Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun On A Budget Friday 4/16/10

Happy Friday! We all need a little fun from time to time, right? Friday seems like the perfect time to talk about fun. So, how in the heck can you afford to have fun when you're living paycheck to paycheck? Let me throw in my two cents! Last week we talked about ways to get you to events for free. Since we all know that getting your tickets is only the first step, what about the rest of the trip? Tip number one: Car pool! If we have a group of people going with us, we always, always try to squeeze into as few cars as legally possible. That way the cost of gas and parking fees can be divided up accordingly. We usually save up our recycling money for part of our "concert fund" throughout the year. Then, I'll toss in any rebate or survey money I earn and before we know it, we've got a few tanks of gas saved up and ready for the next adventure! Tip number two: Try to avoid the drive through. Chances are you'll know about your upcoming outing for a while before you're leaving. (This doesn't always happen in my world, but I'll talk more about spontaneous adventures later). Plan on packing your meals, drinks and snacks for the road. Also, call ahead to find out what you are allowed to bring into the venue. This will limit your trips to the over priced concession stands. I have a concert coming up in a few weeks that I'll use as an example. I already have the tickets. I've got the recycling ready to cash in this weekend for gas and parking. This is an indoor show, and I've called the arena to find out what foods and drinks we can bring in. Nothing. Oh lovely joy! That's alright, we've been down this road before. I'm making ice and storing it in empty bread bags that I've saved so we can pack a small ice chest. I don't like taking perishables, but cold drinks are always nice. If we have soda, I'll pack it. If not, I'll make some iced tea. We'll fill a couple Big Gulp cups we've saved for the road and pack extra in an empty water jug. Chances are, I'll throw in a few beers for the guys. Don't forget to pick your sober driver ahead of time!! For snacks, I'll pop some popcorn, bag up some cookies from Baking Day, and throw in whatever nuts or crackers are in the pantry. This is an evening show, so I'm expecting that we'll eat dinner before we leave, but if all hell breaks loose, plan B is to heat up a couple homemade hot pockets to eat on the road. The only thing we should have to buy inside the arena will be a beverage. The main point I'm trying to make is that it won't cost us a fortune to have a great time. I won't blow the household budget because I've planned ahead. I won't blow the grocery budget, either, because I'll shop at home first, and make do with what we already have. It won't be fancy, but it's rock and doesn't have to be. This is an easy trip because the kids aren't coming. Next week, I'll talk about how we roll when we have our little rockers in training with us. Until next time, rock on my friends!

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