Finances Vs. Fun: Save Money While Spending More Time Together Out on the Town
Most of us know what it feels like to be living on a budget and trying to make sure you don’t run out of money, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to have some fun without blowing a hole in your finances.
Here is a look at some ways to enjoy the best of both worlds and enjoy some great family entertainment on a tight budget, including how to slash the cost of a meal out, a cheaper way to get some screen entertainment, and some cultural and natural excursions that are not going to hurt your pocket.
Your favorite restaurant
You probably have a few favorite places that you all like to eat at but if the prices are a bit steep you often have to space out the visits or look for a better deal somewhere else.
There are always plenty of restaurant deals around and you never know you might just find a new favorite that doesn’t have you worrying about asking for the check.
If you are going out as a family, search for restaurants that offer discounts if you sign up for their email messages or when there is a promotion running. It makes sense to give out your details if you are going to get a discount taken off the price of your meal.
There are also sites like kidsmealdeals that will keep you in the loop on restaurants in your area that are offering discounts and special offers.
Extra money saving tip
It is always worth signing up for loyalty cards and checking out sites like upgradedpoints.com for details on rewards available on credit cards. These extra savings can really add up and it is always a bonus when you get something for free with your points.
Movies for less money
A night at the movies used to be a reasonably cheap night out as family entertainment goes but ticket prices have soared in recent times and when you add in the price of the soda and the popcorn it starts to get expensive as an activity option.
If you all love watching a movie together there are some cheaper alternatives.
Look out for community movie nights which are great fun and a whole lot cheaper to attend, plus you will often find local venues and social clubs holding one-off movie nights with low admission fees.
If you really can’t resist the lure of your local movie theater, be smart about when you go. Matinees are almost always cheaper than the price of an evening ticket, so you could see the latest movie for less.
Love your library
Too many of us seem to have forgotten just how much the local library has to offer and there is always something available there that will please the whole family.
Despite the competition for our attention with the internet and even devices like e-readers where you can download something to read, books are still universally popular and you just can’t beat browsing through a selection of titles and losing yourself for a few hours.
The real bonus about visiting the library with your family is not just the fact that you can have fun browsing and reading together while you are there, you get to borrow the titles you want to read and take them home for free.
It is not just books either, you can hire out movies and CDs for nothing as well, so it is a real no-brainer option for some cheap family entertainment.
If you live in or near a city there should be plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in a bit of culture and enjoy some family fun that is not going to cost much, or anything at all.
Look out for special events at museums or art centers and you are bound to find some free days for kids with activities that they will enjoy.
Most cities have a diverse range of cultural events running throughout the year so become an active member of your community and find out when all of these events are on so that you can plan a few cultural trips with the family that will be big on education and entertainment but budget-friendly when it comes to cost.
A night with the stars
There is a way for the family to enjoy a night with the stars even when you are on a budget.
All you have to do is visit your local park or forest where you don’t have to pay any parking or entrance fees, then look up to the skies when the sun has gone down and do some stargazing with the kids.
When you put your mind to it, you should be able to find plenty of ways to get some great family entertainment without busting your budget.
Charlotte Hicks is a Mom on a mission to save money this year which she can put towards the kid’s college funds. She doesn’t want to deprive the kids of special treats so is using coupons and discounts wherever possible.