Savour summer and save your piggy bank

Russ Oehmen
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The other day as I made a trip to the gas pump - a fairly frequent activity in my line of work - I could feel my mood sink with each rising number.
Then I remembered how lucky we are to live in a place with so much to see and do.
The reality is, the cost of fuel, food, lodging, and recreation will continue to rise more rapidly than our incomes. That means spending of any kind - necessity or luxury - becomes an exercise in choice and care. With summer just around the corner, it is easy to get frustrated by trips and events that each day seem to drift out of financial reach.
As the numbers climbed on the gas pump, I let my mind drift to the summer trips and events that are most enjoyable, and most frugal.
Consider these Top 10 picks:

1. Rise and shine with the sun. Set the alarm to a ridiculously early time, head outdoors and watch the sun rise. It is a spectacular light show by mother nature, played daily, and admission is free.
2. Tee off. There is no better way to enjoy the outdoors. If you have never tried it, consider giving golf a chance.
3. Take a dip. The Northumberland Strait is a warm salt-water play park. There are also numerous lakes, attractions, and public pools for whatever your interest and ability.
4. Fish for fun. Kids of all ages can spend an amazing day on the shore or in a boat plying the waters and enjoying nature.
5. The sky is the limit. Try your hand at kite-flying at one of our parks or beaches. Then, pick a comfortable spot to rest and watch the clouds drift by. It's nature's version of relaxation therapy, at a cost everyone can afford.
6. Take the ferry. You can walk, bike, or drive on the ferry to Prince Edward Island; get off on the other side and explore, or simply stay on board and take the return trip. It's a day on the water, and a day removed from the routine of everyday life.
7. Buy from the farm, or at least the farm market. It's a shopping trip that brings home top quality necessities and helps preserve an important way of life.
8. Visit a resort. A trip to one of the region's resorts offers breathtaking scenery and an ambiance you just can't find anywhere else. Even if you make it a day trip to sip iced tea on the verandah, a trip to a resort can be an interesting and informative getaway.
9. Walk and read. Leave the earbuds at home, pick up a good book, and take a walk in a park or along a wooded trail; when you come to a comfortable spot, simply curl up and read. The images on the page will blend with the sounds of the forest into an amazing yet peaceful diversion for the mind.
10. Say goodnight to a good day. Stop for a moment and watch the sun set, closing another day with yet another free light show by mother nature.
With a wee bit of planning, cost, and travel, we can tap into a whole lot of fun and fond memories. It's minimal cost and maximum fun that equals priceless rewards.

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