outdoor dining http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6407/all en-US 25 Ways to Have Cheap Summer Fun http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2956787150_5f9228defc_z.jpg" alt="kids on beach" title="kids on beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking to enjoy your summer without breaking the bank? Check out the following ideas for frugal summer fun. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a>)</p> <h3>1. Get in the Water</h3> <p>We can&rsquo;t talk about summer without mentioning pools, right? Whether you have a pool in your backyard or in your community, this is not only a way to have fun, but swimming laps is also great exercise. No pool? No problem! Break out the hose and get a packet of water balloons for a few dollars or less.</p> <h3>2. Have a Picnic</h3> <p>Even if your job requires that you work year-round, you can still have picnic lunches with coworkers during the workweek or with friends on the weekends. Assign each person a drink or food item to bring, and have a great meal without an exorbitant cost.</p> <h3>3. Run a Car Wash to Raise Money for Charity</h3> <p>If you want to beat the heat, why not do it in a way that will also help out others? Hosting car washes is a popular summer activity, and the only costs you&rsquo;ll incur are for soap and water.</p> <h3>4. Have a Bonfire</h3> <p>For this, all you need is some wood and a fire pit (or place you can safely contain a fire without wildfire risk). Get some friends together and cook hot dogs and s&rsquo;mores for less than a couple dollars per person, if everyone chips in.</p> <h3>5. Garden</h3> <p>Have a green thumb? Summer may be a dry season for some states, but gardening and landscaping can still be done on the cheap if you have the tools available (or can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">borrow from a neighbor</a>).</p> <h3>6. Pursue Photography</h3> <p>Summer is a wonderful time to try your hand at photography. Whether you're taking pictures of family events, nature, vacations, or just hanging out with friends, photography is an affordable way to have fun and capture these memories for years to come.</p> <h3>7. Get in&nbsp;Shape</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s going to be hot this summer, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean you shouldn&rsquo;t get out and exercise. Biking, running, hiking, or sports can all be done for very little to no money if you have the equipment already.</p> <h3>8. Visit an Art Gallery or Museum</h3> <p>Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free">museums</a> and art galleries offer free or low-priced admission fees. Take advantage of a valuable cultural experience and escape the heat at the same time.</p> <h3>9. Read or Write a Book</h3> <p>Summer is a great time for reading on the beach or by the pool. Or, if you have an idea for a story in mind, why not use this season to put your thoughts to paper?</p> <h3>10. Study a New Language</h3> <p>Thanks to the internet, studying a language has never been easier. There are also several affordable apps for those with tablets or smartphones.</p> <h3>11. Take a Community College Class</h3> <p>A summer class at your local college probably won&rsquo;t cost you more than a couple hundred dollars (much less in some locales).</p> <h3>12. Learn to Knit or Sew</h3> <p>Knitted clothing isn&rsquo;t too popular in summer, but why not start preparing for the winter months now? Sewing is also useful year-round, and it won&rsquo;t cost you much to get started with a needle and thread.</p> <h3>13. Rough It</h3> <p>Camping isn&rsquo;t always dirt cheap, but if you&rsquo;re boondocking with your motorhome or camping on public lands, it can be a frugal vacation for many families. Or consider pitching a tent right in your own backyard!</p> <h3>14. Play Team Sports</h3> <p>With the days getting longer, the kids are going to want to be outside more. Either sign them up for a team sport (basketball, soccer, baseball, football, street hockey, etc.) or play with family and neighbors. There are also many adult sports clubs currently in existence or forming for the summer! Whether you want to play tennis, soccer, basketball, etc. &mdash; there are usually teams out there (some clubs are for all ages). Check your local parks and recreation website or search on Google to find some great clubs in your area.</p> <h3>15. Learn Magic Tricks</h3> <p>A well-performed magic trick can be a lot of fun. There are several websites, videos, and books you can find on the subject and some tricks can be done with simple goods from your own home.</p> <h3>16. Help the Kids Run a Lemonade Stand</h3> <p>A good way for kids to make money during the summer is opening a lemonade stand. It can be fun and a good learning experience in personal finance (you can never start too young). If not lemonade, then consider animal balloons, if your kids are willing to learn how to make them.</p> <h3>17. Host a Family Game Night</h3> <p>Have board games or video game consoles? Organize a family game night.</p> <h3>18. Go to a Matinee Movie</h3> <p>Many cinemas offer cheaper ticket prices on Tuesdays and for morning shows during the week. A few hours in a cool, dark theater can be a welcome change from the blistering heat outside.</p> <h3>19. Volunteer</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for some opportunities to serve your community, check for local postings or on <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org/">Volunteer Match</a>.</p> <h3>20. Prepare a Budget Meal</h3> <p>Even if budget meals are already a common habit for you, challenge yourself to spend less than you do normally. Maybe try more coupon clipping or grow more of your own produce.</p> <h3>21. Become a Masseur</h3> <p>Experiment with different massaging techniques on your friends or spouse. You might be able to convince them to give you one in return.</p> <h3>22. Have a BBQ Potluck</h3> <p>Grilling is another favorite pastime, especially during the summer. If everyone pitches in a dish, you can have a huge meal without the usual cost.</p> <h3>23. Go Couch Surfing</h3> <p>Want to travel but not pay a fortune for accommodations? Then check out <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.org/">CouchSurfing</a> for a free place to stay while on the go!</p> <h3>24. Catch Up on Your Favorite TV Shows</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">Hulu and Netflix</a> offer cheap streaming options. Some free episodes are also available online from the official network sites or iTunes.</p> <h3>25. Have a Garage Sale</h3> <p>Cut down on the &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; in your life, make money, and have fun while doing it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers">19 Frugal Ways to Entertain Teenagers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things">4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living outdoor dining summer fun things to do Thu, 10 May 2012 10:24:11 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 927929 at http://www.wisebread.com Beat the heat with cool summer meals http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gazpacho.jpg" alt="gazpacho" title="gazpacho" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="167" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some summer evenings are simple too hot to contemplate firing up the stove or using the oven. Some nights, even standing in front of the grill flipping burgers sounds like a bit too much warmth for comfort. </p> <p>For those nights, here are some of my favorite no-cook soups that satisfy without the sweat. These recipes serve 4, so double if feeding a larger group.</p> <h4>Cold Cucumber Dill Soup</h4> <p>The great thing about this recipe is you can pretty much substitute any other fruit/veggie in for the cucumber. Avocados are another popular choice for this soup.</p> <ul> <li>2 English cucumber (chopped into several pieces), or 2 conventional cucumbers (peeled and seeded)</li> <li>1/4 clove garlic, or a very small garlic clove</li> <li>8 oz plain whole milk yogurt</li> <li>dill (if fresh, several fronds, if dry, 1 tablespoon)</li> <li>mint (if fresh, several sprigs, if dry 1 tablespoon)</li> <li>1/4 cup chilled gin or vodka (optional)</li> <li>salt and pepper to taste</li> </ul> <p>Put all ingredients in blender or food process and puree. Add water as needed until desired consistency is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped chives or green onion. Chill for 20 minutes before serving.</p> <h4>Gazpacho</h4> <ul> <li>between 5-8 fresh tomatoes (you will have to decide how many are needed based on size - feel free to use a wide variety of tomato types, as heirloom varieties are particularly good for this soup)</li> <li>small can of spicy V-8 juice</li> <li>roasted red bell peppers, chopped (optional)</li> <li>English cucumber, chopped (optional)</li> <li>1/2 onion, chopped</li> <li>fresh parsley, chopped</li> <li>green onions or chives</li> <li>1 tablespoon olive oil</li> <li>lemon juice to taste</li> <li>salt and pepper, to taste</li> <li>1 tablespoon Worchester sauce (optional - leave out for vegetarian option)</li> <li>tabasco, to taste</li> <li>pinch dried ground chipotle</li> </ul> <p>My mother likes her gazpacho chunky, whereas I love mine smooth and blended. For chunky, chop all choppable ingredients finely. For smooth soup, add ingredients to blender and puree until smooth. Place all ingredients to a large glass or plastic bowl and mix well added seasonings as needed, then refrigerate for a couple of hours. </p> <p>Gazpacho is even better the next day. Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche and ground black pepper, and eat with lots of fresh French bread.</p> <h4>Cold Melon Soup</h4> <p>For some reason, one of the cooks in my college cafeteria had a real fondness for cold soup. It was a novelty to me, but once I tried it, I was impressed.</p> <ul> <li>chopped, peeled, and seeded ripe honeydew melon or cantaloupe</li> <li>8 oz yogurt, either plain or flavored</li> <li>lemon juice, to taste</li> <li>pinch of salt</li> <li>5 oz sparkling white wine (or 3 oz white wine and 3 oz sparkling mineral water)</li> </ul> <p>Put everything but the sparkling wine or soda into a blender and puree until smooth. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add sparkling wine right before serving.</p> <h4>Also: Cracker Sandwiches</h4> <p>Here&#39;s a frugal habit that more people need to pick up.</p> <p>My dad is a really good sandwich maker. This is not to say that he could get a job at a New York deli, for his has no penchant for piling rye high with cold cuts. Rather, he is really good at using whatever leftovers we have in the fridge to make open-face sandwiches that always have the rest of us drooling.</p> <p>One of the reasons that my mother never had to make casseroles was because Dad pretty much ate all the leftovers for lunch. Dad&#39;s Leftover Sandwiches are always a hit, and here are some of the combos that we like the best:</p> <ul> <li>chunks of cold salmon</li> <li>fresh chopped dill</li> <li>lemon juice</li> <li>sour cream</li> <li>cracked black pepper</li> <li>capers</li> </ul> <ul> <li>sliced beef, lamb or pork (cooked but chilled)</li> <li>fresh sliced tomato</li> <li>sliced cheddar or other sharp cheese</li> <li>thinly sliced dill pickles</li> <li>mayo</li> <li>mustard</li> <li>cracked black pepper and salt</li> </ul> <ul> <li>cold chicken, shredded</li> <li>cream cheese, with a pinch of chipotle mixed in</li> <li>salt, to taste</li> <li>sliced apple</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-preserve-your-early-harvest">7 Easy Ways to Preserve Your Early Harvest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/growing-my-own-food-in-my-apartment">Growing My Own Food...In My Apartment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink alcohol conserve energy Food heat outdoor dining over summer temperature vegetables Sat, 23 Jun 2007 20:27:48 +0000 Andrea Karim 773 at http://www.wisebread.com