I look at frugality as a series of scaling down. You don't have to go from spendthrift to tightwad in one fell swoop.
Identify where you are, and experiment with doing one level less.
Take your typical Friday movie night:
- Watch a DVD with takeout instead of dinner and the theater.
- Substitute a frozen pizza and ice cream; try Netflix.
- Use a premade dough with your own pizza toppings; watch a movie from the library.
- Try making your own pizza from scratch; make a family movie for the grandparents.
Or do as we've done, and move Movie Night to Monday.
Amy of Momadvice tipped me off to Redbox's Free Movie Mondays, and I consider it a very frugal way to make these winter Mondays, Fun Days.
Have a better idea? Ann Kroeker wants your simple ideas for Monday fun at her blog.
Meredith, I'd be extreeeeemly reluctant to give my cell phone number to anyone I don't know.
Thank you so much for the mention, Meredith. Vicky- if you don't want to relinquish your cell number, I promise to post the codes on my site as soon as I get them. These typically come to my phone at 10 AM on Mondays and I try to publish this before I pick my son up from school. Not everyone has text messaging services or they are afraid to relinquish that number. Just check on Monday mornings and I will publish what comes to my phone. I hope that helps!
Great idea for switching your family night to Monday. That is really smart to do especially coinciding it with your free rental. VERY smart!
We are big on family nights over here too. We do the pizza and rent a library movie. It works out really well for us and the kids look forward to it just as much (if not more) than Ryan and I do.
That's one reason I linked to Amy! I have been getting the code from her on Mondays, too.
Of course, Redbox rentals only cost 99-cents to begin with, but we find that the selection at our box is much better on Mondays than on Fridays, too.
We love movies here too, & usually get them from the library, or watch one of our own that hasn't been played in a while...along with my husband's made-on-the-stove popcorn, we consider ourselves pretty well set for fun, no matter the night of the week!
Our kids also like charades, & this one game has resulted in some memorable hilarity for all. Frankly, it's insane sometimes, & we love it!
We enjoy puzzles as well in the colder months, & these are done on a board that can be slipped under the sofa when we take a break from it. Some people use a roll-up felt thingy to do this.
Also, don't forget games that stretch the mind, especially as the kids grow older. Scrabble, Boggle, & card games like Cribbage or Hearts are some favorites around here.
Looking forward to reading other commenters ideas!
Hi Meredith, I almost cried (which isn't unusual since I'm in my 3rd trimester of baby #2!) when I saw you left me a post on my brand new blog. Thank you for the offer to answer questions about getting started. I am sure I will have some!
I love the progression to greater frugality--what a great vision for people who are moving in that direction, but can't change overnight.
And of course I love the simple, fun idea--plus the others that are rolling in via your comments. I love the charades recommendation above, and the puzzle suggestion. Sliding it under the couch is a great storage solution, too.
Thanks for participating in Monday FunDay--I hope every family enjoys more laughter and memories this week as a result of these ideas!
I found two books at a garage sale a year or so ago called "We Had Everything But Money" and "When Families Made Memories Together" and I have just loved reading them. They are printed by Reminisce Books. It is many many stories of what families did in the 30's and 40's when times were so lean...I fear we have some 'hard times' ahead as a country and that we would all do well to pull together and work together like people did in the past.
Thanks for the wonderful blog. As always it is great.
Monday nights are busy nights in this house. Gavin has cub scout meetings...Roxie
We've always been the pizza from scratch, movie from the library, and stove-popped popcorn type family.
Now that we're nearly empty-nesters, the library movies may be accompanied by some fancier, yet still frugal, foods. Opening that bottle of wine we received as a gift, homemade bruschetta, homemade hummus, etc.
You can have free movie night through Redbox anytime! Here is a website that we use: http://www.insideredbox.com/index.php/codes
We haven't seen so many new releases is our lives!
We find that these codes are hit or miss at our Redbox. However, the Monday codes have worked each time!
Thanks for the tip! I was shocked to find we do have a redbox, but with our weekly library trips and our $5 a month netflix plan, we are set on movies.
Tightwad Gazette has the easiest pizza dough recipe, and making it is half the fun!
Yesterday our fun was building a snow family (photos on my blog). My daughter and I had a blast with that.
Thanks for the tip. We've given up on library movies because they are always in such bad shape that they end up not working half way through, the kids cry, and its totally miserable.
I agree about the other Redbox codes. I felt bad one time I went because I had written down six or seven codes and none of them worked. I have had great success with the Monday codes, but don't really trust the other codes. I hate to hold up the line, but I will try some of them if there is no one behind me.
After reading your ideas about creating a movie for the grandparents (which is a perfect idea) I thought that you may be interested in what GardenState life insurance has just started. Make a video of your little on reciting the end of a proverb (kind of like "Kids say the Darndest things") with the change to win a savings bond or money- which I would put towards their education. Take a look here:
Looks like fun- I can't wait to show off my kids!
Thanks for the Redbox info.
I put a link to your blog on my last post.
Ok. So color me stupid, but I couldn't figure out how to use the promo code when I went to get my DVD so I finally just paid for it. After checking the website, I found out that you have to indicate at the onset that you're using a code. I just thought I'd share that in case there are any others who are slow on the uptake.
Honestly, when it comes to pizza I find it cheaper to use the store bought freezer pizza than make it myself. Unless I"m trying got make it healthier I don't bother making it from scratch. BUt then, I buy it when they're on sale for $1-2 per pizza and then save it for a special occasion.
Anonymous 9:49, is that book you mentioned having picked up at a rummage sale written by Sam Levenson? If so, I'm thinking I have the same one, & it sure was a good read. Lots of funny, as well as touching, anecdotes!
You're right, Carrien. Frozen pizza--even good frozen pizza--is often cheaper at the store, especially if you have to buy lots of packaged toppings for home use.
To make pizza the way we like it, with whole wheat crust and such, it's still a little cheaper to make at home.
Plus, making the pizza is kid entertainment!
I rarely rent/buy movies anymore ~ borrow them from the library! Love Benjamin Franklin and his idea for libraries...generations have been blessed richly by his ingenuity! :-) Thanks for all of your wonderful frugal ideas...so practical and inspiring!
I love that you shared this line of thinking...I've been thinking about how to gradually "step down" into a more frugal way of doing things too lately. Must be something in the air?!
As I was cleaning my bathroom today, I thought of you (wait...not sure that came out right). I wrote a post today about "green and frugal cleaning" today. It seems to go along with this idea of making small changes to be more frugal. Stop by if you'd like.
And thanks for the Free Movie Monday Night info. I'll have to get signed up for that one!
-Daiquiri @ Call Her Blessed
Brilliant doing a step-down like that. We tend to do dinner and a movie out at the theatre with friends once a month. We also went to dinner and a movie for Valentines Day.
Perhaps we could invite the friends over to watch a movie and I'll cook up pizzas (love it!) and dessert(love baking!).
What do you like to put on your pizzas at home?
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