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8 Ways to Snag a Summer Bargain

When the temperature rises, some prices fall


  • National Park sign in grass (Andrew DeCrocker/Istockphoto)
    Andrew DeCrocker/Istockphoto

    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.

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  • Stack of clean dishes (Irina Pusepp/Alamy)
    Irina Pusepp/Alamy

    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.

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  • Man and woman riding bikes in health club (Juice Images/Alamy)
    Juice Images/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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  • millennials drive a quarter less than counterparts did 8 years ago (Getty Images)
    Getty Images

    AARP Offer: Protect your money, grow your nest egg

    Take advantage of great information and tools to help build your future and prevent your money from going down the drain. Join AARP and start saving for your dreams today.

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  • Shopping sign in store window (Pgiam/Getty Images)
    Pgiam/Getty Images

    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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  • Students gathered around computer in class (Nick White/Corbis)
    Nick White/Corbis

    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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  • Woman adjusting thermostat (Sean Justice/Corbis)
    Sean Justice/Corbis

    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.

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  • Amtrak train at sunset in California (Mediacolor/Alamy)

    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.

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  • Firewood stacked into a pile (Adrian Assalve/Istockphoto)
    Adrian Assalve/Istockphoto

    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.

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  • Money End Slide
    Getty Images/Corbis
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Visit the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp