Spring is finally here, and the warm weather is like a tonic after the long winter we’ve had! I just want to go outside and play! Here are some ways to save money this Spring.
Do as the French do & eat your lunch outdoors! Many Parisians enjoy a brown bag lunch on the steps of a monument or on a little patch of grass at a park. Pack a sandwich and a piece of fruit, get a little sun, and enjoy people watching in the fresh air. You’ll go back to work refreshed and you’ll have saved some money over buying lunch.
Grilling outdoors is a relaxing way to entertain that doesn’t have to cost much. Kebabs of meat alternating with vegetable chunks make a beautiful grilled dish served over rice. Follow up with grilled fruit–grilled peaches are heavenly with vanilla ice cream! Right now is a great time to find deals on grills. In a month or two the prices will be higher–you won’t find sales on these again until the Fall.
More and more people are choosing to take mini-vacations by extending weekends with a day or two from their vacation allotment. That way they get more of these little vacations spaced throughout the year. Start a list of places that might work well for a mini-vacation or long weekend with cost estimates for each. Then start putting money into a vacation savings account every paycheck. You could also have a special “Vacation Savings Jar” at home for any extra money that you managed to save. For example, if you saved by skipping a latte a couple of days a week, put the money you saved in the vacation jar. Those little savings add up & can fund some of the choices on your list. When the money in the jar gets to a certain amount, put it in the actual vacation savings account too.
With wedding and graduation season coming soon, manufacturers like to offer deals on sets of cookware. If your kids are going to be in their first apartment & they need cookware, how about doing a switcheroo? You can give them your old cookware & replace it with a new set for yourself. Then if they burn something in a pan, you won’t feel so bad. I do like to give a cookbook to young people starting out. So many people don’t know how to cook these days. If they learn to cook, it’s a great gift!
Kids going to college usually need a laptop. Many parents wait until summer to start shopping for one. But the best prices are really before high school graduation. They tend to go on sale during April & are not usually priced as low again until September. So now is the time to check for deals. Some can be had for about $500, and a few go as low as $350.
My favorite thing to do after dinner in these warmer months is to take a walk in the neighborhood. You can get reacquainted with the neighbors, ask them what grows well for them, and get some good exercise in the bargain. If you need new tennis shoes, walking shoes, or running shoes, now is the time to look for good prices. Stores will have sales in preparation for the summer season. You could even put some aside for the kids to wear back to school as long as you are sure what size they will take by September. Feet (and the bodies they are attached to) tend to grow more during the summer, perhaps from all that sunshine and fresh air!
When the weekend comes take a picnic lunch to a local park. Even ordinary food tastes better outdoors! Ah, Spring!