how to save money all year long

Is your Phoenix, Arizona, family looking for ways to save money? Who isn’t trying to save a buck these days?

With the volatile state of the economy and skyrocketing prices, most families are pinching pennies and looking for ways to stretch their budgets every day.

In our post on easy ways to save money, recording your expenses, and having solid plan to save is usually the first thing to do.

Let’s go over a few ways frugal parents can save money throughout the year.

Keep Energy Costs Low

how to save money

Image via Flickr by hnnbz

Everyone knows how air conditioning costs skyrocket every summer. Starting about May, things in the Valley heat up, and everyone’s scrambling for the thermostat.

AC isn’t an option in Arizona, so how do you keep your energy costs low and survive the heat?

There are several steps homeowners can take to lighten the load on your air conditioner. Try adding some insulation in your attic.

It’s an inexpensive and easy DIY project you can do in a weekend. Have your air conditioning system serviced each year, preferably in the off-season of winter.

This once-over ensures your unit won’t croak when the weatherman calls for an August heat advisory.

Fun and Free Family Activities

The city of Phoenix is home to many kid-friendly attractions, and what better way to enjoy family night than with a fun and free activity close to home.

Grab the kids and lace up your hiking boots for a day on the trail.

Phoenix is a hotspot for hiking enthusiasts of all ages, especially during the winter.

Try South Mountain Park for a stroll along Trail 100 with the kids or parents can give Camelback Mountain’s challenging, rugged paths a go.

The Phoenix Art Museum opens its doors at no cost or a voluntary donation every month.

Visit the museum Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., the second Sunday of the month from noon to 5 p.m., and every first Friday from 6 to 10.

Of course, general admission is always free for members.

Plant a Family Garden

Gardening as a family offers a host of benefits, starting with your own, fresh from the ground fruits and vegetables.

Our culture is becoming more and more aware of the importance of good nutrition as an essential part of our daily lives, and gardening offers all that, plus a way to save big on your grocery bill.

Just because Phoenix sits in the middle of a hot, dry desert doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fresh vegetables all year.

Start with a small plot, it’s much easier to manage, and consider using inexpensive raised garden beds.

The backyard crops that grow best in Arizona’s brutal sunshine include green beans, bell peppers and jalapenos, and roots like radishes and carrots.

Peas, tomatoes, and most herbs also flourish in the Valley.

Studies show that a crop of tomatoes from your garden only cost 25-cents per pound, while organic tomatoes on the vine go for up to $2.00 a pound at local grocers.

Don’t think of money-saving techniques as restrictive. Saving money doesn’t mean you have to stop living.

These tips will help you manage your spending and prioritize your financial goals year-round.

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