Life cannot be all about work and no play. You cannot expect to keep saying no to your children and they behave perfectly for you. There needs to be some give and take. But, understandably so, single parents trying to provide for their children may not have that extra money to put towards entertainment. So here are a few ways you can afford to include fun activities into your lives, when you are on a tight budget.
Going To The Movies – This is an impossible outing for my family. It is so expensive to go to the theater that we, normally, just don’t go. For the three of us to just get into the movie is $30. That doesn’t include popcorn and a drink.
But I did find a way for us to make going to the movies more affordable, here is how I did it:
Ask for gift cards to the cinema for the children’s birthday gifts from family and friends. This way, the cost of the movie is mostly covered by a minimum gift card of $25.
I purchase our beverages on sale at the grocery store and our candy from the dollar store. I always take my large purse, stuff our drinks and candy in my purse and sneak them into the show. Shhhhhhh…. That way, if the kids want popcorn, that is all I have to purchase, and we buy 2 medium bags, or one large bag to split between the 3 of us.
My CAA Membership offers discounts on my movie tickets. If I know in advance when I want to take the kids to the movies, I purchase my tickets at CAA and I pay significantly less per person. It even gives me discounts on food and beverages too.
Utilize that Scene Card that the cinema offers. Building up those points can really add up and help you save money on your next visits.
Swimming – In the summer, the children love to go swimming. I don’t have the luxury of a swimming pool in my own back yard, so we go to the public pool to enjoy the water.
Normally, it is very cheap to take the family for a swim so I don’t mind spending a bit of money. It is about $10 for the 3 of us to swim for the afternoon. However, there are days during the summer where they offer free family swims at the local public swimming pools. I like FREE! The kids invite their friends and it is a fun afternoon for all.
We go to the beach for a swim. Its FREE! God provided the lake, and the sand so why not go and enjoy it. Pack a blanket, some towels, sunscreen and something to drink. We always love spending time at the beach.
Bowling – This isn’t necessarily an expensive activity, but to spend the extra money is sometimes not feasible. But here is how we go bowling periodically without breaking the bank.
We have a coin jar that whenever the change in my wallet gets too heavy to handle, I pour it into our entertainment jar. After a while, that change builds up and sometimes enough to give us a FREE hour of bowling.
Our Church Youth Program offers entertainment outings for the youth once every few months. Glow In The Dark Bowling is sometimes the place of choice for the youth and they have a blast! It is FREE for the kids, they have fun with their friends and it is a supervised activity.
By attending community festivals and fairs, the family gets to enjoy a bit of fun, even if you don’t engage in the games and activities offered. Festivals usually offer FREE Bandstand Concerts of Local Artists, they sometimes offer FREE admission into the Bouncy Slides and Castles, FREE face painting and Clowns performing tricks and magic to the kids. The other great thing about attending festivals and fairs, are many of your local surrounding companies give away coupons and FREE admissions tickets to their businesses, to draw in more customers. There have been a few times we were able to enjoy 1 free hour of laser tag and mini golf at our local activity center, just by walking through our towns festival.
There is one other way that I afford to take the children to fun activities is by purging my home of items I no longer use or need. In particular, when the children out grow their clothing, there are plenty of sites to sell your used items to your community. Facebook For Sale Groups, Kijiji, On Line Yard Sales, etc… By selling items that we no longer have use for, this provides that extra bit of money to enjoy these activities.
As the kids get older, it is harder to purchase gifts for them for their birthdays. So the best way to help single parent families afford to have a little entertainment is to give the gift of gift cards. Bowling, Movies, Car Races, Musicals, Concerts, Go Carts, Activity Centers, etc… The gift of experience is the best gift of all, it provides memories.
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