Summer vacation is expensive, especially when you have kids. But part of it is because you're paying out good money for things you could easily make by yourself. Check out these easy ways to save money by doing it yourself this summer.
1. Make homemade ice cream with two coffee cans. You don't need a big expensive contraption to make your own ice cream at home. Just mix whole milk, whipping cream, and sugar in a one-pound coffee can, seal it, and put it inside a three-pound can.
Pack ice and rock salt around the small can, then seal the big can and roll it around the floor until it freezes. Mix in fruit or other toppings to make different flavors. There are hundreds of recipes available online.
2. Make your own Slip 'N Slide using plastic tarps. A store-bought Slip 'N Slide is just a cheap skinny tarp anyway. Get your own tarps at Home Depot, and poke holes in a cheap garden hose. Then run the hose along the edge of the tarps to keep them wet.
If you have a big enough hill, you can string tarps together for a REALLY long ride. To make it faster, dump a few bottles of baby oil on the tarps first. For less than you pay for a real Slip 'N Slide, you get one that lasts longer and gives a much better ride.
3. Make your own flexible cold packs for injuries. A lot of families keep ice packs in the freezer, so they're ready when someone gets hurt. But a store-bought ice pack is 15 bucks. You can put water and rubbing alcohol in a Ziploc bag for about a dollar.
The ratio is two cups water to one cup alcohol. Pour the water and alcohol in a one-quart Ziploc bag and leave it in the freezer. Even at temperatures below freezing, it won't turn to ice. So you can wrap it around any body part and it stays flexible.