17 must-have items for your go-to summer fun bag


Part of summer time fun is all the trips to the park, pool, beach, zoo, outdoor movies, and more. What is not so fun and definitely not frugal is the packing and the trips for fast food because the family is hungry and tired or trips to the drugstore to pick up sunscreen and more at full price.

My solution – pack a “Go To Summer Fun” bag and keep it in your car. What should you pack in your bag? Here is a great list to get you started.

  • Swimsuits Towels
  • 1 Extra outfit per person
  • Hoodies – You never know when the weather could change
  • Flip flops
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Plastic bags – For wet clothes or trash
  • Blanket – Great for a picnic
  • Non perishables snacks – Some ideas include nuts, crackers, dry cereal, granola bars
  • Water bottles or juice boxes
  • Baby items – Diapers, wipes, baby food
  • Mini first aid kit with band aids & pain medicine
  • Bug Spray
  • Hair Brush
  • Hair Ties – Here is easy hair tie tutorial for making your own cheaply
  • Sand Toys
  • Glow Bracelets or Necklaces – You can buy pack for just $1 and this saves you from buying overpriced light up toys

What is wonderful about the “Go To Summer Fun” bag is that you can watch sales and use coupons to stock up on all of the items at great prices. I just purchased 8 bottles of suncreen for less than $1 a piece. If you have to run to the drug store, sunscreen is going to cost $8 a bottle or more! With snacks ready to go you can skip the fast food and you will be eating more healthy. Plus if you watched the grocery sales and used coupons, the snacks will be bought a rock bottom prices!

If you want to take the “Go to Summer Fun” bag one step further, you can prep picnic or on-the-go meals one time in the week. That way, you can quickly pack a picnic meal and be out having summer fun. You could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ahead and freeze them. I love to freeze squeezie yogurt tubes because they work nice as mini ice packs. You can prep other snacks into smaller containers or bags so they are just grab and go. If you spend a little time up front, you can be out the door in just minutes. I have a cooler bag and ice packs ready to go.

Summer is about fun and adventure. If you have a swimsuit or extra clothes ready to go, you can say “Go right ahead” when your child wants to run through the sprinklers or play at the splash pad. It is more fun for you and your kids when you can say yes. If you get a last minute invitation for a day at the beach, you can agree to go and not be stressed. The best part is if you save some money on snacks, sunscreen and more, you can splurge on ice cream and other summer time fun without breaking your budget.

Melissa Buckles is the founder of BargainShoppermom.com where she loves to help others learn how to save money and live well. She sometimes isn’t frugal but she rarely pays full price. She is also a Savings.com DealPro and teaches Savings Nation workshops that help people learn how to save up to 50% off their grocery bills.

(Source: Savings.com)

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