Family Fun on a Budget

When many people think of a fun day with the family they might think of going shopping at the mall followed by a movie and then ending the day with dinner at a nice restaurant. While a day like this may be fun it’s also very expensive and doing this on a regular basis can really blow your budget. Im not going to say you should never enjoy days like this but there are cheaper alternatives that can save money- allowing you to put that money towards retiring early.

One of my favorite things to do is have campfires. They are a great way to have fun in the outdoors and they are something everyone can do. Starting a fire is also dirt cheap. All you need are matches or some other way to start your fire, and wood. You could buy firewood but I prefer to gather my own.

Hot dogs and hamburgers are easy to cook over the fire. Get creative and cook whatever you like. I’ve even roasted bell peppers from my garden and they turned out great. For dessert its hard to beat smores. Hershey’s milk chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers are all you need to make them.

For a fun twist on the classic smore you can make smores cones instead. Just take sugar cones or waffle cones and fill them up with layers of mini marshmallows and milk chocolate chips. Then wrap them in foil and place them on the grill. Heat them just enough to slightly melt the chocolate and make the marshmallows gooey. These are great for the whole family and the kids will especially love them. You can experiment and use different flavor chips such as butterscotch or peanut butter chips, It’s all up to you.


  • Starting a fire is pretty simple if you’ve never done so. Bring plenty of newspaper, junk mail, toilet paper, or any other easily combustible material. Gather up a nice sized bunch of small sticks that are no bigger than the diameter of a pencil- the smaller and drier the better. Crumple up your combustible material and then pile your small sticks on top. Carefully light the material with matches or a lighter and once the sticks have started burning steadily add bigger and bigger pieces of wood.
  • A grill like this is fairly inexpensive to buy and makes cooking over the fire alot easier. I love mine and I think it will last a long long time.
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