Cheap Family Activities for Family Day

cheap family activities

Cheap Family Activities for Family Day

It’s extremely important for any family to intentionally take the time once in a while to have fun as a family. Life can be very busy so making a conscious effort to slow down together without the demands of other friends/family/work/school can be so beneficial.

Family fun, however, does not have to cost a lot! Sure, there are activities that can cost a lot (and those are fun!), but there are so many fun cheap family activities too.

With Family Day in Canada quickly approaching, I thought I’d share some ideas for cheap family fun!

Cheap Family Activities:

cheap family activities
  • Have a picnic inside
  • Start your garden seeds inside – Use this as an opportunity to teach your children about patience, responsibility and how things grow!
  • Movie night – Pick a movie that you haven’t watched in a while and make some homemade microwave popcorn! We’ve been having fun watching some of the movies my husband and I watched when we were kids.
  • Have a theme night/day – Mexican, Italian, pirate…the list goes on. Plan dinners and activities around your theme!
  • Have a craft night – paint, sew, make bracelets, draw…etc!
  • Head to your local library – stock up on reading material or even sit in on story time!
  • Have a game night – pull out those board games and cards!
  • Unplug – Turn off the cell phone, TV, computer and just reconnect with your wonderful family!
  • Shop at a thrift store together.
  • Have a dance party.
  • Build stuff with Lego.
  • Make everyone a nice warm drink, then read together with your own books.
  • Go bird watching – see how many different types of birds you can spot. Maybe bring along a bird book from the library.
  • Go ice skating – many ice rinks offer free skating on certain days
  • Build an indoor fort – camp out in it or have a picnic in it!
  • Have another family over for dinner – this is way cheaper then eating out!
  • If it’s a holiday weekend, see if there are any free events taking place.
  • Visit a local ski hill and wander around. Maybe grab an inexpensive treat to enjoy.
  • Go tobogganing.
  • Go snowshoeing.
  • Bake something together.
  • Write a simple story together.
  • Face painting. Here are some easy face painting designs.
  • Do a scavenger hunt. Either inside or outside would be fun!
  • Redecorate or rearrange a bedroom with things you already own.
  • Play video games together.
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood.

What other free or cheap family activities can you suggest?

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Low Cost Date Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy

low cost date ideas

Low Cost Date Ideas You’re Sure to Love!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner so today’s post is going to focus on low cost date ideas! I’m not only going to list frugal ideas to do with your significant other, but also ideas you can use with any special kids in your life. After all, it’s crucial to any important relationship, that you spend some quality one-on-one time together.

However, when money is tight, it’s hard to justify spending money on a “date”. Even dinner and a movie can really add up!  With that in mind, I hope you enjoy my ideas for low cost date ideas the whole family can enjoy:

Date-Night with your significant other:

Visit a Winery or Brewery – This can really be a fun and informative afternoon!  Most wineries and breweries offer free tours that include free tastings at the end.

Use those Daily Deal Sites – Keep an eye on those daily deal sites like Groupon and WagJag.  I often see offers for romantic getaways, restaurant deals and even local attractions.  You’ll save yourself a big chunk of money if you take advantage of a deal, especially if you intended on heading out on the town anyways!

Wash the Car Together – Sometimes doing the mundane chores together can be a blast and a great way to catch up.  This is a great idea for when life is so busy you’re having a hard time finding a solid chunk of time to spend together.

Get back to your Roots – Did you use to love playing a particular board game together in your younger dating/married years?  Pull it out and play it once again.  Or maybe you used to love browsing the thrift stores together?  Or enjoyed the satisfaction of volunteering?  Do something that takes you back to the early days!

Go for a Drive – One year for our anniversary, with a new baby in tow, we took a scenic drive and stopped at a quaint little coffee shop in a nearby town.  This was one of our most memorable dates!

low cost date ideas

Dinner at Home – Not a new idea at all, dinner at home, but how about calling up your date’s mother to get the recipe for their favourite childhood meal?  Or if you both enjoy a fancy meal, how about going all out at the grocery store to recreate your favourite fancy restaurant meals?  The thought of a picnic on the floor might hit the spot as well!  Maybe this year could be your first fondue?

Go to the Beach – Obviously for the warmer months, but we like to bring along a couple of chairs and some good books and spend the afternoon relaxing at the beach. When we get hot, we just jump into the water!

Go for a Hike – or snowshoeing since it’s winter!  My husband and I are really fond of hikes. There’s just something about enjoying nature together and getting a little bit of exercise at the same time. Plus, our region has some pretty fantastic hiking locales if I do say so myself.

Date-Night with your Children/Whole Family:

Get the ideas flowing with these suggestions that will work for one on one dates with your children or for the whole family unit!

Have a Picnic – Inside or outside depending on the weather.  Pack some sandwiches, a fun beverage and an extra special treat that will be enjoyed.

Have a Movie Night in – grab a movie off the shelf that you haven’t watched in a while or find something on Netflix and make some homemade microwave popcorn!

Have a Theme Night/Day – Mexican, Italian, pirate…the list goes on. Plan dinners and activities around your theme!

Have a Craft Night – Paint, sew, make bracelets, draw…etc! This would have been a dream date with my mom when I was younger. Actually, now that think about it, we used to spend quite a few nights making greeting cards!

Head to your Local Library – Stock up on reading material or even sit in on story time!

Have a Game Night – Pull out those board games and cards! Some of our favourite games include Mexican Train, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Sequence, Old Maid, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza Card Game and Zingo.

Go Bird Watching – See how many different types of birds you can spot. Maybe bring along a bird book from the library. Here’s are some free Bird Watching printables you may enjoy.

Build an Indoor fort – Grab all your blankets, pillows and boxes to create an epic indoor fort. Camp out in it or have a picnic in it!

Check out the free community events offered in your area – Many of the free community events are geared towards family fun.

Go for a Nature Walk – Bring along a bag that you can use to collect all sorts of neat nature things in. Bring the bag home and create some crafts using your haul.

Have a Garage Sale – Involve the kids and help them set up a lemonade or hot chocolate stand.  They’ll have fun earning some money and you’ll all enjoy being together!

Go Ice Skating – I recently took my daughter out for the very first time and she had a blast. While she refused to try on the skates, she had fun building her confidence on the ice wearing her boots. We have several local rinks that offer free family skate times, so yours may as well.

Many of these low cost date ideas can be adapted to every season, but the important thing is that you get out there and have fun together as a couple, parent/child or family!  Enjoy each other!

What are your ideas for low cost date ideas?

22 Smart Purchases that Save Money in the Long Run

purchases that save money in the long run

Clever Purchases That Save Money In The Long Run

(Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here.)

Sometimes, the secret to saving money is actually spending a little more money in the first place.

As long as you spend it on the right things, that is.

That might sound illogical, but in reality, it can make a lot of sense when you start thinking about long-term savings.

This is where thoughtful, intentional spending comes in to play.

In this article, I’m not going to be talking about gadgets that you will only use once, like a Cake Pop Maker for example. I am going to list out products that you will use time and time again, allowing you to see financial savings in the long run. Smart purchases that will save money in the long run!

On that note, to help you save cash and satisfy your gadget purchasing desire, I’ve rounded up 22 smart purchases that will end up saving you tons of cash in the long run. The best part? They don’t require you to change any of your everyday habits.

Smart purchases that save money:

Low flow shower head – Why not have a great shower and save water at the same time? A low flow shower head doesn’t cost a lot to replace, but the savings on your water bill will really pay off in the long run!

LED light bulbs – While they cost more upfront, LED lightbulbs are a smart choice in your home. they save money on your energy bill and last way longer than incandescent light bulbs. There are many different options to get just the right color warmth that you like.

Solar powered outdoor lights – Light up your yard to add safety and ambiance by using solar powered outdoor lights. Once purchased, these won’t cost a cent on your energy bill!

Drying rack – Do we always need to use the dryer? You can save a lot of electricity by using a drying rack instead! You will also find your clothes last longer too. If you have yard space outside to have a drying line, this is a fantastic way to dry stuff

Smart thermostat – Monitor your energy usage easily with a smart thermostat in your home! This ecobee model works with Amazon Alexa and will adjust heating/cooling according to your schedule. You can even control it from anywhere using your Android or iOS device. No more heating and cooling an empty house when you’re gone!

Reusable food storage bags – Stop throwing plastic bags (and money) in the trash. These reusable storage bags are easy to clean and ready to use for a long, long time. I especially like that these ones are self-standing…makes it easy to fill!

Brita water jug – Very, very rarely will we buy bottled water. We do, however, use our Brita every single day. We fill up glasses at home or fill our reusable water bottles for adventure days.

purchases that save money in the long run

Reusable water bottle – Speaking of reusable water bottles, never buy bottled water again! If we ever need new ones, I’m really going to consider this one! I like that there are different lid options. With or without a straw.

Air fryer – Hear me out on this one. It might seem like a gadget, but our air fryer has really made my life better. It has made lunch making and heating up leftovers a breeze. Let’s not forget to mention that it saves so much money because I’m not getting takeout as often!

Wool Dryer balls – These don’t seem like anything special, but this is one of those purchases that save money like crazy. They save money on fabric softeners and dryer sheets because they soften naturally. They also lessen the drying time needed so they will save you money on your energy bill.

Rechargeable batteries – If you find yourself going through batteries often, investing in rechargeable batteries is a smart idea!

Roku streaming stick or Fire TV Stick has been a TOTAL game changer for us! We bought one when we decided to eliminate cable tv. It plugs into the back of your tv and has a homepage for all your streaming services. Save a TON of money with the free tv apps it offers.

Hair clipper kit – This one might not be for everyone, but we have saved a lot of money by cutting my husband’s hair at home. I give him a very basic hair cut every 6 weeks or so and he’s always pleased as punch.

Vacuum Sealer – How many times have you thrown away foods that are so badly freezer burned? Well, say goodbye to freezer burnt food by investing in a vacuum sealer. Once you’ve sealed your food, toss it in the freezer and you’ll find it stays fresher for so much longer.

Reusable K Cup Coffee Filter – Those little K-Cups can really add up after awhile! If you own a Keurig machine, think about buying a reusable k-cup coffee filter so you can buy your favourite grounds to use in the filter. You’ll have delicious coffee and save money!

TubShroom – I don’t even remember how I came across this in the first place, but I purchased a TubShroom and LOVE it! It’s been years since we’ve been using one and I will never go back to an ordinary drain protector. It catches so much hair. I’m convinced that this is one of those purchases that save money in the long run.

Makeup remover cloths – I really like those disposable, pre-moistened face towels so I really think these makeup remover cloths would be just as convenient. Plus, they’re reusable of course!

Personal finance books – I’ve got a list of highly rated personal finance books right here. First though, why don’t you see if your library has any copies available?

Memberships – Do you find yourself often visiting the same places and paying the daily rate? It might be time to purchase the membership! Buying a membership to places that you frequent often can save you so much money in the long run. Think swimming pools, science centers, amusement parks and more!

Drain snake – Having a drain snake on hand will without a doubt save you money on expensive drain cleaners that don’t necessarily work. Not to mention, a drain snake could save you having to hire a plumber too!

Bamboo towels – These bamboo towels are such a great idea. Especially if you think it will be hard to get away from using regular paper towels. These bamboo towels are washable and can be used just like how you use regular paper towels.

Fabric Defuzzer – Before you discard of any pilled sweaters or even furniture, try a fabric defuzzer! For less than $15, you can save your favorite things and make them look brand new again with this simple tool!

In conclusion, making smart purchases that prioritize quality and durability is not just a matter of saving money in the short term; it is a strategy for long-term financial well-being. By choosing products that stand the test of time and offer lasting value, you can enjoy the satisfaction of smart purchasing decisions that will contribute to your financial stability. As well as taking steps to be a more intentional consumer.

What are some smart purchases that you would add to the list?

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Fall Bucket List for Frugal People

The best fall bucket list

Create the BEST Fall Bucket List with these ideas. These ideas are perfect for frugal people, who are looking for free or low cost activities to do this fall.

Fall is nearly here! One of my favorite seasons (besides Christmas time) is Fall! I love the comfort food, the way the light changes in the evening, the crisp fall air, and warm, cozy sweaters. Along with those things, Fall is a great time to do fun, frugal activities specific to the season.

Here is a Fall Bucket List for Frugal People that you are going to love! There are plenty of ideas to fill up your fall calendar with frugal fun.

fall bucket list for frugal people
  1. Go to a Pumpkin Patch.
  2. Have a pumpkin carving contest with friends/family.
  3. Find fall festivals and harvest events happening in your area.
  4. Go to a local apple orchard to pick delicious apples.
  5. Go for a hike. The temperature will be much more bearable than in the summer time!
  6. Try Halloween themed cookies. Like Oreos. You can only get them this time of year.
  7. Try using fallen leaves in one of these ways.
  8. Go to a thrift store to find your Halloween costumes.
  9. Make apple crisp! This recipe is amazing!
  10. Throw a football watching party. To save money, make it a potluck and have everyone bring something.
  11. Make your own fall wreath.
  12. Make a pot of chili.
  13. Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte or apple cider.
  14. Make a Frugal Fall bracelet.
  15. Go through a corn maze.
  16. Take your own fall pictures.
  17. Rake up the leaves into big piles, then jump in them!
  18. Make a scarf out of an old sweater.
  19. Have a Halloween (or Fall) movie night at home.
  20. Bake pumpkin cookies.
  21. Visit your local library and check out some fall themed books.
  22. Check the kids’ school calendars to see what free family-friendly events are coming up.
  23. Attend a high school football game.
  24. Volunteer.
  25. Go geocaching
  26. Take a scenic drive around your city.
  27. Visit your local farmer’s market.
  28. Try a new soup recipe.
  29. Host a fall brunch, pot-luck style.
  30. Light fall candles around the house.
  31. Decorate your home with a few Fall decor items from the dollar store.
  32. Help a neighbor rake their leaves.
  33. Make a batch of these Fall M&M Monster Cookies.
  34. Create your own haunted house.
  35. Make your own Halloween costumes.
  36. Check your city’s website, you will find a ton of free events and activities happening around you.
  37. Knit a fall scarf.
  38. Write little happy fall notes to your friends.
  39. Decorate your porch with fall foliage from the neighborhood.
  40. Toast pumpkin seeds.
  41. Have a fall canning party.
  42. Go on a hayride at a local farm.
  43. Eat dinner by candle light.
  44. Have a nap!
  45. Make Pumpkin Butter

28+ School Backpacks for $50 or Less!

Find the best School Backpacks for less. This selection will take the stress out of shopping while saving money too.

the best school backpacks

The best school backpacks

Can you believe it? Back to school is just around the corner. Save money on back to school shopping by purchasing your school backpacks at a price that feels right.

It can be overwhelming in-store so shopping online is a great option.

Browse this list and save time while getting the best deals. No need to spend a ton of time or money when the deal hunting has been done for you!

This list truly has something for everyone to start the school year off right. There are even some backpacks listed that include lunch kits and more. Go ahead and start shopping today for the best selection.

From solid color options to school backpacks with patterns, the options are endless for the school year. This list has it all.

(Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here.)

1. Ripzone Kids’ Edison 20L Backpack $44.99

This Ripzone backpack is a sturdy, highly rated backpack that is perfect for higher elementary grades.

2. adidas Adicolor Backpack $44.99

This classic Adidas backpack has great reviews and seems suitable for kids that are in the earlier elementary grades.

3. Ripzone Kids’ Recess 15L Backpack $34.99

Another Ripzone backpack with great reviews! This one is smaller than the first one listed above so is probably suitable for younger kids. Here it is in another colour.

4. Ripzone Kids’ Newton 15L Backpack $34.99

This Ripzone backpack is the same size as the one listed above. It’s just slightly different in its shape.

5. Under Armour Hustle 5.0 Backpack $37.97

This Under Armour backpack is generously sized with all the pockets one could need. Perfect for the school athlete.

6. Puma Challenger Backpack $39.99

This Puma one is from Costco Canada. It looks great for high schoolers and has a lot of pockets!

7. Kids Recycled Backpack $37

I realize that this one is more than $50, however, it’s from Gap Canada and they always seem to have some sales or coupon codes happening. So be sure to check Gap often to snag it on sale!

8. Minecraft™ Canvas Backpack for Kids $39.99

Perfect for the kid that loves Minecraft! This Old Navy backpack is sure to be a hit with early elementary aged kids.

9. Hilroy Animal Print Kids’ Multi-Pocket Backpack $17.99

Great price for a highly rated backpack! This crocodile print backpack is perfect for daycare or preschool.

10. Outbound Kids’ Multi-Pocket Backpack $19.99

This Outbound backpack has a deeper pocket for a water bottle and would be great for elementary aged kids.

11. Skip Hop Zoo Big Kid Backpack $36

Oh man these are cute and perfect for younger kids! This is a bigger version of the classic Skip Hop backpack that I’m sure you have seen.

12. Skip Hop Zoo Little Kid Backpack $30

Here’s the smaller classic version of the Skip Hop backpack. Perfect for daycare or preschool.

13. Patterned Backpacks from The Children’s Place $49.95 or less

The Children’s Place has a great selection of backpacks! You’ll see Spiderman, Minecraft, princess, leopard and more! They are currently on sale too!

14. Roots Recycled Backpack $32.98

This Roots backpack has the perfect amount of pockets for younger elementary aged kids.

15. SoYoung Neo Rainbows Backpack $48.98

This SoYoung backpack is a cheerful backpack in two different sizes. Like all backpacks I find, this one is machine washable.

16. Jansport Crosstown Backpack $49.98

This Jansport backpack is perfect for the kid that just wants a plain black, functional backpack.

17. Impact 3-Piece Backpack Set $19.98

You can’t beat the price on this one! This is a backpack set that includes a lunch kit and a pencil case.

18. Dickies Varsity Backpack $24.97

This Dickies backpack is everything you need in a backpack. Has a front zipper pocket, side mesh water bottle pocket and interior padded laptop sleeve.

19. All Canadian Backpack $29.97

Another black backpack with lots of pockets, perfect for carrying everything that’s needed at school!

20. Reebok Backpack $34.97

This Reebok backpack has storage for a laptop, sunglasses, water bottles and so much more!

21. Jetstream Marble Print Backpack $29.97

So much storage! This Jetstream backpack has pockets everywhere. Includes my favorite water bottle holders and more.

22. Dog Paw Prints Backpack $44.64

Perfect for the child who loves dogs! This Paw Prints backpack is another with lots of pockets.

23. Foldable Backpack $39.99

So this backpack is different than the others because it has a separate section on the bottom for shoes and a pocket on the front for holding wet items.

24. Lightweight Water Resistant Backpack $44.99

This one looks like a really durable backpack perfect for preschool or kindergarten. Lots of different patterns to choose from!

25. Casual Style Lightweight Bag $41.99

This backpack comes with a lunch kit and a pencil case! There are a ton of different designs to choose from too. Perfect for the high schooler.

26. Water Resistant Backpack $46.99

Sometimes, a solid colour backpack is just the thing that kids want. This water resistant backpack with high ratings is perfect for teens.

27. Jansport SuperBreak Backpack $49.98

This Jansport SuperBreak backpack is another solid colour option. Great for teens.

28. Pastel Ombre Backpack $29.98

This pretty Ombre school backpack is a great price and perfect for elementary aged kids.

There you have it! A great selection of school backpacks found in Canada for under $50! Which ones do you think your kids will like the most?

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school backpacks

A Day in the Life of a Frugal Person: Daily Tasks That Save Them BIG

a day in the life of a frugal person

A Day in the Life of a Frugal Person

Living the life of a frugal person means living below your means from dawn to dusk. There are many things frugal people do throughout the day that help them save money and help them store funds away for the future. But what are those things exactly? Come on a journey and take a look at a day in the life of a frugal person. These are some of the daily tasks that save them BIG. By knowing more about this day to day living, you too can try implementing these tasks and seeing what a difference they can make for you.

 

Morning:

1. Make homemade coffee.

Our frugal person doesn’t spring for a $5 specialty coffee. Instead she makes her own at home and saves big. She uses her favorite reusable mug that can be used time and time again.

2. Looks at the Meal Plan.

This frugal person creates a menu plan every week with $5 Meal Plan. So every morning she double checks the plan to see what she might have to pull out of the freezer or pick up at the grocery store in order to stay on track. Her menu plan saves her hundreds of dollars each month and keeps her sane at the dinner time hour.

3. Check the Gas Buddy app.

Before filling up and running and errands, our frugal person checks the free Gas Buddy app to see what gas prices are and where to fill up for less. When she finds a great deal, she fills up at that price.

4. Turn on the slow cooker.

There won’t be any take out traps for this frugal person tonight thanks to her menu plan. Instead, she tosses some chicken, fresh vegetables, and broth into the slow cooker for dinner. She uses canned broth from the stockpile, veggies from the garden, and chicken she bought on sale.

5. Scour the sales.

a day in the life of a frugal person

Our frugal person checks the weekly grocery store flyers to see what’s on sale that week. She then matches the sale prices with the coupons she has on hand. This helps her to make her shopping list for the week while keeping her budget in check. She loves the Budget Planner for keeping track of her budget categories and her savings goals.

Afternoon:

6. Enjoys a homemade lunch.

Whether at work or on the go, our frugal person enjoys a homemade lunch. Today it’s a taco salad using ground beef leftover from last night’s burgers. She uses a refillable water bottle to save money on unnecessary sugary beverages, which also keeps her waistline trim!

7. Swing into the local thrift store.

Frugal people love thrift stores to look for gently used items at a fraction of the price of new. Today, our frugal person finds some frames that can be spray painted to match her décor as well as a table lamp she can use on her night stand. For about $7 total she walks out of the door happy!

8. Give the house a quick clean.

Our frugal person uses vinegar to keep windows sparkling and baking soda to get sinks and drains clean. She doesn’t spend money on household cleaners and instead uses natural products to get the job done for less. A fresh lemon is just what the faucet needs to shine, and a little lemon peel down the drain can get rid of disposal odors.

9. Snag some free reads.

Our frugal person loves looking on Amazon for free eBook downloads. She also loves swinging into the library to grab free movies, CD’s, magazines, books, and so much more.

Evening:

10. Dinner is served.

Our frugal person serves her thrifty dinner. She uses cloth napkins instead of buying disposable paper. She serves lemon water and powdered drink mixes which cost less than pop. When done, she will load the dishes into the dishwasher but wait until it is full before running it.

11. Inexpensive entertainment.

The newspaper lists free events in the area and our frugal person loves looking for them. She finds a free outdoor concert that evening as well as an outdoor movie being shown downtown. There are also budget days at the local movie theatre she enjoys, plus local parks which are fun to visit too.

12. Cheap dessert.

Our frugal person gets on the email lists of all her favorite brands. This way, she gets all sorts of coupons sent to her. Tonight she has a B1G1 FREE coupon to her favorite ice cream place. So tonight, she gets to enjoy dessert for less.

13. Lights out!

Now that it is time for bed, our frugal person turns down the thermostat so it won’t work as hard at night while she is sleeping. She takes a warm shower before bed, using a shower timer and a low flow shower head so she doesn’t waste as much water.

Our frugal person is now asleep, and can dream about all of the money she saved that day! Is the frugal life for you? Give a day in the life of a frugal person a try and see how well the day goes for you!

I’d love to know what your life as a frugal person looks like. Let me know in the comments below!

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