Low-Cost Outdoor Summer Activities

July is the height of summer, which means everyone is trying to spend as much time outside as possible. However, for some people summer also means making a dent in their bank account. From multiple week-long trips to constantly eating out, summer expenses can really add up. Luckily, there are low-cost activities you can partake in all summer long!

Spending more time outside is a great way to enjoy the summer without burning a hole in your wallet. In this article, we have compiled a short list of activities to do this summer that will spare your bank account!

Hiking & bike rides

Taking advantage of any outdoor trails in your area is a great way to get outside and enjoy warm weather. Most public trails can be used by the public at no cost! Why not make a day out of it and explore a long trail?

If you are looking for a summer adventure but don’t have the funds for a vacation, not to worry. Exploring new and unfamiliar local trails is a good place to start.

Some trails have tables, benches or general sitting areas within them. By packing home-made meals or snacks, you and the family can enjoy a full day of exploration while keeping it low-cost.

If you are planning on spending time on a trail in particularly hot weather, don’t forget to hydrate!

Local lakes, ponds or beaches

Another low-cost place to spend time outside is at a lake, pond or beach. Depending on your area, there may be a daily or season pass fee required to access these locations. However, daily fees can be decently low cost if you are looking to take a day trip!

Similar to going for a hike or bike ride, meal prepping your own lunch for the day is a surefire way to lower costs.

Additionally, if you own your own kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards, spending time out at a public lake or pond is a great way to enjoy some time in the water while utilizing what you already have.

However, if you do not own your own water equipment, some town ponds will allow guests to rent them for the day at a low, one-time cost. Depending on what you want to do, or what you have at home, spending time by the water can be extremely cost effective!

Start a garden

Starting your own garden is a fairly simple and costly activity to enjoy during warm weather. Some of the costs for beginning a garden will include gardening tools, materials for plant beds, soil/mulch and seeds.

However, if you decide to plan seasonal produce, this can potentially lower your costs for fresh fruit and vegetables thus being a very low-cost project.

Not sure what to harvest for the summer? Here is a list of some popular seasonal summer produce! Some of these include corn, eggplant, blueberries, tomatoes, watermelon and peaches. Seeds for seasonal produce can be found at your local nursery or even online!

Transition your routines outside

If you are finding yourself staying inside more and more, try transitioning your daily routine outside. For example, take your workout outdoors and soak up the sun while breaking a sweat!

Some tips for transition your workout outside include:

  • Packing a post-workout snack and lots of water
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear sunglasses or a hat
  • Check the weather
  • Pre-plan your route if you are going on a run

Even if you do not have the summer off work, you can still go about your everyday work routine and spend some time outside. If you are able, try bringing your work materials outside and go about your work day in your back yard or other outdoor area.

If working outdoors is not the most plausible option for you, taking your lunch break outside is an easy way to enjoy the sun without disrupting your work routine too much.

Good Food Made Simple understands that we all lead busy lives and stepping away from your desk is often easier said than done. However, there are small steps you can take to get your body moving throughout the day and without disrupting your work routine.

Picnics & BBQs

Summer is automatically associated with grill season and eating outdoors. While it can be tempting to enjoy outdoor dining at all the restaurants, it is not always an option for those who are keeping a tight budget.

Instead, try hosting a BBQ or picnic with family and friends! If you are cooking up meals made of seasonal produce, you will probably be able to find ingredients for cheap during the summer.

If you decide to have guests bring along meals to the event, this will be an even greater cost-effective activity for everyone. A benefit of hosting a BBQ or picnic is that everyone can take a little bit of what is left over, whereas restaurant leftovers do not last as long.

With so many great BBQ-friendly recipes out there it can be difficult to know exactly what dishes you should make. To save you some time, we have created a list of 50 simple summer meals! Oh, and don’t forget the mocktails!

Summertime does not need to include breaking the bank. You can most definitely have an exciting and fun-filled summer while still keeping your costs low. By enjoying some time outside and hosting small BBQs or gatherings in your backyard, summer will be spent soaking up the sun and saving some dollars!