Father’s Day is this Sunday and while I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing for my dad and my husband, I’m sure there are many others who are still looking for some great ideas.
My dad is very easy to please. He doesn’t like gifts, he likes handmade cards and letters so that’s what he normally gets and that’s what he’s getting again this year. It’s always so good to sit down and write out my thoughts of gratitude and appreciation to him for all he has done for me.
My husband is also easy to please. Up until this year, he always received a card and a special home-cooked dinner. This year, since we have more wiggle room in the budget, I’m actually buying him something. But it’s not anything fancy or extravagant. Instead, he’s getting dress clothes, thanks to Sears. And I know he’ll be happy as a lark since, unlike most men, he likes to shop and buy clothes!
What are you doing to bless and show appreciation for the special father(s) in your life? Tell us about it in the comments section in the next 24 hours and you’ll also be entered to win one of two $20 gift cards from Boston Market.
Our family loves Boston Market; it’s like enjoying delicious home-cooking without the work and effort! I especially enjoy their rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes–Yum!
To enter to win one of these two $20 gift cards:
::Leave a comment telling us your best frugal idea for celebrating Father’s Day and blessing a special guy in your life.
::Tomorrow evening, I’ll randomly choose two winners and post them.
I think this was national Fast Food Freebie week this week–or at least it sure felt like it around here.
Since we’re always sticklers for free ice cream, we couldn’t miss out on free Haagen-Dazs. The new flavor they were giving out was really good and, surprisingly, there was almost no one at the Haagen-Dazs shop at the mall. And they even had this big sign right smack dab out in front:
I guess we’re just weird because we’d never walk by a sign like that and turn down an opportunity for free ice cream, especially when there was no wait. But I guess we’re not your typical shoppers or something because almost everyone else was walking straight by without even so much as a second glance.
The portions that Haagen-Dazs gave out were very generous–the size of a small cup or cone, which regularly costs $3.15. The girls loved it (Kaitlynn even got to taste her first few bites of ice cream) and I think Jesse and I enjoyed it even more! What a fun outing–all for free!
Last night, we all had sweet teas and free Southern-Style chicken sandwiches from McDonald’s. Yum! And since Taco Bell is right by McDonald’s, we also stopped in for a free Frutista with a $0.79 soft taco purchase. Altogether, the whole dinner cost us less than $4!
Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever “” program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.
Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations. There is no cost to participate and there are no strings attached.
There aren’t any bowling alleys in our area participating so I can’t check this out more thoroughly, but it looks like you just need to (if there is one participating) and then fill out the information and they will send you a coupon which you can redeem all Summer long!
If you sign up for this, I’d be interested to hear how it works for you.
Do you have any suggestions for frugal Mother’s Day gifts? My husband and I are moving for him to go to law school and don’t have a lot of extra money right now to buy our moms gifts, but we still want to give them something to make them feel special. Thanks! -Jessica
Here are just a few of my ideas:
-Write a card. Many moms would find a heartfelt card expressing appreciation to be one of the most touching gifts ever. You could even write it on inexpensive stationery or get creative and make your own card to save the $3-$5 it often costs to buy a card. You might also check your local dollar store for inexpensive cards.
-Make up a basket of goodies. Do you have lots of extra fun items you’ve gotten for free or almost free with coupons? How about making up a gift basket or care package to send to your mom? Write little notes on each item and package it up beautifully and she might just think it was the greatest gift ever!
-Put together a special photo album. With all the great photo deals recently, you could probably pull this off very inexpensively and it could be incredibly meaningful if your mom loves something like this.
If your mom lives nearby, here are a few more ideas:
-Do something with her. Instead of buying a generic, over-priced fruit basket or flower bouquet, what about doing something with your mom? Think about something your mom really enjoys doing which is also inexpensive and invite her to do it with you. Perhaps you could go browse antique stores, or hit some garage sales, or go out for coffee? You might also consider inviting her over for an afternoon tea or lunch!
-Make something for her. What would she like and use that you could also make for her? Perhaps it’s her favorite cookies, or a bouquet of fresh flowers from your garden, or handmade thank you notes that she can use?
-Give her a service gift certificate. What’s something your mom doesn’t enjoy doing–maybe cleaning her bathrooms, washing her car, or cooking? Make up a gift certificate for her which says she can choose whenever she’d like for you to do this particular chore for her and you’ll do it–up to an amount of times specified on the certificate!
There is nothing that will squelch the joy in frugality faster than pinching your pennies so hard that you never have any fun. And if you’re planning to practice thrift for the long haul, you need to strategically come up with ways to keep life interesting, exciting, and fresh.
Just because you don’t have a lot of money or are trying to live on little doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to have fun and splurge a little without breaking your budget. Here are a few things we’ve done:
-Go out for dessert and coffee. Or, if you’re really strapped for cash, skip the dessert and split a latte. We used to do this at Barnes and Noble back in our law school barebones budget days. We’d browse books, buy a drink and split it (often paying for it with a card I’d earned through reading emails from MyPoints!), and then sit and read and talk for awhile. It made for a very relaxing evening that cost us next to nothing!
-Take your children to the pet store and then to McDonald’s for $0.99 cones. (Use the seasonal free cone coupons–if you have them–to save even more!)
-Plan one nicer dinner each week. If beans and rice make up a large part of your diet, plan ahead so that one night per week, you have “feast”. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate–maybe something like meat loaf, a potato dish, some homemade bread, veggies, and a dessert. Or if you can’t even afford that, add a dessert to your normal fare and bring out the nice dishes or add a centerpiece. A dessert and a candle can make you feel like you’re having a gourmet dinner even if it’s hamburger helper!
-Ride your bikes or put the kids in the wagon and walk to the nearest ice cream shop and order a few cones to split.
-Have a progressive dinner at your own home. Decorate four different rooms with four different themes and then serve a coordinating menu item for each.
-Rent a movie with a free code from RedBox (or the library), make some special snacks, and watch the movie together under blankets in the living room.
-Plan a CVS “date.” Have extra ECBs to spend? Why not make a fun evening of it? Let each person pick one treat for under $3 to buy and then go to the park and share the goodies!
-Go yard-saling or thrift store shopping as a family or couple. Give each person a small amount of cash to spend and see who gets the most bang for their buck!
-Go to the library as a family (or as a couple, for date night!) and browse different books that you usually don’t get a chance to look at and check some out. You’ll feel like you went shopping and you won’t have spent anything!
-Have a “Loose Change Date.” Take all of the loose change you can find in the house and figure out a creative way to maximize it. Divvy it up between the family members and let each person decide how they want to spend their part for a family evening out.
-Find out if any nearby bowling alleys have $0.99 night or discount nights (many do). When we were first married, we’d go on $0.99 night and rent our shoes for $0.99 each and play two games at $0.99 each–and it was such a fun outing and it only cost us around $6!