Thursday, February 8, 2007

Money-Saving Recreation Resources

It's been another busy week around here - who'd have thought February (usually the official month of "not much to do") could be so hectic! We had a surprise visit from my dad Monday night, a surprise visit from my brother-in-law and niece Tuesday, a day-long visit with my friend Jenn and her adorable 3-month-old daughter Paige (to whom I am an honorary Auntie) and a 3-hr playdate with one of the boys friends this afternoon! Whew. No wonder I'm a bit groggy!

Okay, on to some frugal ideas. On Tuesday, all four of us ventured off to the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. The great thing about this (aside from how cool the museum was) is that our local library system has recently made available family day passes for the local civic museums. You reserve one and check it out just as you would any other library material, and you get into the museum for free!! This is really fantastic for us, since as homeschoolers we're always on the lookout for something new and interesting to do, and admission fees can really start to add up after a while. I also feel better knowing that if the boys get bored after half an hour I can leave without feeling guilty about wasting money. All frugalistas should know their library system pretty intimately of course, but it never hurts to ask the staff if they have recently added any new programs or resources. These passes will probably save us about $75-100 per year.

Another thing I learned about this past week is that our city offers substantial discounts (less than 1/2 price!) on Rec Centre Family Passes (normally $114 a year) if your family receives any Child Tax Benefits ("baby bonus"). Apparently this is not something they advertise (not sure why, if it is their policy!), but it is something I am definitely going to look into before I purchase this year's pass!

Even though I've lived in the same city for almost 15 years, I am still finding new programs and resources that will help save us money while having fun!

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