Editor’s Note: While I’m enjoying Spring Break with my family, Tanya from Eat Laugh Purr is back to share some fun, warm weather activities your family will love and won’t break the piggy break.
Spring is here and those chilly, snow-filled days are slowly becoming distant memories. Our thoughts turn to outdoor fun and basking in the sun’s golden rays. Of course, we can easily spend more than we intended if we don’t pay attention, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun though. We just need to be smart about it.
Figure Out When to Splurge and When to Be Frugal
One thing I’ve learned is that you can both indulge yourself and be frugal-minded. They can co-exist and frankly, should. You just need to know what things you are willing to splurge on and what things you won’t. Most people’s bank accounts probably allow for a few splurges per year, which means we need to fill the other days with some fun, frugal activities because boredom is one of the biggest culprits behind mindless spending.
Outdoor Frugal Fun for Your Family
I’ve created a list of some activities your family can enjoy this Spring and Summer without having to spend a fortune.
Have a Picnic at Your Favorite Park
There is always something special about a picnic, even if you’re eating peanut butter sandwiches. Being outdoors just makes it more fun! Pack a delicious portable meal and head out to your favorite park. Consider doing this on a weekday when the park won’t be so crowded. You could also invite a few friends to join you and make it a potluck.
Plant a Garden
I won’t lie: I enjoyed eating the fruits of our labor far more than the work that went into having a garden when I was child. To be honest, I still dream about those juicy tomatoes from my Mom’s garden. If you have the space, I encourage you to plant a garden. It’s a great learning experience for everyone. Go online together and research what fruits and vegetables would grow best in the area you live in. Don’t forget to consider your skill level and your time to commit to this endeavor too when choosing how big of a garden to plant!
Gardens do take work, but it’s an affordable way to enjoy organic fruits and vegetables, which should put a little extra money back in your pocket. Plus, you can also invite your kids to join you in the kitchen too. They will love learning how to use the garden bounty while increasing their confidence in the kitchen too. Win-win.
Go Camping in Your Backyard
You could certainly go to a real campground, but this makes a special overnight treat without a huge fuss. Pitch your tent (or borrow one) in your background and spread out sleeping bags and pillows to make it comfy. If you have a fire pit or can safely and legally make a fire, cook traditional “camp” fare and enjoy s’mores as you tell ghost stories.
Run a Lemonade Stand
This is something that I know Shannon does with her girls every summer. In fact, she wrote a book about it! It’s a great way for kids to learn some important skills, from the cost of running a business, marketing, salesmanship and deciding how to use their earnings. Whether it’s a lemonade stand, car wash, bake sale or something else, consider having your kids utilize their skills to earn a little extra cash this Spring and Summer.
Giving back is definitely a year-round event but there are some fun volunteer opportunities exclusive to Spring and Summer too. There are lots of walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, etc that need a ton of volunteers to make them successful. Look up some of your favorite organizations to see which ones are hosting summer fundraisers. Your teenage children may be interested in volunteering to be camp counselors too. My nephews love this, particularly since it wasn’t too many years ago when they were the campers.
Bury a Family Time Capsule
Time truly does seem to fly and kids grow up in a heartbeat. One way to remember a specific point in time is to create a time capsule. Find a container that will protect the items from the elements and have everyone select an item and/or write down a special moment from the past year to store in the capsule. Pick a spot to bury your capsule and decide when you will open it in the future.
Tip: Make a map so you know where you buried the capsule. You don’t want to dig a bunch of holes in your yard trying to find it five years later.
Try Something New
We tend to be creatures of habit or at least I am. It’s easy to get into a rut, even the things we do for fun. I think it’s so important to continue to stretch yourself and that includes how you entertain yourself. Make a special effort to start a new hobby, try a new recipe or cuisine or learn a new sport. Learning something new will help keep your brain sharp and introduce you to new people too.
Explore Your Hometown or Surrounding Area
Right before I moved to LA from Minneapolis, I kept hearing about all these fabulous places that I never explored, even though I lived there for five years. Most of us are guilty of doing this, I think. We get excited to travel and explore places outside of our immediate area, which is perfectly fine, but it also means that we overlook some amazing places in our own backyard. Check out visitor’s bureaus, chambers of commerce and travel websites for events or places you should visit locally. Best of all, since you likely have flexibility as to when you visit, you can take advantage of discounts or specials too.
Your Spring and Summer Can Be Fun and Inexpensive
Everyone is so busy these days, especially when the weather turns warm because there is so much to do. Be sure that you’re spending both your time and money on the things that you and your family truly enjoy. And don’t forget you can fill up some of those hot days with fun and frugal activities too.
What are some of your favorite Spring and Summer activities?