Budget Life

7 Ways To Summer On A Budget

It’s been raining in the midwest almost every day recently.

I’m a city girl, but I learned from my husband prior to reading news, that it has been too rainy and damp in general for many farmers to plant. Hopefully, that gives a bit of perspective on this lame spring weather.

We’re excited about the summer, so I decided to provide some ideas for summer fun on a budget. We love getting out and experiencing new things, but they can be costly.

Along with keeping an eye on the various coupon sites like Groupon, there are plenty of affordable and free options when it comes to creating fun during the summer.

Yes, I mentioned free!

Bike Rides

If you own a bike, this is free! If not, don’t sweat it, in most cities these days, you don’t have to own a bike. Check out bike share opportunities in your city and cities nearby. For a couple of dollars, you can often enjoy a full day of fun!

If there aren’t any bike shares near you, you can always borrow a bike or invest in a cheap one. Purchasing a bike is an expense, yes. You should commit to riding somewhat often if you decide to purchase a bike. Get your money’s worth.

Markets and Street Fairs

Check out your local papers and your city or town websites for potential details on farmers markets or street fairs that might be happening near you. These are free and fun to browse!  You may find a few gems to purchase–like homemade soap that is less expensive than your store-bought product. You never know!

Cultural Festivals

Again, a great place to start is taking a look at your local papers and city or town websites. These festivals are usually advertised or promoted in these places. Attendance is typically free! You will often find foods, drinks, and wonderful professionally made products from cultures that may be different than yours! Although these will not be free, you can find a main dish for around $3-$6! If they’re large portions you can share.


This activity doesn’t have to be as challenging as it might sound. When people think of hiking they often picture hills or even mountains and extremely long treks that could last days.

In truth, there are both state and national parks all over the US. You are most likely not far from a park with hiking or walking trails and they’re beautiful! You may have to pay a few dollars to access the park for the day, but you can look that up ahead of time. From my experience, it’s $10 at most.

A Walk

A walk can do a lot for your health. Emotionally and physically, a walk each day or week is great for you and your family. Whether it’s in your neighborhood or in a park, taking a walk will help you relax. Relaxation is part of the goal during a summer activity, right? Go for it, it’s free!

Laying Out

This is a lazy activity, but we talked about relaxation right? Relaxing poolside or in your backyard is a great way to spend a day! If you have kids, you can spray them down with the hose for fun and let them play outside so that you can keep an eye on them.

Being lazy is ok sometimes! Your efforts in saving have earned you some chill time.

*A note for the kids: Most cities have free parks that sometimes include pools, picnic areas, and fields to toss a ball around or practice your summer sports skills.


This activity can take up a weekend or more. So, it’s also a great vacation option!

If you choose a state or national park, you can look up the rates for camping on the website. You can even pick your campsite online most of the time! Also, camping sites are relatively low in cost.

Enjoy your mini vacation for a few days or a week!

You can truly enjoy your summer with these free or inexpensive activities, some of which can be done on weeknights!

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