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7 ways to make memories when you are low on cash

I have always been frugal. I was the kid who would get birthday money and hoard it until I could buy something big. And even then, I would plan out how to stretch my money the best way possible so I could find the best deal or purchase the most items….. I guess you could say I was kind of a precocious child. 🙂

bonnie & Carole (2)

But now that I am a single mom who sometimes runs low on funds, I have found that I sometimes need to be creative on ways to connect with the kid. I much prefer to make memories over purchasing items. Here are a few ways that I have recently spent quality time with the kiddo without spending any money…. well, minus the gas to get us places.

  1. Reading! As a teacher, this is one of the most important things you could ever do with a child to help them determine their success in a classroom. Reading introduces them to the outside world, new vocabulary, and makes them use their imaginations. We read every night, curled up in bed. We read picture books and I read him a chapter book that we have selected. This is a cozy, happy, time for us where we just enjoy being together. 
  2. Using the library to get free museum passes. Here we are at a local art museum. We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed the great outdoors. Kids are able to paint for free. My library also has passes to children’s museums, nature centers, and historic locations that are local and all for free!
  3. Lowe’s Build and Grow clinics or Home Depot. I have talked about this here before, but this is something that we ADORE. The boyfriend goes with him and they get some guy time in as well, which is nice.
  4. Hiking. This is one that I have always done with the little. But I want to look into more now that he is stronger and won’t give up halfway and make me carry him.
  5. Great Playground Hunt. Pretty much within five to ten minutes of our house we have at least twenty play grounds. So we made a list and check them off as we visit each one. We get to enjoy the great outdoors and the kiddo burns energy.
  6. Local farms. We are blessed with an abundant amount of local farms around here. Whether they sell plants or you can visit with the animals, they are always a worth while trip. These visits are chock-full of new information and sites and experiences. I have found that a lot of the farmer’s are more than happy to give you a tour, answer questions, or let your adorable kid feel or pet animals. 
  7. Farmer’s Markets. In my small New England town, farmer’s markets are one of the best play dates for kids. We have both indoor and outdoor farmer’s markets. The indoor one that is my favorite generally sets up a free activity for children to do. There are games, they get to learn about growing food, and the experience of petting lots of dogs. Plus. they can run around with their friends and you can enjoy a super yummy coffee or baked good. Win for all!

Honestly, I could go on with many more ideas, but these are just a few that we have used on our quest to be out and about without spending loads of money! What is something that you love to do that is cheap for yourself or with your kids? I’d love to hear!

xo, Justine


14 thoughts on “7 ways to make memories when you are low on cash

  1. This is a nice list,and your kid is adorable. I like going down to the beach early in the morning for some alone time,or have a potluck party with friends. I have made some nice memories from this. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Those Lowes and Home depot clinics are always so much fun! We havent been in awhile.. thanks for reminding me!


  3. Love all of this! I am so there with you on being one of those kids 🙂 I’ll never forget my 18th birthday when my parents took me out to dinner at a local restaurant/casino and our family friends kept giving me $5 to put in the machines. I hoarded them all and didn’t see the point of taking the gamble…lol


  4. We get museum passes from the library all the time, and we love being outside which is a pretty cheap date. Great tips.


  5. Good suggestions. I would not have thought about the clinics at Lowe’s and Michael’s and places like that. Good reminder.


  6. Great ideas. We love reading and hiking – I have a carrier for my youngest which makes things lots easier (but they’re expensive!)


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