This is the time of year where many in my area are planning for vacations as it warms up. I remember when I was a child, my mom was very creative in making sure we had fun things to do that didn’t take a lot of money. We were able to take a few nice vacations when I got a little older, but when I was very young, money was tight. I remember having small kiddie pools….yet they seemed so big back then☺️The important part about this for me is, I never really knew we weren’t taking expensive vacations like some of my friends. My mom was creative in that she planned fun day trips to a local lake or park, with picnics or swimming. As a child, this felt like a vacation.
If you aren’t able to go somewhere for a few days, days trips can have a similar effect while saving money. So often we forget that wherever we are, there are special things to see and do nearby.
Frugal Drib #1 Pack lunches and all your snacks
Peanut butter and jelly will keep hungry families full for a long time, for not much money.* *if you get a chance, look back at the post for this yummy alternative to a basic PB&J pictured above, it’s truly delicious***Bring along fruit, snacks, or crackers for throughout the day.
Frugal Drib#2 Frozen grapes are a delicious summer snack that you can put in a cooler to help keep things cold and eat later for a slushy treat. Basically, it’s a healthy slushy popsicle☺️.
Also, I like to put water bottles in the freezer and they can double as ice to keep your cooler cold. You can bring those bottles home and refill them for the next trip, too.
Most importantly, I think it’s best to have a heart-to-heart talk with your kids before you go. I usually explain that we are taking all our food with us so we can use our money to do fun things with. If they know before going that you won’t be buying pricy food/souvenirs and the reasons why, they will accept it better.
I have found if we make sure to eat before going in a water park, for instance, we aren’t all that hungry. If I bring snacks that we don’t have at home alot, the kids are happier to eat what I bring. For instance, my kids love the brand of crackers that are called Chicken’n biscuit. Kroger has them on sale sometimes. I don’t buy them much, so when I pull out that box, they will happily gobble them up☺️.
Frugal Drib#3 Embrace what is near you
Research your local Chamber of Commerce, local newspaper, or news channel website. There are fun things happening in most towns, weekly. In my area most recently, we have had festivals, fish rodeos( Basically, letting kids go fishing for fish that have been tagged so they win a prize if they get a tagged fish), community projects, free outdoor concerts, etc.
Many local libraries have a summer program for kids and adults that is full of events that cost nothing. My library had a magic show, a balloon artist, karaoke, and movie time with popcorn in the past! I do this with my kids every year and they love it.
Frugal Drib #4 Find a local Spash Pad/Water Park/Pool or make your own!
Make your own?! Frugaldribble, how am I gonna make a Splash pad? Okay, okay, you can’t…but if you have a water hose, you can provide hours of fun in your own back yard. Sprinklers that attach to a hose can be purchased at the Dollar Store for around $5.
You can also screw a soda pop bottle to the end of your hose, secure with duct tape, poke a bunch of holes in it, then throw it over a tree limb for a waterfall effect. I’m not an advocate of wasting water but you can strategically place the sprinkler near flowers, a dry patch of grass, or a vegetable garden to do double duty while your kids play.
A kiddie pool can also be purchased for not much then be repurposed into a sandbox, bobbing for apples in the Fall, a doggie bathtub, or used later on as a container garden. I have placed our sprinkler near something that needs washed anyway, like outdoor kids toys or an outside wall of my home that needs cleaned. When I wash my car at home during the summer, my kids put on their swimsuits. We turn a chore into a fun way to cool off in the summer heat☺️.
There is a really nice splash pad in my area. We make going to it an event for my kids. Since most of these splash pads have a recirculating water system, they don’t waste much water. We take chairs, drinks, and snacks. I even bring along a few cups so the kids can fill them up and dump them on each other☺️. If your kids have squirt guns this would be a fun time to bring those as well.
I have a couple more vacation and summer fun posts coming up, so I hope these ideas are helping you think about what’s available in your area. Summer fun is what you make it. Try to make this Summer the best one yet☺️.
What are you planning for yourself to have a little more fun? …and if you aren’t, maybe you could change that…we all need a little bit of fun..even us grown-ups☺️.