Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Frugal Fun - Sometimes You Have To Change Plans

Last weekend was awesome. Truly we had a great weekend together. The thing that you don't went in a totally different direction then what we had originally planned.

At the beginning of the summer, we were discussing some of the things that we wanted to do. One of the things that we thought would be fun was to check out Parc Omega. We have heard great things about this destination and thought it was something fun we could do.

We looked at our calendar in August and decided that the August 20th weekend was a quieter weekend that could mean a quick trip to Parc Omega. It was set.

And then I looked up the prices.

I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT! It was going to cost us over $70 for us to just drive into the facilities. To me, while it seems like a cool attraction, I like to step back and think about of that cost.

We have a family vacation happening in less then a month. A trip that we saved for and that is going to cost us a little bit of money (air planes, food and etc) above and beyond our usual budget. But we had saved and planned for this. Parc Omega, we did not.

We are very serious about our budget. We have a lofty goal of being 100% debt free in 12-24 months time. So we stick pretty closely to our spending allowances. Any extra costs we try to save or work extra for. While I know $70 is not a lot of money, it was money that we had not planned to spend. We have an entertainment allowance for every week and because we can find cheap (and free) entertainment else where, that category allowance stays low.

We decided we still want to take Sam to Parc Omega but we will go in the winter when we are looking to get outside and when we can save appropriately for the occasion. Extra bonus, it is cheaper in the winter because it is their "off season" time.

We still wanted to do something and decided we don't check out any of the trails around home enough! So I packed a picnic and we headed to a toddler friendly trail called Sugarbush Trail which is part of the NCC Gatineau park maintained area!

And we had SO much fun! A perfect activity for a little boy. Getting dirty, being outside and exploring. It was an easy trail for a toddler because there weren't many slopes or difficult hiking spots. There was a little bench area about half way through and Sam loved the bridge! The loop should take about 20 minutes to walk but it took us 45 minutes to an hour with Sam. I think he picked up every fallen stick on that whole trail (you're welcome NCC) and looking at every tree! They also had a great picnic area with a big lawn or with lots of picnic tables. 

So not only was this close to home activity loads of fun, it was free! It's a hard lesson, to learn when you are sticking to a budget and watching your pennies...Saying No. Saying no is not so much fun. We live in a fast paced world where anything we want is right at our finger tips. Ryan and I really try to live more cautiously when it comes to our wants and needs. Thinking, researching, analyzing and saving big purchases. We also REALLY want to be debt free and are working really hard to achieve that goal. For a long time restricting our spending and saying no to fun things was a downer. Now that we've been budgeting for years, we have learnt that you can easily live a fun and fulfilled life without spending a lot of money! 



  1. Sounds like a fun replacement for Parc Omega! Great idea for kids.

  2. Parc Omega is expensive and I think its retarded to pay that much for driving YOUR vehicle around and feeding THEIR animals...but the kids like it so we do that every year...luckily, I think this was the last year for us, kids didn't seem as impressed but it is a good experience.
    I wish we could be debt free in 12-24 months but that's not gonna happen when I have another 4 years on a car plus other things. Our goal is, we have the money now, we might as well spend it. The way I look at it is, we have food, shelter and all the things we need...I am not going to live life in the house and not spend any money in order to save up for something. We don't do trips because it has never really been something I wanted to do (without the kids) and I want to make a trip to something worthwhile, like Disney, when the kids are both good ages and will remember. I could save, save and save and be hit by a bus tomorrow.
    Another thing you should do is, getting the free passes at the can see pretty much every museum, some Ottawa museums that are smaller, national art gallery, even the Diefenbunker.

  3. Watch for groupons for Parc Omega! I think we went at the end of April and it cost around $30-$40.