Save With Actual Games

By Wixx, Save Money Games Editor.

Who needs NetFlix if you have kids? Family movie night can be fun, but NetFlix and Blockbuster are not cheap. Instead you can have family game night. If you have board games, playing together with your children or friends is a good way to have fun without spending money. I can remember spending many a night playing Yahtzee with my parents, or a variety of board games with my brother or some friends.

If you do not have board games, or are tired of playing the same ones all of the time, try some old classics like charades or pictionary. These are great for all ages. Younger children can act out animals with a little assistance and they are so cute when they say “Roar! I am roaring like a lion.” and their sister guesses he is a dog!

Teens and adults can skip animals but can still have fun with charades. Pictionary can also be fun for the whole family, with the younger kids playing in reverse. Instead of drawing and having everyone else guess, the young one can pick the drawing – say a truck – and then everyone else can draw a truck and help the small child try as well.

Just about everyone has a deck of cards somewhere in the house. Many hours of my youth were spent playing rummy with my grandmother. She did not have Playstations or other expensive electronics, but given the choice, her house was the first pick for my brother and I to spend the night at.

Staying there involved talking and laughing with family instead of vegging out watching TV all night or playing game consoles. In the summer we would stop our marathon card games to take a walk to buy some chocolate milk. She did not have a lot of money, living on a fixed income and all, but I never remember being bored at her house. She knew many card games and would gladly take the time to teach them.

Years later I discovered that she actually had a book of solitaire games. After that, my brother and I would both go over on a Saturday and all of us would be having a conversation while playing three separate card games. Even now in the age of Playstation 3, Xbox360 (which by the way if they called it Xbox 2, it would seem outdated by PS3) and handheld games galore, my nieces and nephews always try to come over for games nights at my house, even though we often just play poker.

We have a few friends that come over and between us there is quite an arsenal or board games to choose from, that even if the younger kids can not play, they enjoy watching. The entertainment budget can be greatly reduced, and you will have more time to talk to your family if you play with them instead of keeping them quiet so you can watch the movie.

The money that you would have spent on a NetFlix movie or other entertainment then can be put toward a family entertainment outing such as going to Disneyland or going camping for a weekend. not only do you create inexpensive entertainment at home, you can make a family entertainment fund at the same time to double the fun.