Frugal Family Fun for St. Patrick's Day
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Frugal Family Fun for St. Patrick’s Day

Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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Looking for ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your kids? You can do it without having to spend a lot of money. It doesn’t matter if you happen to have Irish heritage or not. As they say, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! Here are some ideas to celebrate the holiday in a frugal, and kid-friendly, way.

Make Your Own Shamrock Shakes
Every year around this time, the Shamrock Shake reappears on the menu at McDonald’s. They are elusive, and there is potential that they will run out before you arrive. A more reliable, and less expensive, way to enjoy a Shamrock Shake is to make one yourself with a copycat recipe.

I found this one at Food.com. The best part about this recipe is that you can easily substitute soy for milk (and make a safe treat for those who have milk allergies or lactose intolerance). Buy some ice cream (or soy ice cream), use some milk (or soy), add some mint extract and some green food coloring. You will be able to make several Shamrock Shakes, and it will cost less than if you got all of them from McDonald’s.

Watch a St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Parades are something that people can watch for free. Just show up and enjoy! Check your local newspaper (or their website) for information about where and when a St. Patrick’s Day parade will take place. In some cases, there may be a fee for parking, but you might be able to around that by walking there or taking public transportation.

Can’t find one near you? Check out a recorded video of one. I highly recommend you take a look at the parade that Chicago has every year. They die the river green shortly before the parade starts. That is definitely something to see (even if you can’t go there in person look at it). Search through YouTube for a good video of the dyeing of the river. This won’t cost you a cent!

The Wearing of the Green
It is traditional to wear something green on St. Patrick’s Day. Help your children search through their closet and dresser drawers for green clothing to wear. Little kids, who are in the stage where they insist upon dressing themselves, may find this to be especially fun.

Don’t have any green clothing for your kids to wear? No problem! Kohl’s has a sale on St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts, sleepers, and top and pants sets for kids and babies.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.