"hey! we also love camping! We just went this weekend with a group from our church, and we spent probably $60 for the whole weekend by sharing a campsite with another couple.
also, last weekend we went to the Toledo Zoo, which is about 2.5 hours from us, for the day. We have a membership to our local zoo which gets us free admission to other zoos. We sSpent less than $100, mostly on gas and junk food at the zoo. That's a pretty cheap family outing, since there are 7 of us! "
Jeannine, you are the lucky winner!
As I was typing up my blog post about camping with the family at KOA, I received an email from Libby's with the article below attached. I feel like I could have written it myself. I will add my own commentary in red of the activities that I love doing with my family. Libby's is also giving one of my readers one of these picnic baskets and 10 cans of Libby's vegetables so keep reading to find out how to win.
Family Time on a Budget this Summer - by Guest Blogger Hannah Keeley
Families are tightening their budgets and for many this means fewer activities outside of the home. With less dining out, movie outings, sports games or even summer camp, there’s no better time for budget-conscious moms and dads to really connect and spend quality time with their kids throughout the summer. Hannah Keeley, mother of seven, host public broadcast show, Hannah Help Me! and author of “Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life,” has tips for making the most of your family time this summer without breaking the bank. Start at home. One of your biggest monthly investments is your family home so why not get your money’s worth? If your kids don’t think staying home is cool, here’s your opportunity to get creative.
·Establish a weekly game night and no need to buy new games, ask other parents if they have games that you can borrow. My kids LOVE this. Right now our favorite games are Ticket to Ride and Pig Pile.
·Subscribe to a home movie rental service. Let the kids add their favorite movie to the queue as a reward for an accomplishment. We love Netflix and TiVo for this, just look at some of my posts on the subject.
I HEART Netflix and TiVo
How to get FREE HD TV
·Strap on helmet and ride bikes as a family. This is one of my favorite family activities and I am getting ready to buy a bike rack and trailer hitch for my mini van.
·Check out your local library and chamber of commerce for fun things to do in your own town.
Dining in Style. With the kids out of school and longer days, there is no better time for the family to be together than at dinnertime!
·Keep the meal simple so the family can prepare it together. I like to use affordable canned vegetables, like Libby’s, in recipes and as side dishes because they are delicious and easy to prepare.
·Dine outside at least once a week. It doesn’t matter if you have a patio or you do it picnic style. We like to eat in our backyard or at a park more than once a week.
·Let the kids in on the planning and the ambiance, such as creating handwritten menus or setting the table with brightly-colored place settings. My son just did this a couple of weeks ago. I had gotten tired of hearing him complain about what I made for dinner every night so I decided to let him plan the menu. He went all out and even made menus out of cardboard to showcase what he was serving for dinner. He spent hours on photoshop making the inside of his menu and used some of my leftover paint to paint the menus red. He made his own stencils for the names on the outside and even found some ribbon in my craft closet. I really had nothing to do with this project and he didn't complain about dinner that night (My son is 11).
·Invite the kids into the kitchen and make it a learning experience. Kids can help you mix ingredients in large bowls and even open cans with this child-side can opener. Check GetBacktotheTable.com for family-friendly recipes.
Get Out of Town. You don’t have to give up the precious memories created during annual summer vacations. While theme parks and tropical escapes may be the gold standard of summer retreats, there are a lot of great locales closer to home.
·Look for locations 3-4 hours away to save on airfare and make it a road trip.
·Try camping. Once a popular option, many young families are getting back into the adventurous spirit of camping. We love KOA and go to one about 3 hours from our house. Here is my blog post about it: Fun Family Vacation on a Budget with KOA
·Use your own childhood for inspiration: is there a special place that you’d like to share with your own kids? Have your kids ever been to your old Alma Mater?
For more tips from Hannah Keeley on how to connect with your family this summer and easy recipes that everyone will enjoy visit www.GetBacktotheTable.com.
Picnic Basket and Libby's Vegetable Giveaway:Everyone can win a free can of Libby's Vegetables with this printable coupon:
Buy 2 (two) cans of Libby's Vegetables, and get the third can free (Click for coupon)!
Here is how you can win the picnic basket and 10 cans of Libby's Vegetables:
*Leave me a comment about something that you like to do with your family.
4 Bonus entries:
1. Tweet about this contest and link back here (leave me another comment with the link to your tweet).
2. Follow my blog (leave me a separate comment letting me know).
3. Post about this contest on your blog and leave a comment here with a link to your post.
4. Tell all of your friends on facebook (leave a separate comment here letting me know).
It is important that you leave a separate comment for each entry since I will be using www.random.org to decide the winner. The deadline for this contest is Friday August 7th.
The deadline for my Ecostore USA $25 Gift Certificate Contest is August 20th.
I will announce the winner on my blog on August 7th. You will have 3 days to respond before I choose another winner.