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Save $2,000 or More This Summer: From Reading Phillies to Staycation Tips and More

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I had a phenomenal email response to a recent “Be Frugal When Temps Start To Sizzle” column!  With that in mind, I thought an encore column with even more money-saving strategies was called for – read on for a second helping of summertime savings!

Staycation – If this year’s vacation budget is tighter than ever, don’t let the summertime heat buckle your resolve to save big cash.  If you have vacation days coming, take them by all means, but don’t let that turn into an excuse to spend money!  Forget the lengthy car trips, plane rides, expensive hotel stays, who needs it?   

Instead, try a “Staycation” at home!  Relax, rejuvenate, recharge the batteries – all in the comfort of your own home.  The towels are great, the beds are comfy and the kitchen is always open.  Sleep in, indulge in every fabulous indulgent meal you wanted to enjoy, read every book you’ve been wanting to read cover to cover, and best of all, save lots of cash.  

Forget the summer blockbusters at the movie theatre – even when hitting the less-costly matinee, a family of four will easily shell out $80.00 by family movie nightthe time they’re done buying tickets, popcorn & a couple of overpriced snacks.

I’m telling you, the money disappears out of your pocketbook faster than you can say “Brave” in a Scottish accent.  By contrast, renting a blockbuster movie at your local library (the one that was playing in theatres a week ago), combined with a mongo bowl of microwave popcorn and a few sodas will cost your family less than $5.   Keeping your family’s once-a-month movie night on the couch instead of the theatre will save you $300 this summer & $900 in one year’s time!

Don’t melt your wallet at the local waterparks – I love a fun water slide as much as the next person, but the cost for a day pass can be crazy!  Learn from my experience - if your kids are under the age of eight (like mine), they’ll consider the plastic knee-high hose-filled pool a  paradise, especially if you keep the garden sprinkler going non-stop nearby.   

Ready for some major summertime savings?  Hit the minors!  I’m not trying to be disloyal to the major ball teams here, truly.  That being said, if you have a houseful of baseball fans like I do, you’ll have a fantastic time hitting the minor league games, and your wallet will thank you in a major way.

If we were to try a family outing at Citizens Bank Park for a Phillies game, it would cost over $200 for tickets, food, gas and parking.  By reading philliescomparison, hitting a Reading Phillies game – including tickets, gas, parking and the snacks we’re allowed to bring into the stadium with us - costs our family of four a total of $21!  Hitting five games each season saves a family of four almost $1000!   It’s a no brainer, folks.    

Looking for a team closer than Reading?  Try the Camden Riversharks, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs or the Lancaster Barnstormers!

If you’re travelling a bit farther west this summer, try the Harrisburg Senators!  Ready to save some serious money this summer?  Play Ball!

Kristen Hagopian hosts “The Brilliant Frugal Living Show” Tuesdays at 11A on Philadelphia’s WFYL 1180AM.  Her next Brilliant Frugal Living Conference is October 22nd in West Chester, with $5 of every ticket sold being donated to the Chester County Food Bank to assist families in need.  Log onto www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com for more information!

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Reading Phillies game photo from theballparkguide.mlblogs.com

Photo of family watching tv from kids.nationalgeographic.com