Because my husband is a coach in a Tiny Town, and because we live 1/2 a block from the school gym and 3 blocks from the football field, and because we love ballgames, and because we feel that it is essential to support our small town activities, and because there’s nothing else to do in Tiny Town on a Friday (or any other) night… we end up attending a lot of ballgames. Friday night will mark our third game night this week.
The games themselves are a frugal family activity. We get in free (yay! there is one benefit to being the coach’s wife! ) but without a little effort and packing ahead of time, visits to the concession stand would eat us alive. Bag of popcorn = $.75 Hot dog = $2.00 Drink = $1.50 Take that times five (because my youngest can out eat my oldest) and it adds up quickly.
I never leave our house for a ballgame without the snack bag. This bag saves us untold amounts of money… and whining. Water bottles (that I fill at home) are always included along with a variety of healthy meal-type foods and not so healthy treats. I include the treats because, while I am a tightwad mom who makes her family eat healthy 90% of the time, I am not spiteful. I don’t want my children to ever think that they are horribly deprived and be sad that they are eating veggies and dip while their friends are eating Fun Dip. We save the ultra healthy habits for home.
Here’s what you might find in our snack bag, depending on if it’s a home or away game (if it’s at our school we just run home between games to eat a quick supper) and how long we plan to be there.
- cheese sticks or string cheese
- chex mix (I got these for $.50 on sale/with a coupon last week!)
- granola bars
- fruit snacks (yes, the ones that aren’t fruit at all)
- apple slices
- trail mix
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- other candy (from Halloween — yes, I still have most of that stuff — or Christmas — or Easter, if we’re talking track meets)
Preparing a snack bag is very much worth the time and effort. We don’t go hungry while cheering on our favorite team for a few hours, the kids love the surprise factor of digging through the bag, and they are content to eat their treats without trips to the concession stand.
Am I the only one who avoids the concession stand? What fun treats do you pack to keep your kids happy and your money in your pocket?
Photo by robjtak