The best low-risk, low-cost things to do this summer
The weather is warmer now, and we are excited to return outdoors. Unfortunately, with another wave of COVID cases, many cities are closing. Other cities are remaining open, but people still want to practice social distancing. Today we have several affordable ideas for Summer 2020. These ideas can help you and your family enjoy summer while still staying safe. Thankfully, there are some ways that you can still enjoy summertime and all the fun activities. You can enjoy summer while staying safe and being savvy with your money.
Family cook outs
Warmer weather means that our bodies are going to be inclined towards going outside and enjoying lighter meals. A cookout is a great way to enjoy both. Skip the calorie-packed casseroles and opt for something lighter instead. You could enjoy meat paired with a fresh salad. Steak is great, but hamburgers and hotdogs tend to be more affordable, and are just as good. If you wanted to save even more money, you could focus on vegetables. Make some roasted veggies or grilled corn on the cob. You could even make kebabs for a good vegetable and meat ratio. If you have access to a grill, use that to cook your food. Not only will it allow you and the family to go outside for some fresh air, it will also keep the heat out of your house. It will help you save some money on air conditioning for that month. If you do not have a grill, you could always ask a neighbor or family friend if you could borrow theirs. Be sure to ask if there is anything they want you to do before returning it. If you’re not that close with your neighbors, you could easily buy a small portable grill for about $35. It is an investment that would cost less each time you use it.
This might not be the year to invite friends or extended family over for a potluck. Instead, just enjoy this cook out with your immediate family. Your kids will enjoy the experience of eating outside. There is no harm in playing music or letting the kids play in a kiddie pool while you grill. The nice thing about having a family cook out is how much you are able to save. You only have to provide food for your family. There is no need to buy food for a bunch of people.
Take a walk or exercise outdoors
There is no need to pay for an expensive gym membership each month. If your commute is short enough, there is no reason to take a taxi or Uber either. With summer comes warm weather. Do not be afraid to go on a walk. If you become more active outside, you can maintain your physical health without the gym membership. Skip the Uber and help save the environment and your wallet. Warm weather means that you can instantly remove those expenses during the summer. If walking is not your idea of fun, you could ride a bike instead. You could get your bike, or rent a bicycle, as an alternative to cabs.
Better yet, this might provide an opportunity to socialize. It can be difficult to see friends and family during this time. Going for a neighborhood walk might be one solution. Some families are finding that if they walk on opposite sides of the street, they are staying far apart. Even though they are standing more than six feet apart, they can still keep a conversation. If you live in an apartment, or an area that has through-traffic, consider meeting up at a park. Keep in mind that you will still want to maintain a good distance while walking.
There is so much you could be doing outside to enjoy the weather. Cancel your cable subscription and enjoy the outdoors. You might find that you have more free time and are able to accomplish more in the day. In fact, research shows us that going outside and getting some fresh air can do wonders for our mental health. Taking care of your mental health is important during this stressful time.
Along with finding more free time and improving your mental health, you could also save money! Cutting the cord on cable could help you save money every month. If you go for a few months without cable, you may realize that you do not actually need it. One of our Net Pay Advance employees recently got rid of cable and has not looked back. She is found plenty to watch on Netflix and Hulu alone. You can read all about her experience, including the ups and downs at our blog.
Local theaters might be closed, but that should not stop you from enjoying movie night. There are a number of ways to host a movie night for the family. You could have an indoors movie night complete with popcorn and soda. Or you could invest in a small projector to enjoy a movie outdoors. You might be surprised how affordable projectors are! There is nothing better than a trip to the drive in on a summer night. Instead of getting in the car and going to a noisy drive in, you could stay at home and enjoy the same experience. Bring blankets and pillows outside for extra comfort!
Watching movies at home is more affordable and safer than going to a packed theater. Since many theaters are closed right now, many of this summer’s Hollywood blockbusters are being instantly released to streaming services. Check around online to see what movies are coming out and on which services. It might be worth switching up your streaming services for a month or two, or even signing up for a free trial…
Many families go out of town during the summer. They take their entire family on an expensive vacation in a faraway city. We love vacations, but we also realize that they can be expensive and pose a health risk. Skip the expenses and the worry. You can enjoy a vacation right from the comfort of your home!
Your city has so much to offer! Take a long weekend and plan out fun things to do in your area. Are there any activities or restaurants you have not tried? See what travel guides and websites recommend doing in your area. Consider if these activities would allow you to practice social distancing. Consider if these restaurants would allow you to order take-out. If you live by the ocean or a lake, see if there are any good beach spots. Try to go on your day off to decrease the chances of the beach being overcrowded.
If staying in is more your speed, you could spend the weekend relaxing. Use your weekend to recharge and focus on self-care. Enjoy a nice soak in the tub with bubbles or a bath bomb. Pamper yourself with a facemask and paint your nails. If you have a yard or patio, you could read outdoors or even sunbathe. If you want to create your own oasis, you could buy a small kiddie pool.
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What are your family plans this summer? Comment below.
This blog was originally posted on June 12, 2019 and has since been updated