Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Frugal Summer Activities!

So we're still hitting the Dave Ramsey program as hard as we can. And SH's hours have been cut a bit more and we're expecting a cut and possible lay-off in the fall (did I sound calm? Really? Cuz I'M. NOT!). So we're trying to conserve our resources and not spend a bunch of money this summer. So it's got me thinking of our favorite summer cheap-o activities! Here are our favs:

1. Family exercise: SH & I grab the racquetball racquets, some balls and take the kids to the nearest court. We get in some exercise and the boys chase balls for us. Sounds silly and yes, it's absolutely free! We all love it! We realize we've only got a bit more time before they figure out chasing balls is not their idea of summer fun---so we'll keep at it until they do. LOL! Other things we do are bike riding, running while the kids ride their bikes, shooting hoops and whatever else strikes our fancy. Sometimes we just head to the nearest playground and we adults play like the kids. It's great frugal fun! We love that it instills the value of health with the boys and we all enjoy it. The boys like it so much they often are the first to suggest "Exercise Time"!

2. Movies: Our local Cobb Theatre does free kids movies three days a week. We love that! They are older movies and often we've seen them but hey! They are not in our living room and they are FREE! They offer this all summer long and change the movies weekly. Check with your local theatre.

3. Sprinkler Fun! We don't have a pool yet. And probably won't for several more years because of the initial cost and the maintenance. So we pull out the hose and sprinkler head and the boys go to town! They still really enjoy running through the sprinkler and then taking the hose and "washing" the vehicles! I love it because I can sit in the shade and read AND get the cars washed. Great exchange!

4. Head to the Beach! I realize this isn't an option for everyone. We live in central Florida so the beaches are relatively close to us. It can be a pretty cheap day if we pack our lunch, snacks and drinks. Most of the time, we hit a beach with free parking. So our only expense is the fuel to get to our destination. It's fantastic and a HUGE reason we live in Florida! If you don't live near a beach, is there a park with a lake?

5. Board Games: Our boys are just now getting old enough to learn to play board games. And they are enjoying them. We'll take advantage of this cheap entertainment for as long as we can!

6. Pull out the X-Box: Not my idea of a great time but SH and the boys really enjoy it. After the initial expense, using it over time isn't really expensive. SH usually gets games second hand so he spends very little on those. Big Boy is getting rather good at racing cars. We try to find games suitable for them and if I have my way, throw in a little education too. So I prefer things that make the boys learn their colors or counting. I will say that I ROCK on Guitar Hero though!

7. Arts and Crafts:: I try to do a crafty project with the boys at least three times a week. They love play-doh, painting, sidewalk chalk, water play, drawing, mazes....I could go on and on.
(all photos courtesy of flickr.com)
8. Hit the Library Honestly, before last year, we never went to the library. Maybe once in a blue moon, so to speak. But now it is an absolute staple every week. The boys love story time. We hang out in the kid's area for a couple of hours, reading books, putting together puzzles. Then we leave with a whole lotta books, movies, and books-on-CD. This is truly one of our favorite weekly activities. OH! And we always stop to feed the geese and ducks at the lake across the street!

So there are a few of our favorite, VERY FRUGAL summer outings! It really Works for Me--spending time with the family without spending a lot of dough! What do you do on the cheap in the summer?

Head on over to We Are That Family for more great WFMW tips and see what everyone else is doing this summer!


The Animator's Wife said...

Love these ideas... and your pictures are all beautiful. SOunds like a great plan for surviving summer!

ilovemy5kids said...

These are awesome ideas...

(My hubby is the nerd and I'm part nerd part free-spirit.)

Blessings to you!

Jennifer said...

Great family activity ideas!

We love arts & crafts 'round here. =)

shopannies said...

we love to take long walks in the morning or evening after supper

Meagan said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I liked your summer ideas! We love the library and combine excersize time with it. It's about a mile, so we walk!

It Feels Like Chaos said...

These are super ideas. Thanks for sharing them!!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! Sprinkler time is one of our favorites. we also do evening walk scavanger hunts. The girls look for things like moss, flowers, birds nest, ect ect. It really is a great free time.

Becky said...

Those are some great activity ideas. Have fun this summer!

Amy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Another DR fan here. Being debt free is an amazing goal and will be an amazing feeling... when we get there. You've got me thinking about our summer now. Like yours, my boys are easily entertained with a bucket of water, so that'll likely play heavily into our summer days.

Heidi said...

Dave Ramsey seems to be written about on a lot of people's blogs. I'll have to check out what he is saying. I've seen Suze Orman and I don't always agree with what she has to say. Great ideas for what to do with the kids. The only one missing from the list for me is the great deal that the municipal pool is for a summer pass. We pay a $150 for the whole family to go to the pool.