The cost of living seems to be increasing no matter where you live. Then, you add a few kids to the bill, and things can start to get pretty tight for most families. Thankfully, there are ways to save money through an outdoor lifestyle.
The term “outdoor lifestyle,” can mean different things to people. Overall, outdoor lifestyle encompasses being outdoors within the trails, parks, mountains and lakes through different recreational activities within the outdoors.
As a parent who chooses to work part-time due to child care costs, I have to cut back on a lot of things like Starbucks coffee and cake pops (for the kids of course). Realistically, Starbucks lattes, manicures and indoor play places, are not the photos I upload when I use the #momlife, and honestly, Im ok with that.
Instead, we have created a somewhat sustainable lifestyle through an “outdoor lifestyle”that has allowed us to save money.
Ways we try to save money through our outdoor lifestyle.
Walking as much as we can:
Gas adds up, and driving everywhere can take away from close-by local adventures, that prevent you from utilizing your stroller or bike. Walking and biking places has become it’s only little adventure.
Invest in good outdoor gear
While the initial cost of buying a good stroller, bike, child carrier, rain gear, and other outdoor gear, can be a bit high, it can save you a lot of money in the long run of your investing in an “outdoor lifestyle.” If you have an outdoor backpack, your more inclined to go hiking for free, instead of visiting that indoor play-place. There are tons of thrifty places you can buy great outdoor gear at low cost. Check your local thrift stores, and of course craigslist!
Create a vision of what kind of outdoor activities suit your family, and go with that. A few bike rides a week can reduce costs spent on other activities.
Pack your own food
Here’s my confession…….. I LOVE buying coffee. I love everything about visiting local coffee shops and always found that to be my one thing I could splurge on. However, my kids are now over the age of 1, and they want something every time we visit that coffee shop, so the cost adds up: 1 coffee and two cookies; who am I kidding, 3 cookies. Packing the kids in the stroller and walking to Starbucks is probably on the top ten list of favourite things to do with your kids. Unfortunately, its not really that sustainable, is it? Why not switch it up, and try packing your own coffee/hot chocolate and bulk store bought or homemade cookies on your outdoor walk. I feel like there is something very nostalgic about drinking homemade hot chocolate from a thermos on a cold day; to me, this is an “outdoor lifestyle.” There is also something very calming about not having to worry about your children terrorizing a coffee shop while you try to drink your coffee, and knowing your saved yourself about $10.
Packing lots of snacks prevents you from buying food at close-by shops, and keeps your kids happy and content during your outdoor adventure!
Create a community of outdoor friends
It can get lonely being home with the kiddos, which is why mama’s tend to head to public places like coffee shops and malls. These places are surrounded by people and make us feel a little more sane at the end of the day. Coffee shops and malls aren’t really that sustainable either, if you want to save money. Reach out to a few mama friends or outdoor parent groups like “outdoor living with kids.” Chances are, mama’s within these groups are also looking to pursue a more “outdoor lifestyle.”
Saving money through an “outdoor lifestyle,” can be small changes to your overall lifestyle. If your thinking of making some changes, think of activities outside that bring you and your family joy.
Happy outdoor adventuring!