This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
Entertainment is one of those things that can quickly eat up your budget if you aren’t careful. With three small kids in the house, we are always looking for inexpensive ways to have fun, but still save money.
We made a choice a long time ago to give up cable and any other unnecessary expenses in an effort to live frugally. Over the years, I’ve come across lots of creative ideas, so I thought it would be fun to share my favorites. I’d also love to hear any out-of-the-box ways you save on family fun!
TV, Movies & Internet
Use free codes for Blockbuster Express and Redbox Movie Rentals
There are frequently free movie codes available for the movie kiosks, so take advantage of these offers for a fun free movie night!
Consider a streaming device such as Roku or Apple TV
We cancelled cable long ago. Rather than paying large monthly bill, we invested in a Roku and we can stream lots of content for free. You could also opt for a Netflix or Hulu subscription, both of which are much less than cable, but still have lots of up to date shows. (We are currently enjoying all the episodes of Warehouse 13 for free and didn’t have to get cable to see it!)
Add an HD Antenna
Concerned about not getting local channels or the news? A simple HD antenna can normally pick up 3-15 local stations. For less than the cost of one month of cable, you can get free stations forever!
Call your cable/internet provider for a promotional rate.
We can do just fine without cable, but not internet… Did you know you can often get your bill reduced just by calling the cable company every 6-12 months and requesting a promotional rate? Try chat help if you feel uncomfortable asking for a discount on the phone. You may shave up to 30% off your bill.
One caution: They may try to sign you up for a contract to get a special rate which I always politely decline in favor of a contract-free promotion. That way I have the option to change my mind if circumstances change.
Host a Family Board Game Night
Pop some free (after coupons) popcorn and gather around your favorite board games. We often see huge promotions and coupons for board games around holidays, so grab a few at a discount and enjoy some quality time together. Our favorite board games are Chutes & Ladders, Scrabble and Monopoly!
Free Museum and Park Days
Free Activities around Town
Several retailers including Michael’s Crafts, Lego Store, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Disney Store offer free family events weekly or monthly. Check their event calendars and RSVP for any that interest you. It’s a great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday and encourage creativity with the kids! (There are several free events happening this weekend for Valentine’s Day).