Family Fun on a Budget

Cyndi Roberts
1 Frugal Friend 2 Another:

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When you and your family are on a tight budget,
sometimes one of the first things to be cut out
is money for entertainment.

When our 3 children were small, my husband and I
always tried to find fun things to do as a
family that didn't make a huge dent in our budget.

One thing we recommend is setting aside one night
a week for "Family Fun Night".  Turn off the TV
and the phone and do something together.  It
doesn't have to be an expensive outing, but do
plan ahead and let the children have some input
into your plan. 

Here are some ideas for 'family fun on a budget'.

1.  Take a walk through your neighborhood.  Say
hello to everyone you meet, whether you know them
or not.  Point out to your children some of the
beautiful things in nature, maybe the beautiful
sunset, someone's pretty flowers, the clouds in
the sky. 

Teaching them to enjoy and appreciate 
simple things is one of the greatest gifts you
can give to your children.
When you arrive back home, treat yourselves to
homemade ice cream sundaes!

2.  A great source of cheap entertainment is your
public library.  At our library, we can check out
family videos and jigsaw puzzles as well as books.
Check out a video the whole family can enjoy and
pop some popcorn (maybe the old-fashioned way--
some children don't even know there's any other
kind but microwave popcorn!)

3.  Have a family picnic in the park.  Let the
kids help prepare the food--make sandwiches, pack
an ice chest, make cookies for dessert.  The town
we lived in when our children were small, had a
nice park with lots of playground equipment.  It
was a real treat for them.

4.  During the school year, we took advantage of
entertainment the school had to offer. For example,
a couple of times a year, the high school band has
a free band concert.  The Christmas concert was
always our favorite.  Some schools have drama clubs
that offer plays from time to time.  If you live in
a college town, you will have access to even more
opportunity for free or low-cost concerts and plays.

5.  In the summer, set aside one night to make home-
made ice cream.  Invite grandparents to come over
and talk about the "old days".  Maybe you would even
like to go so far as to make the ice cream with a
hand cranked freezer.  If your parents don't live
close, think about inviting an older couple or
person from your neighborhood.  They will enjoy it
and so will your children!

6.  During the winter months, when it's impossible
to get outdoors, make some hot chocolate and read
aloud a classic book, in installments.  Research
shows that children who are read to from an early
age, are better readers themselves. 

I'm sure you get the idea by now.  What you do on
family night may not be as important as just doing
it!  Keep it simple and fun!

--Good character, like good soup,
is usually homemade!--

More Frugal Living
Cyndi Roberts has been happily married to her best friend for
34 years and is a proud mother of 3.   In her newsletter,
"1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" she uses her years of experience
as a wife, mother and chief budget officer to help others
learn how to "live the good life...on a budget!" To subscribe,
visit her online at

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