Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thrifty Living Series - Entertainment on the Cheap




This week we are talking about entertainment and how to have some for little or no cost. Now this is an important topic in frugality as in order to keep frugal habits sustainable, you have to feel you are not deprived. Life needs to be fun and it really doesn't cost much of anything around here to have fun.

For the most part my husband and I would rather just stay home but of course our kids like to get out a little more. We have always home schooled so my kids are used to occupying themselves at home for longer periods of time but older kids do like to get out once in a while.

Really, I try to limit the running around and they know this so they will think ahead and come to me with an idea of how to get them to and from without too much extra driving. Our kids are expected to pay for their entertainment out of their allowance. This teaches them to find cheap entertainment and not ask for endless dollars to spend on movies and such. They are for the most part pretty frugal with what they spend out and it may be because they know they are spending their own money.

Honestly though, as a family, we stay home and just watch movies and play games. We enjoy this. We do use Netflix all the time and feel this is money well spent. We only have basic cable. Our major entertainment is really weekends on the coast using a family home and camping trips. We stay home most of the time and don't spend a lot so when we travel with the kids we will treat us all to dinner out and take advantage of some special excursions and stops at Starbucks, my favorite.

About twice a year we go to the movies and always go to the early bird showing for the cheaper rates. The library is another form of fun as we like to read and enjoy an hour or so at the library almost weekly. Entertaining friends is always fun and I can feed a group inexpensively if I make all the food.

Of course in Southern California we have lots of outdoor fun all year and we visit local parks and nature centers quite a bit. I love gardens and prefer these types of outings to museums. They are generally if not free, than reasonable.

Mostly, I would have to say, make your fun at home. If you are used to running around than give yourself some time to get out of the habit of always being on the go. By staying home you save gas, dollars on eating out and miles on your car. Enjoy your home. Get it cleaned up and straightened by Friday if you can so you can enjoy the weekend and not spend as much time cleaning. This way you will want to stay in and savor your cozy home.

Please visit Brenda at Cozy Little House, Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage, Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams  and Diane of Lavender Dreams and see what the other bloggers in this series are up to.


Linking to:
Katherine's Corner
Raising Homemakers
Transformation Thursday
A Glimpse Inside
The Saved Quarter
Ladybird Ln.

28 comments:

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Lots of good tips, Elanie. If it were up to me, I'd never leave the house, lol. Gas is so high, and so is everything else! It is hard for families to make ends meet these days, not to mention provide entertainment to children.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

We love Netflix, too! We are all homebodies around here, too, and we like to cook and grill. We don't eat out much. I bet you do have some very pretty parks in Southern California. You will be proud of me because I have been walking at the "park" across the street from the barn where Shelley rides. It is more like a "swamp" and I am afraid I will get yellow fever or malaria this spring.....but walking is free, at least! No need for a gym membership.

Super tips and post!

xo,
RJ

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

WE love to entertain at home too. I love to have friends here and it is so great to just relax and visit, we BBQ a ton and that makes having guests sooooooooooo easy. Hugs, Marty

Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

Great tips, I agree! We don't go out much either. We do have expanded cable minus the movies channels. but we on occasion will rent from On Demand and we have something here, you may as well, Redbox we can rent movies for $1.00 for one night. Two wks ago on a snow day I took our youngest, whose 16, to a movie....for just her and I during matinee time with popcorn and a soda it was $22.80! We don't do that much at all, so it was okay for this one time, but for people who do it more often, my goodness....way too expensive!

homeingreece said...

I'm really enjoying this series! We've rediscovered games ... in our 30s and we have game nights several times/week! We play monopoly, card games, word games, etc. It's so much fun and it's almost completely free. A bonus is that our home has become the "place to be" among our group of friends so we don't even have to spend anything on gas to see friends - they come to us!

Cranberry Morning said...

Enjoy your home. Get it cleaned up and straightened by Friday if you can so you can enjoy the weekend and not spend as much time cleaning. This way you will want to stay in and savor your cozy home. I think that is your very best tip!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Really great post! And it is wonderful to live in an area where there are lots of things to do that don't cost a lot. We love getting outdoors! Great ideas! Hugs! ♥

c. Joy said...

These tips work for us too. We (husband & I) did go out to see "The King's Speech." I had to take cotton to put in my ears because movies are so loud. It was a fun adventure, but I enjoy movies at home or at friends' homes much better. We all seem to love the PAUSE button for one reason or another. ;)

Mom of 12 said...

Having all these kids means being on the go even if it's just activity per child. There are times when I would love to slow it down a little.
Sandy

Kris said...

I am really enjoying your frugal series Elaine!

Claudia said...

Great tips, Elaine! I find that the things I love to do the most are often the least expensive. Great idea about your kids having to pay for entertainment out of their allowance. Teaches them thriftiness at a young age!

xo
Claudia

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Great post! I too love to just stay home but when my kids were young we did go to the park alot and the library for sure. Just have to find cheap entertainment to stretch that dollar. It can be done!

Elizabeth said...

Good ideas,I especially like the one of getting house work done during the week,so you can enjoy the weekend at home.

Cindy said...

It sounds like you have a very fun family, you do a lot compared to some. Teaching your children frugal living is so important, my hat (if I had one) is off to you, my friend.
Hugs, Cindy

Brenda said...

Enjoyed your thoughts. It's nice that you have good weather most of the time.
I like what you said about being able to spend a little more [without feeling guilty] because of your all around frugal lifestyle to start with.

Sweet Tea said...

Home is my favorite place to be; however, now, with only one child at home, we go to the movies a lot. This is something we couldn't do when all the kids were home.

Debbie said...

Best tip of all was at the end: Make sure the house is spruced up by Friday so you can enjoy the weekend.

I couldn't agree more!

Clara said...

As a librarian, I am thrilled to hear so many of you talk about using your local library. Don't forget to vote for them and tell your representatives. Right now we (I am a librarian) are being called a "non essential service" by our local government. They have no idea, of course, about how BUSY we are given the state of the economy. Thank you for supporting your local library district.
Clara from Redeemed Junk and Stuff

Shug said...

Great tips and some that I need to hear. We need to learn to stay home more! We have done much better at eating at home, due to our fast...
We are trying to continue those same eating habits...
I appreciate all of this good info and suggestions..
Blessings,
shug

Kerin said...

Love all of your ideas for frugal entertaining :)

We're a bunch of goofs around here, so it doesn't take much to entertain us, LOL!

Olive Cooper said...

You made an excellent point about parks Elaine. We have a Living History park near our house that is fun and teaches history so well. It is free. We also are near a large fresh water lake, dam, and the Savannah River. Spending time outside on any of them costs nothing. Joe and I are homebodies too and rarely go out at night. He once made me get in the truck to see the lights in our square because he knew I would never see them otherwise.

Cozy Little House said...

All great ideas, Elaine! You are such a good mother and are teaching your children such wonderful values and lessons.
Brenda

NanE said...

Sounds like you are raising responsible, respectful children, good for you! If there is anything that has come out of the poor economy, it's that many families have gone back to finding fun at home. Thanks for stopping by my blog, have a great weekend, Nan

Katherines Corner said...

Wonderful post, great thrifty tips. xo Thank you for linking to the Thursday Favorite Things hop today

ImSoVintage said...

My favorite thrift entertainment tip is the library. I order up my books on the internet and then pick them up once a week. I'm heading over there today before the snow hits.
Laura

deb said...

great post.....I LOVE to stay home...its my favorite thing, my hubby always wants to go go go!!! if I have my way I would stay home ALL the time!!!!! getting outside is my fav entertainment, hiking...going to parks...especially when the weather is like this!!!

labbie1 said...

I have always wondered why we pay a fortune and promise 30 years of our lives to pay for a place that we try to stay away from as much as possible! I am with you--use your home and enjoy it with your family! Great idea! I like the way that you are teaching your kids responsibility by using their own money for entertainment rather than just handing it out whenever they want to go somewhere. Very good parenting! Your kids will thank you!

There is a book by Mary Hunt entitled "Debt Proofing Your Kids" that is a fun and fast read and so good on that topic! :)

You are doing great!

TECHIEBLGRL said...

My family does the same thing except we use Blockbuster @Home from my employer, DISH; we tried Netflix but grew tired of the slim streaming selection. We get Blockbuster @Home for $10/month in addition to our existing DISH services. During the day we go on bike rides especially now that the weather is warmer. As for the theaters, we eat beforehand and go during the day so we only pay a third of the price of regular admission. I love the idea of having the kids pay for outings with their allowances!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...