The last couple of weeks before the kids go back to school always have me a bit wistful.
The days are already getting shorter. The weather is getting cooler. There’s the thrill of new school supplies coupled with a nostalgia for our summer.
After a winter full of repairs and projects, we opted to keep our summer low-key and frugal. The low-cost summer didn’t make it any less enjoyable.
Our frugal summer consisted of a spending a lot of time swimming in our lake:
And catching dinner (although the fishing wasn’t as good as it has been other summers):
We spent time outside walking, riding bike, swinging, camping in the backyard, and shooting hoops. We spent time visiting some beautiful locations not far from home.
We’ve especially enjoyed observing the wildlife in our backyard.
We took a mini-vacation with my in-laws, and they graciously covered our hotel stay, most of our meals, and some of our activities. Of course, one of our favorite things was actually the totally free Franconia Sculpture Park.
We bought a membership to the Minnesota Historical Society this summer. This gets us into 26 different historical sites in Minnesota, including our visit to Historic Fort Snelling, where we got to watch a Civil War homecoming re-enactment and lots of fun demonstrations. The membership is a huge savings for us, and will allow us many opportunities for local exploration without spending a fortune over the next year.
We had a decent harvest from our little garden. Plenty of green beans and tomatoes to eat.
And of course, we had to pick wild raspberries along our road.
I spent some time shopping thrift shops, garage sales, and estate sales, and found some bargains. I also got items priced to sell in a multi-family garage sale that’s coming up. A few specialty items will get listed in Facebook groups and on eBay.
We found free and low cost activities in our community, like free live music, visiting the library and attending the local auto show. (Don’t our friends have a cool car?)
The slower pace of our summer reminded me that friends and family are what’s really important in life. Recharging by spending time in nature instead of charging things in stores (or charging electronic devices!) was much healthier, less expensive and so much more enjoyable.
School will be back in session soon. Fall is almost here. The holiday season is just around the corner. I’m getting ready for the change of seasons. And I know the memories of our frugal summer will not be forgotten.