While many of the wonderful things spring and summer bring can be enjoyed very cheaply (or free! Sunshine anyone?), there are also a few key items that it's better to splurge on if you can swing it. Sometimes, this might mean waiting a while or saving up a bit so that you can afford it, but it can definitely be worth it in the end. If you can buy the high quality item, it will last you much longer and serve you better, and in fact can save a bundle in the long run because really well-made things should last forever, and often come with solid guarantees in case they don't. Here's my list of spring and summer recommendations for quality over quantity:
1) Beach umbrellas or any sun umbrella for your deck or patio. This is an important item, for the health and comfort of your whole family, and one that you will get much use out of. And this is a case where you could go cheap or you could spend a whole lot more. But you will get what you pair for, trust me. (As the mother of a very fair child, I know from experience! And BTW, this is also applies rain umbrellas.)
2) Patio furniture. Shop carefully when buying these large items because you can actually pay a lot for poor quality here. Pay attention to how things were made, make sure you sit on them (or have your kids even bounce on them if you can). You don't want to make this kind of large purchase often so do your research, chose wisely, and save up to buy the best quality you can afford (I feel like I've been saving for up years for this. Ha!)
3) Camping tent. Cheap tents will tear, zippers will break, they will be heavier, more cumbersome, have fewer features (thank goodness for mosquito nets and sky lights and rain flaps!) and generally be a whole lot less fun, less comfortable and more work. Who needs that when you're already roughing it, right ladies? Go to a serious camping gear store, or find one online, and get a name brand you know you can rely on. You won't regret it!
Which warm weather items do you splurge on, or wish you could?