Thursday, October 29, 2009
Frugality (Part XIV): Finding Fun Locally
Check out local free options for entertainment! In our small town living, we have had art fairs, film festivals, music in the parks, ethnic fairs, free movies in parks, free bowling in the summer, free movies in theaters on certain days during the summer. An Orthodox church had a Greek festival each year. I mentioned the free art classes that were hosted at our library in my previous post. These were all found in little, non-metropolis type towns. Our town had a local town pride type festival each year, with a parade, art show, free breakfast, dances, face painting, science and art activities, all sorts of things for a family to do. While there are plenty of opportunities to spend money at things like this, you don't have to to have a great time. Even if you do spend money, you can often get a very good deal or buy something very special that can be a reminder of that trip.
Besides those things, there are community centers, park and recreation departments that offer classes and activities for free or very little cost. One theater near us offered black and white oldies on Mondays for $2.00.
Something else to look into is whether any museums in your area offer free days. The glass museum near us had a free day each month, as did a local historical museum, a hands on children's museum and a few others. The local symphony orchestra had some free performances throughout the year. There was a local theater group that had some free performances. Get on the e-mail or mailing lists for these organizations.
One other thing our library did where we lived before was they had free passes to certain museums and amusement parks which you could check out for three weeks just like the books, movies and music. You never know what is available for free or very little, right under your nose. Usually your library, newspaper and parks and rec have websites that you can check for upcoming activities. Your city may have a website with links to local events, or the Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps you have a local historical preservation society that has reenactments of what your town was like when it first began. I forgot to mention that there is a local Hutterite colony which opens itself to tours, lessons and sharing a meal with them. We haven't taken advantage of this yet, but I am thinking of taking the children on a field trip there in the spring or summer. Keeping to a budget does not mean staying home and missing out, unless you choose it.
Make it at Home
Waste Not, Want Not
The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Use What You Have
Storing Bulk Purchases
Turn It Off
Grow Your Own
Buying in Bulk
Entertainment on the Down Low