Saturday, May 8, 2010

Frugal Entertainment Ideas

After my post on Cutting The Household Budget Down To Size, it sounded like most of you have already "cut" the cable or TV off for the most part. And perhaps the rest of us need to consider doing the same! Which led me to brainstorming...


Photo Credit: rrodrigo

Frugal Entertainment Ideas


Play games or have a weekly Game Night
Go star gazing and learn about the constellations
Go camping in the back yard
Read a classic out loud together or one of the Lamplighter Series
Enjoy a picnic together
Fly a kite
Go for a bike ride
Take up hiking and learn to identify wildflowers or edible native plants
Learn the guitar or piano and have a sing along (invite the friends over)
Roast marshmellows over a camp fire or in the fireplace
Have a coloring contest with the little ones
Act out a Bible story
Play charades
Eat dinner out on the patio and take a long time!
Catch fireflies together in a mason jar
Hang a tire swing from a tree and take turns
Lip synch to your favorite songs
Go sledding
Build a snowman
Make real "snow" cones
Work a puzzle 


What does your family do for frugal fun?



16 comments:

  1. Sidewalk chalk and water balloons. You can buy 12,000 water balloons for about a dollar at Walmart, and they'll last for years!

    Ice cream social...make homemade ice cream and call the grandparents for a visit.

    Have a picnic. Doesn't matter what food you pack, it will always taste better when it's eaten on the ground.

    Movie night. During the winter, we have family movie nights when we all put on our jammies, make popcorn and pull out an old video. "Wallace and Grommett" is a periennial favorite here.

    This is a goofy one- there's a Ritchie Brothers auction house just a few miles away. If you're not familiar with them, they sell HUGE equipment at quarterly auctions and Isaac loves watching the equipment sell! We pack some snacks, test drive a couple of cranes, rollers and tractors and then listen to the auctioneers. Isaac is the mascot there, so we even get to go up into the VIP room LOL.

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  2. Our family loves pizza, but it just gets too expensive to buy. The last 2 Friday nights we had 'Make your Own Pizza' nights. I made the dough, gathered sauce, cheese, and other toppings (including fresh herbs from our garden). And, everyone was able to make their own personal pizza. This is great for our family, but it would also work well when having company...especially company with kids.

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  3. Potlucks with like minded friends...one couple always brings the wine, another couple brings a side dish, and we provide the main. Or...vice versa...depends on who has what in their fridge! We've also done homemade pizza nights where I would make the dough, homemade sauce, and provide the cheese, and the other couples would bring several toppings. Especially fun in the summer when we grill the pizzas outside. Mmmm...I feel a potluck coming on!

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  4. Some things our family likes to do for fun that don't involve electronics:

    1. Have a water balloon fight when the weather is hot
    2. Do puzzles if it's a rainy day
    3. Go for a picnic--our favourite place is a national park an hour away where there are BBQs right on the beach
    4. Go for a nature walk
    5. Play cards (Crazy 8's usually)
    6. Younger kids love helping to make playdough
    7. Bike rides
    8. Gardening
    9. Baking cookies together
    10.Reading together

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  5. Baking together...pizza or taco night to go with your game night, biking, Zoo Membership, Museum memborship/art gallery(have an idea of content before so you know if there are things you may want to avoid), hiking, Wilderness/animal rescue preserves, many libraries have good programs and guest speakers/story tellers throughout the year and especially during the summer for children and adults (again you will want to do your research about content). Our city has numerous branches and has had things like metal embossing, dancing, science experiments to showing of recent movies(of course, our family values would not have us see every single one, but hey we have the freedom of pick and choose and should exercise that). Also, do your research. Many places that charge may have a homeschool day at reduced price and many times free of charge (I am thinking different historical places, but I am sure there are others). So a place that you may not normally go to because of the cost becomes a possibility. Check out your local Y. There may be a cost, but it may be worth it if there are programs like dance class, gymnastics, tumbling, and art classes for free to its members that you would take advantage of. One of our local branches has a homeschool PE twice a week. Never be afraid to ask for discounts...homeschooler, military, etc...Many place will just by you asking.

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  6. Heading to the park with the kids or the beach (if you're close enough) is great. Go to the river. Build a "fort" made of blankets and chairs. Play a game of baseball, football, soccer, etc. in your backyard. Read books. Bake something up for a neighbor and then take it over together as a family. Make paper airplanes (design and color them) and see who's can fly the furthest.

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  7. Cable will never leave my house. Ever. My husband would lay in front of the cable guy's truck before he'd be without cable.

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  8. Amy, we have never had a television in our married lives (25 years on June 1) and yes, we do all of those things and more. But what we really struggle to understand, and I will admit its a prejudice, is the *entertainment* mindset. We do not have a certain hour of our day at which we start to require entertainment until we go to bed, and frankly none of our family understands where people get as many hours in the day as they say they waste on television and the like! ALL of our days (and evenings) are lived to the fullest. There may be a different pace to our evenings, esp after Daddie and the big boys get home, but we all have things we do with that time. Daddie is a woodworker and always has a project going. In the winter, there are puzzles and a lot of stitching and crocheting and reading around the fireplace. In the summertime, when it is light later, there is a lot of playing and working together outside, on the garden or outdoor projects. We also spend a long time at the dinner table; no one is in a hurry to be off to other things, and we enjoy one another's company. Now it may just sound like we are weird, but we have guests on a regular basis who also seem to enjoy our protracted dinners, and sitting around inside or out chatting, theological discussions, etc. With no dishwasher, gathering around to wash the dishes together and straighten things for tomorrow is also an enjoyable part of our day in which all of us participate; the talking and laughter carries on, and guests generally participate too. Sundays after church are our big *entertainment* days, and we often head for the state park or the botanical gardens for a picnic, hiking, frisbee, hide-n-seek, rock climbing, biking, roller blading, swimmimng, and even occasional quiet couple times:-) Maybe its easier because there are so many of us, or maybe just because the children have been raised that way, but we really are a self-entertaining bunch.

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  9. No TV here. Ugh. The Tube traps you and sucks away hours and hours of your life!

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  10. The kids love playing baseball. Sam asked for real bases for Christmas, so we don't have to use trees anymore:-). In the summer months, the kids love to play in a little kiddie pool. We enjoy having company over and making homemade ice cream as well. As you cut back on the big things, the little things become special:-).

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  11. We go swimming, visit the beaches and parks, go to story times at the bookstore or library, bike ride, visit family/friends/neighbors, cook together, paint and create crafts from recycled items around the house, garden, read and act out books, silly dance, make up songs on the piano and do lots of creative play both indoors and outdoors.

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  12. we camp in the front yard and cook over an open fire.

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  13. I think every night used to be frugal night at our house, LOL. Every evening we would gather in the living room and DH would read. Our favorites were the Little House series, the Ralph Moody series, and biographies of missionaries.

    Friday night was special because it was pizza and dessert night. We would even indulge in soda. Instead of a family dinner at the table, we would eat in the living room and watch a video. Since it was only once a week, it was something we looked forward too. Now we have an empty next, but DH and I carry on the tradition. Actually, so does my son and his new bride! I was tickled when I learned that.

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  14. Nice list, Amy! I made one of all the things I want to do with my son this summer and a few of yours are on mine, but I got some new ideas from yours. After making the list I wondered why I would just do one for summer. I've decided to do one for each season, taking advantage of the weather for the appropriate activities. If anyone wants to see my list it's in the right column of my blog. Follow my profile for the link.

    On the topic of TV-we haven't had it for 4 years, and I can't imagine how people get things done if they do have it! We have a TV to watch movies on, but we hardly have time for that!

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  15. I could hardly wait to get home this evening and read all your wonderful comments! We just got home from Family Camp where we work all day Saturday on projects at a Christian camp getting it ready for their summer season, listened to speakers, worshiped, ate lots of great food, fellowshiped, and played together... and not one electronic "toy", especially TV! We had told the girls on the way up that we were cutting the TV off soon (which shouldn't be a big deal to them since they only watch a movie on Friday nights and will still be able to do so). On the way back home, my almost 12 year old said she wouldn't even care if she had TV if she could live at camp! Amazing how a work hard/play hard lifestyle can be appealing, even to a pre-teen. (I'm sure playing with friends helped her attitude!).

    But isn't that how it is with all of us? C. S. Lewis said "We are far too easily pleased, like an ignorant child who goes on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at sea." While Lewis did not make this statement in relationship to TV viewing, it applies here as well. We can easily get caught up in "living" life through the eyes of others on TV rather than experiencing and enjoying life for ourselves!

    Thanks for all your wonderful input on the subject!

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  16. Jenny-that reminded me of something that happens in Phoenix during the summer (slow time for tourist season) that I wanted to share. You can "check out" a pass that's good at local attractions like museums, the science center, places like that, and I think it's no cost, or very reduced. We've never been able to get one at the time we'll be in town (we don't live in Phx, but about an hour away) but it's something to explore for people that live in bigger cities.

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