Saving money while the kids are out of school can certainly be a challenge, particularly during a month that kicks off with our nation's most patriotic holiday and a three-day weekend all rolled into one. But your family can still celebrate in style this July by finding family fun in some unexpected places.

1. Have a Frugal 4th of July

Big holidays can cost big bucks, so families need to be smart about spending vs. saving. You can still be patriotic over the 4th of July, but focus on quality time with family and friends over big budget parties and outings. Look for free community festivals, which often have a fireworks show included. Or if you're playing host or hostess, cut down on overhead by making it a potluck — and don't forget to encourage guests to BYOB.

For more ways to save over the holiday weekend, see 4 Tips for Saving Money This 4th of July.

2. Take Advantage of 4th of July Sales

According to DealNews.com, "July 4th sales offer a rare opportunity to get discounts on items while they're still in season." The website predicts good deals on video games, summer apparel and patio furniture, so if you need to stock up on any of these items, spend some time at the store over your holiday weekend.

3. Know How to Cut Energy Costs

Utility bills can skyrocket during summer months, when high temps lead to even higher cooling costs, and kids leave lights and appliances on all day long. Check out 10 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Utility Bills for room-by-room tips on how to slash your energy bills and save more money this summer.

4. Spring for a Staycation

With the school year starting in early August in many parts of the country, July is the prime month for family vacations. But while it's fun to hit the beach or travel somewhere new, a staycation is also a wonderful, low-cost option for families. Wondering what exactly to do on a staycation? Check out our list of 23 Family Staycation Ideas for a Spectacular Summer or our ideas for Free (and Cheap) Summer Fun for Families.

Do you splurge on summer fun? Or do you stick to your family budget and stick to mostly free activities?