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Who’s counting down the days until summer? I know my kids are! I have some lofty goals for us this summer: lots of down-time, fun day trips, and a few educational things sprinkled along the way. Our lives are go, go, go during Spring so it will be nice to be a little lazy this summer.
You’d think that when we are home in the summer that we wouldn’t be spending as much money as we do during the school year. But last summer, I found that not to be true. Between going to the zoo and movies and eating lunches out, we spent a lot more than I thought.
But this summer will be different. I am conscientiously looking for ways that we can save money so that we can do some extra fun things!
How to Save Money This Summer in 5 Simple Steps
When I was planning our summer activities with a neighbor, she shared an amazing tip with me! And, of course, I had to steal it (thanks Deb)! No matter what, she packs lunches every single day for her and the kids. She keeps the lunches in a cooler and whether they are home or out running around they always have their lunch. This eliminates the need for grabbing lunch on the go!
So how do you do it?
Step One: Buy bulk! During the school year, it’s so convenient to buy the individual packaged snacks that you can just throw in the lunch box. But you are paying a premium for that convenience. Instead, buy bulk snacks that you can break down yourself.
When I buy a large box of snacks, I put them in a container that fits in my cooler. When packing the lunch for the day, we pick one snack for everyone.
Step Two: Cut and clean fresh fruit. My kids will plow through fruit under one condition. That’s it cut and cleaned and easy for them to grab. I had to get myself into the habit of taking the 5 minutes to do this when I come home from the grocery store. Again, when packing lunches in the morning, we pick one fruit for everyone for lunch and place it in the cooler.
Step Three: Pre-make lunches in one day! My kids love for me to make them roll-ups for lunch. Instead of making a few each day for lunch, I’ve started making them ahead of time and keeping them in a container. Then, each morning, I put a few in our cooler for that day’s lunch. This step is a time-saver as well!
Step Four: Don’t forget utensils! Instead of buying plastic and throwing them away, invest in reusable plastic utensils to keep in your cooler. Just make sure you remind the kids not to throw them away!
Step Five: Sometimes it’s ok to splurge. Since I am doing all the packing of the lunches and making the conscience effort to save money, I can splurge every once and awhile.
My latest splurge are Ready Pac’s elevĀte salads. I don’t know what it is but a salad always tastes better to me when someone else has made it! elevĀte offers a variety of clean and functional superfood salads, like my favorites: Organic Sunny Caesar and Organic Southwest Salad.
elevĀte salads are portable nutrition at your fingertips no matter how busy life gets. They are made from natural ingredients that are full of flavor and deliver clean and functional nutrition in every bite. You can find elevĀte salads at Wegman’s with the vegetables and are easy to grab and go!
Without even really trying, you will find that your family will save some money this summer just by packing your own lunches!