Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

One of my favorite books to share with my children is Simms Taback’s Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. The tale tells of Joseph who had, what else, but a favorite little overcoat. Eventually it gets “old and worn.” Instead of throwing it away, he makes it into a jacket. Once that also gets “old and worn,” the jacket becomes a scarf, and so on. Joseph continues to transform his garments as needed until he is down to just a button. Unfortunately, the button gets lost, but despite this development, Joseph still manages to make something out of it. The book … Continue reading

When You Can’t Afford Sports 2

As parents, we want to be able to provide our children with everything that will keep them happy and healthy. Activities in sports and the arts are valuable experiences that we can provide to our children, unless we can’t afford to do so. What then? Do are children lose out? A better solution might be to look for ways to save money on children’s sports, so you can provide them to your children without putting your family in danger of economic failure. This post is part two of a two-article series on the subject. If you missed the first post, … Continue reading

When You Can’t Afford Sports

It is an odd child who does not attend two or three different activities in addition to school. These activities are generally concentrated in sports or the arts and can take up a lot of time and money. Well, I have three such odd children. We just don’t have the means to support so many activities for so many children. At an average of $3,000 to $5,000 a year on average for each serious sport, you can see how it all adds up. I just don’t know how these parents do it. So last year, we cut out all of … Continue reading

Castle Birthday Party Idea Part 3

The games are done, and everyone is ready to eat. In this series, I am sharing my ideas for throwing a castle-themed child’s birthday party for less than $100. If you missed Castle Birthday Part Idea Part 1, click here. If you missed Castle Birthday Party Idea Part 2, click here.  Food for a party can be one of the biggest expenses. You want to make sure that there is enough food for everyone, to accommodate different tastes. I suggest a mixture of home made food with some convenience items, such a a bulk package of frozen chicken nuggets or … Continue reading

Castle Birthday Party Idea Part 2

Host a castle birthday party for your little knight or princess, all for less than $100! I will share how we are doing it. If you missed part 1, you can find it here. So, the kid have just defeated the knight who escapes. They then climb up the castle (swing set) to meet the princess, who will be played by the birthday boy’s sister. She tells them that the evil knight has hidden a map in one of the abandoned village huts, but those on the quest must be careful. There is a grouchy old hermit who still lives … Continue reading

Castle Birthday Party Idea

This next weekend, we are having a birthday party with a castle theme for our youngest son. We are planning  to include theme-based games, decorations, prizes, crafts, a large spread of food and a complete castle cake for less than $100 total. Now that is frugal! How are we doing this? The ideas and preparations are elaborate, so follow this blog over the next few days to get all of the details.  Here is our strategy. By having the party at home, we spend zero dollars on rent for a hall or one of those theme birthday places, saving anywhere from … Continue reading

Cheaper Summer Camps

Stifling temperatures plus bored kids are not a good combination. Sending them to summer camp may be one option to keep them entertained and learning over the summer, but summer camp can certainly get expensive. If you are on a budget, you can look for cheaper options. Day Camps If you do some research, chances are that you will find a number of affordable day camps for your kids. Everything from ice skating to soccer to theater. Check local businesses (dance studios will sponsor dance camps, gyms may have rock climbing camps, etc), local townships and boroughs (residents usually get … Continue reading

How to Save Money at Oriental Trading

Oriental Trading is my go-to for supplies when I am planning a big birthday party, as I am doing this year. They have a ton of stuff, from decorations to crafts to goodie bag items. It is easy to find items to fit practically any theme. The spending could quickly get out of hand, unless you know the Oriental Trading money-saving secrets. My youngest, who usually gets short-changed in most things, by fortune of his birth (hand-me-downs and a much slimmer photo album) is finally getting his do with an elaborate (for us) knight-themed birthday party. He is inviting all … Continue reading

Are You Really Giving Your Kids Everything?

The other day, I brought my three kids to a birthday party that took place at one of those family fun centers. There were all sorts of adventures, such as a huge climbing/ball pit, a small laser maze, a rock climbing wall and plenty of games that the kids could play for tickets. In order to play the ticket games, kids had to swipe a card on which money was added. As part of the party, each guest got a card that was worth $3. Each game cost anywhere from $.50 to $2.00 to play. This meant less than the … Continue reading

Fun Summer Ideas for Kids

Boredom doesn’t have to be busted by spending a lot of money. Try one of the following fun summer ideas for kids that are creative and frugal. No more “Mommy, I’m bored” this summer. Pick Blueberries  …Or raspberries, or strawberries. Find a local pick-your-own farm nearby and enjoy the sunshine. Picking berries is a fun and frugal activity for kids, and you get to take the sweet fruit home with you. Make Baggie Ice Cream Forget the expensive ice cream maker. Instead, grab two inexpensive plastic bags for a cool homemade treat. You’ll need a set for each child. Ingredients: … Continue reading