Packing up the gear and getting the crew in the minivan is a feat in and of itself, but when you throw in the daunting prices that come with a day of family fun, going out starts to feel like an insurmountable task. Well take heart, Krazy Mamas: these simple tips will help you find a fun and frugal way to spend time with the ones you love.
1. Get discounted museum tickets
Does your brood love the arts? Monet's Water Lilies may be priceless, but the price tag on admission to museum art exhibits will cost you a pretty penny. Sure, some museums offer a free entrance day and that's a great way to save some green, but what about the rest of the week? Use magazine subscriptions to receive discounted ticket prices at affiliated museums. Subscribers to The Smithsonian and National Geographic magazines can save up to 30% on the ticket price of museum exhibits just by showing their magazine membership. Purchase magazine subscriptions at a discount from DiscountMags.com and use the coupon code KRAZY to receive 20% off your subscription.
2. Know which restaurants have a “kids eat free” incentive
If you've dined with a toddler, you're familiar with their finicky appetite. I love encouraging my kids to try new foods when we eat out, but paying for fare that ends up uneaten is a sure-fire way to dampen my day. How does this mama get her grub on while out and about? I never pay for a kid's meal. Most fast food chains and restaurants offer a "kids eat free" incentive with the purchase of an adult meal. Even major retail stores like Ikea offer free kids meals at their in-store cafeteria. And remember, coupon stacking isn't just for grocery stores! You can save even more by using coupons on the purchase of the adult meals.
- Check out A Comprehensive Guide to Kids Eat Free Restaurants for ways to save!
3. Save money on ticketed events
Taking the family to see the latest Broadway show doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Save money on ticketed events by purchasing tickets from social media resale pages or Craig's List. Feeling lucky? Many theaters and opera houses will give away unclaimed "will call" seats once the show has started. If you know your clan will attend shows throughout the year, you can save big by purchasing a membership to receive free show tickets through companies like Seat Stir or Fill a Seat.
4. Take advantage of group discounts
There may be strength in numbers, but there are also savings too. Organize a friends and family outing to attend venues that offer group discounts. Groups of 10 or more often qualify for discounted tickets at local parks, zoos, museums and amusement parks. Make arrangements to carpool to save even more on gas and parking expenses.
5. Prepare snacks
Saving money on the go is 90% preparation, 10% perspiration. Keep a well-stocked snack arsenal in your car or diaper bag to stave off any spontaneous hunger pangs. Make sure to include snacks that are a special treat to keep little ones happy and distracted from pricier fare at the concession stands. Tackle boxes make for a compact and entertaining way for little hands to find their favorite nosh.
Does your family love seeing stars? Attend free events like a TV show recording instead of paying for a day at the movies, or save movie dates for special event showings at deeply discounted prices. National movie theater chains like Studio Movie Grill hosts free movie events for families with special needs children and also offers $3 ticket days for their Film Series events.
A Krazy Coupon Lady knows that saving money doesn't mean sacrificing fun. With these money-saving tips in your pocket, your family can enjoy spending time together exploring new sights, and your wallet can sit back and relax.
This is a guest post by Vanessa B.