This Memorial Day, Hit the Beach on a Budget
Memorial Day is fast approaching -- although maybe not fast enough for those planning to enjoy a long weekend at the seashore. To pass the time between you and the beach, check out this roundup of low-cost beach gear to help all members of the family enjoy frolicking in the sand and water.
Photo by sxc.hu/Neuroman
Cheap beach towels.Target has a large selection of beach towels starting at just $6. The unique and varied designs win kudos from consumers posting reviews, although a few warn that these cheap beach towels are not the thickest or biggest you can buy. The cheap beach gear at Target also includes mesh beach totes with room for two towels, available in stores for $10. If you buy one before Memorial Day Weekend, you can get 50 percent off a second handbag or pair of shoes. Kmart's collection of beach towels starts at just $4. The range includes brightly colored stripe and polka-dot prints. While there are no reviews for these towels, we couldn't resist the extremely low price.
Cheap beach chairs and umbrellas.For those who prefer to sit in a beach chair instead of on a towel, we found a sea-blue Tommy Bahama chair from Bed Bath & Beyond available at some locations for $20 on clearance (although it's out of stock online). Customers praise this cheap beach chair for being lightweight and portable yet durable and comfortable. Bed Bath & Beyond sells other cheap beach gear as well, including umbrellas with a very limited number of college and NFL team logos for $10 each. Other retailers sell the same umbrellas for twice the price. If your team is out of stock or football isn't your bag, Home Depot has a 7-foot beach umbrella for $10 available for store pickup. A similar 6-foot beach umbrella is available online for $12 from Dick's Sporting Goods.
Photo by sxc.hu/bjearwicke
Cheap flip-flops.Old Navy is well-known for providing cheap yet sensible flip-flops for both sexes and all ages and sizes, in a variety of colors. Both men's and women's styles go for $3.59 (or $2.50 for two or more) and garner hundreds of positive reviews from happy customers. If you're seeking a little more support and durability than these slabs of rubber can provide, see our recent guide to cheap sandals.
Cheap beach toys.Try hitting the dollar store to pick up a variety of toys including foam noodles, beach balls, shovels, and sand buckets for only $1 each. An 11-piece set sells for $6 at Toys R Us.
Cheap sun protection.Last but certainly not least, check out our reports on cheap sunscreen and cheap sunglasses. These are perhaps the most crucial pieces of beach gear you can buy. For sunblock, we recommend Banana Boat SPF 50 and No-Ad SPF 45, and consumer products experts have named the Target brand Up & Up Sport the best overall value in the SPF 30 group. A two-pack is a deal at less than $9. We'll be coming out with our latest picks for the best budget sunglasses later this week.