Archive for the ‘Activities’ Category

Every year is seems that I am behind the eight ball. I pledge to myself that this year I will enter the holiday season with a plan. I need to make a list!!!  Here’s a start.

Cards – I need to clean up the list. One tip I have is to ask at the grocery store if they have Christmas stamps when I’m shopping. It saves me a trip to the post office. Winkflash has a sale on photo cards 60% off until 11/8. http://www.winkflash.com/

Gifts – I’d like to get as much shopping finished as early as possible. That way I can  enjoy the season with my family.

Baking – I love to make cookies!! I buy pretty Christmas plates for them. I check for sales and try to get them for about a dollar each. Wrapped up with pretty bows they make great gifts.

Decorating – I need to evaluate what I actually use and get rid of what I don’t. In our house we don’t put anything out until after Thanksgiving. My husband hates “holiday jumping”.

Activities – Every year I like to plan some family time to do something fun. One of my favorite low-cost activities is to make some hot chocolate, put it in travel mugs and drive around looking at the lights.

What are you doing to get ready for the holidays??

Longwood Gardens


Linked to:
A Little Knick Knack
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


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It seems like every corner of my house needs to be decluttered and organized. I am a little bit disorganized and a little bit hoarder. Yikes!! This has been a lifelong battle. I came across this challenge and I thought let’s start small… the kid’s craft area. It’s such a mess that I think I do crafts less with the kids because I don’t want to look in and I can’t find anything.

So here it is the finished product.

 A little tip I have for the painting supplies. I bought a plastic tablecloth on clearance at Kmart and I put it on the floor. I think preschoolers and toddlers love to paint that way. I found a bin big enough to hold the painting supplies and the tablecloth. I also put my daughter’s paint shirt in the bin too.


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You have a vacation planned. How do you save money while you’re there?

1.) Kids meals: I got tired of paying for expensive kids meals at restaurants. They always seem to charge more at tourist hot spots (six dollars for chicken nuggets and fries). We get kid friendly food for the house and make the kids meals and we order out for ourselves at different restaurants. That way the kids get what they like and mom and dad can try out the local cuisine. The other benefit is the kids are end up getting fruits and veggies instead of fries and nuggets. One of the kids favorites is chicken salad rolled in a tortilla and I’ll pair that with carrots and grapes. Also, we are not paying for tips and drinks. We easily save thirty dollars a day doing this.

2.) Activities: Do some advance research on your location. Websites will often have a free activity section. If it doesn’t have a free activities section do a search for “free activities in XX”. You never know what you’ll find. Do you have a membership to a local zoo or museum? See if they have a reciprocal agreement with places where you will be going. Sometimes you can get in free or you can get a discount.

4.) Supplies: If we are going away I try to pick up nonperishable snacks and other items in the weeks before we go away. It’s a great way to spread out the cost and it lets you purchase you supplies when they are on sale.

See Budget Travel part one


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There’s still time to take a vacation this year.  Even if money is tight you still might be able to go away.

1.) Are you’re kids young? Consider going off season to a beach area. The prices of house rentals drop once the kids go back to school.

2.) Check vacation rental sites, if the week is approaching and the house has not been rented yet they sometimes drop the rates. You can also email an agency to see if they will drop the rate on a house if you see that it is still available.

3.) Plan to stay for a mini-week. Hotels sometimes offer a discount if you are staying Sunday to Thursday. They tend to be a little slower on those days.

4.) Stay at home option. Join a local zoo, museum and botanical center. You will have activities for the week and you can visit for the rest of the year. To keep costs down pack you own lunch.


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We are in the middle of a heat wave where I live and I’m making a list of low cost things to do to keep cool. Here are some things on my list that might be useful to you.

1.) Visit a local museum. Maybe you already have a membership and it won’t cost you anything. If not consider becoming a member. Typically it will pay for itself in the first two visits and they often have reciprocal agreements with other museums.

2.) Check out your local theater. Some theaters have family movies for free one day a week in the morning.





3.) Check out a local second run cinema. We have a local cinema that runs movies when they have been out for a few weeks. It is a beautiful restored old theater. The best part is the matinee prices are $3.  Look on Fandango and see if there is a theater in your area that is running one movie that is a little older. There is a good chance that the prices are reduce.


4.) Check to see if there is a bowling alley near you that participates in the Kids Bowl Free Program.


5.) Indoor scavenger hunt. Go throughout the house and take picture of things up close on a digital camera. Make a sheet up these pictures and see if the kids can find them. If you have older children print them out in grayscale.

What activities do you to stay cool during a heat wave?

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