Yup. Sure is. And for me, as with everything else, it becomes a part time job and a full time adventure. I am the type that thoroughly – and I mean thoroughly, researches every endeavor for my kids. From ratio of camp counselors, to time for breaks and lunches, to exact camp agendas, and of course are scholarships available – I check out everything. I’ve had many parents ask me how I begin research to find the best places for my child to spend their time during the summer.
1) I check out places I like to visit with the kids. I find out if there is a summer camp available. Then I look into whether they offer a scholarship/financial help. After all, camps typically run $200 or more per week, and that ain’t cheap.
2) I google areas of my boys’ interests. My oldest is into science (especially Magic School Bus). My little guy loves art and soccer. So I see what camps focus on those areas.
3) My local rec centers are places to look. They could offer great activities for the boys – and a reprieve for me – for about half of the price of ritzier locales. And they still have fun.
4) Vacation Bible School, anyone? VBS is one of the best ways for the boys to get a great learning week of fun! We are blessed to have a number of great churches holding VBS sessions in our area. And the cost is minimal – if any! A win-win for all of us.
I then reference, cross-reference and triple check dates. Parents, start your engines. Let the sign ups begin!
I told you Monday about how we got into the circus for the low low. Now I’ll tell you how I kept quiet a couple of little boys who eat for sport … and want everything in sight.
– Feed them – good – before we go inside. And I don’t mean in the food court of the venue, where prices are sky high. We stroll past Chick Fil A or another restaurant where it’s food they like, they can fill up, and it doesn’t break the bank.
– Strike up a deal, almost immediately. Their eyes will glaze over at the toys and gadgets they could buy. Then hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza, oh my! I scope out the prices and find something they can both SHARE. Don’t you want Popcorn? Bingo. Redirected.
– Bring in a few goodies of your own, if you can. A snack pack of cheezits or something similar can go a long way after the salt and butter of the popcorn have worn off.
– Eat slowly. Doesn’t always work, but I try to slow them down.
– Give them something to look forward to. No, I’m not going to buy any other items (gotta stick to my budget). But when we get home we’ll have a special snack and talk about our fun time.
My tricks don’t always work, but use a few together … and you’ve got a winner.
Yep, I did it my way. I took my princes to see the circus the only way I know how – economically. Let me give you a few tricks of the trade to save money on ticketed events.
– Always google the word “discounts” or “coupons” with whatever event you’re going to. In this case I searched for “circus discounts” and found out about an awesome program at the local library. Read 5 books, get a free child’s ticket with an adult purchase. Bam.
– Sign up online to receive emails from the company. I’ve done this several times and gotten great details re: early sales, ways to save, etc. I signed up for the birthday club from Legoland and got free entry for each boy during his birthday month.
– Facebook. I sign up for the company’s facebook page, and tap into some of my “frugal” networks to see what deals they’ve unearthed. Our local paper also has a column on seeing Atlanta cheap. I stay on top of that.
– Check out all of the savings websites. Groupon, ScoreBig, Living Social and Goldstar are just a few. I scour these sites to compare which deal is the best.
We loved gaining admission, paying less than normal.
Coming soon … how I saved money once we got inside.