4 Steps To Cheap Summer Activities

4 Steps To Cheap Summer Activities

 

Cheap Summer Activities for Kids

 

I am always looking for cheap summer activities for kids and there are so many ways to be a money saving mom! With summer right around the corner, I am SO excited to spend most of our days outside, getting in as much sunshine as my super fair skin can handle, and making memories with my family!

 

In the summer I find that we spend way more money than needed because of all the fun events and things we want to do. This year, I vow to stick on my budget! We are coming out of a season of financial hardship and for the past few months, haven’t really had any space in the budget for luxuries and events.

 

Related Post: An Open Letter to the Mom Struggling with Her Finances

 

Due to that, I’ve had to get super creative in finding and creating fun that our whole family can enjoy. Once we get past the money roadblock, our second challenge is our kids’ age ranges. We currently have an 11 year old, 2.5 year old and 8 month old which can make activities a little tricky.

 

I sat down and said that no matter what we will have a fun summer, not break the bank, and find things that they all enjoy! I came up with a simple summer activity planning system that will keep the kids busy, you from going crazy, and your wallet happy!

 

Budget Friendly Summer Activities

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Use a time blocking template

 

Depending on your household, your kids may or may not have a schedule for the summer. Some families send their kids to camps, some prefer to keep their schedule more open and some take a lot of trips or homeschool events.

 

For us, none of our kids will be attending camp regularly (though my stepson has the occasional basketball drill on the calendar) so we’ve decided to keep a more open schedule. This helps a lot because currently, baby naps rule our life! I am a HUGE proponent of good sleep practices and try my best to make sure that the baby and the toddler get their sleep!

 

Related Post: 7 Tools to Get Your Baby to Sleep Better

 

Their nap schedule also helps identify when we will be doing things and what days we have more free. There are days when we will want to do a fun day trip and naps will happen in the car but, for the most part (and my sanity) we’ll try to be home for nap. Since I also work from home, that nap time is crucial for working so I plan to keep it as much as I can.

 

Identify for yourself what your typical day will look like this summer. How structured is your time? Do you have to do a lot of driving to activities? Will kids have time at camp or be home all day? How many activities do you want to plan each week?

 

Once you have that time picked out, you can look at a typical day and see where you might want to add in an activity.

 

For us, we have about a 2 hour window right now in the morning where all of the kids are up and we’re ready to be out and about. That is when I will plan something fun or an errand. Otherwise, we keep the day open.

 

During this time the kids are encouraged to play with their toys, read and do other crafts, and play outside. We’re also fortunate because we have a pool so that keeps the 11 year old pretty happy! I’m hoping this year goes better with the toddler in the pool because last summer she hated it!

 

 

Determine your summer bucket list

 

If you’re looking for cheap activities for the summer, it helps to start with a list. Once you see your week at a glance, you’ll be able to see how many day trips, overnight trips, or just fun activities you can fit in.

 

I’m not huge on planning every little bit of the day out but I do like routine and I like a plan in advance. I’ll encourage the kids to just do their things most days but I will plan out a few fun things or playdates just so we can get out of the house and have fun together.

 

Related Post: Using Time Blocking for a Simple Weekly Schedule 

 

If you’re trying to stay on a budget, you won’t be able to always do every single thing on your and your kids’ lists. There may be a limit to how many trips you take and places you go. So many of the fun places out there cost a fortune and when you add parking and food you’ve spent almost $100 for a few hours, and in my mind that is not worth it!

 

Sit down with your family and come up with a list of things that they’d love to do this summer. Is there a place they really want to go? Can you determine one big weekend (or longer) trip you want to take? What do they want the day to look like?

 

This is much easier if you have older kids because my toddler really has not idea what we’re planning but, if you can invest the older kids in the summer plans they may be more excited to do things or less bummed out if you can’t visit all of the places that they heard their friends talking about.

 

Looking for more budgeting help? Snag this budgeting e-course!

 Plan Ways to Enjoy Summer Activities on a Budget

 

There are actually a lot of fun summer activities you can do with your family that doesn’t cost a ton. You just have to do a little research, some planning, and be creative and you can all have an excellent summer.

 

I know sometimes we look at other moms and see their pictures and get envious because we’d love to take our kids to a lot of the same places but maybe it’s just not in the budget. We need to get rid of that mindset and realize that you can all have an amazing summer without always doing things that cost a lot.

 

Related Post: How to Change a Negative Money Mindset

 

 

Join local groups and community pages

 

You can go to Facebook to search local groups and community page and will be able to see a bunch of events going on. (By the way, are you a member of our community page on Facebook? Come join!) The other day in my area I randomly found a post about a free carnival for the kids. It wasn’t huge at all and we only stayed an hour but it was a free, fun activity and got us out of the house.

 

You can save these events as you see them on Facebook or, I like to write them directly into my planner so that I didn’t forget about them or have to look somewhere else to plan activities for the week.

 


Local colleges are also a great place to look for activities and events because they are always posting things that might be open to the public. The library is another great stop. Ours has movies outside for free, fun day time activities for the little kids, and it’s always a great place to just go spend a few hours.

 

You can also check out the newspaper to see community events or things happening in the area. I just saw an ad the other day that some Regal Cinemas offer $1 movies on Wednesdays and it’s the perfect time to try out taking the toddler to the movies!

 

Check out a place’s website before you go and see all of their policies. You might be able to bring in your own lunch, find a special place to park for cheaper, or a cool special free event one day.

 

We live super close to Sesame Place and last summer went a few times a week. I knew from their website that I could bring in all my own food so when we were there we never even went into the food places so the kids wouldn’t even know to ask and we’d just have our snacks that we brought in. Most places will let you do so and it never hurts to ask or check. It just takes a little extra planning to do it.

 

 

Look for discounts to save money on summer activities

 

I am a HUGE couponer so obviously before we go anywhere I scour the internet for coupons. (if you want to see how I save money with coupons, go snag this free webinar!) They often aren’t too hard to find if you just search google! You can also find discount codes on apps, in other Facebook groups and in some stores just sitting right on the counter! Our local library also has free tickets for local zoos and parks and all you have to do is call and pick them up!

 

If you know you might be going to a place a lot, like we did with Sesame Place, it may not hurt to get a season pass. Ours paid for itself in 3 trips and like I said we went 2x a week! You could also maybe get passes to split with another family or meet up at someone’s house before going and split the cost of parking.

 

Also make sure you check out local YMCAS for what activities you can get with a membership or kid’s gyms that have discounts for open play! And before you get tickets to anything, check out discount sites like Groupon to see what events they have going on!

 

Budget Friendly Summer Family Activities

 

 

Activities at Home for Kids

 

There are also a ton of activities that you can do right in your backyard without spending any money at all (or maybe a few bucks at the Dollar Store!)  So on those days when you don’t want to leave the house, spend money at all, or have a ‘home summer camp’, just have the kids go outside or do something fun together!

 

Check out this list of activities that you could do that are free and cheap and super fun!

 

Bubbles

 

Family Walks & Bike Rides

 

Water Play

 

Hikes

 

Find Community Events

 

Geocaching

 

Make  a Time Capsule

 

Take a park tour

 

Go local

 

Nature Walk

 

Find cheap museums

 

Baking Day (bring to a neighbor)

 

Game Nights

 

Make a summer scrapbook

 

Puzzle

 

Parks and Splash Pads

 

Farmer’s Markets

 

Find free classes (college campuses)

 

Utilize the library

 

Outdoor games

 

Busy Bags


Sensory Boxes

 

Pick a Summer Read Aloud

 

When you’re planning out your summer activities, don’t let the stress of spending money get in the way of making fun memories! Use this system and ideas to get the ball rolling and just enjoy the memories!

 

And don’t feel like you have to plan out every minute. I know we want our kids to have a fun time but there is something magical that happens when we let them get bored and use their imaginations!

 

Go and download a copy of this list (with more ideas) to put on your fridge for when you need an idea!

 

 

More Money Saving Tips!

How to Change Your Money Mindset

5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

How to Save Money on Kid’s Clothes

How to Survive When Money is Tight

6 Best Apps to Make Money 

 

Money Saving Resources

Kick Your Debt to the Curb Challenge 

Busy on a Budget E-Course

Master Your Money Bundle

Get $6 gift card from Brandless

 

Why Date Your Spouse + 28 Free Date Ideas

Why Date Your Spouse + 28 Free Date Ideas

Free and Cheap Date Night Ideas

 

When it comes to date night it’s important to me to make sure we find cheap or free ideas to stay on our budget.

 

I’ve been married to my husband now for almost 5 years and we never really ‘dated’ each other. When we started dating, he was an Assistant Principal and I was a teacher and we had to keep our relationship semi-hidden since we didn’t want anyone to think that there was any favoritism.

 

That meant for us, date nights and getting to know each other better happened a lot at home and movie night and take out was our go to. Even after we shared our relationship, our lives were so busy that we didn’t often take the time to date each other as we should and I knew that when we got married, if we didn’t take the time to ‘date’, than romance would be out the door.

 

This year, with the addition of a 3rd kid to our family, we knew we would have to be super intentional about our time together. Add on top of it that my husband had been out of work for 7 months (starting again soon, yay!) so we’ve been together A LOT and it was hard to separate those romantic moments from our day to day.

 

So, we made a resolution to date each other more this year.

 

To do this we knew we had to set intentional measures (and we’re both data nerds) so we determined that we’d do AT LEAST one ‘home date’ a month and one out of the house date every other month. We knew this wasn’t 100% as much time together as we wanted, but it was a much more realistic goal for us. Plus, these goals are STILL a reach for us since honestly, the only ‘dating’ we did was if we got invited to a wedding a few times a year.

 

cheap-date-nights

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Why You Need To Date Your Spouse

 

Your relationship matters

 

As life gets busier and busier for us moms a few things get pushed back in our lives; ourselves and our husbands.

 

It’s sad but true.

 

We take care of ourselves less and we often forget, in between the day to day conversations about cooking dinner, picking up diapers, or who is going to do bath time, that our husbands (and us!) deserve to feel special too.

 

Your relationship with our husband matters. Remember, that when your children are grown and gone, it will just be you two again. And when you are both in love and happy with each other (a byproduct of dating each other!) your home feels happier and that trickles down to your children.

 

Feel like YOU again

 

There are a lot of really great benefits on your relationships when you make the effort to date each other but let’s focus on the effects it has on YOU.

 

I often get stuck in the day to day drudgery. I can’t remember the last time I washed my hair, I’m constantly covered in spit-up, and by the end of the day, I am just over being touched by someone each day.

 

Even if you choose to do a ‘home date’, can I encourage you to get dressed and out of those yoga pants?

 

Now don’t get confused, I don’t think women have to wear makeup or dress a certain way to be happy or feel good about themselves but, let’s be real, changing your clothes and taking a few minutes on you does make you feel better. I make it a rule to get dressed first thing in the morning (even if I’m changing into my ‘nice yoga pants’) because it makes me feel better, more in control, and less frumpy.

 

On those occasions, you decide to get a sitter and go on a date outside of the house, take the time to put on something that makes you feel good, smile at yourself in the mirror and remember that person you were before all the stress and craziness.

 

That woman is still in there, smiling and waiting for you to remember her too!

Schedule it

Schedule It

 

Okay mamas, this HAS to go on the calendar or it’s not going to happen. Life happens, we get tired, and it’s so easy to say “let’s just do it another night”. By putting it on the calendar and committing to each other that there is NO negotiation on that date, you can ensure that your date happens.

 

Invest in a sitter or date in

 

We often do our date nights in because we’re  in a season where we have little kids who go to bed early. We rarely are out after dark and we’re okay with it.

 

This means, our date nights in can be done super easily! Now that the baby (currently 5 months) is going to bed at the same time as our toddler, we can put them to bed and go downstairs for our date.

 

On the times we want to leave the house, we make sure to lock in a sitter (for us that’s my mother in law) so that we can leave the house. Having secured that someone is going to come over gives us even more accountability to actually making our date happen.

 

28 Ideas Free or Cheap Ideas

 

So what do you do on your date night; whether they are in the house or not?

 

If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend a ton of money (or maybe you’re in a season like us where we can’t spend a ton of money) on your dates and are tired of saying “you just want to pick something on Netflix?”, I’ve got some ideas to get you started!

 

I came up with my list of 28 date ideas that you can use to mix up your dates AND the best part is that they are FREE or CHEAP so they won’t break the bank. So often ‘not having money’ is just another excuse we use to not do the things we know is important and I hope this list helps give you some ideas!

 

You can print it out and use it as a checklist with your spouse! We alternate dates on who picks which idea, and our goal is to complete the list by the end of the year! So put it on your fridge as inspiration, and a reminder, to date your spouse!

 

Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 04 Creating an Summer Routines for Your Family       Let's chat about creating summer routines today! As we dive into summer, it's key to come up with a vision for your summer and routines that allow your summer to be fun and joyful...

Podcast 03: Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 03 Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family       Today's episode dives into the 15 minute formula that I've used to help the moms I coach get more done and become productivity ninjas! By using the formula to break down your goals...

20+ Ideas for Valentine’s Day on a Budget

20+ Ideas for Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Valentine’s Day on a Budget

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day can be expensive but can be done on a budget. You can have date nights that are cheap, fun activities with your kids that don’t cost a lot of money and things you can bring to schools that keep you on your budget!

 

 

This is our first year with my 3 year old at school so I’m making sure whatever we contribute to class doesn’t have us going over the budget! I’m also keeping the same mindset when it comes to celebrating with my husband. We are working hard on our debt free journey so I’ve already started to think about gifts that I can DIY and places we can go that stay in our ‘date’ budget!

 

 

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

 

To help you stay on your budget too, I put together a list of some great activities, gifts, and dates that will help you out!

 

Date Night on a Budget

 

20+ Cheap Date Night Ideas from A Purpose Driven Mom

 

 

 

 

 

30 Ways to Connect with your Spouse from A Purpose Driven Mom 

 

 

 

 

Valentine Day Card Printables

 

DIY Dinosaur Cards from Little Rays of Life  

 

 

 

 

Printable Lego Valentine’s Day Cards from Thrifty Jinxy  

 

 

 

 

Love You to Pieces Coloring Card from Love the Day

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Decorations

 

Printable Valentine’s Day Banner from Thrifty Jinxy   

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Printables from Uncommon Designs Online

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Games and Activities

 

Love Jar Printable by Love the Day   

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s day Lunch Box Jokes from My Pinventures

 

 

 

 

Salt Dough Ornaments from The Natural Homeschool 

 

 

 

 

DIY Valentine’s Day Roses from Thrifty Cottage

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Treats

 

Homemade Fortune Cookies from the Good Hearted Woman  

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Tasty Galaxy

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Candy Buffet from My Pinventures

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Popcorn from Cook Eat Go

 

 

 

 

Teddy Bear Oreos from In the Kids Kitchen 

 

 

 

Red Velvet Fudge from The Country Chic Cottage

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas on a Budget

 

Pink Sugar Scrub from Saving More Than Me 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Classroom from Mom Junky 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Dollar Store Craft from Making Manzanita

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Mini Album from Making Manzanita

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Sock Gift Printables from A Worthy Read

 

 

Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 04 Creating an Summer Routines for Your Family       Let's chat about creating summer routines today! As we dive into summer, it's key to come up with a vision for your summer and routines that allow your summer to be fun and joyful...

Podcast 03: Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 03 Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family       Today's episode dives into the 15 minute formula that I've used to help the moms I coach get more done and become productivity ninjas! By using the formula to break down your goals...

Habit Stacking to Make Routines that Stick

Habit Stacking to Make Routines that Stick

Habits for Success: Achieve the Goals that Matter

 

 

When you work to achieve the goals that matter to you, you need to come up with a plan to create habits and routines that will work. Using habit stacking will get you closer to your goals faster.

 

So often, we set out to hit these big goals and fall short. We’re told DREAM BIG and REACH FOR THE STARS but we go about achieving these goals the wrong way.

 

I’ve been there. I’ve created an ‘all or nothing’ mentality way too many times in my life. Maybe you’ve been there too.

 

You’ve created these grandiose statements about how you’re never eating sugar again, decluttering your entire house in one day, or finally sitting down to write that book you’ve always dreamed of (which you of course plan to finish in just one month).

 

Making big goals and not creating a system to attack them is just setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve ever started a diet on Monday and by Wednesday are back to your old habits because you’ve ‘fallen off the wagon’ than you know what I mean.

 

Related Post: 5 Steps for Creating a Virtual Vision Board

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

 

Habits of Successful People

 

When successful and productive people make habits, they do it strategically. Yes, they dream big and make huge and mighty goals (because playing small never served anyone) but they also come up with a PLAN to get things done.

 

 

To create habits that really will produce results and get you to your goals, you have to make them concrete. It doesn’t do you any good to say that you’ll ‘eat better’ or ‘read more’ or ‘be happier’. Those are just words tossed up in the sky. You need to put a concrete measure on what you really will accomplish.

 

 

Change ‘eat better’ to ‘eat 5 servings of veggies a day’ and ‘read more’ into ‘read 2 books a month’ and ‘be happier’ into ‘have coffee with a friend each week, take a dance lesson every month, or go on a solo vacation’.

 

 

Writing down your goals in such a way that you can measure will set you up for tremendous success. When you know exactly what you’re shooting for you can create a plan to track your results and take steps to achieving it.

 

 

Related Post: Successful Goal Setting in 3 Steps

Habit Stacking and Creating Routines

 

But how do you actually make a plan that you’ll stick to? How can you take your goals and DO SOMETHING with them without quitting?

 

 

Enter habit stacking.

 

 

Habit stacking is the #1 way that I’ve seen success with my goals and the way I teach all of the women I work with to go after theirs. Instead of trying to change everything overnight, you need to pick small pieces of the goal to tackle each week.

 

 

Let’s go back to the weight loss example. If you’ve decided that you want to lose weight and eat healthier, you might decide overnight that you will only drink water, eat vegetables at each meal, eliminate unhealthy carbs and stop eating after 5pm. Where you set yourself up for failure is when you try to do them all AT THE SAME TIME.

 

 

Related Post: How to Find Time To Workout as a Busy Mom 

 

 

 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to change and do better but, if you truly want to make lifestyle changes and achieve long term goals, no one says that you have to make all of the changes overnight! By breaking them down into smaller habits, and really developing those habits as part of your day to day routines,  you can create systems in your life that just become second nature and impact you long term.

 

 

So, if you’re looking to get healthier and lose weight, you might want to pick one of those small goals to work on for 1-2 weeks. Take 2 weeks to just focus on your water intake. Don’t worry about any of the other stuff and put all your efforts into doing one thing really, really well. You’ll become a water expert, hitting your water goal won’t feel as hard after two weeks, and you’ll be able to celebrate the small success and win that you had.

 

After 2 weeks, now that you’ve tackled that goal and it’s become second nature, ADD in a second small goal. For the next 2 weeks you’ll not only focus on your water intake (which won’t be as hard to achieve since you’ve mastered it these past two weeks) but you’ll focus on eating one serving of vegetables with each meal. Focus on that for two weeks and then add your next small goal.

 

 

 

 

The Best Way to Organize Your Goals

 

 

 

Will it take you longer to get all of your habits down? Maybe. But by tackling your goals this way you’re more likely to not quit along the way because you’re trying to change too much too quickly. This way you’ll start to create habits that last you a lifetime and not just for the short term. And you can celebrate the little wins along the way!

 

 

Staying Motivated

When you’re on your way to achieving your goals, how can you stay motivated?

 

Well with habit stacking, it’s not as tough. I suggest using a goal tracking sheet to mark down which habits you’re sticking to. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a gold star or needing to check a box to stay motivated in the beginning.

 

As you are tackling these new habits and making them more part of your lifestyle, external motivation will be a big part in keeping you going. After a few weeks of seeing success with your ‘little wins’, these habits will become more internal and you won’t need to track them each day.

 

But to start, don’t hesitate to track! Tracking will keep you focused, help you see the big picture, and allow you to applaud yourself for your success. Without tracking, it’s so easy to miss a day of your new habit and completely stop. When you track your new habits, you get that little reminder of what you need to get done and that little push to keep going!

 

 

So this week, break your goals down and pick 1 thing to focus on and get really great at it! Comment below with what you're focusing on this week and keep me updated!

 

 

Want to work on being more productive? Download the weekend checklist to get started (and just pick one area to focus on this weekend) 

 

Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 04 Creating an Summer Routines for Your Family       Let's chat about creating summer routines today! As we dive into summer, it's key to come up with a vision for your summer and routines that allow your summer to be fun and joyful...

Podcast 03: Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 03 Creating an Evening Routine for Your Family       Today's episode dives into the 15 minute formula that I've used to help the moms I coach get more done and become productivity ninjas! By using the formula to break down your goals...

For When Money is Tight…

For When Money is Tight…

Dear Mama.

 

I see you.

 

You’re at the checkout line wondering if your card will go through. You know you should know exactly how much is in your account but you’ve been too scared to check and know that you just need to get some produce and milk.

 

You hold your breath and pray that the words DECLINED don’t show up so you can just get your milk and leave before you bump into anyone that sees you using WIC checks to make ends meet.

 

I feel your heart beating faster and faster as the cashier looks at you with a sad look in your eyes that your card didn’t go through and she still needed $5.25 for the bill. I feel the panic set into your brain as you realize you have no cash, no cards with any money on it and you know you’ll have to walk away from the store empty handed.

 

 

 

I can feel the tears well up in your eyes as the woman behind you looks at you with pity and says “I’ve got it hunny, don’t worry about it” and your face flush red as you accept her help.

 

Your mind starts to race at all the things you wish you could say to her. How you want to explain your situation, what happened that you needed to get help, that you aren’t lazy or just wanting a hand out but just need a little help. Your mouth can’t seem to form words so you just nod and replay with tears streaming down your face, “Thank You”.

 

Mama, I see you at home, opening up the bills and wondering how you’ll make it through. You sit there and try to plan out if you’ll be able to get the kids anything for Christmas, what you can sell to make extra money for groceries or to pay the phone bill, and wonder when your husband will be back at work or how you can help bring in more money.

 

I understand your fear mama. I know what it’s like to have the ground ripped from under you. I feel your jealousy rise up as you see other people on social media taking their kids to fun events, filling up the Christmas tree, or eating out multiple times a week and you wonder just when you’ll be able to even take a breath again without worrying about money.

 

I know what it’s like when you feel your faith tested. When you find yourself asking God, “What else can I do”? And wondering if He has forgotten about you or what you did wrong. Mama, I know the despair in your heart.

 

But mama… can I tell you something?

 

I know it’s hard right now and it might not get easier for a long time. I know how scary it is to not know whether or not your phone will get shut off, your card will get rejected at the store, or how long you can put up a front to your friends and family about how tough things really are.

 

But know there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

No matter how deep and dark things feel now, know that things WILL turn around. God has you in His arms and though you don’t understand why you’re in this valley, things will be okay.

 

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help. There is no shame in using assistance if you need it and there should be no judgement from the people who really love you. Know that there is always something you can do or somewhere you can go for help, even if it’s just something little, to make it through.

 

Dear mama… I know you’re scared. I know you feel lost. I know you are broken. I know you are hurting.

 

But I also know that you are not in this alone.

 

You are a warrior. You have all you need to get through today. Take things one day at a time, one decision at a time and one step at a time. You deserve all the happiness in the world and know, your time will come and your light will shine again.

 

Looking for more Money Saving Tips for Mom?

4 Steps to Cheap Summer Activities

10+ Homemade Christmas Card Ideas on a Budget

10+ Homemade Christmas Card Ideas on a Budget

Homemade Christmas Card Ideas on a Budget

Hopefully you’ve been joining us for this series on enjoying Christmas on a Budget. This post is going to focus on homemade Christmas card ideas on a budget!

And no, you don’t have to be super crafty to make your own holiday card. I actually really love giving and receiving our holiday cards. It’s such a special time of year to get to see how everyone’s family has grown and getting to tape them up on our mantle.

A few years ago, when we started sending our own cards out each year, I was shocked at the prices! I could not even wrap my head around the fact that it might cost us $100+ to create and mail cards out!

I refuse to pay that much (I mean I’m ALL about saving money to stay on our budget) so I went on a hunt to figure out how to DIY my own cards in the cheapest way to stick to our Christmas budget.

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DIY cards christmas

You’ll need a few things to get started with creating your own cards this year and it’s key to start planning ahead. You’ll want to give yourself some time and put in your calendar to spend maybe 30 minutes a week for a few weeks putting these cards together.

For your cards you’ll most likely want; a family picture, a quote or message, stamps, photo printer paper, and time to snag some good deals if you don’t want to print them yourself!

Holiday Card Sayings, Quotes and Inspiration

If you want a nice quote or message besides just “Merry Christmas” on your card, head over to Pinterest and create a board for yourself to save some inspiration. You can PIN ideas that you see of styles you like, quotes that you might want to use or even simply some color inspiration!

Pinterest is always a starting place for me when it comes to my creativity because honestly, I don’t have all that much of it. I like to have a starting place and not a blank canvas because it saves me time.

Don’t get too caught up in all of the fancy cards though. Know your crafting and DIY skills and know that it doesn’t have to be complicated to put together a nice DIY card!

DIY Christmas Cards Photo  {using Canva}

 

We always DIY our holiday cards because they are the simplest way to get started. We recently took family pictures so, while my kids have grown up a bit, I don’t feel the need to take new ones right now.

 

If you want a new family picture, you need to book those sessions NOW! There are so many great photographers that offer awesome rate (and if you’re in Bucks County, PA make sure you check out Mini Bucks County for discounts for our members) and a great place to start finding one is in Mommy Facebook Groups.

 

I’ve actually been able to trade services for a free photoshoot! I found a photographer who was looking for some blogging services that I offered and we swapped services! If you have a business that someone might be interested (particularly around the holiday time!), don’t hesitate to post that you’re looking for a services swap in a group and see what happens!

 

Hiring a professional photographer might not be in the budget so don’t shy away from places like JC Penny that often offer great deals. It may not be the fanciest but you’ll get some nice pictures that you and your family can use for the cards!

 

After you’ve gotten your pictures, head over to Canva to create your card! I’ve done a quick video for you below on how you can use this free site to make awesome cards. They have a ton of templates that I love and make it super easy for us non-creatives!

 

 

Holiday Card Promo Codes

 

Once you have your card created you have a couple options when it comes to printing it out and staying on your budget. We have plenty of photo paper so, depending on our ink situation, I sometimes print mine out. We often do this for birthday party invitations but, when it comes to Christmas cards, it might not be as cost effective.

 

You can also just send some somewhere simple like Target or CVS and get them printed out as regular pictures. If you choose the matte finish, they look like regular cards (just not printed on thicker paper) and can be around 10 cents a photo!

 

At first, I really wanted to make sure they were super fancy but I realized that most people were going to just throw them away anyway and if they really cared more about the quality of the card vs. the people on it, they weren’t ‘my people’ anyway!

 

Always search for promo codes on sites like Ebates so that you can get a great deal on top of it! You might save only $4-5 but if you’re still looking ot cash flow your Christmas, that money matters!!

 

If you don’t even want to go the Canva route, use Ebates to find deals or wait until Cyber Monday. So many places like Mixbook will have killer deals and if you plan in advance to be ready to order that day, you will at least get a discount!

 

DIY Christmas Card Ideas

 

Depending on your level of craftiness, the amount of involvement you want your kids to have in making the cards, and the time you want to put into them, you might want to do something that’s even a little more Pinterest worthy

 

I’ve found some other ideas for you to get your crafty on below! Check them out and know, no matter which route you take, your cards are amazing because they represent you and your family!

 

Confessions of An Overlooked Mom

County Chic Cottage

The Soccer Mom Blog

Blue Bear Wood

 

Heart and Vine 

Where the Smiles Have Been 

Messy Little Monster

My Cultured Palate (printable gift tags!)

Projects with Kids 

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