Summer is already heating up and as the temperature rises, so does our desire for something cool and refreshing to drink! Rather than spending boatloads of money on cold drinks this summer, there are alternative ways to save money while staying hydrated and satisfying your taste buds:

 

Homemade Lemonade

All you need are some lemons, water, ice, and sugar. Simple enough, right? Mix it all in a large pitcher and share with friends and family. Alternatively, you can get really cheap and delicious lemonade from Walmart for $2 a jug, but it likely has a lot more sweeteners in it, so homemade lemonade is a healthier option.

 

Gas Station Soda

If you consume a lot of soda each week and dislike the inconvenience of buying packs of cans each week (not to mention having to keep them cold all the time), it might be cheaper to go to a gas station for your soda needs. For just $0.89, Circle K sells large “Polar Pop” cups that it claims will keep your soda colder for a longer period of time. Other gas stations sell pretty cheap soda with even cheaper refills, so even if you don’t need to fuel up your car, going to a gas station for soda might be your best bet.

 

Starbucks Water

Depending on the store’s policies, you can get water from Starbucks either for free or for a couple quarters. The water comes in a portable cup, it tastes better than a drinking fountain, and it includes ice! If you want a little more flavor, you can ask them for “strawberry water” which is basically water with a shot of strawberry syrup.

 

Insulated Water Bottle

Hydration is immensely important during the hot summer months, and carrying around a reusable water bottle is a great way to save money on water, not to mention reduce the amount of chemicals you consume. To stay cool, buy a stainless steel, insulated water bottle and simply fill up at the nearest drinking fountain whenever you run low. The price of a reusable bottle is generally $9-18, but you can find coupons on sites such as SumoCoupon to minimize the cost.

 

7-11 Energy Drinks & Slurpees

7-11 convenience stores have great deals on energy drinks, even in the summer months when the drinks are in higher demand. You can occasionally find 2 for $3 deals on Rockstars or Monsters (these deals are also offered at some gas stations) and if you download the 7-11 app, you could find coupons or codes for free or heavily discounted Slurpees every so often.

 

McDonalds’ Social Hour

McDonalds recently started offering “McCafe Social Hour” in select locations to promote its new horchata frappuccinos. It runs from 2-5pm and during this timeframe, you can get two frapps for the price of one. If McDonalds’ in your area don’t offer the Social Hour, then you can still save by getting your cold, caffeinated drinks from McDonalds instead of pricier locations like Starbucks.

 

Restaurants’ Happy Hours

Cold, alcoholic drinks are perfect during the summertime, but paying $12+ for a single cocktail is no fun for your wallet. Instead, check out the Happy Hour Finder for happy hour deals in your area. Not only will you find discounts on cocktails, beer, and wine, but also appetizers! Most restaurants end their happy hours by 6pm, but others offer late-night happy hours from 9 or 10pm until closing.

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If you and/or your kids are huge fans of Finding Nemo and you’re looking for something fun and educational to do this summer, then why not spend a day at an aquarium? You can spend hours watching the marine life swim in enormous habitats, see zoologists interact with the animals, and maybe even catch a show involving dolphins or other animals. If this sounds like fun to you, but the aquarium’s admission prices seem a little out of your budget, then check out these ways to save on admission:

 

Family Discounts

Aquariums are very family-oriented places. Seeing sharks and dolphins and all the other sea life is a fascinating experience at any age and aquariums cater to families by offering discounted admission for kids (if not free admission with the purchase of adult tickets, on select occasions). There are sometimes daily deals from sites such as Living Social or Groupon available for families, too. For families with very young children (e.g., under 4 or 5 years old), the youngest ones can probably get in for free.

 

Military, Student, Senior, Etc. Discounts

There are plenty of other specialized discounts offered by aquariums. If you’re a military member with valid I.D., you’ll qualify for the military discount (and might even be able to get your family members in for a discounted rate). If you have kids that are too old to get in for free but younger than the adult cutoff age, the aquarium might offer a special student admission rate (have them bring their school I.D. just in case). Anyone over the age of 65 qualifies for the senior admission rate, and AARP members might also get a sizeable discount. Many aquariums also offer discounted admission for AAA members and universities may sell discounted aquarium tickets to students who have paid the associated students fee (approximately $15 per academic term at community colleges, a little more elsewhere). Aquariums want to encourage the public to come and see the exotic marine life, so be sure to check beforehand if there’s a discount for your demographic.

 

Search for Coupons

One of the best ways to get discounts at the aquarium is by finding them online before you go. SumoCoupon is a great place to start for coupons and coupon codes or even check the aquarium’s website itself for any coupons or special offers they might have at the moment. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to find a coupon for a few dollars off the regular admission price, but be sure to check the expiration date and maybe call up the aquarium to make sure the coupon is valid before printing it out.

 

CityPASS

CityPASS is a great option for anyone visiting one of the following cities/regions: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay, or Toronto. This booklet includes discounts to a variety of different attractions in the area, including aquariums. If you plan on visiting other touristy places in addition to your day at the aquarium, the CityPASS might be your most cost-effective option.

 

Aquarium Membership

This option is best for locals or people who plan on visiting the aquarium multiple times over the next year. If you can’t get enough of sharks, seahorses, and other marine life exhibits in a single day, then why not invest in a membership? Aquariums generally offer different levels of membership and discounts for students, military members, and seniors. You’ll likely get access to everything the aquarium has to offer and you might get invited to special, member-only events during the year. As an added bonus, some aquarium memberships are tax-deductible, so be sure to ask!

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