SUMMER ON A BUDGET
By Shelly Stuckman
Summer calls for adventures with the people you love. Whether you’re traveling to a new destination, planning a short day trip, or impromptu outings in your home town, a little planning can go a long way to make the most of the season while staying within your budget!
Spend Time with Family
To make the most of summer, I plan at least one family adventure with family. Whether you have time for a quick weekend getaway, or an impromptu day trip, it’s a great way to connect and make memories with the people you love.
My family and I are planning a summer adventure in Sedona, AZ. We will hike, sightsee and explore. Sedona is just over an hour from where we live, so it's close enough to be a day trip. Day trips are also a great cost-saving option. Day trips don’t skimp on fun, yet avoid extra expenses such as hotel accommodation.
Outdoor Fun with Friends
To make memories with friends, plan something adventurous such as kayaking, hiking, biking, or even checking out the hot summer blockbuster movie. For nighttime fun, try a board game night or a potluck dinner and Pictionary.
For a great evening outdoors, have friends bring guitars for singing and make S'mores over a fire pit. S’mores kits are a fun and affordable way to transport the ingredients to the festivities. Each caddy comes with the essential ingredients: decadent chocolate, marshmallows and fresh-baked graham crackers. A great option is the Hershey’s S’mores Caddy, which available at most outdoor sporting goods stores and online. It's an easy way to haul and store ingredients with a removable tray for easy prep while on the go.
ARTISAN S’MORES KITS
For an Artisan twist, try Ticket Chocolate’s Classic, Dulce de Leche, or Chocolate Lover’s S’mores Kits. From classic vanilla bean, chocolate chip, and caramel swirl marshmallows, to salted caramel milk chocolate, couverture chocolate and honey graham crackers, they will have your mouth watering and everyone lining up for seconds.
Catch Up on Favorite TV Shows
Summer is a great time to binge watch your favorite shows or discover new ones online using streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. It’s summer; treat yourself to a day of relaxation and "couch potatoing." Some of my favorite shows have been Famous in Love (whole first season on Hulu), The Arrangement (E-online), Young & Hungry (Freeform & Netflix), Modern Family (Hulu), and Love Sick (Netflix). Also, the Bachelorette is always fun. Catch up on a past season or a fan favorite, like Rachel's season. If the first episode is any indication, it's sure to be a very entertaining, crazy, and romantic!
Take Time to Organize & Clean.
Organizing and cleaning can be a wonderful activity as you watch a sitcom (or listen to your fav music). The energy and silly story lines keep you entertained, while motivated. If I'm feeling overly indulgent while watching a TV show or movie, I love to take my laptop or phone into my room or closet and start organizing. Currently, I have two big boxes of clothes and accessories ready to go. I always let my friends have first pick and then I like to donate the rest. I declutter my closet and my friends get new clothes - it's a win-win for everyone!
Over the summer when the weather is the warmest, it's a wonderful time to visit the beach (if location and travel allow) or jump into a pool. My best friend has a pool. Each summer when we get together, we try to either float around sun bathing or swim like we are mermaids (don't tell her I told you.) If your best friend doesn't have a pool and you don't live near the beach, ask your friends about their neighborhood, community, and clubhouse pools and plan a day of swimming and chilling by the pool together.
Money Saving Tips
When heading to the movies, remember to bring your student ID or other discount cards for savings, or opt to see a matinee, which typically cost less. Carpooling to a national or state park is also a cost-savings option. Ask each person to chip in on gas and divide parking costs. When camping, have everyone divide the site and parking fees, and split meals by having each person prepare and cook a meal or divide the grocery costs for extra cost savings.
What to Wear on Summer Adventures
Make the most of your impromptu outings by wearing an adorable outfit. Keep it casual with denim and a cute top like this from American Eagle. Pair a simple hand-stamped statement necklace from Be You Jewelry and sandals from Faryl Robin.
Summer adventures are so much fun and even more enjoyable when you feel great. Style an outfit suited for the moment, you’ll be so glad you did!
Shelly Stuckman is a freelance graphic designer currently located in Prescott, Arizona.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.