Friday, February 11, 2011

Frugal Tips-Family Activities

Family activities are another area which can be expensive. We all need to have a little fun and family time in our lives, and it doesn't have to be expensive. Since my injury and being temporarily disabled, we have learned a lot of ways to have inexpensive family-time and fun.
Hiking with friends. 
  • Talk together as a family.
  • Play board games or cards.
  • Have a guest over for dinner and games.
  • Write a blog.
  • Read someone's blog and leave an encouraging comment.
  • Watch animals; yours, neighbors, wild ones.
  • Read a book.
  • Watch free TV shows on-line.
  • Visit a neighbor.
  • Study the Bible.
  • Go to church.
  • Join a women's group. Our women's group has a breakfast meeting monthly, cost is $3.
  • Write a letter.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Help your children with their homework. You never know what you will learn or how close you will become to your kids.
  • Visit the elderly. I visit a 91 year old lady a couple times a week. She has an outrageous sense of humor.
  • Make a phone call to a friend.
  • Borrow movies from the library.
  • Bake cookies from scratch.
  • Play in the snow.
  • If you eat out order the $1 menu or kids meal. 
  • Don't purchase magazines. You can borrow those from your library also.
  • Our community college periodically has free concerts from local musicians. 
  • Find out about free days at the local museums and zoo.
  • Volunteer for local events which allow you free entrance to their shows.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Use a digital camera and see what interesting photos you can take.
  • Have a contest with your family to see who can make the best desert.
  • Family trip to the local feed store to enjoy the new spring chicks and ducks. 
video

With these tips you can have some valuable family time while having fun. 

Simplifying Crafts and Extra Activities

In my quest for a simpler life I've had to look at my crafts and all the other extra activities I take on:  groups I'm wanting to attend, volunteer opportunities and animals. I have to decide how much time I really want to devote to these activities, how much I really enjoy them, and which ones I'm good at.

The volunteer activities were the easiest. I've limited my time with volunteering because I've always been busy with work and family. At present I visit an elderly lady a couple times a week, take her out if we decide to and usually give her a mini-manicure weekly. This doesn't take more than two or three hours a week. I enjoy visiting her and she seems to like my visits.

I also volunteer in our church nursery every eight weeks. I started this because the church had a need and I had "baby fever". It only takes about 1 1/2 hours each time. I like watching the kids but I'm not sure this is something I want to do long term. I will keep this commitment for a year and re-evaluate again in October or November.

Visiting the elderly.

Our town is located in an isolated area in Northern California. The people are very community-oriented and there are many groups to join. I haven't involved myself in many of them because of the time commitment required. Groups I like to attend are: Ladies Bible Study on Thursday Mornings for 1 1/2 hours, mentoring meeting one hour a week on Tuesday mornings, Women's Aglow meeting and lunch 2nd Wednesday of each month for two hours. I enjoy these meetings and feel I am growing in the Lord by attending. I would like to start going to our church's monthly women's breakfast also so I can grow in fellowship with other church members. (If I could just remember when they have it.)

Crafts are a big issue for me. I know many crafts: crocheting, embroidery, latch hook, macrame, an easy type of weaving (I learned from my mother, Not sure of the name), painting on glass and sewing. Others I would like to learn are soap making, candle making and knitting. The problem I have with crafting is I don't have a habit of finishing projects, they can be expensive and time consuming. The only one I can do well is crocheting. I have chosen to finish crafts I have begun and stick to crocheting when I do a craft. Crafts are the one area I have to be more realistic at setting my goals. I can get carried away with all my craft ideas.

As for more animals, we will have to wait. I don't even go to the local shelter to visit. We may get a few chickens in the spring, but we haven't decided yet.

Please visit your local shelter for your next pet. 

Goals this area of my life will consist of:
1) Continuing to volunteer at the same frequency, re-evaluating church nursery in the fall.
2) Continuing with Ladies Bible study, Mentoring (through May) and Women's Aglow.
3) Find out and write down a calendar date for women's breakfast in February.
4) Finish crafts. Work on them 2 or 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time.
5) I won't take on any new craft projects until others are complete. Then limit myself to crocheting.

What are your goals to simplify your activities?
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