How to have a fun summer for less
posted on June 15, 2023
With summer just around the corner, you might be stressing over entertainment, travel and food expenses. Here's how to have fun for less (or for free) all summer long.
Skip the restaurant patio and cook more
You don't need to eat out to eat well, all summer long! Cooking can save you a lot of cash compared to frequently eating out. Not much of a cook? These video tutorials will teach you the cooking basics you need so you can follow recipes with ease.
Summer is a great time to use the grill. If you've never done it, you'll love cooking outside under the summer sun or on a warm evening. This video walks you through how to master the barbecue. Once you've got the basics, these incredible grilling recipes will come in handy.
Missing your local patio? If you have a balcony, dine on it if you can. Or if your apartment has a shared outdoor area, like a rooftop patio, invite friends or family to dine there with you and enjoy the summer sun together. Don't want to foot the bill? Consider having a potluck dinner or arrange a potluck park picnic with your friends. Virtually everyone is feeling the pinch of inflation in Canada right now, so they will all probably appreciate a cost-effective idea for a fun get together.
Start making drinks and cocktails at home
Drinking at bars and pubs is way more expensive than drinking alcohol at home. In major cities like Toronto and Ottawa, it's not uncommon to find alcoholic drinks and cocktails priced at close to $20 each.
You might argue that you prefer to drink out at a bar or pub for the social component, but you can always invite friends or family over to enjoy a few drinks at home.
If you plan to have more than one drink in an evening, starting off the night with a couple of drinks at home before going out on the town can save you a lot of money, too. You can make it really fun by hosting a cocktail party in your apartment. If the cost of others drinking is too steep, co-host the party with a few friends. You can all chip in for the alcohol you need to make your drinks menu so it's not expensive.
Hit the beach with some friends
If you live near a navigable body of water, you probably live near a beach or two. Beach trips can be very fun and are the perfect excursion in the summer season. A beach day trip potentially doesn't have to cost you a thing! Invite a few friends to go swimming, organize a beach potluck picnic, and enjoy your time in the sun together.
If you don't live near a beach, you can do all this at a public outdoor pool instead, or carpool your way to a beach out of town with friends or family. Canada has many excellent beaches, including public beaches and beaches located in its provincial parks and national parks.
Eat more ice cream
Eating ice cream is a must in the summer. It's so nostalgic and delicious. Eating ice cream out is usually cheaper than eating a meal out. Most cities have several ice cream shops to enjoy, and many towns have at least a couple. Plan more trips to your local ice cream shop with friends and family and let the good times roll.
Plan more day trips
You don't need to stay in hotels overnight to get away this summer. Plan more day trips with friends and family. You'd be surprised by how many cool places you can discover just by driving for a couple of hours or less each way. Sticking to carpooling, potluck picnics, and homemade snacks will save you a lot of money, too, during the excursion. Not sure what kind of summer day trips are worth taking? Try visiting a beautiful beach, picking your own fruit on a farm, exploring another town or city, visiting a national or provincial park, or going for a hike in a conservation area.
Forgo the hotel for longer stays
If you do need to stay somewhere overnight, hostels and Airbnb can offer more affordable options for your accommodations. Look for options with kitchens so you can cook for yourself and avoid relying on restaurant meals during your travels.
It can be very cost-effective and fun to stay somewhere with a group of friends or family if you are able to split the bill. Look for large cabin and house rental options on Airbnb.
We hope these tips help you have a fun summer for less!