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Posts tagged with: free entertainment

Time for some New Entertainment

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One of the ways we have saved the most money over the last few years is by completely cutting out entertainment costs. We were once a movie going, popcorn loving, amusement park addicted, dessert having family.

Now movies are a true treat as they don’t happen very often at all. And we no longer live within a few miles of Busch Gardens and Water Country. (Some of you will remember my off the cuff splurge on Universal passes when we first moved to Georgia, thinking, we could easily traipse down to Florida for some fun. I think we did that twice.)

We have also cut down eating out…and ordering any extras when we do eat out. So yeah, our regular entertainment budget is pretty much $0 all the time. And I don’t think we miss it much, I know I don’t. The kids are at an age and maturity that they would prefer to hang out with friends or be on their phones to the fun adventures that I used to plan on a regular basis.

BUT…Quality Time is Still Important

We do still have regular family nights or days or hours. It’s important to me that we spend some quality time together at least once a week. Lots of times this involves visiting a free Saturday night concerts downtown, going to the library (I’m so grateful that all my kids are avid readers) or most often, playing a board game or doing a puzzle at home.

board games

Our current collection of board games. The buckets have card games, puzzles and more small games in them.

I’m also excited to start exploring some of the many mountainous park areas around here. I have recently been given a tour of some “local only” areas. And they are gorgeous! Can’t wait to take the kids and have picnics or just let the dogs roam a bit.

However, until it cools off a bit more, I am not interested in any outdoor activities. This high 90s every day is killing me! (And I had to see my electric bill, ugh!) This is why I’m here today…

Our currently collection of games are getting stale. And with only 3 people now, some of them just aren’t as fun to play anymore. Our go to games over the last year or so have been Ticket to Ride, Catan and some card games like Uno. But we need some new ones! Desperately.

So BAD community, tell me your favorite board games. We prefer strategy type games to anything else. And don’t mind some of the “mature” themes since the kids at home are older and mature. Hit me with your best recommendations in the comments. And if you have other “free” entertainment that your family loves, tell me about it.

I’ve just scheduled college visits for 3 of Princess’ school holidays, do you think that counts as entertainment? Georgia Tech, Clemson and Spelman, here we come.


Dealing with even Tinier Living Space

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I need to start out with two important points here:

  1. I am very grateful for my friends generosity of loaning us their RV and camp space for a few months at no cost.  It will be a great learning experience and true adventure.  And give me a rare opportunity to really save up some money since our living expenses will be pretty much nothing other than food.
  2. This is temporary, and really the only reason I have taken them up on the offer is it is the only way we can stay here at least a few more months, and staying here is our first choice.

Now to the reality of the situation, I have to admit that I am dreading our new temporary living space, probably just a tad bit more than I am excited about the idea to really save some money.  I’ve never been a camper, ever.  I in no way shape or form want to sound ungrateful for this opportunity, but I am dreading the logistics of it quite a bit.

We will have access to a 10 person sleeper RV and a mobile home which is used as a office, but will provide a full kitchen and two full bathrooms.  They are parked next to each other and the office is seldom used.  We are going out on Monday to see everything so I can wrap my head around space.  We have already begun packing and hope to start moving things that will not be trashed, sold or taken to a storage unit next week.

So I’ve been working out a plan in my head, please feel free to chime in with ideas:

  1. All the kids will once again be on a summer swim team, so we will be up and out every morning for a couple of hours of swim practice.  Good start for the day.  I will use this time for work. I’ve also though that this might be the ideal time for me to do the wash as I don’t think we have access to laundry facilities.  Luckily, the pool is literally right across from a laundry mat.
  2. I will pack a cooler nightly with food to take with us since most of them won’t eat before practice and will be starving after.  Will include fruit, yogurt, bagels, hard boiled eggs, etc.
  3. From there, we will hit the local library for a couple of hours of school/work time.  Air conditioning, lots of options of things to do (reading, schoolwork, computer time, etc.)  On nice weather days, we could hit up one of the many local parks which equals work time for me and play time for the kids, especially since we can pick up any number of their friends to join us.
  4. Cooler will include lunch options: sandwiches, yogurt, fruit or salad.
  5. Return to the RV for the hottest part of the afternoon for some quiet/down time on electronics, naps or outside time if wanted.  We will have an entire farm to roam with lots of trails, animals and chores to help out with.
  6. Back out at night for sports activities…Gymnast trains at night, Princess will be playing softball as well as working out at a local gym.  On nights when we don’t have to go out, family fun outside with bonfires, grilling and games.

What do you think?  I think it gets us out enough that we won’t feel super cramped in the RV.  The twins are going to be working full time for the most part, History Buff at his current job and Sea Cadet has applied to work as a Jr. Camp Counselor at a local camp which will take him away weeks at a time.  Since History Buff is driving, I imagine we won’t see much of them after swim practice between work and social life, but they are both very responsible and respectful of the guidelines as far as their freedom goes so I don’t mind them having the extra time.

If I can keep eating out to a minimum and paid activities to maybe once a week, this will be a great opportunity to get some savings for moving into a new place and let me move forward on paying off a bit of debt.

I am well aware that this choice, maybe most of my choices aren’t the ‘norm’ but I have to tell you that all of us have fully embraced the minimalist life we have been living. While there are a few things I truly miss, for the most part, I do not mind living with less ‘stuff’ and truly appreciate the amount of time and energy we have to spend on experiences and adventures rather than cleaning and managing our clutter!  And as I’ve been researching living in an RV for a while now, it is amazing how many people do it full time or are just weekend RV’ers.  I don’t think that’s for me, but there are a lot of resources out there on it.

Update: We went out this past Monday to get a feel for the situation…all of us went.  And I have to say, after seeing the true nature of how we will live after a thorough tour of the RV, trailer, layout and access to the farm…EVERYONE is so excited!  The little ones are most excited about all the animals, and the big ones are excited about getting to have all their guy friends out for some ‘guy time’ for lack of a better term.  Acres to roam, bike trails to ride, 3 bathrooms, full size kitchen and dining table, patio and grill….yes, we are all pretty excited now about our ‘glamping’ experience!


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