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Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner!
If you have a family, especially with kids, you might wonder what fun frugal activities you can do.
I’m sure you have a lot of ideas you can share and have already implemented.
Today, I will share with you what our FAF family does to entertain ourselves and stay on a budget.
Let’s get started!
1. Go for a walk at the mall, retail stores, and grocery stores
We live close to the mall (i.e. Macy’s), a couple of retail stores (i.e. Walmart), and grocery stores (i.e. Wagmans, Shoppers).
On the weekends, we usually go for a walk at those places.
Those places are usually cool in the summer and warm in the winter thanks to the AC, so it’s perfect for when the weather is not so beautiful outside.
Baby FAF loves looking at all the colorful and shiny things.
We also get a workout while having great conversations with each other.
We’re usually very good at not making impulse purchases.
When we forget to buy some grocery items, however, we will get those on these fun trips.
It helps saves gas since we’re grocery shopping and having fun at the same time.
Related: How To Go On Happy Frugal Dates
2. Go for a walk in the community
We love going for a walk in our community. We live in a relatively safe and well-lit neighborhood. After dinner, Mr. FAF and my MIL will go for a short walk to exercise and catch up while I stay at home to feed Baby FAF and do the dishes.
When we have more time on the weekends, however, all of us will take a walk together. It’s usually a 30-minute stroll, but that’s when I feel a strong connection to everyone in our family.
My MIL has gotten close with an older Chinese couple who are also our neighbors. Sometimes we also visit them and have them hang out with us at our home.
These walks help us appreciate our house, our neighbors, and everything that we have been working so hard for in America.
Related: How We Bought Our First Home
3. Go to community events
We live in a townhouse community with an Homeowner Association (HOA). We do pay an HOA fee of $91 for a master insurance plan, exterior maintenance, a community pool, trash pickup, and community activities.
We tend to have a lot more activities in the summer and the spring when the weather is nice outside. I get particularly excited when we have free food at the events.
The food is not technically free since we pay for it through our HOA fee. But it’s still nice to eat out without having to pay out of pocket sometimes. We usually have pizza, fried chicken, wraps, sandwiches, or ice-cream.
I love it when we have potlucks. The HOA will provide the main dishes while community members can bring their own dish. We will cook one dish but be able to try a variety of dishes. It’s also a perfect time for us to catch up with our neighbors and community updates.
4. Grocery shopping
I love going grocery shopping at Costco and Asian grocery stores. I like Costco because they have samples on the weekend. I can try a variety of food such as noodles, chicken, sausages, cake, choose and cookies for free. I guess the cost is included in our membership fee, but it’s still nice not having to pay for those samples.
I grew up in Asian and love a lot of Asian snacks such as dried plums, seasoned seaweed, shrimp chips, and beef jerky. Although I try to not buy snacks to save money (primary reason) and stay healthy (secondary reason), it’s still nice to see all the snacks that I got to try when I was young.
A bag of chips might be delicious, but they can cost $3-4 which I can spend on the real groceries (i.e. meat, veggies) instead. When we go grocery shopping together as a family, we stay in the car for an hour both ways.
During that time, we will just chat and catch up. At the grocery store, we will spread out to get what we need. Overall, it’s still a fun trip for the family.
Nowadays, I stay at home with Baby FAF and cook lunch while Mr. FAF and my MIL do grocery shopping on Saturday morning to save time. But I wouldn’t say no to an opportunity to go together as a family.
5. Fun games at home
After a long day at work, we can simply enjoy staying at home together. Mr. FAF and I still catch up on what we did that day while watching Baby FAF play with his toy. Mr. FAF and I also take turns teaching Baby FAF new words and numbers.
Sometimes the games are just simple like Mr. FAF playing hide and seek with our son. Mr. FAF would hide in different rooms and call Baby FAF’s name.
Baby FAF would get super excited and laugh out loud when he finds out where his dad is hiding. I have lots of fun just watching my husband and our son play together. And the beautiful thing is it doesn’t cost anything.
6. State and national parks
When the weather is nice, we go to state parks. We usually go to the parks in our county since they are free, which is also convenient since we don’t need to go somewhere far.
We get to enjoy fresh air, beautiful scenery, and a great hike. We also take a lot of pictures for memories. We usually eat before we go on those trips and bring snacks and water in order to save money.
7. Free museums
We haven’t actually gone to any museums after Baby FAF came back to DC from China. But Mr. FAF and I have checked out a couple of free museums in DC. DC is a great place for free tourist attractions and free activities.
We barely scratch the surface, but it’s also exciting to know that there’s a lot to explore right in the city where we live.
When Baby FAF is older and when we have saved up enough money, we would love to take him and our future children to Disneyland. However, it will most likely be a one-off trip, something we won’t be able to do on a regular basis given the price.
In the meantime, we will try to explore and enjoy the fun and free family activities mentioned above. Fun can cost a lot of money, but we can also have it at no cost to us and our family.