Can August really be only a day away? Another summer is just flying by…Ah, well. There’s still plenty of warm weather to look forward to before we have to worry about raking leaves and taking sweaters out of storage.
For many of us, summer means getting in some time at the pool – and that’s very true of Kate Gosselin and her eight children, Cara, Mady, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Aaden, Leah and Joel. Kate relies on their backyard pool as a standby for those vacation days when the kids sigh about boredom (as all kids do!). Along the way, she’s picked up some handy tips for saving on pool upkeep and swimwear, and she shares them in her blog this week for Coupon Cabin.
One of her suggestions is the result of what could have been a disaster: Last year, their pool motor died. Instead of running out to replace it, “I researched and decided to switch our pool over to a salt-water system, which requires less maintenance and less chemicals, which means less overall cost!” she writes.
Kate also saves electricity by taking advantage of a natural energy source. Their pool is heated, but in late spring she turns off the heater and lets the sun warm the water naturally. By the time school lets out, the pool is just cool enough to be refreshing on a steamy day.
Eight children times eight (or more) bathing suits and towels can add up to a lot of money spent on swim gear. Kate cuts costs by collecting and handing down suits. (Mady and Cara’s clothes are often passed down to their younger sisters.) “I also buy the next size swimsuits at the end of summer when they go on clearance to save for the following year,” she says.
And rather than letting them toss their suits and towels into the bathroom hamper after each swim, Kate has the children dry their gear on laundry racks and reuse them for up to a week before putting them into the washing machine. “That may not seem like significant savings, but we save big considering that eight or more people swim at our house every day.”
Before you start rolling your eyes or snarking about Kate’s in-ground pool and the privileges of celebrity, keep in mind that entertaining kids at home is a lot cheaper than taking them to amusement parks and zoos all summer long, especially for a large family. Even a couple of hours of bowling would run well over $100 for a group of nine. Having a pool in the yard helps keep the Gosselin children happy, and they get some exercise, to boot.
“Add a homemade barbecue grilled up by this mom, and the day has all the ingredients necessary to create lifelong summer family memories,” Kate says. Sometimes the most inexpensive things create some of the best memories, and this is definitely one of them!”
How about you? Do your kids love hanging out at the beach or pool?
[Photo: via img.ly/Twitter]
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