Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to Make a Cheap Entertainment Day Expensive

Saturdays, ah, sweet Saturdays. In our household, these are filled with chores and a little bit of fun. Sometimes the park, sometimes the kiddie pool...whatever it takes to tire out a 2-year old really well.

This Saturday was special. A good friend was really trying to get back into Saturday volleyball. The problem was that he needed to take his 3-year old with him. How to manage that...playing at the beach, but relying on your son to keep himself busy. The answer? Invite your friend (my husband) to come play too, with our son, so that someone will be sitting out, and the kids can occupy themselves. His plan also included (possibly) lunch after.

I was not so excited about the lunch plan. #1 because it's expensive. #2 because I'd feel a little left out...I try to avoid eating out because it's expensive and not very healthy. While my husband can handle the extra calories easily, I cannot (sigh). And I've been back on Weight Watchers to lose a few pounds before squeezing into a bridesmaid's dress in a month.

The day turned out to be fine. Husband and son drove to the beach to play volleyball. I followed on foot - almost 5.5 miles, I ran there. I sat on the beach with the boys, and our friend's wife and daughter came too. The boys played nicely, we chatted, the bigger boys played. The wives wondered when it would be our turn (you know, we play volleyball too!) My wrist injury prevents it.

After the game, we all decided to go to the zoo. This is practically free, as we both have annual memberships (you go often seems free).

That's when the "how to make a free day expensive" comes in (thank you for sticking with me this long). #1, by now it's 11 am, and I'm starving. Even though I'd had breakfast and a snack, I did run 5.5 miles, burning more than 500 calories. #2, I haven't had any caffeine, and it turns out a soda at the zoo is $2. (I paid the $2.) Our male friend had this plan all along to tire out the boys at the zoo and then go out for lunch.

Ah, lunch out. My achilles heel. I love eating out. I just can't do it too often. I was trying to be strong. "We have sandwich makings at our house. How about the boys play & we all eat, then they'll sleep nicely." Then my husband does the unthinkable, and suggests my FAVORITE sandwich place for lunch. I will totally cave. Our friend has his eye on Vietnamese, however, so we part ways.

Whew. Lunch out, while fun, is generally $20 for the three of us, sometimes $30 (depends on how hungry our son is). The cost of sandwiches, pretzels, and some fruit for the three of us? $3.13, saving $16.87. And it would have blown my diet.

So that's how you can make a cheap, fun day expensive. To avoid it: plan ahead.


Kaye said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. If you look (especially) on the 3rd part of this series, it is obvious that I went to Auburn. Where did you go and what type of engineer are you?

Marcia said...

I am an engineer in semiconductors. I went to Carnegie Mellon. I think I know a few folks who went to Auburn (back in the late 80's, anyway.)