5 Ways to cut your expenses: #3 Entertainment

Day 3 is here! Who’s sticking with me through this 5 day series? Have you found some ways to cut your expenses? I hope so!  Today is about entertainment and how to keep it at minimal cost.  Tomorrow we focus on utilities so be sure to come back!

In this family we like to have fun.  We like to go places and do fun things.  But, it can get expensive! Spending time together with family, friends, spouses, kids, and so on shouldn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  These are some things we like to do as a family, as well as some ideas of how to have fun on the cheap!

  • Have a family movie night. Pick a movie, pop some popcorn, and cozy up together on the couch.  You could even plan the evening around the theme of the movie.  For example, you can watch “Lady and the Tramp”, dinner would be spaghetti and meatballs, eat by candlelight, and play soft music in the background.  
  • Have a family game night or host a game night with friends.  It’s the same idea as movie night, but if you have friends over, have everyone bring a drink and a snack to share.  You can rotate who’s house it is at as well.
  • Purchase a membership or season pass to a local spot that you enjoy.  We love the Fort Wayne Zoo so we make sure we purchase a zoo membership.  We have to go twice a year to break even, but I can tell you we go at least 7 times each year.  There are different benefits to being a zoo member, but one of our favorites is the annual zoo member picnic.  We get a free BBQ meal, bounce houses for the kids, and entertainment.  It’s a great day.
  • Know what’s going on in your area.  Yearly festivals, parades, and events are great because most of the time they are free!  Some areas have free movie nights, free concerts, and free theater.  It’s just a matter of knowing what’s going on in your area.
  • Camping is a great (and cheap) thing to do!  I’m talking about the tent camping with no electricity!  Some of the best memories we have are of things that happened while sitting around a campfire.
  • Spend the day at the lake or the beach.  Public beaches out here have a minimal parking fee on weekends and holidays.  Otherwise, it is completely free.  Pack a lunch, sunscreen, some chairs, and spend the day.
  • Check your local library for free events.  I have seen events such as monthly movie nights, a book club, and summer activities for kids.
  • Pack a picnic and head to the playground.  This is sure to take up a couple hours and burn off some energy that the kids have a never ending supply of.
  • If you plan a date night and you have kids, see if you can swap babysitting with a friend or neighbor.  It’s a great way to cut the cost of babysitting.
  • Make sure to plan ahead for any more expensive day trips.  We like to go to the Michigan Rennaisance Faire once a year.  It is not a cheap day.  Knowing this ahead of time, we plan ahead for how much we are going to spend on food, drinks, and items the kids may want to buy.  Planning ahead and talking about it with your significant other is a great way to keep those fun days under control without blowing your budget.
  • Use the library for new books and to rent movies.  The library is FREE (or a minimal annual cost) to borrow books and movies so why would you buy new?  It’s also worth asking friends or relatives that are local if you can borrow their books or movies.  Just make sure you take care of anything borrowed so you return it in the condition you borrowed it.

Leave me a comment with some ideas!

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