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Posted April 28, 2021

Summertime is here, and after a year of social distancing, virtual schooling, and being stuck inside, everyone’s excited about the upcoming summer months. Whether that means more BBQs, trips to the beach or lake, or spending time with family, it’s important to accommodate fun activities while staying safe. It’s also hard to not panic when thinking about saving money this season with activities, trips, and food costs.

Use these tips to save you and your family some money this summer and still have a great time.

Visit Your Local Library

Need a movie for a rainy afternoon? Want to sign your kids up for a summer reading program? Want to enjoy a quiet and free afternoon in the air-conditioning? Your local library is the place to go.

Libraries are great for families because they usually have something for everyone. Take your teens to game night, sign your little ones up for story-time, or simply hang out there for a few hours and read. Just be sure to check with the library beforehand on their in-person policies.

Do a Google™ search for libraries in your area or check out the event calendars of these Central Texas libraries:

Plan a Staycation

A staycation means taking a vacation in your hometown or nearby city and doing fun activities in the area. This allows you to save the money you would normally spend on hotel and transportation costs. You can also pack a lunch and extra snacks if you have the space so you won’t have to pay for food while out.

Consider going on a hike, visiting a park or pool you have never been to, catching an outdoor movie screening, or explore a nearby downtown city.

Discount Museum Days

Many museums will offer free or donation-based admission days during the summer, saving you money on ticket prices and giving your family a day of fun in the air conditioning.

Looking on the museum websites will give you an idea of what they’re offering, but be sure to call ahead and confirm the dates, times, and admission prices. Also be sure to check on their COVID-19 policies and requirements.

Plan Meals Ahead of Time

If you’re planning a vacation, look for a hotel with a free continental breakfast. This’ll save at least $10 a person per day and you can also grab snacks like fruit and yogurt for later on in the day. For longer vacations, or if you have lots of little ones, consider looking for a room with a kitchen. It might have a pricier upfront cost, but you’ll save on meals when you can cook from there.

Sticking to a staycation or day trip? Pack a cooler with lots of snacks, sandwiches, and drinks. Even if you have to stop for one meal, you’ll save money on drink options and pit-stop snacks.

Take Advantage of Free Camps

Tell your kids to grab their friends and attend a free summer camp or class! Various camps across Central Texas offer free sessions for kids and teens or have discounted prices that make it affordable (both in-person and virtual).

Also, look into your local library or YMCA; there might be a book club or teen game night they can attend.


The summer season is best spent with family and friends and it’s possible to do that while staying within your budget. Find free events, cut back on eating out, and use local activities and you’ll be saving money in no time.