactly what I needed- a breath of fresh air…summer fresh air. Summer is about keeping it light, so get rid of the junk in your life!
11. Read A Summertime Novel
Libraries are my favorite places in the world- it’s a good time to catch up on your summer reading with some free books! You can even get some sun in a sunny park, or out on the lawn with a folding chair. If you can’t afford a vacation, an amazing novel can be a great mental escape, especially when read in a beautiful locale.
12. Have A Big BBQ
Summer is best shared with friends. Invite a gaggle of people over for a BBQ Potluck. Have everyone bring their favorite summer dishes and dessert. Summers can be busy for everyone- if you don’t make time to spend them together, it’s easy to mis the season completely. Get in touch with some old friends!
13. Make S’mores
S’mores are my favorite things, ever. You can make them over a BBQ, over the stove or, even a big candle (if you have to!) and they are the best summer dessert! There are dozens of s’mores ideas out there, you can find a ton! Still plenty of time to try them all before summer’s end.
14. Take A Road Trip
We have a few weekends left, drive somewhere new and spend the day being touristy to get the local flavor. A quick internet search or asking some friends will help you find a new town or city that’s a day’s away and wouldn’t require a hotel.
15. Daily Deal Staycations
Can’t travel? Stock up Groupon deals or free stuff you can find for new restaurants, tours and classes you can take for cheap. I just wrote a post on how to get the best daily deals, so make it a day of hopping from one cheapie or freebie to the next in your own hometown!
16. Sign Up For Something Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Sports, classes or going to a community event that is totally “not like you,” might be just what you need to wrap up summer. If you haven’t taken time to
17. Get Something Off Your List
We all have things that have been nagging at us that just…bugs us. Maybe you’ve been wanting to check out churches in your area, but haven’t. Or if you’ve been wanting to try the new Yoga studio but haven’t made time for it- the days area still long and you’ll have more energy if you nip that nagging feeling in the bud and go for it. Energy is high, days are long, take advantage of it.
18. Give Back
Christmas is really far away, but need knows no season. Many people think of donating to food banks in fall and winter, or volunteering with toy drives when Christmas rolls around, but now is a good time to volunteer with an outdoor flare. Could you volunteer at a local race or clean up a park? What causes call to your heart? Schedule in some time to clear out your food pantry and closets to donate what you don’t need or get out and give back!
19. Make Iced Coffee
Before it becomes time for hot drinks, and pumpkin spice lattes- savor a few more sips of summer with some homemade iced coffee. Get extra fancy with some heavy whipping cream for a really luxurious, creamy finish or blend with ice for a Starbucks-worthy treat. Check out my iced coffee tutorial for the step-by-step.
20. Take A Spa Day
Sunshine, mimosas and all those beauty products you’ve been saving are a great combination! Have some friends over and finally use up those mud masks or take some time to do some complicated nail art you can’t do on your own. You can score a good foot tub to soak your feet at a yard sale, or create an at-home foot scrub for the tub with sugar and essential oils.