Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fun on a Budget Friday Tuesday Edition

Happy Tuesday rockers! Last time I promised that I would talk about ways we save money when we take our little rockers in training with us on our adventures. These are the trips that take a little more planning. Usually, us adults can go without a thing or two throughout a day, but I know (mom of three here) that's not always the case with the kids. Alright, we've already established ways to get free tickets. We've also covered a few simple ways to keep your day or night out reasonably cheap. Remember, the old tips still apply here, we're just dealing with a few extra needs. The packing list: Sweaters, because even in August it can get chilly at night. We also use them to sit on when we have lawn seats since we aren't always allowed to bring in a blanket (Thanks, Ozzy). Ear plugs, because hello, they're children and I'd like them to keep their hearing for as long as possible. Rocker in Training cards. These are just cards I print up ahead of time with every adults phone number on them, just in case we get separated. Luckily, we've never needed them, but all the kids know that if we do get separated, they are to find a security guard and hand them the piece of paper to call us. I list every one's number because you never know who will have cell service. Also, these little cards are small enough to slip into their shoes if they don't have any pockets. Mom's purse list: I don't normally carry a purse at all, but concert days are where I make an exception. I use a small backpack type purse so my hands are free at all times to hold precious little hands. Usually I keep a few band aids, Tylenol, sun block, bug repellent, hand sanitizer, glow sticks and a deck of cards. The glow sticks are great because I can keep track of the kids in the dark and they have something to play with. It's also cheaper to buy a pack at the dollar store instead of paying up to five bucks each at the event. The deck of cards also keeps them busy in between bands. MOM I'M HUUUNGRY!! Yeah, you've been there, right? Remember to plan on bringing snacks for the road to avoid the drive through. Some standards for us are popped popcorn, crackers, dry cereal, cookies and breads from Baking Day, and some fruit. Don't run out and buy $40 extra dollars worth of junk when you probably have some things that will do for the day. About the only thing extra we buy are water bottles, which we hang onto for inside the venue and on the way home. As far as a drink for the road, we just fill reusable bottles from home with water, tea, or even Kool aid. If we have them, we'll freeze juice boxes too. If we need to, I'll also make some sandwiches for a tail gate lunch before we head inside. MOM I'M STIIILLL HUUUNGRY!! Once you're inside the event there is no going back. Always check beforehand to see what they will allow you to bring in. I can't stress this one enough. Rules will vary, but I always pack each person a one gallon baggie of allowed snacks. Then, all of those baggies go into one of those extra extra large Ziplock bags. Everything that isn't factory sealed must be viewable, so these bags are great. I stay away from perishables since ice chests are a no no most of the time anyway. Usually we all get a PB&J sandwich, some jerky or a beef stick, some cheesy sandwich crackers, cookies or breads, hard candies and as many bottles of water that the place allows. In the past we've also taken shelf stable dips in plastic containers (the kind that you don't need to refrigerate until after opening) with chips and crackers. Why do we go through all of the trouble of packing and lugging all of this stuff with us? Because for a family of five, at one of these shows, we would be spending at least $40 for one meal and one bottle of water for each of us. At an all-day festival that amount could easily triple. Sure, we usually will break down and get the kids an order of garlic fries or nachos to share, and sometimes even a slushy, but we always determine our budget ahead of time and stick to it. The money we save allows us to see more shows! Please don't think we eat like this daily. We generally eat pretty healthy, but concert days are a special treat, and if eating beef jerky for dinner allows us the chance to have some family mosh time, we're OK with that. There's a couple extras that I almost forgot. Save all those outer baggies if they don't get too mangled. We've been using the same ones for two seasons. Not the small ones that had the actual sandwiches in them, but the ones that carried those baggies. Also, freeze some water bottles and keep them in a small cooler in the car along with a few extra snacks for on the way home...just in case you hear MOM, I'M HUNGRY (again) before they pass out in the back seat. Finally, remember a couple blankets and pillows for when that time comes :) Until next time, rock on my friends!

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