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 Laura Resen

It's time to fire up the barbecue, bust out the tennis rackets—and watch your cash disappear? "Summer is the hardest season to find deals. Resorts and airlines know that people are going on vacation, so they are less likely to discount their services and products," says Mark Di Vincenzo, the author of Buy Shoes on Wednesday and Tweet at 4:00: More of the Best Times to Buy This, Do That and Go There ($14, amazon.com). However, there are some clever ways to save if you know where to look.

Rental Cars

Reserve a car for a midweek pickup and you'll often get a better price. Rates can spike by as much as 10 percent during the weekend rush. Also, consider prepaying. If you pay in full when you make a booking, you can slice as much as 35 percent off the total cost.