The Best of MTTD………..


This post was first published on April 23, 2010


Take Me Out to the Ballgame…
…Or Something

Unfortunately, one of the first things to go when money is tight or during a recession is the entertainment budget. The cost of food and gasoline doesn’t leave much left over for fun and relaxation. At a time when we need some R&R most.

The cost of movies is out of the stratosphere these days. Baseball and other pro-sports events are even worse. Vacations for many people are simply out of the question. Who can afford these activities when money is so tight?

Yet we still need some fun and joy in our lives. We still need R&R to survive. What’s a person to do?

GOOD NEWS!! Fortunately, having fun is not synonymous with spending a lot of money. Just because money is tight doesn’t mean you have to forego having fun. There are lots of ways to have fun on a tight budget.

Here are 25 ways to have fun during a recession.

1. Meal Night

Each person in the family makes one course for the evening meal. Make a party out of it.

2. Talent Show

Everyone performs something: a song, a dance, recites a poem, imitates someone famous, tells jokes, or recites a speech such as the Gettysburg Address. Put together some costumes. Make a stage area. Wear costumes. Write up a program to distribute to everyone. Make it look professional by using a computer and add decorations and art work, even pictures.

3. Play Board Games

Clue, Parcheesi, Monopoly, Scrabble, Aggravation, to name a few. What is your favorite board game?

4. Play Card Games

Gin Rummy, War, Old Maid, Hearts, War, Go Fish, Uno.

5. Play Outdoor Games

Blindman’s Bluff, Red Rover, Hide and Seek, Tag, Jump rope, Frisbee, Fly a Kite Yes. That means adults too!

6. Go on a Picnic

Pack a picnic lunch and head to a local or state park. While there take a hike and identify trees, bird watch, identify flowers and insects. Create books on what you see with drawings and descriptions with date and time.

7. Take a Walking Tour of Your City

Discover the history of your city and more.

8. Throw a Block Party and get to know and have fun with your neighbors.

9. Have a Scavenger Hunt – family or neighborhood

10. Start a Family Scrapbook

11. Volunteer

At a hospital, a homeless shelter, or an animal shelter.

12. Go to a Flea Market or Go Antiquing

You don’t have to buy anything. Sometimes just walking around and looking at everything can be a barrel of laughs. And then sometimes you may find a really good bargain.

13. Work Crossword Puzzles Together

14. Start a Vegetable Garden or a Flower Garden

In the spring start a vegetable garden to help save on your grocery bill, and a flower garden to feed your soul.

15. Have a Family Read-a-Book-Out-Loud Night

Read one chapter a night. Let everyone who can read have a chance to read. Don’t forget to include picture books every so often for the youngest children and the child in all of us.

16. Support a Local Sports Team

Much less expensive than pro-sports. Enroll children in Little League or other sports programs. And attend to watch your children.

17. Children Can Join Brownies, Boy Scouts, or Girl Scout

      You Can Become a Scout Leader

18. Rent a Movie Night

Much cheaper than the theater. Better yet, go to your local public library. Many have videos and CDs of many titles. The movies there are FREE.

19. Discover the Library

Lots of books. Many have children’s reading clubs in the summer, many have Story Telling Hour. Check out your library. There are many free things for both children and adults at your local public library. Also, don’t buy magazines, you can get them for FREE at the library.

20. Take up Star-Gazing

You can get books at your local library on what to look for in the night sky. If you have an Observatory near you they may have free or inexpensive programs as well. Pair this activity with a Family Night Camping In Your Own Backyard. Have a cookout that night. Build the tents together out of old blankets or sheets. Tell scary stories by flashlight. And laugh a lot.

21. City Activities

Many cities have free concerts in the park and other free or low cost activities such as art fairs, jazz festivals, various parades throughout out the year.

22. Go to a Museum, Science Center, or the Zoo

Look for days with half-price tickets or some times even free entrance.

23. Have a “Remember When” Night

Share old records, old CD’s, old pictures, old clothes, old toys. Dress up in period clothes.

24. Have a Garage Sale

Family or neighborhood. Make a little money on all those old things you no longer need.

25. Jig Saw Puzzle

Work it as a family. Really a great activity during a winter snowstorm.

OK. OK!! So I can’t count. Three additional ideas for you.

26. Family Car Wash Day

Wonderful way too cool off on a hot summer day.

27. Make Crafts

There are many crafts that you can make inexpensively. Pick up how-to books at the library or look in the library’s magazines.

28. Go Fishing

What ideas can you add to this list? Share them in the comments section.

Featured Recipe  English Muffin Ham, Tomato, and Egg Sandwich

To go with your inexpensive entretainment today I am serving up a super inexpensive ($1.50 per person) yet very tasty and filling recession meal.

Today’s recipe can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, or even as a midnight snack. I like versatile recipes like that, don’t you?

For me this inexpensive little meal is often a way to use up leftovers, as I have done today.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

2 English muffins                                                

3 teaspoons butter                                                  

2-3 slices of ham                                                     

1 tomato/3 slices                                                      

3 teaspoons shredded Cheddar cheese                      

3 eggs                                                                   

2 tablespoons oil                                                      


Here is what you do:

Split the English muffins in half and toast them. Butter the muffins.

Heat the oil over medium low heat and add the eggs.

While the eggs are cooking place a half or a whole slice of ham on the muffin. Top with a slice of tomato.

Place the muffin with the ham and the tomato back in the oven or toaster oven at 250 degrees till the tomato is warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove muffin from oven and top with the fried egg, add salt and pepper if using.  Top with the shredded cheese. Serve with a salad.

Making this meal healthier:

Use whole wheat English muffins.

Poach the eggs instead of frying them.

Bon appétit!!!


Two English muffins                                                 $1.00

3 teaspoons butter                                                   $0.24

2-3 slices of ham                                                     $1.15

1 tomato/3 slices                                                     $1.25

3 teaspoons shredded Cheddar cheese                      $0.27

3 eggs                                                                    $0.39

2 tablespoons oil                                                      $0.20

Total cost=$4.50
Cost per person=$1.50

 Quote of the Day

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.



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