Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for August 23-24, 2014!

Here’s some free and fun things to do in Boston this weekend! There were so many fun things happening last week and this week’s roundup is a lot less. Please let me know if I missed any fun and cheap events in the comments below.

Boston Urban Music Festival: Sunday, August 24, 2014 from 2-9pm at City Hall Plaza. Enjoy this free urban music festival with many different acts with headliner Talib Kweli.

Magic Family Film Festival: Saturday, August 23, 2014 at the Prudential Center courtyard at dusk. Enjoy a free outdoor movie screening every Saturday night at dusk. This week’s free outdoor movie is Finding Nemo!

Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park Movie Series: Every Saturday night in August at Dusk along the Mystic River at Assembly Row. Head to Somerville for a free movie along the mystic river. This week’s free outdoor movie is

Sunday Parkland Games: Every Sunday through September 28, 2014 from 3:30pm-6pm in Cambridge. Free Sunday games along the banks of the Charles River every Sunday in the summer.

Dine Out Boston is underway, so make sure to check out restaurant week if you like prix fixe menus.

Marshfield Fair is also underway on the South Shore, and you can find discounts to the Marshfield Fair here.

Do you have any fun plans for this weekend?

 

Free Picture Reenactment of Swan Lake on Swan Boats on 8/21/14!

Swan Lake Boston

Please note: Initially I wrote it was a free performance but it is a picture reenactment of an old photo on Swan Boats from the 1970′s. with Swan Lake’s costumes. I apologize for the confusion. However, it should still be fun to see and bring the kids too.

This Fall Boston Ballet will be performing the classic Fairytale, Swan Lake this fall at the Boston Opera House.

However, on Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 3:30pm, Boston Ballet will be performing on the Swan Boats at Public Garden for free.

This is a great opportunity to see free ballet in the park (on a boat).

For more information about the free performance and/or Boston Ballet’s Swan Lake, please head here.

Free Friday Events in Boston for August 22, 2014!

Fun Free Fridays and Boston Events 2014

There are so many free and fun events happening in Boston and Massachusetts on Fridays throughout the summer. Every Wednesday this summer I will do a roundup of events especially for Friday!

Highland Street Foundation Free Fun Friday Schedule

Free Fun Fridays take place every Friday with free admission to great attractions in Massachusetts thanks to the Highland Street Foundation.

Free Outdoor Movie Screening in Boston

More Friday Events in Boston and Beyond

Let me know if there are any great Friday events that I missed in the comments below!

Make sure to check out my 27 Free Things to Do in Boston, Free Fitness Events in Boston for Summer 2014, and The Complete Guide to Saving at Fenway Park if you are looking for more ways to save money this summer in Boston. Don’t forget to sign up for Boston on Budget’s nightly e-mail for suggestions right into your inbox!

Marshfield Fair Discounts & Savings for 2014!

marshfield fair discounts 2014

The Marshfield Fair is already taking place this Summer on the South Shore of Boston. The Marshfield Fair is from August 15-24, 2014.

Admission is $10 and Children under 6 are FREE at the gate; however, there are a few discounts available for the Marshfield Fair to make it a little cheaper on certain days:

  • Tuesday, 8/19: Wristband for unlimited rides for $22 with printable coupon from 6 p.m. to close in addition to SENIOR DAY where seniors get in free (no coupon needed for seniors)!
  • Wednesday, 8/20: 4H & Agricultural Awareness Day: 4H Plymouth County members wear your 4-H t-shirts for free admission!
  • Thursday, 8/21: Children’s Day– Free Admission for Children 12 & Under (no coupon needed) and 1/2 price kiddie rides with printable coupon
  • Sunday 8/24: Wristband for Unlimited rides for $22 with printable coupon from 12 noon - 5pm OR 6pm – 10pm

If you head over Fiesta Shows, you can print a coupon to receive discounts on rides for certain days. (Note that the bumper cars aren’t included in the wristbands.)

For more information about the Marshfield Fair, please visit their website here.

Please let me know in the comments below if I missed any discounts for the Marshfield Fair this year! Will you be going this year?

Money Saving Monday: Eat Leftovers

Money Saving Tips

*Every Monday throughout 2014 I will be sharing Money Savings Tips to help stick to and expand your budget!

Eating leftovers is a great way to save money whether it is homemade or restaurant leftovers. Eating leftovers saves money on meals and it’s one less meal to worry about.

Making big dinners is a great way to save money and have lunch for the next day or two. You can also make large portions and freeze leftovers (depending on the meal) if you do not want to eat the same thing a few days in a row.

Eating leftovers is such an easy thing to do and a great way to save money.

Do you eat leftovers or have any great recipes to share for large portions?

To find more Money Saving Tips from Boston On Budget, please head here.

Feature Friday: How I Grocery Shop to Save Money

Grocery Shopping Tips in MA

Every week I feature different aspects of saving money in Boston with something I have done or do regularly. I wanted to highlight how I grocery shop this week for the Feature Friday post.

I probably could write a series or a whole book of how I grocery shop, but that would be pretty boring so I’ll stick to a few main points.

First things first, I do not shop at the same grocery store every week and I do not shop at the cheapest grocery store. However, I try to shop at the cheapest grocery store for me that week, and try to stick to my $40 weekly grocery budget for a family of two and a dog.

Here’s a few grocery tips that I use to stick to my budget:

1. Know how to recognize a good price: This is really important. How can you possibly know if you are getting a good deal if you do not know what the price is at other stores or the regular price?

Make a list of items that you buy regularly and figure out what the price is at different stores and different type of stores. Canned Tomatoes may be on sale from $1.89 to $1 at Shaw’s but if you can get diced tomatoes at .89 at Target for the everyday price than the Shaw’s sales price isn’t a good deal.

Also, just because you live near two grocery stores owned by the same company doesn’t mean they will have the same prices. For example, eggs are almost a dollar more at one grocery store with the same ownership, both roughly the same distance from my house, just opposite direction. However, the store that has more expensive eggs has cheaper milk. However, if I didn’t pay attention to price while I’m shopping, I may have not known these weird price differences.

Pay attention to prices, and even jot down prices of common staple items to help you remember what prices are good and what aren’t.

2. Shop on sale: Just because that .89 can of Tomatoes is often cheaper than the sale price at Shaw’s, doesn’t mean I will always buy canned tomatoes at Target. I like to buy items when they are at their cheapest possible to help save money. However, if I don’t have tip #1 down, it makes it really hard to recognize a good sales price.

I like to take the weekly ads of Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, Roche Bros, etc. and circle items that I need and have a good sales price. Often you will see Chicken Breast for $1.99/lb or less circled, produce like carrots or mushrooms for $1 circled and much more.

After I go through the ad, I like to go on awesome local blogs like Maven of Savin or Coupon Karma to see if I missed any good deals. The nice thing about Coupon Karma is there’s a Top 10 list so you can quickly see what the best deals are that week. I like to see if I missed anything or if there’s a coupon I can use to combine with a sale item to make it even cheaper. Checking out local blogs and reading weekly matchups are a great way to learn prices and see what is and isn’t a good deal. Also, most of the work is already done, so it’s a really easy way to save money.

3. Make a grocery list and meal plan: After reading coupon blogs and my weekly ad, I make my grocery list and I meal plan. Meal planning is a great way to save money because you know exactly what items you need that week. I create my meals plans weekly based on what is on sale. If mushrooms are on sale, I may make Chicken Marsala or Beef Stronganeff depending on what items I have in my pantry or freezer.

I like to know what exactly I am buying each week, what are the best deals, and what’s for dinner too. (It’s also a lot less stressful mid-week since I already have a rough menu planned.)

4. Plan ahead and Stockpile: If you’ve ever seen TLC’s Extreme Couponing, you may be familiar with the term stockpiling. Basically, you buy items when they are at their absolute cheapest and stock up.

You may be familiar with people buying hundreds of items for .04 and stockpiling in their basement. Although some items are extreme, the concept is really smart. You are not running out for cream of mushroom soup pre Beef Stroganoff prepping because you bought some cans at .12 during a winter stock up sale. I know having key pantry items help me meal plan better because I know I have staple items and all I need are the more expensive items like produce and meat when they go on sale.

I don’t have 100′s of items of anything in my stockpile, but I do have items that I go through quickly that I can get pretty cheap during sales cycles. I often see BBQ sauce for cheap in the summer, but I often poor BBQ sauce over meat in the crock pot in the winter, so I will usually buy a few to last me through another cheap sales cycle. Plus, BBQ sauce has a long expiration date and I tend to go through them more in the winter than summer.

5. Use coupons: I will often use coupons with sale items to pay less. However, I don’t always use coupons and I only use them when it’s a great deal. Stores like Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, and Roche Bros will double coupons up to .99 so if you have a coupon for .50/1, you can save a $1 on that product.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the store’s coupon policy because every store is a little different with coupon usage. However, if you check out coupon matchups on coupon blogs mentioned in tip #2, they do the majority of the work for you, so it’s pretty easy to use coupons.

Also, check in-store for coupons. The best deal I ever did at a grocery store was one I wasn’t expecting. It was chicken on markdown and it had two store coupons on it. After the store coupon on the meat, I got a pound of boneless chicken breast for .03 total!

6. Shop Around: Make sure to check prices and sales for many different stores before you decide on your few favorite places to shop. I usually only grocery shop at one grocery store per week, unless there’s a major expectation.

However, sometimes I will shop at different type of stores to help save money. For example, I never buy spices for $4.49 and whatnot at the grocery store because they are $1 at Ocean State Job Lot or Christmas Tree Shop in a less fancy bottle. Also, if you can, try to buy items where they are cheaper. For example, if you live near Haymarket, trying buying your produce at Haymarket on Friday or Saturday to save money on produce. I also try to buy milk at the convenience store when I’m getting gas because it’s usually significantly cheaper.

Pay attention to prices and figure out what the best place to buy items are for you and what grocery store works best for you.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions about anything mentioned above. I actually shop more often at the more expensive grocery stores because there deals combined with coupons tend to be cheaper than stores with always low prices (and less busy). Again, I rarely buy items that are not on sale with the exception of a few common items like green peppers, bananas, etc.

Do you have any grocery tips to share?

Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for August 16-17, 2014!

Cheap and Free Weekend Events in Boston

Happy (almost) weekend! This weekend is tax-free weekend in Massachusetts so the majority of items purchased are tax free. However, don’t forget that is a 6.25% discount, so not everything is a great deal.

There’s a lot of fun and cheap things happening this weekend in Boston, so feel free to leave a comment if I missed anything!

Fisherman’s Feast: August 14-17, 2014 in Boston’s North End. Join this annual feast in Boston since 1910 with a grand procession, music, vendors and much more! Free.

GreenFest: August 15-17, 2014 at City Hall Plaza. GreenFest is a three-day festival that showcases earth-friendly and healthy products. There are plenty of performances, children’s activities, foods, and much more!

Eastie Pride Day: Saturday, August 16, 2014 at Piers Park in East Boston. Enjoy free performances, food, children’s characters, and much more! Free.

August Moon Festival: Sunday, August 17, 2014 on Hancock Street in Quincy Center. Enjoy a lion dance, food trucks, vendors, and much more for the August Moon Festival.

Salem Jazz and Soul Festival: August 16-17, 2014 from 11am to 7:15pm at Salem Willows in Salem, MA. Enjoy this 8th annual jazz and soul festival with free music, an artisan’s fair, a kid’s tent, and more! Free.

Magic Family Film Festival: Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the Prudential Center courtyard at dusk. Enjoy a free outdoor movie screening every Saturday night at dusk. This week’s free outdoor movie is The Lego Movie!

Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park Movie Series: Every Saturday night in August at Dusk along the Mystic River at Assembly Row. Head to Somerville for a free movie along the mystic river. This week’s free outdoor movie is Beetlejuice!

Free Movie Nights at Christopher Columbus Park: Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Christopher Columbus Park at dusk. Enjoy a free outdoor movie at Christopher Columbus Park in the north end at dusk. This week’s free outdoor movie is Happy Feet!

Sunday Parkland Games: Every Sunday through September 28, 2014 from 3:30pm-6pm in Cambridge. Free Sunday games along the banks of the Charles River every Sunday in the summer.

Don’t forget that Dine Out Boston kicks off this Sunday for two weekends if you want to try out a new restaurants or dine out at a favorite!

Hope you have a great weekend!

 

Free Friday Events in Boston for August 15, 2014!

Fun Free Fridays and Boston Events 2014

EDIT: Please note that Highland Street Free Fun Friday Schedule that was originally on this post was incorrect for this week but has been fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

There are so many free and fun events happening in Boston and Massachusetts on Fridays this summer! I like to share a list of Free Friday events every Wednesday throughout the summer of all the Friday fun to be had!

Highland Street Foundation Free Fun Friday Schedule

Free Fun Fridays take place every Friday with free admission to great attractions in Massachusetts thanks to the Highland Street Foundation.

Free Outdoor Movie Screening in Boston

More Friday Events in Boston and Beyond

Let me know if there are any great Friday events that I missed in the comments below!

Make sure to check out my 27 Free Things to Do in Boston, Free Fitness Events in Boston for Summer 2014, and The Complete Guide to Saving at Fenway Park if you are looking for more ways to save money this summer in Boston. Don’t forget to sign up for Boston on Budget’s nightly e-mail for suggestions right into your inbox!