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Great Ideas for Frugal Family Fun

Family members managed to keep each other entertained for thousands of years before the invention of $60 video games and $15 3-D movies, and there are still plenty of ways to make your own fun.

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During times of economic downturn, it's easy to decree that recreational spending allowances should be the first items axed from the family budget. And with growing dependencies on high-cost, technology-based activities, balancing entertainment with the necessity of keeping costs low can require truly heroic creativity.

If you're a parent, you'll see an even greater dent in your wallet. In America as of 2010, by the time your child reached 18 years of age you'd have shelled out anywhere between $8,480 and $23,690 every year for her expenses. In case you prefer not to do the frightening math, that's between $152,640 and $426,420 to bring your little one to adulthood [source: USDA].

So, how do you maintain a nonboring family life when neither undisciplined splurging nor total isolation are particularly appealing options? Luckily, entertaining family activities don't have to be expensive. Read on for inspiration to get creative with fun, frugal family activities.

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