8 Ideas That Will Not Break the Bank
Hello End of August
Labor Day is a much-anticipated holiday in the United States that celebrates the hard work and contributions of workers across the country. It’s often seen as the unofficial end of summer. If you have children or grandchildren, the school year is just getting started. It’s a time to relax, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy the last taste of warm weather before autumn sets in. With the rising costs of travel and entertainment, finding affordable options can be a challenge. But don’t worry, if you’re looking to celebrate Labor Day without spending a fortune, I’ve got you covered.
EXPLORE LOCAL PARKS AND WATER ATTRACTIONS. Escape the hustle and bustle and consider local hiking trails, water ways like lakes, rivers and streams, the beach and even an RV park. Pack a picnic with sandwiches, fruits and snacks, along with plenty of water. After all, it’s still hot outside. Take a hike, go for a swim, do some fishing, or pack up your RV and simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. Many parks and beaches offer free or affordable entrance fees making it an ideal option for budget-conscious families. Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen.
We’re only a stone’s throw from the desert, Palm Springs, Palm Desert and the entire Coachella Valley are at our fingertips. Hiking and botanical gardens abound, however, it’s a bit toasty…117 degrees is normal at this time of year. Instead, we head for the coastal areas near San Diego and explore Sunny Jim’s Cave in La Jolla, Leo Carrillo’s (he played Pancho in The Cisco Kid 1950-1956) Ranch in Carlsbad, or we opt for taking our beach chairs and finding a quiet spot on the sand watching the sunsets.
HOST A BACKYARD BBQ—POTLUCK STYLE. This is absolutely one of the best ways to celebrate Labor Day on a budget. Gather your friends, family and neighbors for a fun-filled day of delicious food and great company. Keep it simple by grilling hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie skewers. Encourage your guests to bring a side-dish or dessert, pot-luck style to lessen the burden on you. Remember the good ol’ days when potluck was the standard by which families entertained. By sharing the load, everyone gets to enjoy a tasty feast without spending a fortune. And don’t forget the games like frisbee, badminton, cornhole, ring toss, or to cool down have a water balloon fight or a “slip and slide.” Remember those? The kiddos still love them.
I’m lucky, my BoomerGuy is quite handy. He installed a mister system around the perimeter of our back patio so even with warm temperatures, we get a cool mist while enjoying our barbecue to the fullest. If you have a pool, all the better.
TAKE IN A FOOTBALL GAME. I’m not talking about the super, over-the-top expensive tickets for a pro game, I’m talking about a little league, high school or college game with reasonable ticket prices scheduled for a Friday night or Saturday. Some are even free!!! If you don’t have a favorite team, they are still fun and exciting to watch.
Here in SoCal, we just finished watching the Little League World Series baseball tournament for 12 year old’s on TV. The final was one of the best games we’ve ever watched. We have to shout out to the California champions from El Segundo.
ORGANIZE A HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT. Now you know why they call it Labor Day. Ha. Just kidding. Everyone has a project or two that needs tackling and what more perfect time than a three-day weekend to put a project in motion ahead of the upcoming holiday season. You don’t have to go this alone, invite a friend or family member to help out, and promise to feed them and supply plenty of sport drinks and cocktails for later. With those incentives you’d be surprised how many would sign up. People just love to show off their skills for DIY projects.
And don’t forget about your end-of-season gardening projects. With summer winding down and the fall and winter months on the horizon, it’s time to get your pots, planters, and garden ready for the season change. Go ahead and harvest all your fruits and vegetables and till the soil for the next planting.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SALES AND DISCOUNTS. Sign me up. Labor Day is known for its incredible sales and discounts. If you’re in need of some retail therapy, this is the best time to score great deals on clothing, electronics, and home goods. Keep an eye on your favorite stores’ websites and social media pages for announcements of upcoming sales. This is also a perfect time to think about those gifts you might be considering for the holidays, which are fast approaching.
HAVE A MOVIE MARATHON STAYCATION. This one may not be on your hit parade, but if you’re looking for a relaxing time, try a movie marathon at home. Select a theme, gather your favorite eats, and snuggle up on the couch with your loved ones, pets included. Whether it’s a series of classic films, action-packed adventures, or heartwarming comedies, the choice is yours. This is a totally budget friendly way to enjoy quality time together and staying cozy indoors savoring the downtime. On the other hand, think about an outdoor movie under the stars. Drive-Ins are making a comeback, but short of that, set up a screen and projector in your backyard. This has always been on my bucket list to enjoy.
VISIT A MUSEUM, ART EXHIBIT, OR BOTANICAL GARDEN. If you’re looking for a more relaxed and educational activity, consider visiting a museum, art exhibit, or botanical garden. If you’re like me, there are always one or two of each on my wish list. There is no more perfect time to indulge in the cultural richness of your local community.
ATTEND LOCAL EVENTS. Oh yes, check out the local community calendar of events happening around your area. Many cities organize free or low-cost activities during the long weekend. These include concerts, parades, fireworks displays and even outdoor movie screenings. Bring a soft chair, blankets, some snacks, wave a flag and enjoy. This is a great way to support your community and honor the contributions of workers.
People are already preparing for the travel airways and byways. However, if you’re not part of that group, as Labor Day approaches, remember that celebrating doesn’t have to be expensive. Picking one or more of the ideas above, you can have a memorable and affordable holiday weekend without worrying about your wallet. The key is to focus on spending quality time with loved ones and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. So go ahead, embrace the spirit of Labor Day on the cheap and create lasting memories without breaking the bank or your debit card.
Whatever you decide, do it with gusto and make sure you stay RELEVANT finding and enjoying your individual lifestyle.
I’m Connie, your Number One BoomerGal wishing you a Happy Labor Day and I’ll see you in September.