Jess Reiche

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Frugal Summer Fun Series: Ball Games

For many people, summer time means at least 1 trip to a ballgame. Now I don’t know about your baseball games, but the times I’ve been to Yankee Stadium have been anything but cheap! Between the gas and tolls to get there, the parking, the actual tickets, the food and drinks and anything souvenir related it adds up quickly and there isn’t much about it you can avoid. All of my couponing experience will get me no where when the concession stand tells me it’s $4 for a bottle of water (hmmm it might even be more these days).

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So here’s my frugal way to have fun at a ballgame: skip the major leagues.

If you’re a big fan of your team and this isn’t an option, then my solution is to figure out how much money you realistically need to enjoy your experience and save for it. If you skip a stop at the coffee shop, put that money in a “ball game” savings jar. Save some money by a little extra couponing? Make a deposit into your goal. Save and save and then go have some fun! It’s amazing the money we save when we pay attention to HOW we spend our money and focus on WHAT we REALLY want to spend it on.

Now, for the rest of you who just want to have some fun, there are 2 options I can think of.

1 – Visit your local parks and ball fields and cheer on whoever is playing. Yes it’s a little silly to watch a little league game when you’re not a parent, but if it’s your little kids that just want to see some baseball, why not. It can be really fun if you find the stands with the crazy parents 🙂 And if it’s school time, go to a high school or college game. Sure it won’t be the same quality as professionals but it’s a cheap and fun way to spend some time together.

2 – Minor League Baseball. If you live locally and haven’t been to the Hudson Valley Renegades games then you’re in for a treat when you do. Growing up my parents brought us to games for the same reasons I brought my kids this summer: it’s cheap, it’s local, it’s fun and you really don’t need to know anything about baseball to get swept away in the excitement.

Here’s how to do it frugally:

Try to win tickets through Macaroni Kid. They’ve been giving them away for weeks and you know the saying, someone’s gotta win – it might as well be me!

Eat dinner before the game, get dessert at the park. It was only $3 for a cup of ice cream, that’s not bad!

If you have little kids, bring sippy cups or water bottles. We saved money by not needing to buy 10 bottles of water for the family.

Check out the team’s promotion page and pick which night you’d enjoy the most. Not only did we get to see a great game, we got to see an amazing fireworks display at the end! However, firework nights DO cost more so if you’re being frugal and don’t think you’d make it to the fireworks or care about them to begin with – pick a different night!

Listen to the at-game promotions announced! At our game they were offering 25% off of anything in the souvenir shop, $1 tickets for the upcoming weekday games and they had a good amount of giveaways for tickets for future games. I doubt you’d get that at a major league game!

Try to buy tickets from season pass holders.

Buy tickets in advance. They cost more the day of the game and if the game gets rained-out, you’ll get tickets for any game of your choice. We actually got 2 free games! The Independence Day game was cancelled due to weather but they called us that night inviting us to come to the Saturday game with fireworks AND still get free tickets to another game. Granted I’m sure that’s not their everyday policy – but that’s sure a frugal way to enjoy baseball this summer!

Carpool with friends. Share meals. Skip the glowy toys. Look around the stands to check out prices before deciding what you’re going to purchase. Don’t buy beer. And use cash – once the money is gone it’s gone.

Any other advice? Share it below!

 

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