Summer is coming. The heat will arrive, or has already arrived. Sweat is dripping, humidity is high and the fans are just not enough to keep cool during the daylight hours anymore! What’s a family to do to keep cool while on a budget? Head for door!
Libraries. Not just a great resource for free books, videos, music and programs, as I have written about before in the post The Library-A Fantastic Tool for the Budget Minded but also for keeping cool in the summer! Libraries always keep their AC on in the summer months. Go for a visit there and sit with the kids reading books, checking out their internet on the computers, visiting the kid area for some other moms and kids to hang out with and of course, participate in a free activity if they have one.
Movie Theatres. I know, you’re thinking “movies cost money”. NOT every day! If you live near a Regal Entertainment Group theatre, they have the Free Family Film Festival. This was started back in 1991. Parents can bring their kids to the movies, for free, on a first come, first serve, basis on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (check your local participating theatre for dates and times in your area). Another movie theatre chain, Clearview Cinemas, has similar program, where parents can bring their kids to see free movies on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Again, seating is first come, first serve and you have to check your local theatre for the exact dates and times. AMC cinemas have a similar program called Summer Movie Camp.
The Mall. This location takes more discipline. You are going to be around stores, where one would shop and spend money, which is not what we call frugal, or budget friendly. So, bring only emergency cash for an EMERGENCY, leave the credit cards at home and hang out at the nice, well air conditioned Mall!
Grocery Store. Yes, I know. The groceries have to be purchased at some point, might as well do it on a hot day when the AC will be well deserved! Bring the kids to the bakery department. They give a little treat to the kids, whether you buy something or not, at many of the grocery store chains. Bring some other types of snacks in a big old purse so no one is tempted to grab something off the shelf and crack it open while walking around the store!
Playdates. Have a friend with a pool? Schedule a playdate for the kids on a hot day! Start a playdate rotation schedule with friends. People can hang at friends’ houses and share the expense of running the AC for the day the playdate is at their own home. Get as many moms/dads as desired and make a schedule to rotate through the summer. It works! The more families involved, the more money is saved.
Cold Bath. Don’t have a pool, no friends with pools, no public pools in the neighborhood? Head for the bathroom door! Go fill the tub up with cool water, put the bathing suits on and hang out in the tub with your kid. Works when there is one child, more than that and it gets a bit cramped. LOL.