Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hunger Challenge Day 4

Previous Days Getting started1, 2, 3

Tonight's dinner, Creamed tuna on toast
Living well on a frugal budget should extend beyond your stomach. I coupon to provide most of my family's consumable household goods at significantly reduced prices. My Vet and I have a huge list of DIY projects we have completed over the years. Recently I saved $400 with a DIY solution!

Since I have already blogged about some of those ideas, I though today would be a good time to discuss Entertainment. It is important to have fun. I want my kids to grow up with lots of great experiences. However, museums, movies, and vacations can get really expensive. With just a little guidance you too can do all that on a meager budget.

Enjoying free admission to the MN Zoo
Lets start with museums. Did you know that in most major cities across the US, Target sponsors free admission family days throughout the month? In the Minneapolis area every
1st Saturday Walker Art,
2nd Sunday  Minneapolis Art Institute,
3rd Sunday the MN Children's Museum .
Como Zoo and Conservatory only requires a free will offering, and if you live in the Minneapolis Metro area you can go to the library and 'check out' free passes to the MN Zoo!

Puss in Boots for less just $21
Movies. Most everyone knows that a Matinee is cheaper than going to a movie in the evening, but did you know it can be even cheaper? In my area Marcus Theater in Elk River often runs a movie series of new'ish movies in the morning for $2 a ticket. Their series right now is sponsored by American Family Insurance, and if you are a customer you can score free tickets from your agent. Milaca Theater is a small family run business, that has excellent rates. I went on a Friday night with my mom and 3 kids on opening weekend with popcorn for $21!!! Sure the seating is old school, and so are the bathrooms, but the movie shows the same and we still get to enjoy an evening out, while supporting small businesses. (Milaca Theater runs popcorn coupons in the weekly shopper, be sure to look for it.)

Camping in early September
Vacations. There are lots of ways to save on vacation. Stay close to home, visit friends or family. Today groupon is offering 3 days in Wisconsin Dells for just $199, There are longer packages available as well. Last spring I used exploremn to book an amazing girls weekend in Bloomington. We had looked at some girls weekend deals at a few hotels, and their best price per night divided by 4 is what we were able to book using exploremn. (roughly a savings of $375 for 1 night, and it included lots of extras!). As I've mentioned we are surrounded by generous people, and last summer we were given money and told that we could not pay bills it was for fun! We decided to use the money on camping equipment, tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses, etc. We spent a long time researching quality and price shopping to get the best deal. (Being good stewards of 'free' money is just as important as what you 'earn'.) We have been camping as a family and had a lot of fun, and now we will continue to be able to take mini vacations at very little extra cost.

Harlem Ambassador's basketball game that My Vet played in.
Local Events. If you look, there are free or inexpensive events going on every week in your area. Participating in school carnivals, parades, block parties, school plays, etc is a great way to have fun, while meeting your neighbors. This isn't limited to events in your city. I would say anything in a 30 minute drive time is local. So watch your shopper for what is happening. This Saturday, I know we will be at the Princeton Business Expo. Stop by My Vet's booth and say hi!
Sledding at the local hill this morning.
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