Friday, July 31, 2009

Road Trip

We're traveling this week to visit my parents 16 hours away. Yes, 16 hours - with 2 young boys, AND a dog we can't trust to stay home with the other 3! Let me say that I was both looking forward to and dreading this trip at the same time. I decided to find some ways to make it happen more smoothly and more frugally. Enter the dollar store. Before we left town, my husband and I took the boys to the dollar store to grab up some treats and drinks for the road. Anyone who's taken a road trip can attest to how fast those snacks, drinks, and meals on the road can add up - this is what I was trying to avoid. So, we trekked through the aisles of the dollar store and grabbed a few treats to take with us. Our 4 year old was thrilled that he got to help plan part of the trip, and the one year old was just along for the ride. After filling up the basket with cookies, gum (for me), rice krispie treats (chocolate-drizzled, no less), drinks, and a gallon of water for the dog, we went home to pack the car. Add to those items some turkey, ham, cheese, and a loaf of bread, and we were set for the ride! We made it the whole way from Louisiana to West Virginia without having to stop for food or drinks. My family didn't feel shorted, either, since they were a part of the planning. Now, let's see if we can be so lucky going home...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yearly Family Memberships... A Good Deal?

    We are fortunate to live in an area with such an array of family-friendly attractions, but admission prices to those attractions can add up! Often when you figure the cost for a family of four to visit one of these wonderful places, the cost heads upwards of $50. I don't know about you, but $50 or more for one day of learning and entertainment is a bit steep on most days for our family! Enter the wonder that is the annual family membership! If you and your family like to visit an attraction (or several), consider spending a little more up front so that you can enjoy them "free" year round.

    One big benefit I've found from having a membership is that I no longer feel "guilty" if we have to leave shortly after arriving (due to a meltdown or temper tantrum, say) because I know we're not wasting any hard-earned money!

    Here is a list of some of the wonderful local attractions that offer family memberships. And don't worry - even if you don't live here, it may make financial sense for you to purchase a membership, too, if you plan on another trip to the area before the membership would expire. They're great presents to give, and receive, too (hint, hint)!

  • The Audubon Zoo (closed Mondays)

  • The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (closed Mondays)

Friday, July 24, 2009


Welcome to Big Easy Mom. Here I hope to share with you frugal and fun tips, events, and activities, let you know about great products and websites, and provide a site that you can count on to help you plan family-friendly things to do while living in or visiting the Big Easy. I'm a stay at home mom of 2, and like many of you, our budget is TIGHT! Because of this, I've learned to scout out fun, free (or nearly-free) things to do to keep my family active and entertained. I hope you enjoy this site and take advantage of some of these ideas for your own family!