12 Frugal Ways to Treat Your Kids


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Are you looking for a special and memorable way to treat your kids without breaking the bank? The good news is that children love having fun and creating new memories and don’t care much about costs. Lucky for you, these 12 activities are frugal but will surely put a huge smile on your little one. 

Pick Out One Item and Snack From Dollar Tree

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You could start by visiting the Dollar Tree with your kids and have them choose one item and a snack. The products are usually $1 or $1.25, meaning you won’t need to budget much, yet your kids will be satisfied with their picks. 

Many users who grew up with this tradition fondly remember it. “My dad would give us $5 and set us loose in the Dollar store. It was wonderful,” shares a poster. 

Have a Picnic

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A picnic is another frugal way to treat your kids. Carry a tablecloth, stools, and meals from home and embark on a fun day. You could also add games that fit your kids’ age, like cards, board games, or jigsaw puzzles.

Get Ice Cream

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Kids love ice cream. Surprising them with their favorite flavor can make their day. Or, you could take them to the ice cream truck and let them test new flavors. 

Visit the Library

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Libraries are free! While the trip is frugal, you can borrow books, games, movies, or magazines. And you can get free or discounted tickets/passes to local parks and museums. 

Go to Museums

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Did you know many museums offer free entrance for kids under 12 years? Why not take advantage of this and have fun with your little ones? If your local museums charge an entrance fee, you could check the local library for free passes. 

Wendy’s Frosty Key Tags

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“Wendy’s has an end-of-the-year deal where you can buy a pass for $1 that gets you free junior Frostys all year round,” recommends a poster. However, it now costs $3, but that’s still frugal. 

Taste Tests

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A parent who does taste tests with her daughter says, “For a while, we’d buy one piece of chocolate from any chocolate store and keep a log on our favorites. Similarly, we had an M&M tasting and bought all the flavors. Now, when we see a new one, it’s super special. There are close to 20 flavors these days.”

Make Food at Home Together

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Or, you could go to the grocery store, buy different ingredients, and cook at home. You could use YouTube videos or the internet as a recipe cheat sheet.

Create a Game

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You could also create a game for when you are outdoors. One parent says they ask their kids to count the number of motorcycles or out-of-state license plates, and whoever has the highest number wins. Or, you could ask them to spot animals, whether in person or on signs. 

Thrift Shopping

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Spending time browsing thrift shops can also be fun, even if you don’t intend to buy anything. 

Go Foraging

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“I take my kids foraging, and then we make tasty stuff with what we find,” writes a poster, “I know a handful of places with persimmon and mulberry trees that we make cookies and candy with. If you’re interested, there’s also a website called fallingfruit.org that is basically a Google Maps for foraging.”

Geocaching

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Geocaching is also a frugal way to treat your kids, and you get to keep the treasures you find. 

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