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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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MyRatePlan's Guide to Saving This Summer

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 06/24/14 -- It's the time of year when it heats up and the kids are out of school wondering what to do with themselves all day. It can be difficult resist the temptation to use credit cards to finance costly vacations or to purchase expensive electronics to keep the kids happy and occupied. But it doesn't have to be that way. Fortunately, there are many things to do to enjoy family fun and still save money this summer. MyRatePlan, a leading expert on finance, announced the best ways to save this summer:

The Staycation

For those who have a week or two off this summer, why not take the opportunity to visit your area's local attractions? Saving money doesn't have to equal boredom. Taking a variety of day trips can be an inexpensive alternative to spending large amounts of money on travel and hotels. A little internet research and even the Yellow Pages can give you all kinds of ideas of things to do without having to go very far.

Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day at the lake with friends. With a blanket and a cooler of cold beverages, people can enjoy the local fireworks displays or free concerts in the park. Check out the days and hours of operation of your municipal swimming pool. Although the kids are on summer break, parents can always sneak in educational opportunities by visiting local museums and historic sites. Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather by taking a bike ride, getting up a backyard game of softball or Frisbee, hitting some tennis balls at the local courts or taking a nature walk. Don't forget to take advantage of the programs offered by public libraries.

Volunteering

Summer is a great time to show the kids how good it can feel to make your hometown a better place to live or to help those less fortunate than themselves. Contact a local civic organization (or county/city government) to learn about volunteer opportunities. Make a family project of collecting cans and bottles for charity, keep the community green by picking up trash, or volunteer at a local animal shelter or food bank. Volunteering is an inexpensive way of bringing families together.

Backyard Barbecues

Ah, the joys of sweet, juicy watermelon and corn on the cob dripping with melted butter. Check out the produce deals at the local farmer's market and make a picnic at a fraction of the cost of restaurant outings. Skewer up summer's bounty of red, green and yellow peppers with mushrooms and onions for healthy and fun kebabs. Everyone loves hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, but change it up and keep things interesting by grilling fresh salmon steaks, chicken breasts and even baked potatoes wrapped in foil. Baked beans and potato salad, anyone? Pass the ketchup and mustard, please!

Cut Cooling Costs

Home electric bills can reach truly frightening numbers for those who live in an area where the heat and humidity call for running the air conditioning most of the day. Here are a few suggestions to consider for cutting cooling costs this summer:

  • Window units - If you have a few small window air conditioning units in strategic areas of your home, you may be able to keep the central air turned off most of the time. Why pay to cool the entire house or apartment when your family has congregated in only one or two rooms?

  • Fans - Never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned stand-up or ceiling fan. You can run a fan or two at a tiny fraction of the cost of air conditioning.

  • Sprinklers and garden hoses - Remember how we used to run through sprinklers in the yard and soak each other with the garden hose when we were kids? If you're watering the lawn or washing the car, encourage the kids to take the opportunity to cool off by getting wet and splashy!

About MyRatePlan:

MyRatePlan.com is a leading comparison site that allows users to compare credit cards, mobile phones, cell phone plans, and more. MyRatePlan was founded in 1999 to help users find the best recommendations for them based on innovative and proprietary tools and customer input.

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