Michael on September 14th, 2009
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With my wife and youngest daughter away for the weekend, it was superior Daddy-daughter time with my four year-old.

Since Thursday night, here’s what we did:

  • Out to dinner twice.
  • Out to lunch once.
  • Dessert in the North End of Boston.
  • A delicious cold drink on a hot afternoon in the city.
  • Three+ hours at two different inside gyms (on bad weather days).
  • A visit to the New England Aquarium in Boston.
  • Several train rides (the girl loves trains!)
  • Her first big-league baseball game at Fenway Park (which they won)

Does this sound expensive?

You: Sure does.

Was it?

You: I’m guessing that, somehow, it was not but how?

You’re right.  Although some luck was involved and I’m not counting groceries or gas (which weren’t that much anyway), the weekend’s spending (for all that entertainment listed above from Thursday night until Sunday night) was just $55.

You: Fifty-five bucks? Impossible.

Nope.  The dinner’s were inexpensive.  One of them was a treat to Old McDonald’s.  Not a staple of our diet, but a good place to go a couple of times a year – especially when Mom is out of town (and there’s a play area).  The other dinner was to Chipolte, which had just mailed me a free burrito coupon. That meal out was under $4 (for the kids meal).

We’re members of the New England Aquarium (I’ve talked before about the advantages of local memberships), so the ordinary $30 admission fee was, effectively, zero.  Lunch for two at Quincy market was $11. Dessert in the north end, a cannoli, $2.50.  Eating it together on a bench (she from one side, I from the other): priceless.

(By the way, she now wants to learn how to make “K’noys” with Mom when she gets home).

Red Sox tickets? Free.

You: Free?  Who do you know?

Eating at Quincy Market, it’s never a bad idea to meet your dining neighbors. Turns out mine were in from Miami and had come to see the Friday night game which was rained out and rescheduled for Sunday afternoon.  Their flight back to Florida left in a few hours. But, thanks to their generosity, a four-year old went to her first game.

You: What about food and drink at the game? You’ve mentioned how much your daughter eats!

I brought about 3,000 calories with me, which was just enough. Still, on the way to the train after the game, I bought us a slurpee to share. A great little extravagance ($1.50)  for a four-year old!

Parking?  We parked in the suburbs where parking is $5.50 – not $35 – and then took the train (free for those under 11) for $1.70 each way.  And remember, the train is one of the best parts of the day when you’re for years old.

Why spend more?

We certainly could have spent more money last weekend. We could have gone to different places for lunch or dinner. We could have gone to a museum where we weren’t members. We could have purchased food at Fenway.

We also could have not left the house and cut that $55 right down to zero. But would that be balanced?

I wouldn’t trade my weekend with my four year old – and the zillions of memories we made along the way – for anything (or for any amount).  See if you can try that during an upcoming weekend.  I bet you’ll like the results.

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2 Comments to “Another fantastic unintentionally low-cost weekend”

  1. Big Dave says:

    Totally cool! … NOT

    You feed your kid fast food crap all weekend, you ignore prepaid costs (memberships) and you rely on luck to save a buck. Yet, you want everyone to revel in your ingenuity and thriftiness.

    You and your article are a fraud.

  2. Michael says:

    @Big Dave: Wondered when you would land here. Thank you for the constructive criticism. . . NOT

    For the record:

    My kid eats at fast food restaurants about 5 times a year and you don’t know what I ordered for her.

    I didn’t ignore the membership cost, I took advantage of it and reminded people of the benefits.

    Did I get lucky with the Red Sox tickets? Absolutely. But it’s amazing what happens when you’re nice to people.

    I imagine it’s not too late for you to give it a shot.

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