Frugal Fun

Frugal living doesn’t mean having a life without fun.  In fact, you might be surprised how easy it is to trim your expenses with a little patience and planning.  My family has made a tradition of going to the Texas State fair every year since we moved to the Big D. This year was especially important because we wanted to see the new Big Tex. Depending on the day, you can save some serious cash if you plan it just right.  General admission is $17 and paying for parking costs another $15…this doesn’t include the yummy food and fun games/rides.  For a family of 5, you’re looking at a pretty expensive outing.   Instead of letting go of one of our favorite family traditions, I did a little research and came across some great savings.  Kroger had a can food drive on Wednesday which made admission only $3 for each visitor bringing 3 cans of food for area food banks. We ended up paying only $9 total for our whole family while also helping out a great cause.   We also saved a few bucks in parking and found some great free activities and shows the kiddos loved.  Being frugal does not mean that you can never spend money; it just means that you spend your money wisely instead of blindly. 

  IMG_8600 IMG_8601

 

IMG_8605

Howdy Folks!

 

 

Advertisements

Groupon Deals and Savings

20130803-131213.jpg

I LOVE saving money!  Who doesn’t right?  I also love to spend money where I know I’m getting a discount or bargain.  I recently signed up for Groupon which is a free service for anyone to join. If you’re not familiar with Groupon, it’s an on-line service for consumers to receive deal-of-the-day recommendations on services in your area.

A few months back, I found a great deal on a boat rental in our area and last week my family and I cashed in on the deal and spent the day on the lake.  It was so much fun and super reasonable when I purchased my deal through Groupon.   This is just one of a few purchases I’ve made using this great service!

Every 24 hours, Groupon broadcasts an electronic coupon for a restaurant or store in your city, recommending that local service while also offering you a 40% to 60% discount if you purchase that service.  Why does Groupon do this you might ask?  Groupon is a middleman service that promotes your city’s restaurants and stores. Groupon encourages people to try a different restaurant or store each day, and earns a commission whenever they successfully refer a customer.

Each day, Groupon will send an email announcement to its subscribers, describing the deal-of-the-day in that metro area.  If you like the deal-of deal-of-the-day, then you purchase an electronic coupon directly from Groupon using your credit card or PayPal account. You print that coupon, take it to the restaurant or store, and redeem it for commonly double the value you paid.

The great thing about this, if you don’t like the deal-of-the-day then you do nothing, and wait for the next day’s offer.  There is no obligation nor any cost for you to simply watch each day’s Groupon announcements.

If you’re interested in joining Groupon you simply go here and sign up.  All you need is your email address which you will check every day for discounts.  THAT’S ALL and enjoy your frugal adventure!

20130803-131222.jpg

Melting Crayons

Last week I had seven little people in my house.  That’s right seven… I have a complete new respect for any of you who are raising a large family.  YOU ROCK!!! It was a total adventure but by the third day I was beginning to feel like I look in my driver’s license photo. Despite being sleep deprived and a bit looney, the kiddos had so much fun and shared some wonderful memories with each other.  I pulled together a few crafts to keep them entertained during their visit.  Here was one that ending up being a favorite.  I think it was mine too!  SUPER EASY and fun!

crayon craft 4

I took a box of Crayola crayons and let the kiddos pick five favorite colors.  I didn’t have a canvas  but instead used the top of a box lid and taped the crayons at the top.   I would recommend to glue them with a glue gun if you have one.

crayon craft 3

then we turned our blow dryer to hot on high.

Crayon Craft 2

not long after you set the hair dryer by the crayons they get shiny and then the wax starts to melt! They each took turns and watched excitedly as the colors raced down the lid.  Seriously… they were so impressed!!

Crayon Craft

It dries really quick and after one kiddo finished, we added five more beside theirs and started the process again.  I’ve read on several posts to make sure you use Crayola.  Some tried to use other brands and it was a complete fail.  It turned out super cool… I’m thinking about using this as wall art for Kinley’s room.  Maybe next time I’ll save our broken crayons and try this again!

Chore Bucket

Last week, Kinely and I were trying to come up with a chore plan for the summer.  I wanted something fun and she wanted something she could help me create.  And so the search began… I found this cute idea on fun family crafts website   (save this site to your favorites there are so many fun ides).  All you do is choose a clothespin that has a chore written on it, complete the chore and then drop the clothes pin in the bucket.  Seriously…how much better would the world be if everything was this easy?  I went to Focus on the Family for age appropriate chores and integrated a few of our own.  My goal is implementing this chore bucket and keeping the excitement of doing these the whole summer long!  Wish me luck:)

chores_edited-1

Fun Things For Kids This Summer

Whelp, summer break is almost here!  As I’m trying to prepare fun things to do with my kiddos, I came across some really good ideas. I found a few great tips on the internet that I plan on using and hopefully some I can reuse of the ones we’ve done in the past.  I hope these frugal ideas will help you get though the summer without breaking the bank:)   kinley and books

  • Your local library is a fantastic resource. Our has a great  selection of books, music, dvd’s, and read-along tapes. We’ve been checking out the music and downloading them to our MP3 players. Works great for long car rides! Our library also has fun activities for the kids to get involved in throughout the summer.  Many local libraries are participating in the Reading With Ringling Bros. program – check to see if yours is!kiddos in yard
  • Last summer I hung a white sheet over our fence in the yard and pie tins filled with tempera paint.  The girls had a blast while Colson stamped the sheet.  After a few hours of fun I sprayed them down with the hose and did the same with the sheet.  We reused this throughout the week.
  • If you have children ages 14 and under, they can participate in the Half Price Books Summer Reading Program and get a free $5 gift certificate to Half Price Books for every 300 minutes of reading they do in a month.  This offer is valid June and July 2013.
  • Print out this Chuck E. Cheese Reading Calendar and keep track of your child’s reading progress. When they read every day for two weeks in a row they can earn 10 free tokens.  This offer is valid through December 31, 2013.
  • Michael’s has lots of great (free!) craft projects.
  • Home Depot does free kids workshops the first Saturday of every month from 9-noon (no sign up necessary, just show up). For a full list of  their upcoming workshops, you can go HERE.
  • Lowes does two free kids Build And Grow workshops a month – on Saturdays & Sundays. Go here to sign up:
  • The hose and/or sprinklers. It costs nothing, and kids have a ball.
  • Daily Deal Sites (i.e. Groupon) are a fantastic way to entertain on the cheap! Check the big deal sites      daily to scoop up entertainment or dining options at deeply discounted rates. Daily Deal vouchers are also a  great way to save money during a vacation – simply change the city      location on the deal site and see what’s available in the city you will be  visiting! Here are the sites I prefer: Groupon,      MamaSource,  and Sweet Jack.
  • Join the RedBox      Text Club and you’ll receive monthly freebie codes sent straight to your cell phone. You’ll get at least one free rental code a month – that can even be used on video game rentals!
  • There are two free bowling for kids programs out there – each will  allow your kids to bowl two games every day for FREE. You will have to pay for shoe rental. Go HERE to sign up for Kids Bowl Free and go HERE to sign up for AMF Unplugged.
  • Head to the movie theater for some thrifty, air-conditioned fun! Most major theater chains offer a free (or nearly free) kids summer movie program.  A few of my friends traded  off each week and watched the little ones while the older ones were treated to a fun show.
  • Target Sponsored Activities – Free admission to the NasherSculptureCenter.
  • REI      Passport to Adventure Program for Kids: download your free kids adventure journal, plus more!
  • Bass Pro Shop Free Events for Kids and Families
  •  Do you like movies?  Here are some great kid and family deals you can take advantage of and save!
  • Cinemark Theaters: 10 movies for $5 with advance purchase or $1 each at box office
  • Harkins Theaters: One movie per week for 10 weeks, less than $1 / film
  • Regal Entertainment Group: Movies for $1 on Tues/Wed at 10 am
  • Studio Movie Grill: $1 Child Tickets, $2 Adult Tickets, M-F at 11 am

Sonic is once again offering their Summer Of Shakes. All of their tasty shakes will be HALF PRICE after 8 PM all summer long. Choose from 25+ shakes – YUM!

I hope this helps!  Do you have any other frugal ideas?  We would LOVE to hear them!

Balloon Flip Flops

We can’t wait for summer! The girls and I wear nothing but flip flops during this season.  The great benefit of this fun craft is they’re cheap and there are about a million ways to customize them, so they’re the perfect DIY accessory for the frugalistic woman inside all of us!  Just buy a package of water balloons and your set for your sweet project!

IMG_0778

Items you will need:

Flip flops, on hand or $1

Water Balloons $1

You need a total of 5 balloons per group. Stack 4 balloons on top of each other, ends facing opposite direction. Take your 5th balloon and use it to tie your stack of 4 balloons to the flip flop. This can be a bit tricky, but after doing it a couple of times, you’ll be a pro. If it becomes too tricky to tie with the balloon, you could always use a strong string or something similar.  Tie 4 stacks of balloons to each side, a pinky finger tip width apart. So a total of 80 water balloons per shoe.  There you have it.  A super frugalistic savings for a fun summer day project!

Frugal Family Fun

photo(57)

Just picking up $1 boxes of candy at Wal-Mart for movie night makes it that much more fun!!!

With a family of 7, outings get expensive.  We budget to do things a couple times a month, but the rest of the time we find fun creative ways to have fun at home.  We have movie nights, game nights, flag football games and Duck Dynasty Marathons.  Hey Jack….It’s a blast!!!

What are some things you do as a family to save money and still enjoy time together?

Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: