You want to take your kids to museums, indoor play places, the zoo and tons of other things. But breaking the bank is not an option. The more kids you have the more expensive things can get. That’s why saving money on kids’ activities is a must.
So what is a parent to do?
Well, what if I told you, it’s possible to save money and take your kids to places for free? Yeah, I know. It sounds a bit ludicrous.
I am a mom on a budget too so I get it
Below I will share with you how I take my kids on daily adventures and don’t break the bank doing it. I save money on admission and awesome kid activities.
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Save money 10 easy ways
These are in no particular order. But all awesome ways you can save money while getting the kids out and burning off some energy. Without burning a hole in your wallet.
If you don’t have the Groupon App you need to join this. Before we go anywhere I always log onto the Groupon app to see if there is a deal out there.
Let me give you some insider tips about Groupon. If you don’t see a deal for a place you want to visit. You need to check back often. For example, I recently took the kids to Bixbee Imagination Station.
When the place first opened up I checked to see if there was a Groupon. I didn’t find one so I waited a month. Guess what a month later there is was!
I got my adult ticket for $8 cheaper than their regular price.
But the savings don’t stop there. You also want to be sure to sign up Ebates/Rakuten. You can earn cash back on the purchases you make in Groupon and a ton of other places.
For example, on this ticket, I earned cashback. See image below.
So let’s do a simple math here.
Original ticket price for an adult was $23 on Bixbee’s Imagination Stations website.
Groupon had the adult ticket for $16 dollars instead. So that was a $7 savings.
Then I received a cash back bonus from Groupon of a total of $1.28 on my adult ticket.
So I paid $14.72 for my ticket. That’s a savings of $8.28 cents. Now let me tell you sometimes you can get things even cheaper beyond that.
In this example, I wasn’t able to but I have gotten even better deals in the past. I love and adore the Honey Chrome extension.
While you are in the Groupon App the Honey Chrome extension will pop-up with any coupons related to your purchases. I have sometimes gotten an addition 10-20% off my purchases. And the best part is it is free. This is a goal for you mama save money.
Last but not least Groupon sales days. During certain times Groupon will have their own sales. They will do things like an extra 20 % activities or buy more save more.
All of that on top of the fact the Groupon deal is just cheaper than normal cost. You can’t get better deals than that.
2. Sell Things
Selling things that you no longer use can help in so many ways. It helps declutter your house. It helps you clean less and your house is more organized, and most importantly it is an easy way to make some cash.
Keeping with the example above for the tickets that I bought for Bixbee. Days before I decided to go I posted for sale two car seat bases for $10 each. So I made an easy $20.
I used that same $20 to help pay for the admission.
You can replicate this in your own home.
Some tips for selling. Don’t expect to make huge amounts of money and be fair when it comes to pricing. If you don’t items will not sell.
- Take clear pictures
- State the intersection closes to you for people to know about where to pick up. Sometimes people don’t read location
- Give as much information about the item so people can make a faster decision.
- Always do first come first serve
- Never invite anyone into your home/you can do porch pickup
3. Share membership with other moms
When it comes to places like museums and zoo’s, admission fee’s can pretty steep. Then they don’t include sometimes the extra attractions inside.
You can easily spend $100 in one day.
Some ways to help reduce these kinda cost is by sharing memberships with other moms.
For example, we have a plus membership to our local children’s museum. I plus 3 other moms paid a part towards a family membership which is a cost-savings for each of us.
But let’s say there is a membership you have or one that another mom has. Some memberships will allow guest in for free or a discounted price.
If you share your guest passes you each can get into places together and with each other’s benefits.
4. Tag along on someone’s membership and give them a few bucks
Let’s say another way to get into places for a “cheaper” cost is to give someone a few bucks towards their membership. This allows you to use their free guest passes. Like the idea above.
But if you don’t have a membership to reciprocate for them to use to get into for free.
You can offer to give them money for them allowing you to be their guest. But for you, the amount is significantly less than you would have paid if you paid full price.
This same method can work for you to help you pay for your memberships. Offer it to others for a small fee.
5. Search for coupons in parent & kid magazines
Some of the free magazines you can pick up as a parent offer some awesome coupons for admissions.
You may find them throughout the magazines or inside the back cover.
You can pick up these magazines at the library, children play places, museums, and even your local park districts.
You may even score some insider information to upcoming events offering free stuff.
6. Follower Bloggers
We bloggers I included work hard to be useful to our audience/tribe. As bloggers often times we collaborate with companies and organizations.
When we do this sometimes they offer discounts to our readers. At no cost to us or you.
Many mommy bloggers know the woe’s of motherhood and so we share all we can to help a fellow mama out.
There are also blogs dedicated to kids activities. These types of blogs will have insider scoop and details on discount days for certain things.
7. Join mom groups in your area or create your own
Did you know that you could be missing out on savings because you aren’t a part of a Facebook mom group? There are people out there who have created groups just for the sole purpose of connecting moms in local areas and getting discounts.
The admin or group leader may have negotiated a discounted rate for moms who participate in the group. Getting a reduced admission fee’s for everyone.
Another reason why social media is a great thing. Join groups or ask around if there are any mom groups.
Can’t find a group? Create one your self and then YOU reach out to organizations. See if they would be willing to give a discount to a local mom group.
It could be a percentage off ticket prices or discount on certain days, etc. But hey they get business and you save money. Win-win for everyone. Plus you gain mommy friends and potential playdates.
8. Ask for experience gift certificates instead of toys
Toys taking over your house? You can sell them to make some cash or do what I do treat them as a hotel guest.
But what do hotels do to a guest who is no longer welcome? That’s right they are banned.
A perfect way to not add to the collection is to ask for gift certificates instead of toys. Ask for gift cards and memberships to cover admission to fun kid activities.
So when it comes to birthday’s, holidays or grandparents spoiling the kids’ you can kindly ask for the gift of experiences.
9. Free Days
I am a huge fan of free, I mean I don’t know any sane mom that isn’t. But free admission to places is like gold to me.
Your local museum, zoo’s, play places, etc will offer free days or discount days throughout the year.
All you need to do is to Google free museum days near me. Boom the search results will come right up.
Reduced admission or free admission will be limited to residents and school-aged children. There are even free programs during the summer.
Pro-tip: Free days are typically some of the busy days for attractions. You will want to arrive at least 30 mins prior to opening to benefit.
10. Be on time
When was the last time you got anywhere on time ever since having kids? I know I have given myself an extra hour and sometimes still can’t make it out of the house on time.
On occasion packing the day before and getting the kids strapped in their car seats before 8 am can be a huge savings to your wallet.
There are places out there that will allow free admission to the first person who walks in the door.
For example, a play place in Chicago called Kiddie Club offers this exact thing.
If you are a mom needing to get kids out and are short on cash. You better do the door dash for these deals.
11. Check-out passes at your local library
Finally, I can’t rave enough about libraries. I love ours and I think they are like heaven for moms. From books to storytimes, movies, free crafts, play areas. They are nothing like when we were younger.
The inside of libraries are like hidden gems.
But did you know that libraries offer so much more and that most people don’t even take advantage of the extra stuff they offer?
First, let me mention a cool place that you may wanna check-out. The site called Museums4all.org offers free or reduced admissions for museums. They have some requirements which means its for those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). But WOW!
What an awesome program.
If you are not a recipient of any of these programs there are still discounts and passes for you too.
In order to find passes, you will want to visit Museumadventure.org. There are more than just museums on the list just depends on your location.
How to use this for admission to places is the following:
You check-out a museum pass at your local library and the loan period is usually for 7 days. Sometimes admission is free, if not they will offer a discount.
The passes are typically for general admission but yet another awesome savings. Sometimes they have buy one get one free tickets too.
How do you save on kid’s activities? Share it in the comments!