Frugal Family Fun

As the mother of three boys – 15, 11, and 3 – seeking financial independence, having frugal fun as a family is a must. Here’s a list of my favorite stories, tips and tricks for having a good time without breaking the bank.

Family Frugal Fun – A Key To Financial Independence

It Is Not A Box

It Is Not A Box - Frugal Family FunKids should use their imaginations. They don’t need stuff. Adventures with Not A Box – the book and the box – are important ones for kids. Whether the box is an airplane, a spaceship, a fire truck, or something else entirely, playing with boxes (or other such items) helps develop imagination and creativity.

Stop by this article to learn more about our adventures with Not a Box.

 

Build and Grow and Kids Workshops

Kids Workshops - Free Weekend FunFree Weekend Fun – Although the Lowes Build and Grow is sadly no more (it ended after I wrote the article), the Home Depot Kids Workshops are still going strong. My three boys all love building, decorating, and painting their own projects!

Check out this article for more about this free weekend fun opportunity, where kids get to take home their creations.

 

Free Weekend Festival Fun – Hot Air Balloon Festival Edition

Free Weekend Fun Hot Air Balloon FestivalFun things don’t have to cost money. Every year we go to a local hot air balloon festival, pack some coffee and homemade food, and watch the balloons take off. Others we see around the park are buying food, bringing coffee from Dunkin, and generally making it more expensive than it needs to be. Finding free fun to have as a family is one of the keys to financial independence.

Find out more about our adventure and the frugal lessons we learn together.

 

Chopped Championship – Free Weekend Fun

Chopped Championship Free Weekend FunAre the kids complaining they’re “bored” on the weekend – but going out and blowing money just isn’t in the budget? Use what you have in the fridge, pantry and freezer to host an epic chopped championship. You can do the kids or adult edition! It’s a great way to use food you already have around, get the kids excited about dinner, and generally have free fun on the weekend. If it were up to my kids, we’d do this every day!

Learn more here about hosting your own family Chopped Championship!

 

Boy Scouts – The Real Financial Story

Boy Scouts Real Financial StoryMy oldest son is a Life scout, which is a step away from Eagle. Back when I wrote this article, he was a Star scout working towards Life. Amazing how time flies!

Come find out more about what it costs to be a scout, and the money lessons your kids can learn. They have entire merit badges all about personal finance!

And one of the tenets of the Scout Law is to be “thrifty”, which goes with our family perfectly.

 

Camping – The Ultimate Frugal Vacation

Camping - The Ultimate Frugal VacationEvery year our family of five goes camping. Not glamping – camping out in a tent in a campground. Yes, all five of us camp outdoors. Is it the ultimate frugal family vacation? Heck yes! Tent camping can be inexpensive to start, fun for the kids, and helps teach some great money lessons.

Plus check out my tips for getting started camping without breaking the bank.

 

Make Your Own Board Game

Make Your Own Board GameMy creative older boys have made several board games over the years. Check out how they made their latest version using toys from around the house as game pieces – complete with Nintendo themed fake money! This is a great way for kids to use things they already have around the house, plus a poster board, to make their own game for hours of fun. Bonus, you can go right back to using the toys once they’re “bored”!

Here’s all about how my boys made their own board game – and you can too.

 

Minecraft TNT Birthday Cake

Minecraft TNT Birthday Cake Side Hustle HobbiesEver since my oldest son was born 15 years ago, I’ve been making homemade birthday cakes. At first it was out of necessity because of food allergies (egg, dairy, nuts) – but now it’s a fun hobby. For the cost of a cake from Costco or BJ’s, you can instead have an epic cake that would cost over $100 if you were to buy it.

Check out the financial breakdown of an epic Minecraft cake, and some musings on turning hobbies into side hustles.

Epic (Frugal) Road Trips!

Epic Frugal Family Road TripsWe take a road trip with the three boys every year. Check out how we nurture their passions and teach them financial lessons while on the road. We also get them involved in planning the road trip, using the internet and the library to help them learn, have fun, and get excited about the trip.

We take some epic road trips, and teach the boys fantastic frugal lessons while we’re at it. See how!

Frugal Fun Fail

Fun Frugal FAILTo save $10 on a field trip, I decided to use my museum membership. I had cleared it with the teacher ahead of time, but the museum had an issue.

We ended up being forced to eat our lunches away from the group, just because we didn’t pay the “group” price!

Come laugh at my frugal fail, and see what I learned.

An $11 Weekend: Free + Groupons = Frugal Fun

Free Fun + Groupons = Inexpensive Family FunA weekend full of fun day trips for only eleven bucks? Yep. Check out how I combined fun free things to do and Groupons to score an epic fun weekend.

Having fun, even in an expensive state, doesn’t need to break the bank.

Stop by here and see how I plan for fun, frugal weekends with the family.

Fun and Frugal Kids Birthday Parties!

Fun and Frugal Kids Birthday PartiesHomemade (epic) cakes. Birthday posters showcasing pictures of my sons past year. Homemade pizza.

It’s easy to break the bank and have a party, but with a bit of creativity you can have a fun time on the cheap.

Stop in here and see my top tips for fun, frugal kids birthday parties. You just might pick up some ideas yourself!

Frugal Family Lessons To Achieve Financial Independence
Frugal Family Lessons To Achieve Financial Independence

Cell Phones – My Kids Don’t Have Them

My Kids Don't Have Cell PhonesIt surprises people that I have a teenager and a tweenager, and they don’t have their own cell phones. It seems that somehow, smartphones became a “necessity” for very young kids. My oldest son has even encountered times in high school where the teachers assume everyone has a smartphone!

In this article I go over the reasons why, and interview them to find out how they feel about it.

 

Cutting Cable When You Have Kids 

Cutting Cable With KidsPeople often use their kids as an excuse for why they can’t cut cable. With the streaming options available today, there’s really no excuse to not cut the cord. Back when I first wrote this article, we had been cable free for seven years – and today it’s closer to ten. Read about what it’s like to be cable-free with kids.

If you have kids and have been considering cutting the cable cord, you’ll be interested in my step-by-step guide to making the cut and countering objections your family might have.

 

Financial Lessons from School Book Fairs 

Kids Financial Lessons And School Book FairsI love using ordinary, everyday events to teach my kids important money lessons. School book fairs can be used to teach smart shopping strategies to your kids.

I don’t know about you, but I find school book fairs to be extremely expensive. Not only do they put tons of pressure on kids to buy, buy, buy, but all the books are sold for full price. No sales, discounts, or coupons here!

Read here more about teaching your kids important financial lessons during the annual book fair.

Back to School – On The Cheap 

Back to School - On The CheapI’ve seen horror stories online for the cost to send your kids back to school. Well, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Your kids might not need new clothes if their old ones are still good quality.

And if you save your school supplies from year to year, there may not be much new to buy.

Here’s how I shop smart and save money – and time.

Making The Ordinary A Bit Extraordinary

Making The Ordinary A Bit Extraordinary (1)An important part of leading a frugal family life is using creativity to make ordinary, every day events just a little more special. A homemade lunch becomes a fun picnic in the park – or a box becomes a spaceship. You too can use creativity to make what would otherwise be ordinary a bit more special.

In this article, I explore all about how you can make the ordinary just a little bit extraordinary – having frugal fun in the process.

Secondhand Kids are the Best Kids

Secondhand Kids are the Best KidsAs the mother of three I can definitively say that very little of the “new” stuff sold for kids is worth it. We get almost everything secondhand, particularly when the kids are little. From clothes to toys to electronics, most other kids tire of their things before they outgrow them (or wear them out).

Not only is it better for my wallet, but it’s also better for the environment. Plus the same amount of money will get much better quality things! Check out here all about secondhand shopping and kids.

If you haven’t already, be sure to swing by my comprehensive Kids and Money page.  Don’t see an article or resource you’re looking for? Drop me a note at liz@chiefmomofficer.org to recommend future articles or request resources.

Be sure to follow my blog for more great posts via e-mail or WordPress, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and say hello! You can also check out what I’m buying or baking on Instagram,  what I’m pinning on Pinterest, or the latest books I’m reading (or want to read) over on Goodreads.

 

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