Ask the Audience: Frugal Fun

Heather says:

It is only Wednesday and I am looking forward to the weekend. With three kids under five and a husband that works rotating shifts, weekends of the traditional sort are a rarity around here.  Still, we try to keep weekly traditions for the kids.  Friday night is movie night; after the kids are bathed and in pajamas, I pop a big bowl of popcorn, and settle in.  We rotate who chooses, to relieve ourselves from having to watch CARS 52 times in a row.

Saturday is typically pizza night, but we rotate with other kid friendly or simple fare.  Pizza nights we gather in the kitchen, eating as the different pizzas finish baking.  We turn on music and it’s pretty much chaos as one kid chooses his topping and the other channels one super hero or another. Eventually we will master the pizza toss.  Other nights we do a “floor picnic” which is little more than using a picnic blanket in the living room, but for them it’s magic.

No, it’s not wild or crazy, but it is easy, comforting, and budget friendly.

What do you do by yourself or with your family for cheap, easy fun?


  1. Margo on February 29, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Put the kids in the back yard and lock the door. 😉

  2. hsgbdmama on February 28, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Weekly movie nights are a must here too, and we either pull a movie from our own collection or we get something from the library.

  3. Carol on February 27, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    We love to do picnics inside! It is too cold in NJ to do them elsewhere right now. We are also big on popcorn, hot chocolate and a new movie which we get from the library (another cheap family outing).

    When hubby has his monthly work meetings I will take the kids to barnes and nobles, I get a good cup of coffee and they get to play with the trains, look at books, or go on their kiddie stage.

    Our newspaper has a page devoted to weekend activities every Saturday. This page has a lot of local things to do for the weekend. Many are free or low cost.

  4. imabug on February 27, 2008 at 10:26 am

    The dog park is my break from the house and work. Leave work, go home and get the dogs, head off to the dog park. I get outside for a few hours and the dogs get to run around and be goofy with all the other dogs.

  5. AllisonWonder on February 27, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I hear you- I don’t know how many times we’ve seen Cars- several times a week, anyway. At least he goes back and forth between that and Hairspray… or Yellow Submarine.

    We have trouble doing family nights right now. With a 2 1/2 year old and a 2-week old, collapsing into bed is all I feel like doing at the end of the day!

  6. claudia at 'cook eat FRET' on February 27, 2008 at 10:57 am

    i was just kinda sorta hoping you’d adopt me…

  7. Mrs.W on February 27, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Well we don’t have children, so our frugal entertainment is a bit different–among our group of friends/family we go to different homes for movie night or game night, everyone brings snacks to share. It’s a nice way to spend the winter months! In the summer we might picnic outdoors somewhere, either at a friend’s home or at a park. Potluck is our frugal solution, no matter the reason for a get-together.

  8. Candace on February 27, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I understand the “husband with rotating shift ” schedule! My husband works 24 hours on, 24 off so weekends are unusual for us too!

    We have seven children so we also have to find frugal options for our fun! We have movie night and make S’mores, we have “carpet picnics”, we go to the zoo (a family pass is under $60 for a whole year AND there is no limit on your family size. Can’t beat that!), we take walks to our nearby SONIC….they have half price drinks from 2-4pm everyday. The whole family can get BIG drinks for real cheap……other benefits….. we’ve gotten out of the house, we’ve gotten exercise, AND the kids think it’s the greatest thing to have their OWN drink that didn’t originate from the kitchen facet! Very cheap fun!