Melissa Dubravetz, advertising writer

Labor Day weekend is a great time to get out and enjoy the last long weekend of summer while taking advantage of the warm weather, sales and fun events going on around town. If you are like many renters, saving money is probably at the top of your monthly to do list. Finding affordable things to see, do and enjoy this weekend is a must.

If you are looking for a little inspiration on how to spend your long weekend without spending a lot of money, read on for ideas that might appeal to your whole family:

Rent. Look into your options for renting items the whole family can enjoy for a day, weekend or entire month. This could include anything from mountain bikes, outdoor toys and equipment to renting a camper for a weekend getaway. If the weather happens to keep you inside, you can even rent a video game console.

Drive. This weekend is the last big holiday travel weekend of summer, and a recent survey by AAA estimates that 5.9 million people from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin will travel 50 or more miles this weekend. Driving to your destination is probably a more affordable route to take, especially if you are traveling with several people. Pack food and snacks to keep the road trip costs to a minimum.

Stay in. One way to save money this weekend is by staying home. Consider hosting a potluck picnic or Sunday brunch with friends and family. Produce prices are still pretty low, so consider planning your meal around what types of fruits and vegetables are on sale.

Dine out. If cooking at home isnt really your thing, look for discount deals and coupons to restaurants you want to try and spend the weekend enjoying affordable meals at new places.

Spend to save. Labor Day weekend is one of the best times during the year for sales on furniture. If you are thinking about purchasing new furniture for your apartment, this weekend may be a great time to do it. It is also a great time to pick up heavily discounted outdoor furniture and appliances and take advantage of the remaining back-to-school bargains going on through the middle of September.

Find free. If spending a lot of money this weekend is really out of your budget, consider all the free things you can enjoy. Spend time at a pool, host a college football game party, go for a hike, visit a local flea or farmers market to window shop or purchase groceries. You could even have friends over for movie or game night or throw a picnic in the park and have everyone bring something.

Relax. Enjoy the holiday weekend by simply relaxing. Watch your favorite shows, read a book, play a game, listen to music, sit outside, sleep in, stay up late and treat yourself to at-home spa treatments.

Let me know what you think. What are you tips for enjoying the holiday weekend? I welcome your suggestions on making a decision, tales from your personal experiences or anything else you want to talk about. Send an e-mail with your name and phone number to renters@thebeaconjournal.com. For additional real estate information, visit homes.ohio.com, the key to hassle-free home hunting.