Season’s Savings: How to Save on Each of the Four Seasons

Money saving and sustainable living intersect on many levels, yet one of the most obvious ones is food. After all, entertainment will cost you no matter if it’s an occasional concert or a sports game at your local stadium, you can’t negotiate your bills and fees, and many other expenses are beyond change. You can always save on food, though, and it’s surprisingly easy if you know how to start. Saving opportunities are there in every season – you can make the most of each one and save money in the long run.

Spring – Herbs, fruit, eggs

Spring is the time when nature finally ends its hybernation and finds life anew. It’s also the season when some of the tastiest fruits are blooming and ripening – it is the perfect time to stock up on some of these so your supplies will last all year long.

Strawberries might be available all year long in supermarkets, yet the real, sunkissed fruit is only available in the spring. Since an abundance of fruit is collected at this time of the year, make sure to stock up on it and preserve it in jars, as a compote or a jam. It will serve you well later in the year. Spring is the perfect time to collect elderflower – you can dry it for tea or make a syrup out of it, and use it all year long to flavor your lemonades – and, depending on the area you live in, some early mushrooms that you can dry or preserve in salt for later (make sure to only buy these from a certified professional or have them checked by an expert).

Mid-Spring (around Easter) there’s an abundance of eggs that floods the market. Look for great deals on this delicious and nutritious food – you can use them to cook a series of delicious dishes, make pasta, or even preserve them in salt and vinegar.

Summer – Fruit and veggies

Summer comes with its hot temperatures and long periods of daylight, perfect for certain fruit and vegetables to ripen. This is the perfect time to stock up on these, and fill your freezer, as well as your pantry, with them. The internet is full of guides and recipes on how to preserve various fruits and veggies – make sure to have your reserves filled while the prices are down.

Fall – abundance of fruit

Each season – and region – has its typical fruits that you can find cheaper in season than at any other time of the year. Make sure to know which ones are the best for you, and stock up on them while they are cheap. The fall is, in most areas, the time when the largest quantities of preserves are made – no wonder, as it is the most abundant season.

Fill your pantry with fruit juices, compotes, and jams, and your freezer with corn kernels (they are perfect frozen) so that you will have lots of food to reach out to during the winter.

Winter – holiday sales

Last but not least, let’s not forget about the holiday shopping season. Before Christmas, the stores are filled with food, often at a discount price. If your freezer still has space after the abundant crop of the fall, this is the perfect time to stock up on meat (it can stay frozen for up to 3 months without alteration), fish, and basically anything else you can find cheap.

3 Effective Ways to Stay Entertained Without Blowing Your Budget

If you’ve ever visited a dietary expert to get tips on how to eat well, you might have been told, “Everything in moderation.” After all, unless you have a health problem that makes it unwise to consume certain foods or ingredients, it’s usually okay to indulge in favorite treats from time to time. Moderation is also a key principle when it comes to staying entertained. Luckily, in that case, moderation doesn’t equal boredom or feeling like you’re missing out.

Use Gift Cards to Keep Spending in Check

Gift cards are quite convenient because they usually don’t expire. Also, you can buy them to use towards certain types of entertaining merchandise or services. For example, if you want to treat yourself to going to see a new release at the cinema but hate the stunning realization of how much you typically spend on treats at the concession stand, purchase a theater gift card. Keep the specified amount in mind as you get some movie treats, and only use the gift card to pay.

Splurge Occasionally, and Especially When Warranted

Some people become so dedicated to frugality that they try to make the principle extend into every facet of their lives, including entertaining diversions. But, far too often, they take frugality to mean complete deprivation. Going back to the example of dietary moderation, consider how it’s probably okay to eat a small piece of chocolate cake after dinner, but you probably shouldn’t have three.

There are some occasions when splurging is definitely okay, especially if you’re purchasing certain items. Maybe you’re about to go on the trip of a lifetime with a spouse but only have the low-quality camera on your phone to use for taking pictures. In that case, it might be a good idea to think about buying at least a moderately priced digital camera that’ll see you through many more memorable occasions than just that single trip.

Determining when to splurge isn’t easy, but it usually becomes simpler when you prioritize what’s important to you. If you thoroughly treasure photographs from years past because you love the memories they trigger, the digital camera is a smart investment.

Have Healthy Expectations

Setting realistic expectations about what you want to get from entertainment-based spending is also crucial. That’s especially true when you’re doing something fun that has an element of chance, like gambling. There are many places where you can gamble in person, but online casinos are also rising in popularity. No matter how you choose to try your luck, remember that winning isn’t everything.

It certainly feels great to win, but you might feel the exact opposite after suffering a crushing loss during a card game. When you’re focusing on having fun and not on winning, you won’t spend more money than you can afford.  Gambling with a friend who is also trying to have fun while maintaining the right mindset could also stop you from spending more than you planned.

As you can see from these tips, it’s definitely possible to have a good time in reasonable ways without draining your bank account. Start practicing them today to live well without feeling deprived.