Summer Savings Tips
The warm summer weather is an exciting season for many. School is out, vacation planning is underway, and there is never a shortage of outside activities to enjoy. However, with all this seasonal excitement comes associated costs, as spending on entertainment, travel and energy can increase.
As Houston’s largest community bank, we’re actively involved in the communities we serve. As such, we know that there are many affordable and even free local events to safely enjoy in the summer months. We are excited to share some of these events, our summer savings tips, and highlight a few local spots to try within our community.
For more savings on gas (and fewer cars on the road) try riding your bike when running to the closest grocery store, drugstore, or restaurant. Biking is a great workout and also an environmentally friendly way to save. You can attach a basket or bag to your bike when transporting any items. Remember that we still live in a densely populated city, so don’t forget to bring a bike lock! For even more savings on gas, carpool when possible. It will require more planning in advance but taking the time to prepare will save you money on your summer fuel.
At home, try turning up your thermostat a few degrees, especially if you are out and about during the day. Setting your thermostat just a few degrees higher can save almost 10% or more on your electric bill. Also, closing your home’s blinds or curtains keeps out the summer heat and results in a lower monthly bill.
One of the biggest ways to save in the summer is to spend more time outside at a free park. While the summer season is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, the Houston heat can make this difficult, so try waking up earlier to go to the park or take a walk before it gets too hot. For a hike or a long walk, we recommend checking out the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, Memorial Park Hike and Bike Trailhead, or the Buffalo Bayou Park. Most parks are also pet-friendly or have an associated dog park, tennis court or kid’s play place!
Many local parks or green spaces host a plethora of free events. There is typically a free movie night or morning gym classes at Levy Park in Upper Kirby, fitness classes or a movie screening on the green at Discovery Green in Downtown, free yoga at the Stomping Grounds in Oak Forest, bingo night at the Arboretum, or trivia night at any of Houston’s great breweries. Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park also hosts a variety of performances to attend, and as a plus – offers free parking!
Venture out to find some of the freshest produce in town at a local farmers market, which is typically free to attend and also supports small businesses in your area. We recommend the Houston Farmers Market or the Memorial Villages Farmers Market.
Following social media accounts such as TidBits Houston, 365 Things to do in Houston, CultureMap Houston or Houstonia Magazine will also alert you of all the things going on in the city in the upcoming weeks, whether it is a concert, food truck festival, art show, free class, or comedy show.
You don’t have to travel overseas to make memories or find a variety of activities for your family to enjoy. Drive south for a trip to the historic Galveston beach, visit the Houston Zoo for a day or purchase a pass to visit any of the famous museums in the Houston Museum District. Other local daytime activities include a trip to Minute Maid Park to catch an Astros game, tickets to the Downtown Aquarium or even visiting the Space Center.
Book a staycation at any of the Houston area’s famous hotels, such as the Marriott Marquis in Downtown Houston, complete with a Texas-shaped lazy river, Hotel Zaza in Memorial City or the Museum District, or Tilman Fertitta’s luxurious Post Oak Hotel in Uptown. If traveling out of Houston, try booking an Airbnb to open up your options for more affordability.
Saving money is a year-round goal, and there are so many ways to enjoy this year’s summer months without the associated costs. Try incorporating a few energy saving tips into your routine, plan to check out Houston’s local hotspots, or tap into the city’s network of free events this summer. Make the most of your summer savings while enjoying all that the season and the Houston community has to offer.