5 Ways to Stretch a Buck: Family Entertainment

by Marcy on January 23, 2009 · 0 comments

I thought I would try something new this week since I have been having a hard time sitting down and writing anything of substance lately. Small snippets seem to be all my brain can handle at the moment. I blame it on information overload. Anyway…this week I’m going to offer 5 Ways to Stretch a Buck on family entertainment. Here goes, in no particular order…

1) Check out a DVD from the local library for free, pick up inexpensive candy, soda and other treats and pop some popcorn. That makes for an instant (and cheap) movie night in the comfort of your own home.

2) Take advantage of memberships to your local zoos, museums and the like. These memberships often pay for themselves in one or two visits and can offer endless hours of entertainment for your family. (Do your research before purchasing though, and make sure you are confident that your family will visit enough times to pay for the membership). Feel like you can’t justify or pay for a membership? If you celebrate Christmas or Birthdays, add this to you (or your kids) wish list.

3) Explore your local parks. I’m writing this from the perspective of someone who is blessed to have a wide variety of parks to choose from, but in my area we have parks with walking and nature trails, nature preserves, play ground equipment, baseball and soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, skate boarding ramps, picnic pavilions, and wide open spaces to run and play…all at no cost to you. Check online to see what is available in your local area, you might be pleasantly surprised. (Oh how I am missing the park right now…especially since we are experiencing a 50 degree “tease” today here in Ohio).

4) Play board games, put together puzzles and break out the video games. While some of these things can be pricey, they don’t have to be. Spend a weekend evening doing these activities and save money on both gas and food. Make restaurant inspired food/snacks (cheeseburgers, fries and shakes as an example).

5) Stay in touch with community events that take place in your local area. Check at the YMCA, recreation center, schools or on your town/city’s website for information about parades, concerts, street fairs, festivals, farmers markets, sporting events etc… Attend those that interest you. If spending money at these events is a problem for you, eat/drink before you arrive and leave your wallet in the car. A lot of these things can be enjoyed without spending little to no money at all.

Bottom line? It is possible to have fun without spending a lot of money or doing extravagant things. Often it is the simple things that end up being the most fun and memorable (to both you and your kids) in the long run.

What are your favorite ways to save money on family entertainment? I would love to hear your tips!

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