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The sun is finally starting to peek through the clouds. It is about time. I love a good rain storm, but we have had enough! I am ready for good weather, camping and cookouts. Weekends sitting around the fire, relaxing and gatherings with friends and family. I am the entertainer in my family, and usually gatherings and cookouts are held at my house. I absolutely love that title, but it comes at a cost. So, you know me, let’s figure out how to save money while doing this. I am going to share some tips to help you get started to prepare for this wonderful season.

When we look ahead to next weekend, next month and the Summer months, I am sure someone will be going to or hosting a cookout. Whether it be Memorial Day, the 4th of July, graduations or Father’s Day, there are many reasons to celebrate headed our way. With some planning, you can be ready for the entire season and not break the bank.

  • Paper products: Always buy neutral when buying plates, cups and napkins. Check out sales and buy in bulk. By buying neutral, you can use that same large package of paper plates for Memorial Day as you can for the graduation party later down the road.
  • Decorations: If you must by colorful decor, think ahead when purchasing items. If you are throwing a Memorial Day cookout and a 4th of July party, stick to red, white and blue items, not items that specifically say the holiday. That way you can reuse them in July! This saves time and money, as you will already have the supplies for your later party, and you won’t have to buy them as well.
  • Stock up on Food: So many items that we use all summer are going to begin to be on sale. Ketchups, mustards, mayonnaise, pickles and chips are just some of the things you will find on store end caps on sale beginning now. These have a long shelf life and can be bought ahead for all-season use. As far as other items like produce and meats, buy produce as it comes into season to save the most money. Buy meats and freeze for later use. Planning ahead you will be able to enjoy all of these celebrations all summer long and save money while doing it!

The most important part of these celebrations is to sit back and look around and take in the moment. Watch your children laughing, your significant other smiling and your friends and family enjoying themselves.

In my monthly class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how it will benefit your family. We are in the process of planning the classes upcoming dates. Feel free to call 518-742-3309, or go to poststar.com/couponclass for more information.

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Kimberly Butler is a busy mom, wife and child care provider who loves to save money. She lives in Queensbury with her family and her black lab Duke, and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at kimberlybutlerthepoststar@gmail.com.

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