One of the most frugal fun things the boys in the family love to do is go camping. My daughter and me, not so much. :) Last year began a tradition where my husband took the boys and their friends to the local lake in our community. They pitched camp and enjoyed 'roughing' it for a couple of days. The cost for the camping spot was I believe 7.00. They took all their food and gear and had a great time! They were only about five minutes from our home but they felt like they were worlds away.
We all love to go to the movies but for a family of six the cost is what some of you pay for a weeks worth of groceries. We usually go to the movies when a good, clean, moral movie comes out around the holidays. I have taken the children to the local dollar movie and we always bring our own snacks.
This summer we had planned to take a big vacation. We have not done so in seven years. I had been planning how we could travel through Tennessee and points East. We were getting very excited about the trip and then gas prices shot through the roof. Somehow traveling across this great nation paying up to or more than 4.00 per gallon for gas does not sound entirely frugal. I think we will go to plan 'b' just in case. I can't bear to spend that money on gas, even if it is for a family vacation. I am not complaining, we have made our choices to "live like no one else so we can live like no one else" in the future (credit to Dave Ramsey for that quote). Family travel would be great, but not if it has to be paid for by credit card.
We enjoy our times with each other and some evenings just sitting in front of the television watching an old John Wayne movie and popping popcorn the old fashioned way. We also have a great time each season when American Idol is on or Dancing with the Stars.
We hope to spend more time outdoors this summer with the purchase last year of our brand new grill and glider swing that we found at an estate sale in our neighborhood, plus we bought a chimenea or outdoor firepit so that we can enjoy the night. We love to watch our boys play basketball on our large patio and that in itself is worth an invite to our place! They are VERY competitive.
I think the world puts so much emphasis on what we as families choose to do on our down time. I know our down time is few and far between, but when we are all free and able to relax it is not about going to the beach or heading to Disney that makes our family time more special or unique....it is the time spent laughing, sharing, and caring about one another that makes the memories special. Renting a cabin in a small mountain town is the ideal vacation for our family. As long as we have running water and can cook it is all good!
As our teenagers get older they have their own ideas about how they want to spend their summers and down time. One thing is for sure they have learned that being frugal is not about denying oneself pleasure or fun but choosing peace of mind over frivilous expenditures. Now I expect not everyone who reads this blog feels the same way and that is okay. I just know for our little family sweet times can be had at home, at our friends home in Dallas, at the lake, beside a mountain stream, and even at our beautiful local park.
I believe fun is 10% activity and 90% attitude.
Kinda my own take on Chuck Swindoll's quote about attitude, ""The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me is more important than the facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company. a church. a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes!"
- Charles Swindoll,Insight For Living http://www.insight.org/.
This is the season where people are gearing up for trips and vacations. I am heading to Texas with my daughter so she can see two of her dear friends for the weekend. I am looking forward to the trip and hope to hit the grocery stores there for some great deals too!
For more frugal ideas head over to Biblical Womanhood.