It’s a common thing today: most families have two working parents. It’s a must just to survive, let alone for a family to have anything extra like even a small vacation. Even if you’re careful to watch every penny spent, there are still plenty of ways to have some family fun even on a shoestring.
- Season passes: Whether you’re heading to a theme park, water park or zoo, most will offer season passes at a decent discount. If you live close enough that you could visit one of these places often, don’t be put off by the initial dollar amount investment and buy the season pass. You’ll find that because of the discounted prices, most season passes pay for themselves in just a couple of visits. Although the passes only cover the price of admission it can still save you money on food by allowing you to leave the park to eat and be readmitted without being penalized.
- Do you have a second-run theatre near you? These are theatres that play new release movies, but after they’ve already been released in the big theatres. What’s the point? Well think about it this way: when you go to see a new release when it first comes out, you’re likely to spend $8-$10 per ticket, per person. With a family of 4 or more, you’re looking at $40 in tickets and that’s before you buy snacks and drinks. A second-run theatre will play the same movie in its entirety but a few weeks after it’s considered a “new release”. These theatres tend to charge $5 or less per ticket. Worth the wait don’t you think?
- Consider the minors. If you are a family of sports enthusiasts but can’t quite swing the cost of even general admission tickets to see your favorite sports team, consider checking out a local minor league game instead, or even a local high school or college game. These smaller teams have smaller venues and typically smaller audiences so they do what they can to fill the seats – even charge as little as $5 for a general admission ticket. Some will even offer a ticket and snack package. There are few better memories than snacking on a ball park hot dog in the cheap seats.
These are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing. Just because you’re watching your pennies doesn’t mean you have to sit at home on the couch and watch each other. Get creative and I’m sure you’ll find something you, your family and your wallet can all agree on.