There are approximately 75 days during the summer that the kids will be looking for things to do. While it would be great to visit Disney everyday during the summer and stay at fancy hotels, you might have to watch your wallet a little to get thorough the summer. For me, 4 kids in one week of summer camp could run me well over $1,000.
Here’s a few tips on how we will be saving money this summer!
The most popular word in the summer can also make you see lots of dollar signs if your not careful. Unfortunately, I cannot afford camps for my three older children every week this summer and then a sitter on top of that for the baby. But yes, they are fun and I do want my kids to have the experience. Here’s what we do:
If you can, plan early. Camps offer big discounts early in the season, which add up if you’ll do multiple kids camps during the summer.
Look into experience camps. These are camps that you just can’t do every week. The one off week is a treat and an experience for them at the same time.
Sports camps can be expensive too. Again, check into the “once a summer” experience camp but also look into the City of Tampa recreation camps! Great camps with great prices! The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida have great summer camps and won’t break the bank either! (Our favorite experience sports camp is the Tampa Yankees Baseball Camp).
Take advantage of special offers. Many have weekday only passes or deals throughout the summer, so plan accordingly to save money on the experience.
Museums & Aquariums
If you think you might be going one time a week, or your child might really enjoy going more often, then look into an annual pass which might be a better option and save you money in the long run.
Field Trips with Friends
Plan a field trip with friends. It’s always fun if you go with friends to some of these places and they will definitely make the park or beach (both free places) so much more fun.
Tampa Tip: Hit up Cypress Beach in Westshore for a perfect park and beach without having to drive to St.Pete or Clearwater just for the morning. But if you are spending the day, then Pass-A-Grille or Clearwater are my favorite. Don’t forget to save money by packing a lunch and snacks!
Movies are so much fun during the summer, but can be costly for families. During the summer, many movie theaters will offer cheap (no new releases) movies in the morning. Save money by having snacks before you go or having lunch right afterwards. Make the movies an experience by visiting a different kind of theatre. Visit the Funland Drive-In (Tampa) and do the movies old school under the stars in your car! The kids will get a kick out of it! Buying your tickets online via Fandango will also save you money this summer when you hit the theaters for the new summer movies that will come out by buying early and avoiding the lines!
How to Part-Time Work During The Summer
Summer child care is always an issue and is something that will add up quickly! Maybe you work part-time and can be creative with your schedule. Instead of driving all over Tampa for three different summer camps, and then paying a babysitter on top of that only to get maybe two hours of work in before I have to pick them up, I like to think smarter. I have two different approaches: I get up early (and sometimes out to Starbucks) so I can work in the morning. I have a sitter come first thing in the morning and then I’m home by 10 with four hours of work under my belt and a day to spend with the kids.
Or the Kids ‘ Swap where you take mine one day, I’ll take yours the next also is a money saver too.
Keeping Them Busy
Think up a “Summer Project” based around something that interests them! “I’m bored!” Probably the two most uttered words you’ll hear this summer from kids while your home. I like to have ideas ready for when this happens. Last summer I came up 75 free things to do in the summer and many were things we could do at home. Ideas include:
Have a yard sale will get them motivated to help you clean the house!
Start a garden will have them want to get dirty outside and help you do lawn and yard maintenance.
Wash the car and cool off.
Have a lemonade stand.
Take the time to get the kids in the kitchen. Let them help. Make things from scratch. This is a great time to cook from the garden you planted. Visit an market and take a full day to make something they helped prepare.
Kids are ready to be entertained but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to do so. They might even become an entrepreneur while doing a few of these things!
Keeping Up School Skills
I know it’s the summer, but I’m always worrying about loosing momentum when the summer strikes. My Kindergardener just started reading and you can’t just stop. We will be biking up to our local library and making a morning of it! It’s fun and free to hit up the library and many will have programs all summer for the kids. And we’ll even get some exercise on the way there!
Other ideas: Start a journal Download some new educational apps or games on your Amazon Kindle. Print out some free worksheets just to get the brain going.
Plan It Out
Slow Down. We’ve been going non-stop for almost 9 months. We are going to try and slow down but slowing down doesn’t change the fact that I will have four kids looking at me for things to do everyday this summer. You just have to be one step ahead of them…most of the time.