Family Fun on a Budget (by Hannah Keeley)

We live in a time where our calendars are booked to the minute and it is common for families to go for days without sitting together for a meal. Not only can our families be strengthened as we spend more time together, we can also save money by finding activities to do at home. Mother of seven Hannah Keeley has some great tips for you on how you can enjoy the remainder of the summer with your family on a budget:

“Families are tightening their budgets and for many this means fewer activities outside of the home. With less dining out, movie outings, sports games or even summer camp, there’s no better time for budget-conscious moms and dads to really connect and spend quality time with their kids throughout the summer. Hannah Keeley, mother of seven, host public broadcast show, Hannah Help Me! and author of “Hannah Keeley’s Total Mom Makeover: The Six-Week Plan to Completely Transform Your Home, Health, Family, and Life,” has tips for making the most of your family time this summer without breaking the bank.

Start at home
One of your biggest monthly investments is your family home so why not get your money’s worth? If your kids don’t think staying home is cool, here’s your opportunity to get creative.
* Establish a weekly game night and no need to buy new games, ask other parents if they have games that you can borrow.
* Subscribe to a home movie rental service. Let the kids add their favorite movie to the queue as a reward for an accomplishment.
* Strap on helmet and ride bikes as a family.
* Check out your local library and chamber of commerce for fun things to do in your own

Dining in Style

With the kids out of school and longer days, there is no better time for the family to be together than at dinnertime!
* Keep the meal simple so the family can prepare it together. I like to use affordable canned vegetables, like Libby’s, in recipes and as side dishes because they are delicious and easy to prepare.
* Dine outside at least once a week. It doesn’t matter if you have a patio or you do it picnic
*Let the kids in on the planning and the ambiance, such as creating handwritten menus or setting the table with brightly-colored place settings.
* Invite the kids into the kitchen and make it a learning experience. Kids can help you mix ingredients in large bowls and even open cans with this child-side can opener. Check for family-friendly recipes.

Get Out of Town

You don’t have to give up the precious memories created during annual summer vacations. While theme parks and tropical escapes may be the gold standard of summer retreats, there are a lot of great locales closer to home.
* Look for locations 3-4 hours away to save on airfare and make it a road trip.
* Try camping. Once a popular option, many young families are getting back into the adventurous spirit of camping.
* Use your own childhood for inspiration: is there a special place that you’d like to share with your own kids? Have your kids ever been to your old Alma Mater?”

She also has tips for stretching your grocery dollar, strategies for family meal times, five time saving tips and a seven day meal planner. So be sure to visit I need to start planning meals now that my hubby will be returning in a month from his 15-month tour in Iraq and I can’t get away with eating cereal for dinner anymore! I hope these tips help you out and the biggest reminder I got from these tips and strategies are to be creative, budgets allow us to spend money on the important things and it’s never too late to start good habits of being budget-conscious, planning meals and spending time with our families.

Click here for a money saving coupon on Libby’s canned vegetables. There is also a link on the left hand side of the

{If you enjoyed reading Family Fun on a Budget (by Hannah Keeley) I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

Latest posts by Emi (see all)


  1. ktlasers says:

    I've already been to the library last week to check out local activities, so this week I'll go to the chamber of commerce!

  2. ktlasers says:

    I thought I was publicly following this blog, but I guess I wasn't. I am now!

  3. ktlasers says:

    I'm already a Facebook fan; I hope that counts!

  4. ktlasers says:

    My 18mo daughter's favorite Libby's product is the mixed vegetables, preferably done up with a masala sauce!

  5. ktlasers says:

    The two links under "Save" aren't working.

  6. We are planning on having a picnic this week celebrating my daughter's birthday.:)

    plus having a family night together playing games we haven't done that in such a long time

  7. I am a blog follower

  8. Green Beans are the favorite-I think this is a great giveaway :)

  9. S Club Mama says:

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!

    Very good tips, but do you have any ideas for something that would cater to a 2-year-old more?

    Very cute blog…love the little birdies.

  10. I am going to plan a dinner on the back deck for one night this week and include my daughter in planning it! What awesome tips!! Thanks!

  11. hbocanegra says:

    I think we'll try eating outside one night this week. My husband works evenings, so I'm always looking for things to do with our 3 kids. We already do a game night, but I never thought to borrow from friends. Both of these are GREAT ideas!

  12. hbocanegra says:

    I'm also a FB fan.

  13. I am a blog follower!
    Jennifer Hamilton

  14. Fan on FB!

  15. hbocanegra says:

    and corn is the kids favorite veggie in this house.

  16. Your button is on my blog!

  17. My daughter doesn't have a fav veggie – but mine would be green beans:)

  18. zealandsmom says:

    I would love to try eating outside… permitting:)

  19. zealandsmom says:

    FB fan

  20. zealandsmom says:

    Zealands favorite vege is a potato….does that count? 😉

  21. zealandsmom says:

    I follow

  22. zealandsmom says:
  23. We go to the library quite often already so I think this week I'll let my 3yr old help me make dinner one night. He loves to stand and eat corn right out of the can while I cook!

  24. I follow your blog

  25. I'm a Facebook fan

  26. My 3 year old sons favorite veggie is peas (yes I said peas and he loves em!)And my 1 yr old sons fav is green beans. But they really love ALL veggies thankfully!

  27. My kids love to have picnics. I'm going to try to follow the tip to eat outside once a week! Thanks for a great giveaway! :)

  28. Follower

  29. My kids really like green beans and corn.

  30. Life More Simply says:

    Thanks for the great post! I will be checking out my local library this week for ideas on what to do with two adults and a baby…that combination plus no money = cramped style in vacationing! :-)

  31. Life More Simply says:

    I'm a follower

  32. Life More Simply says:

    We like the canned sweet corn the best.

  33. i like the Dine outside at least once a week tip

  34. we like the canned green beans

  35. zealandsmom says:
  36. zealandsmom says:
  37. I like the when planning out the menu tip, choose dishes that don’t need a lot of fuss. Time to grab those paper plates and utensils :-)

  38. I Publicly follow The Cloth Diaper Report

  39. Fan of TCDR on Facebook

    ID – cheryl hodgkins

  40. I follow you on twitter-iamcherdon


  41. All my kids & older grandkids love corn, my youngest granddaughter loves Small Whole Beets LOL

    Great giveaway..thanks

  42. rubymoon says:

    We are eating outside now at least once or twice a week since I read through the tips.
    "Dine outside at least once a week. It doesn’t matter if you have a patio or you do it picnic style – either way, you can enjoy the fresh air and quality time together." The kid's love to do this.

    espressogurl at hotmail dot com

  43. rubymoon says:

    I follow on Blogger (rubymoon/Ally)

    contact email: espressogurl at hotmail dot com

  44. rubymoon says:

    I'm your Facebook Fan!

    espressogurl at hotmail dot com

  45. zealandsmom says:
  46. brittanyandtravis says:

    I plan on letting the kids help make dinner more often.

  47. brittanyandtravis says:

    I'm a FB fan

  48. brittanyandtravis says:

    I publicly follow the blog.

  49. zealandsmom says:
  50. Mrs Mommy says:

    I really would like to start incorporating a family game night. I am thinking picnic style dinner outside in the summer and on the carpet in the livingroom in the winter. Thanks for the idea!

  51. Mrs Mommy says:

    @TheMrsMommy follows you on twitter.

  52. Mrs Mommy says:

    I don't know if it should really be counted as vegetable intake..But my girls fav is Corn. LOL They dig potatoes too.

  53. Mrs Mommy says:
  54. Mrs Mommy says:
  55. kenziesmum says:

    One of Hannah's tips is to dine outside at least once a week. It doesn't matter if you have a patio or you do it picnic style.

  56. kenziesmum says:

    i'm a follower!

  57. kenziesmum says:
  58. kenziesmum says:
  59. kenziesmum says:
  60. Mrs Mommy says:
  61. Eating outside sounds like a fun idea!

  62. My kids love corn!

  63. andrea v says:

    My kids have been wanting to go camping so that's our next outing.

  64. andrea v says:


  65. andrea v says:

    my kids love corn

  66. andrea v says:

    fan on facebook

  67. MissouriMormonMama says:

    I'd like to visit the chamber of commerce and get more local activity info ( :

  68. MissouriMormonMama says:

    My kids prefer green beans and corn equally- It is a toss up

  69. MissouriMormonMama says:

    I'm a follower

  70. MissouriMormonMama says:

    And a facebook fan

  71. Lil Mouse says:

    She comments on a home movie rental service, but we get 'free' movies by going to the local library. You can also check out books (of course!), games, puppets, music etc!

  72. Madonna Cramer says:

    I like your ideas about a family game night, we love board games and do have a game night once a week unless school stuff keeps us really busy, but I hadn't thought about doing a games swap with other familes great idea.

  73. justicecw says:

    The weekly game night is a great idea that I will definately be starting! thanks,

  74. justicecw says:

    I just became a public follower! Thanks,

  75. justicecw says:
  76. justicecw says:

    My son's favorite Libbys vegetable is corn! thanks,

  77. I want to establish a weekly game night.

  78. My kids love green beans.

  79. Mrs Mommy says:
  80. We are going to establish a weekly game night! We all love games and I just bought some new ones at Toys r us that was going out of business, so a great time to start!

  81. i publicly follow TCDR

  82. I have added your button to my blog

  83. i am a fan on facebook

  84. my DS loves sweet potatoes and green beans!

  85. Oh, we visit the library every week, and plan on going again tomorrow. Also, I think I will try dining outside this week. Great tips!

  86. I follow your blog.

  87. My DS likes peas (after we mash them up for him), but he mostly drinks breastmilk, and since I love green beans the best, he probably likes them, too!

  88. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says:

    I follow your blog

  89. I plan to try this advice: Fill the sink with warm, soapy water so you can dunk and scrub tools and soak pots as you work.

  90. Publicly follow The Cloth Diaper Report

  91. Became a fan of TCDR on Facebook

  92. We love the corn!

  93. zealandsmom says:
  94. kenziesmum says:
  95. I would like to
    Establish a weekly game night . I think that would be awesome.

  96. follow publicly

  97. I have your button
    right side under great sites

  98. fan on facebook
    Dana J Valle

  99. The sweet corn is my childrens favorite.

  100. Subscribing via email now!
    eclaireham at yahoo dot com

About | Contact | Disclaimer | Disclosure | Memberships | Privacy Policy | PR Welcome | Terms of Use
© Copyright 2009 - 2014
· Wordpress Customizations by Melanie Amorim {graphic designer} ·