Enjoy a Frugal Fun-filled Fourth of July

June 23, 2009 · Filed Under Being Frugal, Cheap Holiday Ideas · Comments Off on Enjoy a Frugal Fun-filled Fourth of July 

Looking for fun ideas to help you celebrate the Fourth of July? You don’t need to spend a fortune on fireworks and expensive decorations. Use your imagination and let these ideas jumpstart your own.

• Take in your city’s fireworks display. Most every city, and even the smallest town, typically offers a fireworks display on the Fourth. Rather than spend money on fireworks for home use, visit a local event and enjoy the show. If you don’t want to fight the crowds or get stuck in traffic when it’s over, park down the street at a church lot or store and watch from there.

• Have a cookout or barbecue. There’s a reason this old standby is still so popular – it’s a lot of fun! Play outdoor games like volleyball, Frisbee or even softball. Cook hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Eat watermelon and have a blast! If you don’t have the yard space to host the event, go to a park. They’ll be packed so you’ll want to reserve space early or hope for the best, but it’s a great way to enjoy the day with family and friends.

• Fly your flag high! This is a great time to teach your kids about the American flag – what it means, how it came to be, and the guidelines about flying one (never let it touch the ground, burn it and buy a new one if it becomes tattered, never fly another flag above the US flag, etc.).

• Visit a local homeless shelter and take Fourth of July decorations, food and treats for the residents. You can do the same a nursing home or children’s home if there is one nearby.

• Spend the day on the lake, or if you don’t have water nearby, get out the hose and run through the sprinkler with the kids!

• Make a festive dessert and invite your neighbors over to share. Bake a simple white cake in a 13″ x 9″ pan. Frost with cool whip. Make “stripes” from sliced strawberries and use blueberries for the “stars” to make your own flag.

• Get out the ice cream freezer and make a batch of homemade ice cream. Grab a lawn chair and sit outside in the backyard until you eat every bite!

• Visit a local attraction that you’ve never seen (if it’s open), or drop by to see a friend you haven’t seen in awhile.

• Hold a “Christian in July” party. Have everyone bring a new gift suitable for a child that you can donate to a local program like Toys for Tots’ Christmas program.

• Ask permission from your town council to host a block party. Rope off the street. Invite all the neighbors. Have lots of food and games and get to know your neighbors!

• Host a Fourth of July scrapbooking crop. Invite all your scrapbooking friends over. Get out your photos, tools and embellishments and scrap ’til your hearts are content.

• Go fly a kite… literally! Kite-flying is a dying pastime, but it’s so much fun. You can make your own kite or pick up a kit at the store. Grab the kids and head to the park and enjoy.

• Spend the entire day watch patriotic movies. The Patriot, Independence Day, Pearl Harbor, Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1776, The Stars and Stripes Forever and many others.

Whatever you decide to do on the Fourth, enjoy it! You can spend a lot of money if you choose, but there’s really no need when you can have as much fun – if not more! – without it.

25 Low Cost Or No Cost Ways to Celebrate the Season

December 12, 2008 · Filed Under Cheap Holiday Ideas · Comments Off on 25 Low Cost Or No Cost Ways to Celebrate the Season 

Sweetness overload x2
photo credit: lepiaf.geoWe all long to celebrate the holidays but often times we lack the funds to do the things we see others doing or that we wish we could do, but, there are ways that you can celebrate this wonderful season of the year if you’re strapped for cash.

1. Chop down a tree. Especially if you or a relative has property with trees on it you can get your Christmas tree for free, by simply going out in the woods and chopping it down. It will also be a great learning experience for your children. Make sure you ask permission first.

2. Make your own decorations. From stringing popcorn to creating a paper chain you can create your own holiday decor and will enjoy the process as much as the actual decorating itself. Make memories with your family that will not soon be forgotten.

3. Bake cookies. There are many recipes that are quite inexpensive to make and you’ll enjoy the time spent together as well as the yummy treats to eat afterward.

4. Go Christmas Caroling. There are many places to go in every community such as nursing homes, children’s homes, and homeless shelters that would love a visit from you as well as to hear some holiday tunes. Why not share the joy of Christmas by doing so. Check with the facility beforehand to make sure you’re welcome and following their rules.

5. Serve at a local charity. Whether it’s a soup kitchen, or packing boxes to sending overseas or writing letters to our troops for Christmas, serving others is a great way to celebrate.

6. Make Christmas crafts. There are a ton of sites that have directions for crafts that use things you already have on hand. You can make them just for fun, keep some and give some away as gifts.

7. Attend church. This is the time of year for family and friends. Nothing can be more special and significant than to remember the reason for the season together.

8. Looking at lights. Pile everyone in the car and go looking around town at all the Christmas lights. Don’t forget to check your local paper for other free activities.

9. A candlelight dinner at home. Start a new tradition. Show your family how much fun and different eating by candlelight can be. It’s a great way to celebrate.

10. Dollar store finds. Take a trip to the dollar store giving everyone a set amount of money and allow them to purchase gifts or stocking stuffers for the family members. This is a low cost way to enjoy gift giving even on a small budget.

11. Send E-Christmas cards. Rather than purchasing Christmas cards or photo cards why not send the same type thing online. They are free, and can be sent to anyone with an email address.

12. Hot Cocoa Night. Take one night during the season as an honorary hot cocoa night and make up a batch of steaming hot cocoa to enjoy with your family or maybe even invite the neighbors over for a cup. Buy some extra special cocoa mugs to make it even more special.

13. Build a snowman. That is if there is actually snowfall in your area. This can be a fun way to celebrate this time of year. If you live in a warmer climate think about dressing up one of the kids or even a tree with Frosty’s hat & scarf.

14. Attend local Christmas events. From musicals to tree lighting ceremonies there are usually lots of events associated with this time of year and can be a great way to celebrate on a budget.

15. Shop the sales. If you have a little money to spend why not use it on sale items that will make great gifts. Amazon.com has some great Christmas deals.

16. Make a list of things for which you’re grateful. Teach the family an important lesson of thanksgiving. After all there is nothing more celebratory than enjoying what you have already rather than worrying about what you can get.

17. Sing Christmas carols around the fireplace. Taking some time as a family to sing favorite songss can be a great way to spend time together and to celebrate the season all at once.

18. Take pictures. Nothing says you HAVE to get them developed but dressing up and standing out in the snow or in front of the tree to snap a few shots can be fun plus with today’s digital world you can use them to create digital cards or just save them on your computer for later.

19. Go window shopping. It is fun to ohhh & ahhh over all the gifts that are available even if you can’t buy them. It’s good exercise after all those holiday yummies, too.

20. Build a gingerbread house. Make it during family night or better yet make it a family tradition. It”l be something you can always think of during this time of year and they are fun and inexpensive to create.

21. Fill a penny jar and send the money to your favorite charity. There is nothing like giving to help you feel that you’ve truly celebrated, especially giving to those who truly need it.

22. Visit Santa. You know you’ll find him every where this time of year so make a date to go let your children climb up in his lap and tell them their wishes. If the kids won’t sit on Santa’s lap consider having Santa give them a call – ask a friend for help with this.

23. Write letters to each other. You can use this time of year to write loving letters to each other as your “gifts” helping to show each other how truly special you are.

24. Light the advent candles. During the advent time of year it is a great way to celebrate by lighting the candles each day together.

25. Read the Christmas story together. It is a wonderful way to celebrate and remember what made Christmas possible.

Remember that this season isn’t all about the gifts we get but about the memories we make.

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