July is all about celebrating summer and America. In fact, Independence Day on July 4 is the only big holiday in the month. Families go on vacation, celebrate weddings and just get together to grill out and enjoy the weather. There are several great deals going on in July to help you and your family save money.
July bargains in the food department
The focus this month is on grilling, picnics, and camping, so there should be sales on hot dogs, ground beef, hamburgers, buns, condiments, salad dressing, chips, soda, iced tea bags and mix, bottled water, ice cream, popsicles and s’mores supplies. During the summer months, consider keeping a case of water in your vehicle to keep everyone hydrated.
You can freeze meat and bread items (vacuum seal for long-term storage). Some of the other items have a long shelf life or can be stocked up on while on sale for future gatherings.
Seasonal produce this month is bountiful:
Tomatoes, summer squash, corn, green beans, string beans, eggplant, lettuce, apples, watermelon, plums, strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, apricots, raspberries, radish, avocado, cantaloupe, asparagus, basil, beets, cherries, figs, grapefruits, lemons, kale, collards, cucumber, grapes, mustard, nectarines, okra, onion, passion fruit, pears, peaches, plums, spinach, potatoes, raspberries, squash, turnips, cucumbers
Look for pick your own farms or visit a local farmer’s market for fresh produce. Think back to the cold of winter and what fruits and vegetables you wished you could get fresh. Stock up on those and either freeze, can or dehydrate them for those winter months.
The best deal on food is what you can get from your own garden, too. Research when the best time is to harvest what you have planted and how to save seeds for next year’s garden. It’s never too early to start planning next year’s garden.
After the 4th of July, you can find deals on party supplies, such as tablecloths, disposable plate, and utensils, Jell-O molds, decorations. These can be useful all year round or stocked up for next year’s party. There should be some graduation themed items on sale still, too.
For clothing, swimwear starts to go on sale, along with jeans and suits since they are all out of season. Spring and summer clothing will start going on sale, too. You’ll be able to find some patriotic gear on sale starting July 5 (buy the next size up for your children for next year). You will start seeing back-to-school deals, although most items will be on deeper clearance in the next two months.
Some stores highlight Christmas in July sales and while they may compare themselves to Black Friday, the deals probably won’t be as good as Black Friday. There will be home décor and appliances on sale due to wedding season. This would be the time to replace dinner plates and cups that have broken throughout the year.
In the furniture world, new models come out in August, so items go on sale in July to make room for the new furniture. Office furniture purchases should wait until the back to school sales in August, though.
Air conditioners start going on sale in July if you need to replace yours. The deals will get better as the summer wears on and fall begins if you can hold out until then.
Sales on electronics this month
Camcorders should be on sale in July, along with computers and tablets, as stores get ready for back-to-school sales. New computers start coming out in the summer so older models start getting discounted. If you do start looking for back-to-school deals, check with manufacturers about student discounts before buying computers, tablets, and laptops. Computer games also tend to go on sale during the summer.
Outside the house
Gardening supplies, including seeds and plants, start going on sale in July. There will also be deals on grills and grill supplies, such as charcoal and lighter fluid. Outdoor furniture also goes on sale if you want to get a table and chairs for your backyard or deck.
Tools also are on sale in July. Do an inventory of what you have on hand and see if anything is missing from your toolkit. Read Dad’s Tools for Survival.
Sports and Fitness
Baseball and golf gear supplies should go on sale this month as their seasons start winding down. Plan for the year ahead with what sports your children or you may participate in and look for used gear at garage sales.
Many cities and counties will have free fireworks displays during the 4th of July weekend and may also have fairs and festivals. County and state fairs start up in the summer and while there are usually admission fees, they can be a source of fun, cheap entertainment. Scout around for local vendors to get food from during the year and see when the 4H auctions are for art, baked goods, and livestock.
See if your area has a local arts group that hosts summer art series with free or discounted concerts or plays.
July may only have one major holiday, but it’s a month full of celebrations. July is:
- National Baked Bean Month (look for sales on baked beans)
- National Blueberry Month (blueberries are generally in season & on sale)
- National Hot Dog Month
- National Ice Cream Month
- National Picnic Month
- National Recreation Month (look for activities with your local city and county recreation centers)
Some stores and restaurants like to participate in specific special days, so keep an eye out for deals on the following days:
- Fried chicken day
- Chocolate day and strawberry sundae day
- Sugar cookie day
- Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A – dress like a cow and get free food
- Peach ice cream day
- Ice cream day
- Hot dog day and vanilla ice cream day
- Lasagna day
- Cheesecake day
Activities for children
Some sporting goods stores may offer classes or seminars on fishing, camping, and shooting during the summer for both adults and children. For example, Bass Pro is offering summer family camps: http://www.basspro.com.
Summer reading programs are in full gear in June as schools let out for the summer. Check your local library and local bookstores to see what they offer. For a list of stores, theaters and online programs, visit http://savingdollarsandsense.com/free-summer-reading-programs/.
Several stores also offer children freebies as a reward for a good report card. Ask your local stores if they do anything for report cards or, for a list, visit http://savingdollarsandsense.com/good-report-card-freebies/.
Check local hardware and craft stores for children’s make-and-take events.
Register at www.kidsbowlfree.com to get children up to 2 free games of bowling a day at your local bowling alley.
Some movie theaters offer discount movies during the summer. Check your local theater for prices and movie listings.
Local pools often offer special days where admission is half price or they have cheaper admission during the last 2-3 hours.
Consider signing up for deal alerts via email from money-saving blog sites. Book eBub sends daily eBook deals based on the type of books you like.
Think ahead to the holidays and start making gift lists so you can look for deals during the next five months. Some people set up a gift closet to have general gift items on hand for when you go over for dinner at someone’s house or for children’s friend’s birthday parties. You can even make a list of all the presents you expect to give during a year and think a year or two ahead. This will save you money so you don’t run out at the last-minute for whatever you can find.
Keep a list of items you would like to purchase for your household for going to garage sales, too. It will help you avoid impulse purchases and stick with what you need. Here’s a good list of items to add to your list: 21 Things to Look for Every Time You Go To a Yard Sale or Thrift Store.
Use some of the summer downtime to do a preparedness checkup. What disasters could you possibly face in your area and what do you need to have on hand to be prepared for those? Are your 72-hour bags up-to-date? Is your emergency car kit complete?
In the summer, close the blinds and curtains to keep the sun out on hot days in order to reduce cooling costs. If possible, dry clothes outside on a clothesline to avoid running the dryer. Take a different approach to summer meal planning and incorporate meals that are light, such as salads that incorporate fresh ingredients, or that involve cooking outside on the grill or over a fire pit.
By the end of July, you should have $465 saved if you’re following the weekly savings plan (30 weeks). If you have extra right now, perhaps going to a higher week in the chart and putting that money away would be a smart thing to do. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t come up with the entire amount for the week. Focus on what you can do and what you can enjoy!
Saving money is a daily lifestyle and the key is having a good attitude. Take pride in what you have already saved up and learn from any mistakes. If you haven’t yet joined our 52 Weeks Savings Challenge Facebook group, click here. It’s active with lots of great encouragement and tips.
Take advantage of July’s deals and enjoy summer. Come back next month to see what deals August offers to help you save AND prepare!