Living a frugal life doesn’t have to be boring for your family. Your kids shouldn’t feel deprived because you’re not jetting out the movie premieres at the theater every weekend! You can find great free and low-cost entertainment in your community if you just look for it. Our weekend was fun-filled and filled with freebies at that!
School function: Total Cost: $16!
The PTA at Hannah’s school put on “Caribbean Night” at dinnertime. They served chili and cornbread and had a bake sale in the commons. I brought bottled water from home for everyone in the diaper bag and a bottle for Truett, so we didn’t have to buy drinks there. Adult dinner was $5, child was $3, and bake sale goodies were $1 each. For all 4 of us to eat dinner and have a dessert we paid $16. This “dinner out” was our splurge, but was still much less than we would have paid to eat dinner at a restaurant.
Now comes the fun part: the kid stuff! The school had a huge steel drum band set up in the gymnasium. The band played Caribbean music and the kids ran amok and danced, did conga lines, the limbo, jumped rope and burned up all their energy! There were also free crafts in the art room, including making paper pirate hats (which Hannah did). We parents got to listen to great live music and socialize with other parents while the kids had fun with their friends. Afterward, we took 2 very exhausted kids home to an early bedtime. Perfect!
Mush for Kids: Total Cost: $0!
We live in Alaska, and a lot of people here like dog mushing. Hey, to each his own! The local banks put on a “Mush for Kids” event at a local park. They had booths and exhibits set up inside a building. Outside, they had a fire truck and a police car with a real police dog! Also outside, they had free dog sled rides for kids and adults. We came out with a lot of loot, Hannah got to do a lot of crafts and games, and everything was free!
Here is what we ended up with:
Dog sled ride for Hannah
Make your own bookmark, made by Hannah
Kids’ book (a prize from the Literacy Council booth)
Hannah planted 5 sunflower seeds in some soil at one booth and got to bring them home with growing directions
Parents magazine for Mom
Balloon for Hannah
Bag of Cheetos (another prize)
Make your own picture frame with stickers (Mom made one for the baby!)
Plastic firefighter hat from the fire truck
Meet a real police dog
Pet a mini horse, a llama, a sled dog, and hold a newborn puppy
Watch Hawaiian dancers inside and listen to a lady who played the harp
Keep your eyes open for events happening in your community that can provide fun activities for little-to-no cost. Check with your local Visitors Bureau for a listing of events, or monitor you local newspaper for announcements.
Being a Frugal Family Doesn’t Mean No Fun!