Is saving money on your to-do list for 2023? We know that can be a hard resolution to keep — you don't want to sacrifice family time to save a few bucks. But we have five creative ways to maximize your dollars in the new year while still giving you the opportunity for loads of kid-friendly fun:
1. Never pay full price for gift cards
My new favorite hack? Buying gift cards at a discount.
Raise is an app with gift cards to 4,000+ brands with up to a 30% discount. Right now you can purchase a $50 DSW gift card for $42.82. Combine that with my $10 off coupon and I can save quite a bit of dough on that sweet new pair of running shoes I've had my eye on!
Have a gift card you won't use? You can also sell it on Raise to make some money.
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2. Check your Macaroni KID calendar
Macaroni KID has nearly 400 publishers across the country filling their local Macaroni KID calendars with events happening in your town! Many of those events are free or low-cost. Subscribe to your local Macaroni KID edition today (it's free!) to make sure you don't miss a thing.
Don't have a Macaroni KID publisher in your town? We're actively recruiting now! Our publishers get perks like tickets, advertising revenue, barters, trips, and more — all great ways to save on local family fun. Find out more today at JoinMacaroniKID.com.
3. Get the kids outside
All National Park Service sites are FREE for five days in 2023. There are more than 400 parks available nationwide, and about 100 of those charge a daily admission fee ... some as much as $35!
But save the date for the following five days in 2023 for free admission for all: Jan. 16 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day); April 22 (First Day of National Park Week); Aug. 4 (Great American Outdoors Day); Sept. 23 (National Public Lands Day); and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day).
Find out more: Read Free Days at National Parks in 2023, Plus 3 Tips On Visiting With Kids.
Another little-known perk from the National Park Service? The Annual 4th Grade Pass. If you have a child in 4th grade, you have access to all the parks for free for an entire year as part of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative.
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4. Find family adventure ... at a discount
There's no better way to connect as a family than by doing fun things together. While all of this family fun can get expensive, there are lots of great ways to save.
We love our sister site, CertifiKID, to help find our deals — often exclusive to CertifiKID! — on everything from summer camps for kids, big traveling shows, and even tropical getaways. You can save up to 50% with a CertifiKID deal!
Sign up now to receive CertifiKID's family-friendly deals delivered right to your inbox.
5. Cut back on your restaurant drink order
OK, this one requires a bit of a sacrifice — but it's small and the savings can really add up! When you're out to eat with your family, talk to them about ordering water instead of a drink. Soda at restaurants can run as much as $3. When you have four people ordering, that can add a good chunk to your bill! Making a simple adjustment like that is a great way for kids to see that simple changes can make a real difference. Perhaps save that "soda money" in a jar so they can see how quickly it adds up!
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If you ask a room full of people how they budget and save money everyone likely has their own way of doing it. Hopefully this list gives you some new ideas. We'd love to hear yours! Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might use your budget hack in an upcoming article!