Frozen Pizza Fridays

Our Friday night routine used to consist of play dates (we’re parents) at various, local venues such as the roller skating rink, the bounce house, or Chuck E. Cheese (oh, the horror).  Along with that went, a trip to Pizza Hut, Isaac’s, or dare I say it, McDonald’s.  This seemed necessary to us only a few short months ago.  Silly us.  These days, we have our frugal antennas up.  Way up.  We are now opting for house play dates and frozen pizza!

These Days

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What kid wouldn’t love playing in this backyard?

Since starting down the road less traveled to early retirement, we have started to scrutinize every single purchase we make and every single action we take.  Friday nights were no exception.  We didn’t want to change our routine or make ourselves, or Mini Monster feel deprived, so…we improvised.  We decided to switch play dates from an evening at an over-priced, kid-focused, money factory to someone’s house.  We either host, or we are hosted every Friday night for our new, frugal shindig.  Along with the play date, we gotta eat, right?  Instead of an expensive trip to The Hut (you know what I’m talking about), we now cook up a couple frozen pizzas to satiate our tummies during this time of hunger need.  The BEST part…Mini Monster actually prefers it!  She says it takes too much of their play time to eat out.  Her and her friends definitely prefer just running around the house and grabbing a bite on the go, as opposed to wasting an hour in an uncomfortable restaurant eating crappy food.

We Have Options, You Have Options, We All Have Options!

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Cheap pizza deal

It’s no shocker that eating at home is significantly cheaper than dropping a 20 spot (or more) on fast food.  Since we decided budgets are for the birds and cut ours out of our lives entirely, we traded it for scrutinizing Every. Single. Purchase.

NOTE:  Since going ultra frugal, we have dramatically enhanced our lives by figuring out low to no-cost alternatives to past, expensive activities.  The switch has been amazing and Mini Monster hasn’t even noticed.  Success!

Okay, back to the post!  In order to not break the bank with our make-it-at-home-pizza, we always look for the frozen pizza sale of the week!  This week?  Red Baron 2 for $7!  I was actually planning on the generic store brand (which I love), but Red Baron was on sale for $2 LESS than the store brand.  This was a no-brainer.  We also use this strategy for ice cream.  We NEVER buy generic ice cream.  When companies compete, the consumer (us) wins!  Last week we scored Friendly’s ice cream for less money than the generic brand.  Delicious!

Let’s not forget, the play date can also be tweaked.  There could be a theme.  There could be different kids.  There could be a trip to the park.  The kids could surprise you with a puppet show!  We were lucky enough to enjoy a free puppet show last Friday.  Front row seating!  The possibilities are ENDLESS 🙂

This week will be no exception.  I’ll start by sending out a text message to check availability and set up the date.  If the date is at our house, we provide the frozen pizzas.  If not, they provide the frozen pizzas.  It all works out.  The evening usually commences around 6PM and lasts until 9 or 10PM.  The kids get their exercise and get to explore their creativity.   The adults get to have relaxed conversation with other adults!  It does, sometimes, get late, but it’s not a school night.  The kiddos get to sleep in the next day.  And so do mom and dad!  A true win all around.

We love coming up with ideas for low or no-cost entertainment.  In fact, minus our spectacular October wedding, we barely spent a dime on having fun this Fall.

Our Fall has consisted of free activities/entertainment:

-Bike Rides

-Hikes

-Flashlight Walks (Mini Monster loves this one)

-Cemetery strolls (Halloween!)

-Roasting marshmallows

And we’re always on the hunt for new ideas.  If you have some, send them our way!

What kind of activities or traditions have you tweaked to fit your frugal lifestyle?

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Handsome pic of Mad Money Cat

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19 comments… add one
  • MrFireStation Nov 25, 2015, 12:38 pm

    Totino’s Pizza! (I used to run that business @ General Mills) 🙂 I could tell you more about frozen pizza than you can imagine. Totino’s is the best seller in terms of # of pizzas. Tombstone is widely considered the best tasting. Digiorno is the highest sales $$$.

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 30, 2015, 6:42 am

      I love Totinos! I never would’ve guessed they have the highest pizza sales. Interesting. I love learning new stuff, especially when it comes to frozen pizza!

  • Tawcan Nov 20, 2015, 2:21 pm

    Here’s an idea, why don’t you try making your own pizza? That can be a fun activity for the kids too. My two year old love helping out making pizza by placing pepperonis and sprinkle cheese.

  • Taylor Nov 20, 2015, 2:11 pm

    I LOVE this! Spending more money to do things you don’t even enjoy is the definition of insanity, haha. I love how Mini Money Monster prefers the frugal as well 😉 For me, I only eat out if it’s a special occasion or for food I can’t replicate at home (like Indian—YUM!) Because it’s super limited, I really savor the experience and the food. Win-win. Have you ever tried making pizza at home? It would probably come out to around the same price as frozen depending on your toppings, but it’s super fun and might even be a fun kid activity 🙂

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 22, 2015, 7:04 pm

      You know, I have never thought of making pizza at home. It’s just something that never came across my radar. But, I LOVE the idea! The kids would definitely love it. We’re running with it. Thank you!

  • Rue Nov 20, 2015, 1:11 pm

    I don’t have kids, but this is totally something I struggle with in my friends group. I mean technically the whole point of going for dinner is so we get to relax and hang out and talk…so why can’t we do it at home! and alternate! and cook! to be fair, I’m the only one who really cooks but still! I find that I actually enjoy the laidback at home things more than elaborate outings. Now I just have to get them on board

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 22, 2015, 7:02 pm

      Kids aside, I still struggle with this in my friends group, too. Just a few weeks ago I suggested we should all get together for some pot luck and wine before the holidays. The next thing out of my one friend’s mouth, “Yeah! Or we could all go out to eat.” Ugh! They just aren’t getting it.

  • Claudia @ Two Cup House Nov 20, 2015, 1:02 pm

    When it’s Second Friday and Lititz, we’ll take a stroll around time. Lots of free snacks and drinks to enjoy along the way! 🙂

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 22, 2015, 7:00 pm

      Lititz? I assume you’re talking about the Lititz that’s next to Lancaster. If so, we’re practically neighbors. 🙂

      • Claudia @ Two Cup House Nov 22, 2015, 9:27 pm

        Yep, that’s the one! I work in downtown Lancaster. 🙂 We go to Lititz a few times a year for Second Friday. But we haven’t been to as many of the events in Lancaster (a trend we hope to change in 2016).

  • Blogger Nov 20, 2015, 11:42 am

    Frugal and/or free activities are the best! Most of the things we do are frugal or free.

    The other day I had someone ask me why we don’t spend more money on entertainment, such as going to the movies. It’s because there are better things for us to do!

  • Maggie Nov 20, 2015, 10:38 am

    Kids don’t care about money spent. They just want to hang out. This is a great alternative! Birthday parties are another thing I hate seeing parents go all crazy about. My kids actually plan their own birthday parties… because, guess what? It’s THEIR party and they know what they want to do. I make a cake, we hang up our one $5 “Happy Birthday” banner, they make the rest of the decorations (half the fun!) and come up with their own games. And everyone wins.

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 22, 2015, 6:59 pm

      Love how you celebrate birthdays! We do something similar. Mini Monster’s birthday is in May, so we usually have nice weather. She’s had a backyard party since year 1!

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