10 Great Ideas for Frugal Family Fun


Become a Deal Detective

These days, coupons can get you a whole lot more than a dollar off a package of chicken drumsticks. (Though those do freeze wonderfully, so if you'll eat them within three months, don't pass up a deal.)
These days, coupons can get you a whole lot more than a dollar off a package of chicken drumsticks. (Though those do freeze wonderfully, so if you'll eat them within three months, don't pass up a deal.)

The days of combing the Sunday paper for coupons aren't gone -- they've merely been supplemented by a veritable army of other discount-finding options. The Internet is rife with values that can help you amp up the bang you get for your buck.

In addition to physical coupons, many businesses now utilize online mailing lists that will deliver discounts and sale information straight to you via periodic e-mails. It's more convenient than actively seeking out deals, but if you're the type who hates a cluttered inbox, beware: Some companies don't give you the option to subscribe to only one type of e-mail (i.e. deals) and will also send promotional material and other unsolicited information.

As a result, sometimes it's best to deal with a third party, and daily deal sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com offer some truly spectacular services in that regard. These sites offer deep discounts -- sometimes up to 90 percent off -- through prepaid gift certificates that guarantee deals for customers and revenue for participating businesses.

So what's the catch? Enough people have to purchase the discount to make it worth the business's while. If that point isn't reached, there's no deal for anyone. (You can learn more about the process in How does Groupon work?) Nevertheless, if you've promised the kids a trip to an amusement park or a nice dinner out, waiting for a deal through one of these sites could save you big bucks.

Still haven't gotten your fill of penny-pinching pointers? Check out our links to lots more information for frugal families below.

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More Great Links


  • 24 Hour Fitness. "Special Offers." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.24hourfitness.com/membership/offers/specials.html
  • All Trails. (Oct. 20, 2011) http://alltrails.com/
  • American Association of Museums. "AAM Member Museums." {Oct. 21, 2011) http://iweb.aam-us.org/Membership/MemberDirectorySearch.aspx
  • ASPCA. "Volunteer With the ASPCA." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.aspca.org/aspca-nyc/volunteer/
  • Barter Network. "FAQ's." (Oct. 21, 2011) http://www.barternetworkinc.com/faqs.cfm
  • Book Clubs Resource. "Book Club Discussion Questions and Topics." (Oct. 21, 2011) http://www.book-clubs-resource.com/running/discussion-questions.php
  • Boston Public Library. "Calendar of Events." (Oct. 19, 2011) http://www.bpl.org/news/calendar.htm
  • Cook, Charles. "The Essential Guide to Nature Walking in the United States." Holt, Henry & Company, Inc. 1997.
  • Disney Family Fun. "Clay Time." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/clay-time-709026/
  • Home Depot. "Project How-To." (Oct. 23, 2011) http://www6.homedepot.com/how-to/index.html
  • Hulu. "Why Are There Ads in Hulu Plus?" (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.hulu.com/support/article/20356372
  • J. Paul Getty Museum. "Visit the Getty." (Oct. 21, 2011) http://www.getty.edu/visit/
  • Livestrong. "Explore Fitness." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.livestrong.com/fitness/
  • Local Hikes. "Hiking Trails Near U.S. Metropolitan Areas." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.localhikes.com/
  • Los Angeles Public Library. "Events and Exhibits." (Oct. 19, 2011) http://www.lapl.org/events/
  • Merriam-Webster, Inc. "Barter." (Oct. 23, 2011) http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barter
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, The. "Visit." (Oct. 21, 2011) http://www.metmuseum.org/visit
  • National Association of Theatre Owners. "Average Ticket Prices." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.natoonline.org/statisticstickets.htm
  • PBS. "Graham Cracker Gingerbread House." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/cafe/grahamcrackergingerb.html
  • Roos, Dave. "How Does Groupon Work?" HowStuffWorks Inc. (Oct. 21, 2011) https://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/tips/groupon3.htm
  • Ross, Scott. "Movie Ticket Prices are On the Rise." NBC LA. March 26, 2010. (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.nbclosangeles.com/blogs/popcornbiz/Movie-Ticket-Prices-Are-on-the-Rise-89258087.html
  • Shoemaker-Galloway, Jane. "Slime: Homemade Slime Recipes." The Examiner. May 28, 2009. (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.examiner.com/working-moms-in-national/slime-homemade-slime-recipes
  • Tack, Karen. "Hello, Cupcake!" Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2008.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Expenditures on Children by Families, 2010." (Oct. 19, 2011) http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2010.pdf
  • Volunteer Match. (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.volunteermatch.org/
  • YMCA of the USA. "Build a Healthy Family Home." (Oct. 20, 2011) http://www.ymca.net/healthy-family-home/


How Do Dollar Stores Make Money?

How Do Dollar Stores Make Money?

Dollar stores — where most items cost just a buck — always seem to make money. HowStuffWorks finds out how they do it.