How to Save $1,000 This Summer (and Still Go on Vacation)
Summer temptations are real. (We never met an al fresco rosé-themed happy hour we didn’t like.) They’re also expensive. (Damn, the bar tab totaled how much?) Here, nine small tweaks you can make to save and still have fun.
Freeze Your Gym Membership: $225 Saved
Breezy mornings and cool summer nights make it so the last place you want to work out June through August is a dark and cavernous gym. Free up some cash in your budget by putting a temporary freeze on your account. (Most gyms do this by charging you a significantly reduced rate—to the tune of $10—for every month your account is frozen.) Then, pound the pavement outside.
Open the Windows at Night: $200 Saved
Barring the evenings that soar past 95 degrees, take advantage of the cool night air and turn off the old AC. Ideally, your windows need to be positioned opposite each other—and on opposite sides of the house—to get a good cross breeze, but there are work-arounds. (For example, you can pop one fan facing inward and one window another facing outward in the other window to draw the cool air in and flush the warm air out.)
Skip the Oven: $75 Saved
No-cook suppers (like a chopped chick pea Greek salad) should be the anthem of summer—not just because you’re feeling lazy, but to shave tens of dollars off your AC bill. (Yep, your window units have to work overtime to cool your place if you’ve been using the stove and oven.)
Start an Herb and Produce Garden: $50 Saved
If you have the yard space, you’d be amazed at how much you’ll save at the grocery store if you can pluck basic veggies (think: cucumbers, tomatoes and snap peas) from your backyard. Same goes for herbs: A basil plant is worth its weight in gold come the summer months. (The perfect compliment to heirlooms.)
Hang Your Clothes Out to Dry: $90 Saved
Bad news: Depending on how many loads of laundry you do, your dryer can be a total money suck. (On average, you spend about $1 to $1.50 per 45 minutes of run time.) So, if you do five loads a week, that could set you back $30 a month. An alternative for the warm-weather months: a backyard clothesline.
See a Movie (or Two) for Free: $35 Saved
’Tis the season for free outdoor movies in the park. A quick Google search should pull up all the local listings. BYO popcorn.
Negotiate the Price of Your Vacation Airbnb: $175 (or More) Saved
Before you put your card down to reserve your August Airbnb rental, shoot your hosts a note and find out if there’s any flexibility to negotiate the price. (The odds are in your favor, especially for a long-term stay.) Depending on your approach, you could cut as much as $25 off the nightly rate. (Here’s a handy script to help you seal the deal.)
Dine Al Fresco: $100 Saved
Warm weather means you can replace a hefty restaurant tab with a high-end backyard meal. (Dinner at home always feels a lot more special/elegant when eaten by candlelight outdoors.)
…And BYO Rosé: $50 Saved
Restaurants charge $10 to $12 a glass. You can drink the whole bottle for $8.