Fun And Frugal Themes For The New Year

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Saving money doesn’t have to be drudgery.  Adopt a frugal theme for 2012, and have fun with your family at the same time!  The best theme for you may depend on your family composition, the age of your kids, your skills and motivation, or the amount of time you have available.  These suggestions are a great way to develop your hobbies.

  1. Cooking at home.  Expand your recipe repertoire while treating your family to some great meals! Get some fun cookware or bakeware and some colorful containers to store, serve or take your creations to events.  You can find endless recipes to try online.  Write reviews of your own recipe trials.
  2. Frugal fitness for the whole family.  Walking, biking, hiking, and area swimming.  Do a different activity every weekend! 
  3. Whee read!   Library book challenge: inspire family members to read an age-appropriate book every week.  Keep track of the books read.
  4. Garage saling for savings and sport.  Budget friendly buys of clothing and household items while teaching your kids the value of a dollar. 
  5. Sew much fun!   Textile style for clothing and the home using and developing your skills in sewing, crocheting, etc.  Especially fun if you have daughters.
  6. Budding artist.  Creative, inexpensive times with kids: play dough, markers, collages, painting.  Kids love spending time with you doing creative activities.  Save some of the pictures that you create together and hang them up!
  7. Bulking up with a can-do attitude.  Buy all staple items in bulk instead of individual cans.  Can and freeze fruits and vegetables such as peaches, blueberries and corn when in season for great savings.  Keep a tally of all your canning and freezing so you know how much to do in future seasons.
  8. You-nique gifting.  Make only homemade gifts for a year based on your own skillset: scrapbooks, knitted items, homemade quilts, etc.   Take pictures of your projects before giving them away.
  9. Social Saver.  Who’s coming to dinner?  Have potlucks, game nights, kid play dates or just invite people over for dinner instead of going out.
  10. Road-tripping.  Take your family to a unique area within driving distance for a fun and frugal vacation.  Schedule educational activities like museum visits, visiting national parks and going to fun regional attractions.  Make a special scrapbook to chronicle your trips.

Now, here is the hard part.  Try to pick only one theme to focus on for the upcoming year.  You may do the others but to a lesser extent.  For example, you don’t want to invest in a bunch of canning equipment if you only can 6 pints in an entire year.  And you don’t want to buy a bunch of crocheting supplies if you won’t even finish the first scarf.  Keep it simple, pick one theme and have fun with it.

Have a great 2012!

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