Stay at Home Entertainment Leads to Savings

Getting out for good times are some of the most enjoyable social activities shared by families, bringing parents together with their children at restaurants and other venues.  Unfortunately, the tally of a night out together climbs quickly when the amount of money mom and dad spend on dinner and recreation is multiplied by each family member. So while they serve valuable roles for bonding families and allowing each member to blow off steam, social engagements can have significant negative impacts on family budgets.

The key to managing family entertainment and recreation spending is to strike a reasonable balance between the costly entertainment sought outside the home, and the relatively inexpensive versions of entertainment which families engage in without leaving the house.

Family Meals at Home save on Restaurant Expenses

Going out to eat is a good time for moms and dads, as well as kids.  But when the bill comes, only the parents reach for money to pay it.  As a result, feeding the whole family in restaurants can quickly get expensive for the family’s bread winners.  In order to keep expenses in line without sacrificing family bonding time, frugal moms and dads change things up with meals at home, rather than paying high restaurant prices all the time.

Fun dinners close to home need not be pedestrian.  In fact, themed dinners featuring inventive cuisine can be more adventurous than going out to restaurants.  Pizza night, for example, enables each family member to contribute to his or her meal by adding custom toppings to pizzas.  Young kids appreciate the experience, which is within their culinary grasp, yet the exercise is still fun for older kids who are developing their own palettes. Stir-fry meals furnish additional distractions, showcasing fresh vegetables and other stir-fried favorites. Young family members learn their vegetables at the same time as older kids practice knife skills and food handling techniques.  Another regional favorite is taco night, highlighting Mexican and South American cuisine at home.  Simple tacos or enchiladas are easy to make and have widespread appeal throughout the family.

Just because you are stepping-up to the range to prepare dinner at home doesn’t mean it must consist of ordinary ingredients.  As long as you know how to cook them, there is nothing wrong with incorporating gourmet fare in homespun family meals.  The cost of scallops, lobster, shrimp and other high-end ingredients is significantly lower when you do the cooking yourself, as opposed to paying inflated restaurant prices.

Sports Night at Home

Sporting events furnish prime rallying points for families sharing good times at home.  Low-budget gatherings built around televised games and matches keep the family close and provide opportunities to invite your kids’ friends to the house socially.  Cheap meals and snacks, prepared at home, are the perfect compliments to sports gatherings, which always have room for food and drink.

Hobbies keep Families Close

Shared hobbies keep families close, furnishing common ground for family members of various ages to bond over.  In addition to sharing tools and hobby gear, parents save money on lessons, by passing their hobby knowledge to kids first hand.  To make the most of homespun family interests, consider forming a club to meet regularly at your home.  Aside from materials required for your hobby, home-inspired pastimes don’t carry significant costs.

Playing music is another popular tradition in some parts of the country, prompting families to stay home with one another, perfecting their musical expressions.  Family bands give members another language to share with one another, without adding entertainment costs beyond the price of instruments.  Even listening to music can be a shared experience for the entire family.

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