Being on a tight budget is not always going to be easy. There are things that you are going to want but just can not have. This is especially true if you have a family. You want to give them everything but it is just not going to be possible with a budget. Who is to say that you can not have a good time though. There are a lot of budget friendly things that you can do that will satisfy the kiddos. Let’s take a look at some of the top cheap ways to entertain the family.
1. Board Game Night
Kid’s love board games and you probably have a stack of them in the hall closet just collecting dust. If you do not have any, borrow some or head down to the dollar store.
Then just grab a bag of pretzels, make a pitcher of Kool Aid and let the kids have a good time. Tell yourself that you let them win when they beat you.
2. Try Something New
Head over to Living Social or Groupon and check out the latest offerings. You might be able to score 80 percent off of laser tag or putt putt and have a great night out for just a few dollars. Living Social has a lot of options for you and often has some nice, off the wall stuff that you would have never thought about. Have a cheap night out that doesn’t feel cheap.
3. Dollar For a Movie
You can not beat the dollar movies for cheap entertainment. Of course, they are not usually a dollar anymore but they are much cheaper than the big theater. If you can put up with watching a movie that has been out a bit longer, a family of four should be able to get tickets for under fifteen dollars.
4. Nothing Beats A Free Concert
Check your city events calendar and see what is coming up. If your city is like mine, they host a free event once every couple months. Don’t limit yourself to your own city, check out all of your neighbor cities as well. They are not going to card you to get in to their free events.
5. Have A Picnic
For the cost of a few sandwiches and juice boxes, you can have a nice afternoon or evening at the park. Be sure to bring along a soccer ball or maybe a kite to launch. You will love that it is nearly free and that the kids will be exhausted when the day is over.
6. Go To The Public Library
There is a lot to do at the library. If your children do not have library cards, now would make a great time to register them. You can then let them select some books to enjoy and possibly some free DVD’s.
Also, pay attention to the library events page online. Look for story times and other kids events to enjoy.
7. Have A Home Movie Night
Raid the old DVD collection and see what movies you have not seen for some time. Dim the lights, fire them up and pop some pop corn. If all else fails, head over to a Red Box and rent a new release for a little over a dollar.
8. Buy A Zoo Membership
I will have to admit, on the surface, buying a zoo membership does not sound like you are saving money, but you really are. For around 100 dollars, you can buy a membership to most zoos. You then get unlimited visits and free parking. You will also get discounts on concessions but you can save a ton of money by just bringing your own food and drinks.
Use it twice and you have saved money on normal zoo admission. Go a dozen times and you will have saved a fortune. 1200 dollars in admission and parking for just 100 dollars. Now that is a steal.
9. Have A Craft Night
Your kids are full of imagination. All that you need to give them is a few tools to let it out. Some construction paper, a few paper towel rolls, some glue, paint or markers will work. Just collect all of the bits and pieces you have lying around the house, throw a plastic sheet on the table and let the kids go to work. Check out Pinterest if all else fails and you need some ideas.
10. Make Your Own Waterpark
It doesn’t cost a fortune to have a good time on a hot Summer day or night. Water park trips for a typical family could easily add up to close to $200 but there are cheap ways to have fun. A sprinkler and some cheap water guns will do. Even a large plastic tarp can become a cheap slip in slide for endless fun.
11. Go Camping
Pull out the camping gear or borrow some from a friend and hit a national park. Park admission is cheap and all you need besides that is a cooler full of food and a few dollars in gas. Don’t have the time to travel? You can always camp out in your own backyard.
12. Cook Together
If your kid is like mine, they are always asking to help with the cooking. Take advantage of this eagerness and have a family cooking night. This could be a main meal like pizza or it could be making cookies or cupcakes. If your kids are too young to be trusted with the mixing and the oven, you can do the hard work. Then just let them do the decorating.
Tina’s Last Word
Just because you are saving money does not mean that you can not have a good time. If you think back to your own childhood, the best memories you have, probably did not cost a dime.