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4 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

Summer 2020 will go down in the books as one of the oddest times since my kids can’t do the summer activities they usually do. I’m getting refunds for my kids’ camp programs that I signed them up for. It breaks my heart because these things they enjoy and that enrich their lives have been canceled. And, selfishly, I want to stop making all these meals every day!

Instead of wallowing in my 11,000th grilled cheese, I’ve decided to invest that camp money back into my family’s summer activities. Since we’ve already budgeted that money for the kids, I’m going to spend it on them. They can still have a fun summer, even if it’s at home.

Although my husband and I did budget for this expense, we don’t want to go over that set amount. There’s a good chance it could happen as we have a long summer to fill! As I’m considering how to keep the kids busy and happy at home, I came up with four financially-friendly ideas to entertain...

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Games About Money: Teach Your Kids with Board Games

Teaching kids about anything (and especially money) is always easier when you  make it fun for them to understand, so that’s why I love games! Using games to talk to your kids about money can be rewarding because you have an example right in front of you to base your conversation on.

I don’t know about your kids, but hands-on experiences are always preferred to hypothetical discussions in my house! (And, let’s be honest, they don't want to hear a lecture about money and quite frankly, I'm guessing you don't want to give it.)

Talking to your kids about money can be a confusing conversation to have, especially if you don’t even want to have that conversation in the first place. So, why not incorporate it in your family nights so it's not a drag?!

On Sundays, we usually have dinner at my mom's, which is often followed by an evening of board games and other family fun. Here are some of our favorites that teach some great lessons on financial literacy.


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50 Free Family Activities to do this Winter

No matter where you live, it's easy to get stuck in a rut during the winter months. Your family may50 Free Family Activities to do this Winter be tired of doing the same things over every single winter. You can break out of the bore and start having fun all without spending a dime! 

Check out the following 50 ideas for free family fun this winter:

  • Build a snowman - Bundle the kids up, grab some fun accessories, and build a snowman together.
  • Go sledding - Even if you don't have sleds for the kids, everything from trash can lids to pizza pans make great makeshift sleds! You can also likely borrow one from a neighbor, friend, or family member.
  • Go ice skating - If you don't have your own equipment, you may need to rent skates for a nominal fee.

  • Go on a winter hike - Even when it's cold outside, we still have some beautiful, sunny days. Put on your snow boots and take the kids for a hike.
  • Decorate your Christmas tree - This fun and free family...
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Planning a Staycation for Winter Break?

Looking for staycation ideas for your family? Even though most people think of summer break as the best time to have fun with friends and family, winter break can still be a great time to bond and enjoy your time together. With lower prices on fun activities and the kids home from school, it’s the perfect time to have a winter staycation!

Related post: How to Decorate for Christmas on a Dime

15 Staycation Ideas for Families

1. Involve the kids in planning and preparing a family meal.

Look through some cookbooks and create a grocery list together. Head to the score to get everything you need and then let the kids do most of the work preparing the meal. You can also get your friends involved! Having a party with all your besties is a great way to connect and get out of the slump that can sometimes happen during the winter break.


2. Have a movie marathon. 

With snowy roads and freezing temps, you don't have to go anywhere to have a fun time while you're on your...

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How to Stay On Budget Over Winter Vacation

With the kids home from school and plenty of fun things to do throughout the season, it’s challenging to stick to a budget during the winter vacation. Armed with the right tips, you can help yourself save money by staying on budget during the winter vacation! 

Winter vacation is not only expensive, but it can also be draining emotionally and mentally. It’s important to stay engaged and continue enriching your life no matter how low the temperatures dip! 

Stick to a Budget by Enjoying Free Activities 

Many places have free activities you can do during the winter months. From driving around looking at Christmas lights to participating in a Polar Plunge, you can try so many fun activities that are winter-friendly. Get your kids involved in free activities and keep them happy throughout the entire (YES!) winter vacation!  

To find free activities that will help you stick to your budget, check community social media pages, bulletin boards, and even...

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The Best Frugal Halloween Finger Foods to Fit Your Party Budget

Entertaining for Halloween can be fun, but between the costumes, the spooky decorations, and the candy for all of your neighbors’ kids, the cost can add up quickly! Save some money this year with these frugal Halloween finger foods. Bonus: because they are finger foods, you won’t need to provide all of those plastic utensils. See, we are saving money already!


“Finger” Food

Serve your guests hot dogs with a few notches cut out of them for a literal take on frugal Halloween finger foods. Hot dogs are inexpensive, kid-friendly food, and easy to serve. To turn your average hot dogs into fingers, cut a small square out of the top portion of the hot dog for a nailbed look. Cut three lines underneath that and three more about halfway down the hot dog. Serve the hotdogs with some ketchup on them for a bloody look. 

Web Pizza

Pizza is a fan favorite and is so affordable when you make it yourself. Purchase premade dough and coat it in pizza sauce. Then,...

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20 Cheap Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Halloween will be here in no time. With three children, the amount of candy that comes into our home is ridiculous. I don't like to give me kids a lot of candy anyway. They act like different people when they're hyped up on sugar and not in a good way. I usually end up donating some of it and throwing out what remains in December since they bring home a ton of candy around Christmas, too. That seems like a huge waste of money to me. 

I've noticed more and more of my neighbors handing out non-candy items for trick-or-treating, and I really appreciate it. The juice boxes, granola bars, and pretzels never go to waste in our house. One of our neighbors even does little stuffed animals or glow sticks, and my kids are always really excited to get those.

Related posts: 

9 Cheap Halloween Party Ideas

One my Favorite DIY Halloween Decorations

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips  

If you are seeking non-candy alternatives that won't diminish the...

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8 Fall Festival Games That Won't Break the Bank

Every year our elementary school PTA puts on a fantastic Fall Festival and every year we are trying to coming up with new ideas on a shoestring budget. We have been very fortunate that one of the parents always donates his DJ services so we always have great music.

Here are some of my favorite activities that we've done in recent years.

Fall Festival Games

Pumpkin Bowling with Ghost Pins

Collect empty 2-liter bottles to use as pins and get some small to medium-size pumpkins to use as bowling balls. You'll need 8-12 bottles. If you want to make the game extra cute, spray paint the bottles white to make them look like ghosts. After they dry, use a permanent marker to draw eyes and mouths.

Set the bottles up like bowling pins and use the pumpkins to try and knock them down.

Donuts on a String

Kids can't get enough of this one and it's fun to watch, too. That's my daughter in the picture above. Hard to believe she used to be that little when she will probably be taller...

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9 Cheap Halloween Party Ideas

The spooky season is finally here! Get ready to bump into Halloween décor in almost every store you visit. From food ideas, Halloween-themed décor to various crafts, it can be difficult to stay on track with your budget and yet still enjoy the season. Check out these 9 inexpensive Halloween party ideas that can be created (or purchased) without breaking your budget.

Related posts: 

One my Favorite DIY Halloween Decorations

20 Cheap Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips

1. Turn Your Toilet Paper Rolls into Bats.

Turning your empty toilet paper rolls into bats is arguably one of the easiest Halloween DIY’s you’ll ever try. Just collect a couple of rolls and paint them black. From that point on – it’s all about your creativity. You can add paper wings and googly eyes, or simply use whatever other materials you have lying around the home. Make a “bat family” or add it as an activity for your...

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One of my Favorite DIY Halloween Decorations

It's easy to spend a small fortune on decorations for holidays. However, between Halloween costumes and pumpkins, going all out on decorations might be outside your budget. You can still have fun without spending a lot. One of my favorites to make is a homemade scarecrow.

I think the scarecrow has got to be the most common DIY Halloween Decoration. I've been making them since I was a kid. AND, it's a great way to get the kids to rake and think it's fun. Not only that, you can do it with materials lying around your house.

Related posts: 

20 Cheap Non-Candy Halloween Treats

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Tips

9 Cheap Halloween Party Ideas

There are lots of different versions of scarecrows. Encourage your kids to get creative with the materials. Here's one version.

Related post: 50 Ideas for Free Family Fun This Fall


  • Old button-down shirt
  • Old jeans
  • Pair of old pantyhose
  • String (or twine)
  • Leaves (or straw)
  • Lawnchair
  • Milk jug (to make the...
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