Some love for a frugal summer

It’s already the middle of July. Summer is flying by so fast. I wanted to take a few moments and give some love to summer. Summer is a pretty frugal time in our house. Things slow down from the hectic nature of semesters teaching and tax season. Summer is my time to regroup, reflect and save some cash.

Saving on Gas

Since I’m not commuting back and forth to school, we are saving a ton of money on gas. I also group all my errands so I can do them on one or two days during the week. Instead of filling up the car every 5 days, I’m filling up once every two weeks. This saves us about $120 a month on gas. My new job, starting in September, is also closer to my house than my previous one so I hope to keep some of those savings going forward.

Saving on Groceries

The price of groceries, especially meat, is giving me heart palpitations. Am I the only one? With my extra time, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen making things2014-07-03 15.22.42 from scratch.

My husband’s job just moved him to a new location, which means he can’t come home for lunch anymore. I’ve been very creative making him inexpensive snacks, like cookies and jello fruit cups, to save some money.

We have also been smoking inexpensive cuts of meat, like pork shoulder, and using that to make all sorts of things. Last week, I made pulled pork chili which he absolutely loved. Tonight, I’m going to make pork enchiladas. On nights when we need a quick dinner, pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad have made it on the menu.

The garden is starting to produce some vegetables. We planted four different types of tomatoes, two types of peppers and cucumbers. So far, we’ve picked 10 cucumbers, one very large pepper and two tomatoes.

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There are hundreds of tomatoes on the vines and the cucumbers just keep coming. We have about half a dozen peppers and more popping each day. We invested about $25 in the garden so I think we should see a good return on our investment.

Repairs and Cleanup

Summer is a good time to get to those household projects you’ve been waiting on all year. So far I’ve cleaned out the linen closet and my desk downstairs. We cleaned up the basement and the laundry area. I’ve brought a few bags of linens to Goodwill which really helped clear some space. I love clean organized spaces. They make me happy.

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I sold a bunch of books to Amazon and I’ll use the gift cards to purchase additional things we need for window screen repairs and new heating vent registers. We are also painting the spare room. That should be finished this week.

Now I start to turn my attention to the kitchen and getting everything organized in there. I also have three classes to prep for in the fall. Luckily, I have taught them or similar courses before so I’ll be looking for new creative ideas to make the class more interesting.

How is your summer going? Do you find you spend more or less money in the summer? What are your frugal summer tips?