Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frugal Labor Day Ideas: Save and Give

So, it’s that time already; your first holiday and long weekend of this school year. How do you usually spend yours? Do you take that last out of town trip to officially usher out the summer? Do you party all weekend and then sleep in? Do you spend a boatload of money on meat and all the fixins like you do for the 4th of July?

Here are a few frugal and meaningful ways to spend your Labor Day 2011. If you have children, have them research the history of the holiday. Even if you do not have children, you taking a refresher course will not hurt either. Use this as an introductory conversation about current events with family or friends. Before they close for the weekend, make a visit to the local library and pick up a couple of books about the holiday.

Pick up a newspaper; read it for knowledge on the holiday and what it means to your city. Instead of taking advantage of the Labor Day sales at retail and department stores, how about you attend the street parade, assuming there is one where you live. Locate the labor unions in your area and inquire about their upcoming events. Perhaps you can attend that, because it is sure to be free. Better yet, maybe you can even volunteer your time. It’s a great way to invest in someone else and still keep your money in your pockets.

Since there are 24 hours in the day, spend some of your awake hours giving to someone else. Holiday time that allows you time off work, is always an opportunity to give of your time. Soup kitchens, hospitals and nursing homes always open, no matter the holiday. Volunteering not only keeps your pockets full, but also your heart. Spending time with a shut in or serving and sharing a meal with the unfortunate is a great way to honor humanity. Sometimes the gift of time spent with someone is greater than anything you could ever buy for them.

If you prefer to spend your time off with family or friends, then simply turn on the TV. If you are already paying for a cable package, then you may as well use it. Labor Day also marks the beginning of football season for both the NFL and college teams. Pull out the leftovers, tell a few friends to bring a snack to share and everyone can enjoy the festivities. If you MUST go all out and have the barbeque, then plan a potluck. Everyone involved can bring a meat, a side dish and/or a dessert. This way, everyone contributes to the shindig and can have fun in the most affordable way. All of our family events are successful potlucks with plenty to eat. You can feel comfortable inviting more people if you know everyone will participate.

Lastly, for those who are determined to go on a trip for that weekend, then make it a light trip. My suggestions include checking out an historical museum, the botanical gardens or even with enough proper planning, a three day cruise. Carnival Cruise Lines offers several cruises to the Bahamas as a three day getaway. It is a beautiful place where you can enjoy activities on water and land. Go sailing or try a new water sport. Try checking out the island’s exotic birds or taking an escorted tour to learn the history of the land. Big and little kids alike will be amazed at The Dig in Atlantis. At this group of underwater aquariums, you all can see jellyfish, sharks and many other aquatic species swim right about your heads.

Whatever you decide to do this Labor Day, be sure to save some money for a rainy day. After all, Christmas is right around the corner!! Enjoy!!

Frugalicious Diva

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