Fun on the Cheap: A Quiz for Frugal Families

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

If you're pinching pennies, you might be cutting back on more expensive playtime pursuits. However, there's no reason to axe all recreation time! Find out how solution-savvy you are with this quiz.

Many families are looking for ways to cut costs. In America as of 2010, what's the lowest average of how much will a family spend each year to support one child?

Although the exact cost depends on a family's socioeconomic situation and the age of the child, annual costs to support one child can range from about $8,500 to $24,000. (That's the price of a car!)

Public libraries can be a great resource for recreational learning. What sorts of classes might be offered at a public library?

Unfortunately, most public libraries don't have the facilities to accommodate classes like dance and cooking. However, many libraries offer practical classes and workshops such as resume writing and English as a second language.

Aside from public libraries, where else might you find inexpensive classes offered in your community?

Lucky you -- it's easy to find a class in just about anything, if you know where to look! Keep your eyes peeled for advertisements and brochures, and don't forget to check the Web sites of your favorite establishments to see what they might be offering.

Museums can be good options for a family looking for an inexpensive outing. In the United States, what is the average cost of admission to a museum?

It's just one more thing to like about museums: Some charge a fixed admission, but many offer entry either free of charge or at a suggested -- but not required -- donation.

What kinds of exhibits might you find at a museum?

Since a current bestseller hasn't stood the test of time, you'd be hard-pressed to find it in a museum -- and if you can track down a museum big enough to hold a life-sized replica of the galaxy, please let us know! However, you can still find some pretty cool museums showcasing subjects from automobiles to airplanes and sculpture to science experiments.

Your local YMCA is a great and inexpensive option for families who want to get fit while learning about healthy living practices. What does the acronym YMCA stand for?

Technically, the YMCA's mission is to "put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all." However, clubs are open to individuals (including women) and families of all faiths.

Improving fitness is a great project for famillies on a budget. Which of the following might allow families access to lower costs when joining a gym?

Many gyms offer special discounts for families. For example, once the primary member joins, other family members may have their initiation and processing fees waived.

What's another easy option for families wanting to get in shape on the cheap?

Although it would be nice to have a personal trainer at your disposal, they also charge fairly steep prices for their services. With some creativity and the help of a variety of online resources, it's easy to create a home boot camp that's simultaneously challenging and fun.

Even on weekends, busy families might find themselves wrapped up in completing projects around the house. What's a good way to get kids excited about helping out?

A great way to get kids involved in a project that might not be immediately appealing is to let them own a task -- ideally, something that is easy enough for them to finish but might be time-consuming if you were to complete it yourself.

When tackling a DIY project around the house, which of the following is a good first step to take before beginning?

While it's always exciting to jump right into a project, it's important to know what you're doing first. Many hardware stores offer classes and online tutorials in common DIY projects.

Exploring nature is a fun and inexpensive activity for families. Before you set out on a nature walk, what's a good way to prepare?

When hiking or setting out on a nature walk, it's important that you research trails first. Online hiking directories offer detailed information about hikes in your area so you can be fully prepared for your trek.

What are some features that an online hiking directory might offer?

Web sites usually don't offer GPS tracking as you hike, but many mobile smartphone apps do -- in addition to all the features of a regular site. Check out your phone's app store to explore specific offerings.

What are some handy items to take along on a hike or nature walk?

When you're venturing out on a trek through nature, it's important to be prepared for any circumstances that might arise. Books and Web sites about hiking usually have great tips on all of the necessities and where to find them.

Movies can be an expensive outing for a family, but they're hard to give up. What options do frugal families have at the cinema?

Even though rising ticket prices may feel like highway robbery, it's important to remain ethical at the theater. Matinee tickets may be $4 cheaper per ticket, and some theaters show older films for a deeply discounted price.

Book clubs are a great way to combine fun and learning without spending too much money. Where could a frugal family find a book club to accord with their interests?

Bookstores and libraries are great resources for book clubs of all kinds, and many publishers offer book club guides for readers interested in further discussion. Can't find one that piques your interest? Start your own with the help of online resources.

Going to the theater can be a great experience for kids, but it can also be very expensive. What's a good cost-cutting solution?

Not only can local theater be excellent entertainment, it's also much cheaper than regional or professional theater. Local groups are also more likely to be more flexible with discounts.

If you really don't want to leave the house, you're not out of options. How can frugal homebodies still stay entertained?

While pizza parties and video games might be fun, they're also not too cheap. Being frugal is a great excuse to introduce kids to older board games with which they might not be familiar.

Sometimes, there's just no way to get around spending money. Which of the following can help ease the blow to your wallet?

Although it might seem like deals are hard to find, it's not too hard to track down secondhand items that are still in good condition. Mailing lists from retail stores also will often include coupons or information on upcoming sales.

Daily deal sites like Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com can help frugal families save big bucks on activities. What's one catch to be aware of?

Daily deal sites offer some truly mind-boggling discounts, but the economics are such that purchases must reach a certain number for the discount to be worth it to vendors. That level is usually reached, but it's good to remember that these deals are not guaranteed.

Bartering is a good option for families that are long on goods and services but short on cash. Which of the following is the cheapest bartering option?

Although a bartering service can help you reach a wide range of fellow barterers, such services also charge a fee. If you have friends or neighbors who are interested, you'll likely still be able to get what you're looking for -- and they won't ask for an additional fee. (Hopefully!)

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