Creating Family Traditions
I now more than ever love making new family traditions, but I am still very much on a budget. We’ve always stuck to our soft budget, while routinely still go out to a happy hour and going on walks. Our little relationship traditions all came from trying to lower our lifestyle expenses without cutting out the fun. And once we had kids, we didn’t want to cut out the fun just because we have more mouths to feed. Instead, we started doing the things we loved at home and turned budget cuts into new family traditions.
It all started with Valentine’s Day, we realized that my family didn’t have significant others to spend the holiday with. So, instead of us going to a fancy dinner costing $200+, we decided to do a family-style seafood boil at home. It was way cheaper to just buy fancy seafood from the grocery store than going out to dinner. Ever since then we started this small tradition that made everyone feel included and loved. That’s the whole point of family traditions and celebrations, right? And now that my daughter’s birthday falls on the day after Valentine’s Day, we continue this family tradition with a Happy Birthday cake.
The Budget Cuts
The new family traditions that we create actually helped us stay on budget and get those little goosebumps of happiness. I want to share a few ways that my family lowered our budget and creates fun family traditions. The easiest place to lower your budget is in the lifestyle section. These are going to be restaurants, entertainment, play money, and clothes. These are all the things that make our lives feel fun but can be lowered to save some money. But they can also open the door to a new opportunity to start some family traditions. With our family that’s mostly with food.
When my husband and I go grocery shopping we have a spending challenge. We try to see if we can lower our grocery bill by $10-$25 each visit. This is a little game we do allows us to save about $100-$125 each month on groceries alone. Take it from me, you will not win this challenge if you go blindly to the grocery store. I always research what’s on sale, check for coupons, and even go to more than one store. Once, you get in a routine of checking apps like Flipp and local Ads, the easier it will be to win the grocery challenge.
Meal Planning Themes
Before I got married I use to make a brown sugar salmon that my husband loved every Wednesday. When we played Taboo everyone thought we were cheating because I would say “Wednesday” and my husband would respond “salmon”. Everyone would say what does Wednesday have to do with salmon? Well, we had meal themes for each day of the week and it was filled with meals we loved. This made it easy to look forward to Salmon Wednesdays or Taco Tuesday during the workweek. We consistently stick to creating meal plans around these themes so that our kids can also look forward to eating the foods that they like every week.
Here are some of our classic meal prep themes that we enjoy as a family:
Monday – Italian Mondays
Tuesday – Taco Tuesday
Wednesday – Salmon Wednesdays
Thursday – Healthy/ Vegan Thursdays
Friday – Appetizer/Pizza Night
Weekend – BBQ/Family Style
Fridays = Family Night
At my house we love pizza and honestly, when I was pregnant I would order it every Friday. After dealing with morning sickness all day, the only thing I wanted to eat was pizza. Nowadays, we have more mouths to feed and ordering pizza always led us to buy more items on the menu. We ended up spending more money than we expected every Friday on pizza and we needed a better solution. So we started a new family tradition of making our own pizza.
Yes, we make our own pizza and the kids love it! Right, when my daughter sees the pizza dough she starts pulling the chair out to help. We can literally make two pizzas for the price of one medium pizza from Pizza Hut. This is just one of our family night traditions that we enjoy with our kids. We also have added making fun appetizers like flatbread, wings, and even some healthy options like spring rolls. These are the fun nights that all the family loves coming over to enjoy together.
The closing challenge
I want to challenge your family to list out the foods and things that you enjoy doing together. Let’s find an economical way of doing more of what we enjoy doing together and less of the other stuff. For us, it’s taking our own photography and making fun appetizers. But, for you, it might be playing family soccer or doing family road trips. All I know is that we all can benefit from doing more with the ones we love more frequently. And cutting the budget is just an extra perk to the special moments that money can’t buy.