If you are trying to find a way to do things on the cheap these days, consider getting back to nature. An average family of four at Disney World will easily run you into the thousands, but a nice and quiet weekend in the mountains will cost you only half. Saving money on the grocery bill by getting back to nature is possible as well. Being “nature friendly” can save you big bucks. Here are some ways how.
Build your own food garden: Building your own food garden can be a productive and fulfilling way to save a little money. Even if you live in an apartment, window boxes full of herbs and fruit are possible. Some great things to grow on your patio are tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, lettuce, and herbs. If you have a bigger area, consider peas, squash, cucumbers, okra, and watermelon. There are lots of great websites to help. One of my favorite, www.FrugalDad.com has great directions on a table top garden.
Visit a State Park Some of the greatest (and cheapest) times are spent at a State Park. Most smaller parks only charge $1 admission, maybe a little more, and the wildlife and activities are well worth it. Parks offer swimming, picnicking and usually have barbecues and pavilions, hiking trails, beaches, canyons, and mountains. Palo Duro Canyons in Canyon, Texas has a musical every year in their amphitheatre that is very good as well as horseback riding and hiking. Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico offers one of the most unique and large caverns in America and well worth the trip. Also, if you live right down the road from a state park, many offer a monthly or annual pass.
Go Fishing Fishing is an excellent way to save money. A one day fishing license usually runs only a dollar. Catching your own fish can be a great stress relief, even if you don’t catch anything. Also, when you do catch fish, keep them and eat them. Fish is a great lean protein filled with Omega 3s your body needs. If you aren’t into fish, consider donating them to someone who does, or just let them go for someone else to enjoy.
Go Canoeing Canoeing is a very relaxing and fun thing to do with friends and family. It brings you together with your canoe partner, helping you grow as a team. It is also great to sit back and enjoy the scenery. If you aren’t into canoeing, consider tubing instead. It is just as fun and relaxing without all the extra work; just remember that in a tube, you can’t put dry clothes or snacks.
Plant flowers with your kids, parents, or friends A garden is a wonderful way to get back to nature. Somehow getting down and dirty and knowing you are responsible for making something grow is a great way for personal growth and doing it with someone you care about helps you get closer to one another. Children love to plant flowers and to see all the neat bugs and critters that are in the dirt!
Go to the beach Everyone loves the beach but have you ever just gone with nothing but a towel? Many times when we go to the beach it becomes such a hassle. Where are we going to sit? Who is bringing the chairs? Where are we going to go for lunch? Forget all that, go to the beach with bare minimums. Lay on the towel and watch the waves, listen the the gulls and children laughing. Recognize the vast power of the ocean and get lost in it. When you get hungry, just get up and go home, or bring a sack lunch or a picnic basket, but nothing more than that. Find the simplicity of the beach and you will enjoy it so much more.
Find your way back to nature and the world will open for you. You will find it is cheaper to vacation there and a stress relief to boot. Get back in touch with your loved ones and find a way to grow closer together through nature.