But be forewarned that some things will likely cost you more this summer, so adjust your household budgets accordingly. Here’s what to expect:
Gasoline: Traditionally gas prices spike during the summer, in part because in certain areas the blend of gasoline sold during the summer months is different than the rest of the year and more expensive to produce. Some forecasters expect gas prices to remain relatively flat this summer compared to last summer. But even if there is less pain at the pump this summer than most, why not save some bucks with these fuel efficient driving tips?
Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables: Summertime is usually a horn of plenty when it comes to enjoying fresh – and cheap - farm produce. But this summer, like last, we’ll likely see scarcer supplies and higher prices for many fruits and vegetables due to record heat and drought conditions across much of the nation’s farmlands. Of course it’s not too late to start a little garden of your own to supplement your grocery bill.
Beef: Drought conditions are also at least partially to blame for skyrocketing beef prices, which have already hit record highs just as the prime grilling season arrived. Chicken and pork have seen more modest increases and can be just as tasty as beef on the grill.
Utilities: The EPA estimates that the average U.S. household will have an electric bill of nearly $400 this summer, but there are plenty of ways to stay cool without cranking up the air conditioning or minimizing costs when you do use it. Peak demand for water during the summer months when everyone is watering the lawn is expected to result in rate increases and surcharges in some locales.
Beverages: Although summer sales prices for bottled water tend to be the lowest of the year (even though real cheapskatesnever drink bottled water!), the restaurant industry has been steadily increasing the price of alcoholic beverages in recent months to make up for declining profits. All the more reason to break out the box wine and eat at home instead of dining out.