Originally Posted by anstar
Question: What do you do with home parties? You know, the ones where your friend has everyone over and expects you to buy something? I always feel so cornered, looking at it like: I want to spend time with my friends, but I REALLY don't have money to spend.
i don't go to those! if you get invited, just say, "i can't make it, but i want to see you! can you come over for lunch next (whenever)?"
for non-shopping activities, i have a hard time when it's crappy outside, but here are a few outings that we like:
the library - in addition to books, ours has a play area with a train table
the aquarium - we have a family pass, and buying one is no more of a "purchase" imo than paying admission, so if you want to join an aquarium, zoo, or children's museum with the money you're going to save this month by not shopping, i think that's totally within the spirit of compacting!
museums/galleries - many have a day of the week that is free admission
the gym - there is a school in my town that lets preschoolers play in the gym on sunday mornings. you might be able to find a free gym or possibly even a pool that lets kids swim free on a certain day and time.
playdates - it's always fun to go play with a friend.