Relatives and friends from near and far are coming to visit. People are popping by while they are out and about.
How do you keep up with all the things going on and not blow your budget out of the water?
For meals try to use your microwave more or even the barbecue.
Have an inexpensive backyard hot dog roast or throw some burgers on the grill.
When you have a lot of people over make the food yourself or have a big old potluck dinner party.
Unless you are really short on time or have a huge gathering of people like a family reunion try to not have the food catered.
The price will be higher than making it yourself but you have to balance price and time depending on the size of the gathering.
It is no fun to have an event if all you are going to be doing is cooking the whole time.
On this one you have to make up your own mind there is no hard and fast rule.
For the patio furniture, wait to make purchases later in the season when prices are lowered.
Keep in mind when buying to look for low maintenance and really durable pieces.
Since it is outdoors and in the elements it will end up cracked and faded over time.
Look for waterproof seat cushions while you are at it, as you really do not want to have to run outside to bring in the cushions every time it rains and boy has that been a lot this year.
If you do have lots of relatives coming to visit, make it cheaper for them by having a tent set up in the backyard for the kids or even for the adults so they do not have expense of staying at a hotel.
The kids will definitely have a blast.
Speaking of kids, strangely enough, when the kids are out of school it is sometimes cheaper to hire a babysitter for a few hours during the week for you to go shopping.
Stores are loaded with stuff that has its advertisements aimed at your children.
These can often make a quick trip to the store long and expensive.
For some basic energy tips try keeping your television and all lamps away from your thermostat.
While you need light to see by and channels to surf these items also give off a lot of heat.
If they are near a thermostat they can cause the air conditioning to run overtime trying to compensate.
If possible locate these and other heat generating items across the room from where the thermostat is located.
Also when the bulbs burn out another benefit of the compact florescent ones is that they give off less heat.
Above else one thing to keep in mind is that summer time is to be more relaxing than the winter months. Keeping things simple weather meals or vacations will be less expensive than elaborate plans.
Sandra Nolan is a freelance writer from Rocky Mountain House. Her column appears every other week in LIFE. Contact her at email@example.com