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By: Stephanie Foster
When youíre trying to save money, it can be hard to find fun things to do as a family. Fortunately, there are many options to keep within your budget.

First letís go over your free options. Going to the park, lake, beach, etc. are all good options. Lots of fun, good exercise for the entire family and donít forget the sunscreen. Fly a kite, play tag, push the kids on the swings. Even be a kid yourself and go down that slide. Why not?

Weather not cooperating? Know if your local museums have free days. Also be aware of any free concerts or plays being held in your area.

Ok, now letís spend some money. Lots more options here for you to consider.

* Rent a movie rather than go to the theater. These days, you have the option of going to your local video rental store or getting DVDs through a service such as Netflix, assuming the $20/month membership is reasonable for the number of movies you watch. Iíve seen some video stores in my area have a similar sort of deal for video games, which may be far more affordable than buying games if your kids tire of them quickly, meaning within a month or two.
* If you really want to see that movie while itís in theaters, go to a matinee or find a discount theater.
* See plays at the community college.
* Watch high school or college sports rather than professional.
* If you just have to go out to eat at a nice restaurant, remember many places serve cheaper lunches than dinners.
* If they fit into the budget, annual passes are a much better deal than individual day passes for zoos, amusement parks and so forth. If one level of membership offers free parking while you have to pay for parking on the lower level of membership, consider buying one membership at the higher level and the rest at the lower. This will allow you to save on parking without paying a higher price for all the memberships. My mother used to rotate which park we went to each year so we never tired of the membership.

With these tips, it should not be difficult to keep your family entertained even on a tight budget.
About the author:

Stephanie Foster is the owner of Home with the Kids, a resource that knows that there's more to staying home with your family than just business. Get more ideas for family activities at

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