How to Spend Time Together on a Budget

February is known for Valentine’s Day.  Whether or not you celebrate this holiday, we thought this month was a good time to talk about ways we can spend time together with our loved ones and create lasting memories on a budget.

Plan and cook a meal together.

Involve the whole family, especially young children.  Pick one person to take the lead, even if that person is a child. Sit down and choose a menu, perhaps based on a traditional favorite or an ethnic experiment.  Write out the ingredient list and take the whole family to the store or your garden or the farmer’s market for your ingredients.  Make the meal the center of a family night, adding a board game, topical music or a learning experience.

TIP: Involving children in meal prep is a great way to combat a picky eater.  Once they help choose, plan and prepare the meal, they are much more likely to enjoy it.

family spending time together in kitchen

Create an affirmation jar.

Get a jar with a lid for each person in your family or friend group.  Spend time together decorating the jar, with paint or stickers and the person’s name.  Have each group member write a short, thoughtful note: “What I love about you,” and place the notes in each person’s jar.

TIP: For a fun twist, tell each jar recipient to wait to open the jar until they are having a bad day, or feeling kind of down.  It’s a nice feeling to see the jar on your shelf, knowing it is full of love and support, and anticipating opening it for an emotional boost.

Organize a day trip.

Let one family or friend take the lead. Decide on a budget (which could be $0!).  Get together and decide what options appeal to everyone.  Perhaps your tribe is more athletic and would enjoy a robust hike or frisbee football, or maybe participating in a community garden is more your and son spending time together gardening

TIP: Take turns with the planning role.  Some people really enjoy planning and events and others, not so much, but it is a good skill to have in your tool kit.

Host a game night.

There are so many fun games, from card games to the classic board games, that are appropriate for all ages.  Offer a prize for the winner(s) each time you play.  There is also the option of going a puzzle together, so the entire group works together, and there isn’t a traditional winner or loser.

TIP: If you come from a competitive clan, create a score card and keep track of winners and losers all year long.

Whatever activities you decide on, we suggest making them tech free (collect all cell phones and devices ahead of time) so that you can focus on the people that are right in front of you!

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Heather White
1 year ago

I think planning a garden together, which is a continuous project is also a great family/friend time together. When you do finally put it in the ground, watch it grow, care for it together and finally eat what you’ve grow what a wonderful time together and all on a budget and providing food.

1 year ago

[…] February, we’ve been focusing on connecting with loved ones.  But don’t forget about taking care of […]

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