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8 Ways to Snag a Summer Bargain

When the temperature rises, some prices fall

1. Visit a National Park

On National Park Service Birthday, Aug. 25, there's no entry fee at the U.S. national parks that usually charge one.

Andrew DeCrocker/Istockphoto

2. Save on Home Goods

Household decor and dishware frequently go on sale in June (aka wedding season). Find deals on furniture in July. August brings back-to-school discounts on home storage bins and office supplies.

Irina Pusepp/Alamy

3. Scrimp on Gym Fees

Health clubs often lower their rates in warm-weather months. When the heat index makes it unhealthy to exercise outside, you can hit the cool (and blissfully uncrowded) gym.

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4. Skip the Sales Tax

Many states have special shopping days in late summer when you can buy clothing and shoes tax-free. To check whether your state participates, visit the Federation of Tax Administrators website and search for "sales tax holidays."

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5. Take a Cut-rate Class

Many colleges offer lower tuition for summer courses. Study up on anything from microeconomics to medieval literature.

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6. Shrink Your AC Bill

Contact your electric company about its power-cycling program. In exchange for tolerating brief outages during peak usage hours, you'll get a credit on your monthly bill.

Sean Justice/Corbis

7. Catch a Train

Amtrak's latest deals include a buy-one, get-one-free offer on tickets to Ticonderoga, N.Y., and $150 off per couple on trips from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon.


8. Build a Log Pile

The weather may be hot now, but winter is coming, so stock up on firewood while it's cheap. Better yet, if you have fallen trees in your yard, saw them into logs or hire someone to do it for you.

Adrian Assalve/Istockphoto

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REUSING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS: Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate, shows you how to save money by reusing household items in surprising new ways. You may never look at old tire tubes, pantyhose, and even used fabric softener sheets the same way again!

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