Frugal Family Fun Without Breaking the Bank

child baking cookies

While some people complain they don’t have time for recreation, most are complaining they don’t have money for it. It’s hard to even think about going on a vacation or even watching movies together when you have to juggle monthly expenses, mortgage, and sending your kids to school.

Does that mean you will just have suck up a boring family life? Not really. A happy family life doesn’t have to mean spending much. There are options for thrifty households.

Hike together.

Is there a nearby hiking trail from where you are? There’s probably a nature park in the state near you. If so, plan a weekend hike. Bring the kids. Hiking is one of the best ways to de-stress and bring yourselves back to appreciating nature’s beauty. It’s also inexpensive. You don’t need expensive gear. Plus, you can spend quality time together. Talk about school or future family plans in the middle of the jungle or while overlooking the town on top of the hills. Hiking isn’t intimidating like mountain climbing is.

Do gardening together.

You don’t have to go somewhere else. Besides, gardening is fun and is a great way to turn your backyard into a haven of shrubbery and flowers. Gardening also instills love of nature among kids. It makes them appreciate vegetation and foliage. When you watch how cuttings grow into shrubs and crawl as vines, you just can’t help but enjoy nature’s magic. In addition, it’s great to see the fruit of your collective labor after several months, when what was once a barren, dirt-covered backyard has turned into a sanctuary where a coffee table sits in the middle.

Of course, you can also make a vegetable garden. Is it not lovely to see aubergines, tomatoes, and beans in the backyard? Growing a vegetable garden staves off huge grocery expenses.

Hang out at the park.

This is something the whole family can do while the weather is still warm. One of the most inexpensive family bonding options, walking through the park is about finding a place where you can spend leisure. It’s a perfect break from dreary afternoons in front of the TV with all of you stuck to your smartphones or tablets.

Spice up your time at the park by having a picnic. Pack your picnic basket with sandwiches, nuts, fruits, and juice. Lay the ground cover under a tree. Start taking family selfies. Then keep your phone in your pocket. Having snacks outdoors is more fun than you think.

Cook meals or bake cookies together.

One of the things that a lot of families don’t do is cook together. It’s a worthwhile bonding moment that doesn’t require outdoor trips. It’s perfect to do when the weather’s bad. It’s time you shared your kitchen skills with the rest of the family. Or maybe you can just have them dice up carrots and slice up onions while you talk about the kids’ school lives. It’s the perfect time to talk about personal things, like who’s dating whom. The next thing you know the dish is served.

If you have young kids, this is the perfect time to teach them how to bake cookies or cupcakes. They will love this moment.

Decorate the house.

Everyone hates housekeeping. It’s tedious. But there’s one thing the family may enjoy when the cleaners are gone. It’s decorating the house. Is Christmas approaching? Or are you going to hold a Thanksgiving dinner? If so, it makes sense to spice up your house. Set up the Christmas tree and ask everyone to hang the balls and ribbons all over. Set the dining table. Arrange flowers in the center. Set ornamental lights. It’s time to summon everyone’s creativity.

Exercise together.

A family that works out together stays fit together. More Americans are getting fat. Being obese per se isn’t so bad. What’s bad is it’s associated with health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Living a longer and healthier life involves getting fit. But signing up for a gym membership is expensive. Fortunately, you don’t have to do that.

Bodyweight workouts (e.g. push ups, squats, lunges, and burpees) are effective in toning your body and burning fat at home. You don’t need equipment, just your body weight.