Summer concert season is here and in full swing, and with that, comes the classic summer concert tailgate. Whether you're seeing a rap, rock, country concert, or something in between, half of the fun is hanging out with friends before the show starts.

And, when you're in the lot, there are plenty of hacks that'll save you a chunk of change. Follow these tips for your summer concert tailgate, and you might even have enough money left over for some merch.

wine, coffee, tea
Beatrice Forman

BYO Alcohol with Boxed Cocktails

Kelli Haugh

If you're planning on drinking at the concert, why spend an arm and a leg buying a $12 beer inside the venue? No one has to know your cocktail is boxed unless you tell them. Plus, there are endless cocktail recipes that you can whip up with a boxed red, white, or rosé. Get your pre-concert buzz without spending all your hard earned cash.

Bring Snacks Made With a Few, Cheap Ingredients

chocolate, candy, cake
Rozina Fonyo

True story: when I was at a music festival last month, I spent $10 for an order of four mozzarella sticks. Were they delicious? Of course. Was my wallet upset with me? Of course. The cheapest (and most fun) food at the store is junk food, so make some pre-concert snacks with some cheat day items.

I mean, what would you rather have? An overpriced hot dog, or some Ritz finger sandwiches or M&M pretzel bites? Anything with chocolate is a winner in my book.

Take Advantage of Freebies

tea, coffee, beer
Isabel Wang

As a Massachusetts native, most concerts I've been to have freebies from Dunkin' Donuts. Even though it's only a small sip or bite, it definitely comes in clutch when I'm standing for a while to gain entry to the venue. Keep your eyes peeled at your next concert for vendors with snacks. We won't judge if you go in for seconds.

Suffer Through Bad Parking

Parking at concerts is crazy tough—people are animals when trying to snag that perfect spot. You can probably beat the traffic if you park in a premium lot, but you'll definitely be spending a lot more money than it's worth.

You might have to bring some chairs and reading material when you're sitting around after the concert, but most general admission parking is free to concert goers. In my opinion, this will just give you some more time to hang out with your friends and hear the encore.

Bring the Best in Pre-Concert Entertainment

Got some cornhole planks or a CanJam set that you can fit in the back of your car? Bring it! If you're planning on tailgating all day, eventually, just sitting around by the trunk is gonna get old.

With some games from home, the energy will be back in your tailgate in no time! Plus you might even make some friends with other concert goers who are willing to share their better seats.

At the end of the day, concerts are about the music and spending time with friends. Money shouldn't be the end all be all when it comes to spending time with friends, but it definitely will be more enjoyable with some extra change in your pocket.