Summer time is definitely an expensive season. Living in Canada, I like to take advantage of warm sunny weather before winter rolls around and I have to hunker down indoors for another 6 months. This means plenty of camping, hiking, barbecuing, gardening, basically everything outside possible. While most of these activities are free, we usually have to spend a little bit of money to get going, whether it’s on food for barbecuing, campground rental fees, or replacing hiking gear.
That said, I try and stay as frugal as possible with my summer activities, especially around Canada day, because it’s so easy to get sucked into spending money! Here are my plans for a frugal, but fun Canada day:
Checking out a National Park
Did you know that all Parks Canada sites are free on Canada day? My husband and I will be taking advantage of that by visiting Fundy National Park and going for a hike. We actually found out about this accidentally several years ago when we camped in Cape Breton on Canada Day weekend. We had planned to visit the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and when we offered to pay our admission the staff was kind enough to inform us that today was free! Score!
Barbecuing Instead of Eating Out
If you’re planning on heading away from home on Canada Day, it can be tempting to seek out a cool restaurant patio for respite from the heat and hustle and bustle. While there’s nothing like cracking a cold beer in a restaurant on a hot day, giving in to that temptation is also a great way to rack up a bill.
To avoid this, my husband and I are bringing our small portable barbecue with us to the park. I’ll pack food and beverages in advance and we’ll end our hike in the park with a picnic. As an added bonus – outdoor picnics are pet friendly so we don’t have to worry about leaving our dog Molly in a potentially dangerous hot car.
Skip the Fair, Watch the Parade and Fireworks
This might be a small town thing, but we have a fair that comes through town every year in the summer time. There are carnival games, rides and a petting zoo for the kids. Unfortunately, it’s extremely expensive to even get onto the fair grounds, let alone actually riding any of the rides! Instead of wasting our money, we skip the fair and watch the free parade and fireworks instead.
Celebrating Canada Day is always a one of the highlights of my summers. It seems to always be a beautiful day and everyone is in such a great mood. With these tricks, I’ll still be in a great mood, even after I check my bank balance the next day.