The weather is warming up, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining. You are ready to start planning the first picnic of the season, the only thing standing in your way is your wallet. Picnics can be an affordable and simple way to bring people together for some fun in the sun, but if you don’t plan carefully, the costs can add up.
Find ways to avoid letting your picnic become pricey by cutting back where you can.
Cheap Summer Picnic Ideas
When you are looking to save money, the most important thing to start with is a plan. Take the time to write out a menu plan, invitation list and choose a location for your picnic. Keeping track of all your plans will help to make sure that you don’t overspend.
Purchasing single use cutlery and plates can be expensive. Using reusable items is better for your wallet, and the environment. To easily transport your reusable dishes, bring bags so that you can place the dirty dishes in them to wash when you get home. Using reusable water bottles, cups, cutlery and food containers will help you to save a lot of money on your picnic.
Prepare Your Own Food
Buying prepared food can get expensive. If you can find the time to cut your own vegetables, and prepare your own dishes, it will make a big difference in how much the picnic costs you.
Stock up on Ice
If you have coolers to fill, start freezing your own ice in advance. Fill your ice cube tray as many times as you can in the days leading up to the picnic and keep the ice in a bag in your freezer. Doing this can eliminate the need to buy ice and save you a lot of money. Another alternative to this? Use reusable food safe ice packs in place of ice.
Make it a Potluck
If you are having a large picnic get together, have everyone bring something. Not only is making the picnic a potluck a great way to save money but it helps to add variety. To avoid having duplicate dishes, create a group chat or a spreadsheet to keep track of what everyone will be bringing.
Picnic at a Playground
Instead of investing in a bunch of games and outdoor supplies, plan to have your picnic at a playground so the children can use the equipment for free. If you have any outdoor toys like a football, frisbee or soccer ball, pack those as well for some frugal entertainment.
Welcoming summer with a cheap picnic can be a blast. Just make sure to save where you can and start with planning.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!