Summer Lovin'

Summer is officially 13 weeks long this year.

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Something about the word "summer" that makes me feel from June 21 through September 21  we should be doing at least one super fun thing each week.

As a mom working outside the home I feel like I'm squandering my days out of the office if I'm not using them for special days at school, field trips, or sick kid days.  I use my "official" vacation time for school breaks or time away with family.  That leaves me living for the weekends.  All thirteen of them.

Five ways I'm having 13 weeks of fun on a budget.

 Coupons and Discounts -  Cheesy?  Maybe. Each fall I make sure to support my school and purchase an  Entertainment Book - available for all regions, and proceeds go to support your school.  I carry it with me everywhere I go and what I don't use I give away.  Lots of bogo admissions, restaurant, services, etc..   Also good for neighboring states and travel.  Totally worth it and I HAVE used it - a lawt.   I'm the person who texts a number for discounts and signs up for those annoying rewards cards.  We also had a couple of school vouchers from reading and homework programs that gave us free pizza, free amusement park admission, and free skating lessons.

Community Events  - Check your community website or flyers for local events or your newspaper for those nearby.  Admittedly living near a big city there are lots of options.  We always try and get to  Chicago's Venetian Night and The Chicago Air and Water Show .  Both are grand events and FREE!  Some other low key choices are the more local movies and concerts in the park.  Both are free unless you want to be in the beer garden.  I can't wait for the dueling pianos!

Museum Memberships - If you've checked out museum admission pricing lately you might think I lost my mind.  BUT compare the cost of per person admission to what a household membership is.  We would have paid $125 for a one day visit or $155 for a one year family membership.  Our membership offers FREE parking, FREE coat checks, DISCOUNT on store and food purchase, FREE tickets for guests, access to special exhibits free or at a discount, PLUS 50% off reciprocating museums and associations throughout North America.  If this still doesn't work for you most museums have special FREE days throughout the year for residents.  Many offer free admission for teachers.  Most libraries will post this information.  If not, check the museum websites.

After Hours  - If you don't mind separating yourself from the herds go a little later in the day and enjoy a discount.  Sometimes up to half off!  This is available at most water parks, community pools, and amusement parks.

Group Trips - This is one of my favorites.  We have a group of close friends we enjoy traveling and staycationing with.  Sharing the cost of gas and accommodations splits the expense in half.  More often than not a large suite is cheaper split in half than two single rooms.  Use resorts or accommodations that include meals or have special deal weekends.  Add a coupon and it's a total score!

Your turn!