How to Live it Up This Summer Without Breaking the Bank

Summer is finally here, and we are more than ready. When you ending up getting time off of school or work, it can be hard to find ways to occupy your time that don't involve binge watching (and binge eating.) Lucky for you we have done the work for you when it comes to planning an amazing summer, offering our insight on the best ways to spend your time this summer. The best part? It will hardly cost you!

1. Start a garden. Go to your local garden center, grab some cheap pots and soil and get your hands dirty. Plant some pretty flowers or even herbs if you are feeling adventurous! Whatever tickles your fancy. 

2. Take a trip to the beach. Who doesn’t love sun and surf? Not everyone has access to a beach, and we get that, but if you have a few days free you can make it a girl's getaway. Don't forget the wine (and the sunscreen!)

3. Host a Boccee Ball tourney. Boccee Balls range from $15-30, a great investment for your summer. Ask your friends to bring a dish to eat, since you are providing the game. Not only will you have great company, but yummy post-game snacks to go along with it.

4. Become an artist for a day. Have some fun painting, doodling or creating a collage. If you aren't feeling inspired, check out Pinterest for ideas. You could start simple with a quote, or try and recreate one of your favorite places on canvas.

5. Have a picnic. Nothing says summer like a picnic with your bestie, so shoot her a text and grab ingredients for some sandwiches and sangria. Lay out your blanket at your favorite park and then go for a hike after. 

6. Bake some cookies for your neighbors or close friends. I like to bake cookies and deliver them fresh to my husband’s job! They are always a hit and it makes TJ look good ;)

7. Have a pizza party. And yes, we mean actually making the pizzas yourself. Gather some friends and your favorite pizza toppings for a “create your own” pizza night. We recommend Boboli pizza crust, but it's even more fun to make your own.

8. Take up photography. Whether you are creative or not, photography can be a great way to capture what you find most beautiful. Go for a nature walk and take pictures of what inspires you, or grab a disposable camera (we LOVE this one from Urban Outfitters) and hit the town for some photogenic fun.

9. Head to your neighborhood tennis court. You don’t play tennis? Oh well! Sometimes it's less about technique and more about the experience. The winner pays for ice-cream! 

10. Start a blog. You have thoughts in your head, and it's time to share them with the world. To get started check out free blogging websites like Wordpress, Blogger or Wix, and browse the internet for tips on how to blog!

11. Volunteer. Find a local food pantry or church that may need your assistance, and spend time lending a hand. Nothing feels better than helping out someone in need, and if you have a boring summer, this can help keep you committed to something bigger than yourself.

12. Visit a nearby aquarium. Whether you go with your kiddos or your friends, the aquarium can provide hours of entertainment. It is pretty affordable to spend the day admiring all the aquarium has to offer, especially if you can use a student discount, but if you can't, be sure to look on Groupon for some deals. 

13. Do your dreaded summer cleaning. Still haven't worn that party dress you bought three years ago? Donate it. Feeling cluttered? Do a little re-organizing. Haven't cleaned your baseboards in a year? Now may be the time. If you need a little extra cash, try selling your clothes to a consignment store or on an app like Poshmark.

14. Sign up for an obstacle race. Even if you aren't in peak athletic condition, signing up for an obstacle race can be a really good time. Some to check out are the Dirty Girl Mud Run, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. If a Gather a team together and get dirty!

15. Pitch a tent ... in your backyard. Pitch a tent and fill it with pillows, blankets and a wireless speaker. Spend the night stargazing and making s'mores with your your friends or your significant other.

16. Host a '90s game night. One word: Jumanji. Round up old board games (we know you still have a few) and invite your friends over for drinks and friendly competition. Don't lie, you totally want an excuse to play Mall Madness again!

17. Start a chain reaction. It always feels great making someone smile. Next time you are out and about, pay for the person behind you. It could be at Starbucks, the Dollar Store or even your local Drive in. You'll be making their day, but making yourself happier as well! 

18. Host a Sunday night dinner for your friends. It’s always good to have everyone together in one place, especially when there's food involved. Sunday nights are the perfect time to have a dinner for your friend family, because the weekend is winding down and Monday's work commitments haven't yet started.

19. Car wash. Get your best girl friends together, blast some old pop music and give your car a good scrub. All you need is some soap, sponges and a bucket of water. Oh, and some tanning oil as well.

20. Take a sunset bike ride. If you don’t have a bike, consider renting one -- most big cities offer bike renting services. It’s a chance to exercise while enjoying a great view at the same time! Sunset is the most peaceful time of the day, so relax and take it all in.

Got any other fun ideas? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

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