Summer Treats On The Cheap

August 5, 2010 by Amy Clark

I’m always looking for summertime bargains that I can enjoy with my children. Our favorite thing this summer has been taking advantage of Happy Hour drink specials that so many restaurants are offering.

Sonic, for example, offers half-price drinks during “Happy Hour” from 2 to 5 pm. Steak & Shake offers a deliciously cool and refreshing milkshake for half price between 2 and 4 pm (check your local restaurants for offers and hours). And many McDonald’s locations sell $.49 vanilla ice cream cones all the time. That’s an awesome snack bargain!

At Sonic, two small slushies for my kids and a Diet Cherry Limeade for me totals a mere $2.18. That’s a tasty summer treat my budget can live with.

Happy Hour at Home

Too hot to venture out? Enjoy a blender treat at home. It’s easy to do with your blender and a few items that might be in your pantry already. My kids and I love to indulge in homemade slushies. The cost is minimal; just be sure to make enough for everyone in the family, since this is a happy hour you definitely don’t want to miss!

World’s Greatest Homemade Slushies

(Courtesy of Hillbilly Housewife)

  • 2 cups ice water
  • 1 packet fruit-flavored drink mix (use your favorite flavor; unsweetened doesn’t work well)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups or 1 full tray of ice cubes

Put all ingredients into blender. It will be about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Put the lid on and process the mixture on high for a full minute. Stop the blender and use a spoon to stir it a bit. Look for unchopped ice chunks; you may need to process it for another full minute. If all the ice is crushed, serve immediately. I usually spoon this out of the blender with a measuring cup because the mixture is so thick.

Makes four 8-ounce servings; about $.50 for four servings.

Kenmore recommends…

Slushies are even simpler with a Kenmore® refrigerator with Shaved Ice. This third option (along with crushed and cubed ice) lets you make frozen treats with the touch of a button. It’s also perfect for making up seafood platters… or even ice packs!

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.