Family Fun for a Few Dollars

These 7 ideas for having fun with your family and saving money at the same time come from the book, The Penny Pincher’s Almanac: Handbook for Modern Frugality. Some of them have been adapted a little to cater better to families instead of a group of friends:

1. Dinner and a movie. Instead of going out to a dinner and a movie, have a meal in front of a video in your home. Make homemade pizza or fried chicken and lounge around with plenty of pillows and blankets.

2. Mail a message. If you have family that lives out of town, record messages from everyone on a cassette tape. Make it interesting and fun. Record messages aw well as poems, jokes, or songs.

3. Feed some ducks. Take stale bread, cereal, or crackers to a nearby pond to feed ducks.

4. Go camping. Have a backyard campout. Depending on the weather, you might be able to sleep under the stars or under a tarp tied up around some trees. Tell ghost stories or jokes with a flashlight.

5. Wash the car. On a hot day, get the kids in their bathing suits and wash the cars. They’ll have so much fun they will hardly know they are working. If they really get into it, you might ask a neighbor or two if they would like their cars washed as well.

6. Enjoy a story. Check your local library or bookstores for storytelling events for kids. Some bookstores have a weekly event where they gather kids for the reading of a book for free.

7. Make clay. There are many simple recipes to make your own clay. Here’s one: Mix one cup of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of alum, 1/2 cup of water, 1 to 2 tablespoons shortening, 1/2 cup of salt, and a few drops of food coloring. Kids will have fun both making and playing with the clay. Afterwards, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.