Teaching your family to be frugal doesn’t have to be a drag. It can be easy and fun if you do projects that get your kids excited. Activities can help to teach your family how to be frugal, that it’s not always hard and boring and it can even be fun. When really penny pinching, these activities are helpful because you’re making your own version of something useful, while doing an activity with your family at the same time. You can make your own version of almost anything; all you need is a little creativity and an adventurer spirit!
While the store-bought versions of things are often more convenient, you can very easily replicate these at home as well. When celebrating a birthday or Christmas, consider making your own presents, cards and decorations. Homemade gifts and cards are some of the most heartwarming gifts that you can give. The fact that you put your own effort and time into creating something for someone else makes it even more special than something bought from the store. Depending on the age and maturity of your child, these can be a drawing, writing a book or song, creating cookie or brownie mixes in a jar or cooking someone’s favorite treat for them. Your adolescent may even want to create scrapbook cards or use something that they crocheted, knitted, cross stitched or sewed as a present.
- A simple item that you can make yourself and save money on is playdough.
- half a cup of salt
- half a cup of water
- 1 cup of flour
- food dye color of choice
Mix ingredients together and you have made homemade playdough in just a few minutes.
- Kick the can homemade ice cream is a really fun way to make a tasty treat.
- large empty coffee can
- Small empty coffee can (about 16 ounces)
- one cup of whipping cream
- half a teaspoon of vanilla
- one egg
- half a cup of sugar
- 1 cup of milk
- Rock salt
- Duct tape
Fill the small coffee can with the whipping cream, vanilla, egg, sugar and milk. Seal the small coffee can with duct tape and place the small coffee can into the larger coffee can. Fill the area between the two cans with ice and rock salt and seal the large coffee can with duct tape as well. Then the whole family kicks the can all around to mix up the ingredients. After 20 to 30 minutes of kicking around the can, you will have ice cream. For extra fun you can even play a game of soccer with your coffee can, while making ice cream at the same time.
- Your family can make your own homemade cheese too.
- half a gallon of whole milk
- fourth cup of a cup of lemon juice
You pour milk into a large pot on top of the stove at medium heat. Stir the milk constantly until the milk comes to a boil. Immediately after the milk begins to boil, remove it from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir the mixture, so that you see the curds separating from the whey. Place cheesecloth on top of a strainer and place the strainer either over the sink or over a bowl. Dump your mixture into the cheesecloth covered strainer. The curds should stay in the cheesecloth while the watery whey drains away. Squeeze the cheesecloth around your curds to drain all the liquid away and let it cool for a few minutes.
This recipe is a little bland all by itself so I recommend that you add some seasoning to make it a little more flavorful. You can add salt to taste or mix in garlic, pepper and salt. You can also add honey and ground almonds to add flavor and make a yummy gourmet cheese. Then you shape the cheese into either a brick, ball or with cookie cutters. Wrap your cheese in a paper towel to make the cheese dryer and wrap plastic wrap around the paper towel. Refrigerate overnight and then eat all of your delicious cheese over the next few weeks.
Looking for more great ideas to do with your family? Get your copy Frugal Family Fun. This book will get your family super excited to do family activities together. You won’t be disappointed.
Amanda Mawhinney is an author, trainer and family development coach. Her professional passions are helping families to connect, build stronger bonds and helping women to develop themselves. Her blog, My Koala Pouch is where she writes about creating healthier families through fun activities for kids and adults. Her latest book, Frugal Family Fun can be found on Amazon.