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.
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.
2 of 5Ryan Pfluger
For deals on outdoor sports, like rock climbing and tennis, surf sites that offer daily deals, such as SweetJack.com and DealChicken.com. To score bargains on golf clubs and accessories, shop RockBottomGolf.com. For discounted rounds, head to the course on a Wednesday, the slowest day for public and private clubs.
3 of 5Charity Burggraaf / Getty Images
Don't buy tickets at a busy theme-park entrance. Save up to 25 percent by nabbing them beforehand at a supermarket or a discount bulk store, like Sam's Club or Costco (membership required). Head to participating Cinemark Theatres on Mondays for "Reel Family Time," when movie tickets are $1 per person for parties of three or more.
4 of 5Lucas Allen
The best time to buy tools and supplies for that DIY project is in early June—a week before Father's Day—when retailers offer savings of 50 percent or more. Also, register at sites like FatWallet.com and Ebates.com for cash-back shopping programs at major retailers, such as Lowe's and Walmart.
5 of 5Charlie Schuck
Fun for Kids
Under-16's can grab vouchers for two free games of bowling at numerous locations on any summer day at KidsBowlFree.com. Download the free Coupon Sherpa app to save about 15 to 30 percent at child-friendly stores, like Build-A-Bear Workshop. Search by company or category, such as "arts and crafts."