Summer Savings Ideas 

Making memories with friends and family doesn’t have to stop while you are working on a savings goal. Here are some budget friendly ideas to build memories and have a great summer: 

Ask about Discounts – Be sure to ask about discounts when making summer plans. If anyone in your family receives Medical Assistance, you are eligible for a variety of discounts listed here. If you have a US Bank card, one person in your group can visit the MN History Center free on the first full weekend of the month.  State Parks also offer Free Park Days each summer. Spend some time looking into discounts before you plan your outing.  

Bowling – Concord Lanes in South St. Paul is a part of Kids Bowl Free. This program allows children to receive two free games of bowling every day in the summer. Bowling shoes, snacks and games for adults are not included in the offer.   

Classes – Learn something new through free or discounted courses available through Coursera, Community Education, or the Small Business Administration. Lots of options exist. Google “free classes near me” to see what is available.  

Dress for Less –  Outfit your family with reasonably priced clothing from the Neighbors Clothes Closet Thrift Store.  

Entertain at home – Host a game or movie night with your friends. With the invitation, ask each person to bring a game or movie they enjoy and a dish to share.  

Fish – Kids under 16 can fish for free and everyone can cast a line in Minnesota state parks. Consider asking a more experienced angler to borrow equipment and show you the ropes. You can also check out the Minnesota DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood (FIN) website for local lakes.  

Geocache – Dubbed the world’s largest treasure hunt, Geocaching is a great way to explore local parks and your community. You will need to set up an account and a smartphone to navigate to the cache. If you really enjoy this activity, set up your own cache and see how many people visit throughout the year.  

Hobbies at Home – Do you have a camera, paint set or craft project gathering dust? Before buying any new projects this summer, shop from home and see spend time on your project. Or set up a swap with friends to get some new hobbies to work on.  

Inver Grove Heights Days – Mark your calendar with the free events scheduled for September 7 – 11, 2022.  

Journal – Grab a notebook and pen and write about your summer or capture special memories  

Kaposia Days – The South St. Paul city celebration takes place June 24th – 26th. A variety of free events take place all weekend long. 

Library ProgramsDakota County Public Libraries are a treasure trove of summer classes and activities for children and adults. These offerings are free and get your brain thinking in new ways. 

Music – Dakota County Parks offers free Music in the Park throughout the summer. Grab a blanket, pack some snacks and enjoy the outdoor concert.  

Nature – Consider visiting the Dodge Nature Center or other local parks as a way to get outside and enjoy the summer weather.  

One-to-one days with your kids – What kids remember most is time spent together. Consider spending time with each of your children on their own. This could be something like a bike ride, walk or visit to the library. It doesn’t need to be extravagant to build meaningful memories.  

Plant Something – Seeds from the local nursery can be an inexpensive way to add beauty to your home. SNAP recipients can also use funds for seeds and plants to grow food. Participants can also access Market Bucks to use at the local Farmer’s Market.  

Quiet Day – Summer doesn’t need to be completely booked with outings and adventures. Spending time at home relaxing can be just as important as being out and about.  

Relax at Home – A staycation is a vacation at your house. Save on travel and lodging by taking time off and enjoying nearby activities. Do the things that you enjoy when on vacation from the comfort of your home. 

Splash Pads and Beaches – Pack a lunch and head out for a fun, free and wet day with your family. 

Try a New Recipe – Research a new cuisine or recipe and give it a shot. Cooking from home is a great way to reduce costs and build a new skill.  

Upcycle – The internet provides a ton of ideas about how to take existing products and “upcycle” them into something different. To keep the costs low, be mindful of what supplies can be used from your home to limit what needs to be purchased.  

Volunteer – Share your time with your community, meet new people and have fun. Lot of organizations are looking for volunteers (including Neighbors).  

Wednesdays in West St. Paul – Join the West St. Paul Police Department at Southview Park in West St. Paul for fun community activities. View the 2022 Summer events here.  

eXercise outside – Take a walk, ride a bike, go for a hike or find other ways to be active outdoors.  

YMCA – The YMCA offers free youth memberships for students in grades 9 –12.  

Zoo – Pack lunch and visit the Como Zoo.  


If you want to learn more about finding ways to stretch your dollar, consider attending the Money Fit – Stretch Your Dollar conversation through Tri-District Community Education.  

List compiled independently by our the Financial Empowerment Team at Neighbors, Inc.