We love holidays in our house, and we celebrate pretty much all of them! I love to get my girls little gifts and cards, but when you have limited space and a limited budget, those little gifts add up quickly.

Research shows consumers are projected to spend more than four billion dollars on St. Patrick's Day this year. Here's how we’re celebrating the holiday, and with a little “luck o'the Irish” we can save some money too.

Frugal Food

We grew up eating corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, but have you seen the cost of beef lately? Yikes! There's nothing celebratory about that price tag!

However, if you can score a good price on it—you can follow these easy directions for cooking your corned beef. If you’re looking for an even more frugal spin on the classic dish try these cabbage rolls! With just a little ground beef (I use more rice and less ground beef to stretch the recipe), you can have a cabbage-themed meal that's a bit cheaper.

Everyone likes to dye their food green on St. Patrick's Day, and this is a cheap way to liven up food you’re already serving. Scrambled eggs, Sprite and milk are easy and fast ways to add some green to your table. You might have soda, cake mix or cookie dough in your stockpile, and you can find sprinkles or green candy at the dollar store. If you've enjoyed McDonald's Shamrock Shake in the past, you can now recreate it at home for cheap with this recipe.

Free Activities Online

Kids love holidays, and they love crafts that make it feel special. However, this doesn't have to cost money—there are plenty of awesome freebies online for celebrating St. Patrick's Day!

Here are a few:

  • St. Patrick's Day Printable coloring sheets (these are pretty basic, but they’re great to keep the kids happy and busy).
  • This one is a super-cute printable game board that uses the alphabet and holiday-themed images (appropriate for first or second graders).
  • Disney Family has a massive list of projects for kids including cards, printable coloring sheets and Mickey and Minnie St. Patrick's Day ears.
  • There are lots of activities for ages 2 through 6 here—including worksheets, as well as the history behind the holiday.
  • Crayola has coloring sheets that have thicker lines for the younger kids.
  • If you're a homeschooling family, check out these educational worksheets, including "shamrock math" and other full-color offerings.
  • It's a tradition in some areas for kids to make cardboard or paper "Leprachaun traps," and there are tons of ideas on Pinterest.
  • Our local library and bookstore were each offering St. Patrick's Day story times and crafts for free. Check with your local library for St. Patrick’s Day entertainment.

Out and About

Did you know that St. Patrick's Day is a great day to score deals at restaurants and bars? If you're feeling brave enough to withstand the crowds, many restaurants offer half price appetizers or entrees.

I found tons of examples of these great prices on LivingSocial:

These are just some of the deals offered. I saw tons on Groupons near Portland, Oregon with prices slashed more than 50% for most events! No matter how you choose to celebrate—by using these tips you’ll be sure to keep your wallet full of green!

This is a post from Grace A. in Medford, Oregon. 

Frugal Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day