Frugal Picnic Night

picnic One of the favorite activities that my kids like to do as a family is also economical. Recently, I’ve made it even more frugal. Here is what we did last night and how we had a fun time for pennies.

When the weather warms up, my kids are always clamoring for the park. One fun way to enjoy the park and get out of a warm house is to visit the park around dinner time. We eat dinner on one of the picnic benches, and then after dinner is done, mom and dad pack up while the kids play on the equipment. Afterwards, we walk or bike around the path as a family. It is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, and let the kids run off their energy before bedtime. You might say that this activity has become somewhat of a tradition for us.

Previously, what we had been doing was to pick up a pizza using coupons from our local favorite pizza place. While this was definitely cheaper that eating in the restaurant, especially since we brought our own bottled water, I was getting tired of spending $20 each time we enjoyed dinner in the park. There are five of us, plus we often bring along one or two little friends, so two large pizzas is the minimum.

Last night I decided to change the pizza theme for a homemade dinner that was still quick to make, quick to eat and kids friends. As my husband was getting the kids ready to go, I quickly boiled a package of hot dogs, made a salad and assembled the buns, ketchup, dinnerware, napkins and water. The total cost for all of this? $5.50, plus we had some leftovers to take back home for lunch the next day.

The quick dinner did so well that I am going to wrack my brain for other easily transportable and kid-friendly dinner ideas that can be made in 15 minutes. Any thoughts?

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com