Sun, Sea & Savings: How to Buy 6 Beach Essentials on a Budget
From swimsuits to sunglasses and gazebos to sunscreen, planning a seaside sojourn can be a costly affair. But some of our favorite stores will drop prices on all things swim in June, making it a little easier to shop for beach necessities.
Baring your bod on the beach isn't the only thing we worry about in the run-up to summer — finding enough coin to make a swimsuit purchase in the first place is the initial hurdle.
There are deals to be had on swimsuits however, and we'll be looking to the likes of Aerie, which knocked an extra 60% off swimsuits in the first week of June last year, while Walmart cut up to 75% off a wide selection of bikinis and boardshorts. The sartorially inclined can also look to Victoria's Secret for a deal on beachwear. The store is discontinuing its swim line after this year, so you can expect to snap up some serious savings.
For the kids, The Children's Place is a prime spot for stacking discounts during the summer. Last May, it cut an extra 52% off sitewide, which pushed prices on all things beach-friendly down to just a few bucks each. Amazon's daily deal section is worth keeping on eye on for swim deals, too; as recently as March, it cut up to 50% off Speedo suits.
Although they may not be everyone's cup of tea, Crocs are the ideal beach-friendly shoe. Luckily, the store cut an extra 25% and 30% off all sale shoes on a number of occasions through May and June of last year. The Crocs eBay storefront has been more reliable for great deals of late, since it offers free shipping on select styles (there is a minimum spend of $24.99 for free shipping directly from Crocs). Recently, it offered a selection of styles from $15 shipped. 6pm and Amazon also stock a wide variety of styles that frequently undercut the manufacturer's sale price, although size availability is often limited.
If Crocs don't float your boat, 6pm is the store for big discounts on designer sandals and flip-flops. A massive 41% off the total shoe deals listed between May and June of last year were from 6pm; that figure came in at 27% in 2014.
A good quality pair of sunglasses is a must for the summer, and not just so you can look James Dean-cool. Do some research and invest in a pair that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection and (if you can afford to spend a little more) opt for polarized lenses to help ease the glare.
Daily deal sites like Shnoop and Deal Genius frequently offer designer sunnies for a fraction of the cost seen at other stores. Plus, Amazon's daily deal section regularly hosts impressive sales (we saw two Editor's Choice-worthy offers on Nike glasses last June, for example). Sunglass Hut is a one-stop-shop for stylish sunglasses, and its ongoing sale section often boasts half-price styles from labels like Ray-Ban and Oakley.
Whether you're heading to the shore for a swim, or just looking to soak in the rays, a new beach towel is your best friend. Every department stores' clearance section is bursting at the seams with towel deals, but we like to shop for these low-cost items exclusively at stores that offer free shipping or free in-store pickup. In this case, it was 13 Deals (which offers free shipping) and Target (which offers free pickup) that advertised the best offers on cheap and cheerful towels at this time last year.
Looking for something a little more special? There is a host of stores that offer towels that are almost too good to be dragged through the sand. For two years running, the Disney Store has dropped the prices on its character beach towels, cutting Elsa and Buzz Lightyear beauties to as low as $12 shipped. Pop culture fiends can also shop ThinkGeek for something a little more unique (and costly). Luckily the store nearly always has a coupon code on offer, which will either knock the cost down or bag you free shipping on your Star Trek or Doctor Who towel orders.
We know you want to save those precious bucks for ice-cream and beach balls, but by far the most important thing to pack for the beach is some high-SPF sunscreen. Shop for sunscreens with FDA-approved UVA-blockers like ecamsule or avobenzone and check out Ocean Potion's skin tone chart to properly determine what SPF you should be using.
Once you've nerded up on the sunscreen science, you can concentrate on getting the best deal for your buck. Last summer, Target offered an Editor's Choice-worthy $10 gift card for free with sun care items. Amazon has also featured a number of sunscreen offers in its Subscribe & Save sale section over the past two years, which included substantial discounts on L'Oreal Paris and Banana Boat lotions.
It may only be the seasoned beach-goer that turns up prepared with a sand-friendly shelter, but such seaside luxury doesn't have to be pricey. You can up your beach prep game with a beach gazebo, like this Editors' Choice Z-Shade 10x10-foot Instant Canopy ($39.99 with pickup at Sears, a $25 low).
Whatever you plan to do at the beach this summer, you can do it on a budget. So, paste yourself down with your discounted sunscreen, squeeze into your clearance swimsuit, and prepare to hit the shore with some spare change.
Readers, what do you do to save on beach essentials? Tell us all your favorite summertime saving hacks in the comments below.