Summer time means more time spent outdoors, and that can mean more exposure to warm-weather ailments.
Sunburn, scrapes and skin irritations are common during the summer months, and preventing and treating them can get costly.
Here are five money-saving tips that experts say will keep you safe and your budget intact this summer:
Health-care experts advise wearing sunscreen all year round, it’s particularly important during the summer. But for big families, keeping everyone protected from the sun’s harmful rays can get pricey.
To help reduce the cost, money savings expert Andrea Woroch, suggests opting for the generic sunscreen that has both UVB and UVA protection.
“Generic or store brands work just as fast and effectively as the name brands and are approximately 30% lower in price,” says Woroch, noting generic sunscreen is regulated by the Federal Drug Administration for effectiveness.
She also says lotion-based sunscreen is more budget friendly over spray-on options. “Spray ons don’t offer as much coverage and it seems the sunscreen mist gets wasted when not directly applied,” she explains. “Don’t forget to cut open the lotion bottle at the end to get access to the sunscreen at the bottom.”
Mosquitos and other bugs come out in full force when temperatures rise, but keeping them away can be pricey.
“Mosquito repellant can get expensive,” says Paula Pant, operator of the affordanything.com http://affordanything.com. “But West Nile virus is far more costly.”
She also recommends choosing generic versions whenever possible and consider buying in bulk. However, before making a bulk purchase, make sure it will all go to use before the expiration date.
Planning ahead and leaving room for sales can also save money. “Buying last minute or in emergency situations, chances are you are going to pay more,” says Kit Yarrow, author of the book Decoding the New Consumer Mind. “Long sleeves and a hat” is another option, she adds.
Cold and Cough
Summer time can also bring colds and coughs—especially for younger and older patients.
Although seeing a doctor is always the best option when an ailment gets bad, money- saving experts say being proactive can reduce the chances of getting sick and the longevity of an illness.
“If you're battling a summertime cough or cold, don't discount the idea of increasing your intake of water and fresh fruits and vegetables and getting proper sleep,” says Pant. “Sometimes, the best remedy is a healthy lifestyle.”
Scrapes and Cuts
Increased outdoor activity tends to bring more cuts and scrapes, and staying supplied with the right ointments, balms and bandages can add up.
Woroch advises buying a first aid kit with all the necessities over each item individually. “You don’t need a full size of antibacterial cream or a huge package of band aids,” she says. “This way, you have just enough to cover your health needs all for $20 or less.”
Although it may be tempting to forego all those treatments for some soap and water, you don’t want the cut or scrape to get infected, notes Pant. “A little antibacterial soap, some generic Neosporin and a pack of Band-Aids can save you a potential trip to urgent care,” says Pant.
Anticipating Your Family’s Needs
When it comes to being a smart consumer, Yarrow says it’s all about sizing. Before making a bulk or single purchase, she recommends shoppers take a minute to think about their family’s plans and habits for the summer.
For instance, if children are headed outside every day, buying sunscreen and bug spray in bulk might make the most economic sense
By anticipating the needs of the family, “you can not only get them on sale, but you have them on hand rather than adding to the trauma by needing to rush out to the store,” says Yarrow. “Of course, don't overdue. Some products expire,and so when in doubt, wait.”