Summer is here again! Time to break out the flip flops, shorts, and suntan lotion. Oh, and the fruit. All the fruit you can eat! Ripe cherries, sweet strawberries, juicy peaches. My mouth is watering over here. In keeping with my quarterly tradition, here are 13 more frugal ways to celebrate summer, one for each week.
Bake a Cherry Clafoutis
Basically, clafoutis is a sort of custardy pie with cherries baked right into it. It’s easy to make – all you need is a pie dish, an oven, and a blender. Chefs recommend leaving the pits in for better flavor (and to be traditional). If you don’t like cherries, you can also make this with any other berry, nectarines, or any other fruit you have on hand.
Drink Ginger-Berry Lemonade
It’s a sweet, spicy taste of summer that’s perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, and summer barbecues you want to jazz up a bit.
Twirl Your Toes in the Grass
Especially in the morning when the grass is still cool, but the peak of the day is nice, too. I love how the blades tickle my feet and the cool earth refreshes my whole body.
Buy New Flip Flops
Podiatrists don’t recommend wearing flip flops all the time – they don’t have much support. However, you can’t very well take your heavy shoes to the beach and flip flops are easy to put on for a quick run into the yard. Old Navy usually has flip flops for about $5. There’s no excuse not to pick up a new pair at that price.
Pick Fruit Fresh from the Tree
If you don’t have a fruit tree in your yard, then go to a U-Pick farm to pick your own fruit. There really is a difference in taste, I promise. My family had a peach tree that would drop softball-sized peaches every other year. We left them on the branch until they were just about to fall off and then ate them right away. It was heaven.
Try One New Fruit
You’re probably familiar with the standard fruits of summer, but new breeds show up at the farmer’s market all the time. Next time you’re near a market, check out the options and pick one fruit you’re not familiar with. One time I tried white nectarines, and they weren’t for me. Another time I tried mango nectarines and I love them. I can’t wait for them to return to the market.
Set up a volleyball net, or go to a local park with a net, and hit the ball over it with some friends. If you’re particularly coordinated, you can try badminton, but I’ve never been that coordinated. My shuttle always wound up in the tree.
Play Obstacle Croquet
My family is fairly competitive, and our lawn wasn’t even, so we invented a new version of croquet. Rather than just hitting the balls through the wickets, you also have to knock it over a bridge made from two planks of wood, through a tunnel, or around a root. My most epic course required us to hit the ball up the concrete patio seam, up the grate, across the deck, down the gravel path, past the rose bushes, across the gravel patio, onto the lawn, over the bridge, through the tunnel, and then there were the wickets. We also played dressed as Alice in Wonderland characters and hopped on English tea, but that’s just me.
Host a Potluck BBQ
If you’ve got a grill and a yard, spring for a pack of hot dogs and then host a potluck barbecue. Good food, good music, good friends. That’s what summer is all about.
Change Your Décor
If you’ve been bottled up in your house for a few months, you’re probably getting tired of the décor. Give it a summer update by swapping out the candles and maybe the pillows. You don’t have to buy new pillows – just tack a pretty fabric over the old ones for a few months.
Plant Some Herbs
Fresh herbs are good year-round, but they’re at their peak during the summer. If you don’t already have herbs growing, buy potted herbs and set them out in the backyard. If you have space and mild winters, you can plant them in the ground, otherwise leave them in the pots so you can bring them inside during winter.
Enjoy a Meatless Meal
Even though grilling and summer go together, this is also a great time to eat light and enjoy meatless meals. Fill your dishes with chunky tomatoes, cheeses, and nuts. I do enjoy eggs in my meatless meals, but it is still an animal product.
A Frisbee costs a few bucks, but it’s good for hours of fun in the park or on the beach. Bring a picnic to the park with you and toss the old flyer around a few times for a relaxing summer day.
Got more great ways to celebrate summer? Post them in the comments!