Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cheap and Fun

Early on in our marriage we were given some advice to have a weekly date night. Since we were prompt to produce the first grandchild 10 months after the wedding, we had parents who were more than eager to come over once a week to fawn over their new grandson while we happily scrambled out the door hollering “good luck” behind us as we ran to our car. The only problem was that by the time the dust settled and we dug through our newlywed wallets we would find that we usually had around seven dollars to fund our few hours of freedom. Even 15 years ago that wasn’t much so we had to get creative.

It became a fun challenge to see just how much we could do with our measly few bucks. We found that we could each order off the fast food menu and have just enough for a meal. Our love of books sent us to the library to read our favorite magazines for free and hunt down books we were dying to read. There were always little league games or high school sports that we could go watch or free art exhibits to wander through. Sometimes we’d feed the ducks at the lake or play tennis at one of the local courts. We found there were plenty of things to entertain ourselves with and date nights were so much more fun as we came up with more and more ways to connect without spending too much money.

Now that the kids are older we still look for creative ways to spend time together as a family without getting buried in recreational debt. If you’re looking for a few ways to have some thrifty fun, try these ideas on for size.

  • Go for a hike or a bike ride
  • Pack a homemade picnic
  • Go to the free concerts at the lake
  • State parks randomly offer free entrance days. Research Here.
  • Cook a meal as a family. This is actually lots of fun.
  • Play board games together
  • Swim at the local YMCA
  • Camp in your living room
  • Have a “no electricity” night. Cook over the fireplace, tell stories, read a story out loud to each other.
  • Act like tourists in your own town. Take pictures of each other around landmarks and see the city through the eyes of a visitor.
  • Volunteer together. Donate your time to serving a meal at Community house or visiting a nursing home.
  • Learn the constellations together after dark.
  • Watch the sunset together.
  • Fly kites
  • Put together a puzzle as a family


Candi said...

Those are great ideas!

momma-lana said...

My husband lost his job 3 months ago and we have done things like go to the park that we haven't done in years. It's been good for us that way! The simlple things in life are so much better because they often involve conversation which sitting in front of a movie screen, etc does not. We are empty nesters and are having a blast doing these free/cheap things together.

Condo Blues said...

We like to check out local events like street festivals and dog charity fundraisers. We bring a water bottle with us, so that's one less thing we have to buy and can splurge on ice cream or a funnel cake.