Saturday, May 28, 2011

How I ensured a fun-filled summer for the kids for $89 AND saved $289+ in the process...


We are now a family of five so I usually think somewhat in bulk, (FLAT of eggs, check. Ten tubes of toothpaste when they are nineteen cents each? Yes, please) but had not found many ways for that to translate outside of my grocery budget. With two toddlers this year, I knew I had to be creative with our time and I am ALWAYS creative with our money...

So I decided to use some of our tax money to buy a zoo pass. Looking around at the local zoos, I found that a basic family membership ran around $100! Now, $100 to some may seem like a steal, to me....its a good chunk of money. Anything we don't NEED that is over $20-ish I feel the need to justify, so I decided to do a lengthy side-by-side comparison of the three closest zoos to us.

I found that some zoo memberships include free stroller rentals and parking...but some didn't. Some were only open for warm months while other are open year round. The price of strollers runs $8-$16 and parking ran as high as $12. Some memberships could be tweaked to include other non-immediate family and friends. The key here is to find the membership that fits your family's needs. I chose the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Here is the rundown of regular prices:
"Adult admission"(ages 10 and up)- $14 each x3
children's admission(ages 2-9 my 1.5 year old would be free for now)- $9 x1
double stroller rental- $12
parking $5
TOTAL for my family to go ONE TIME- $68
Total to go five times (fingers crossed) throughout the year- $340

AND- with your membership you receive a coupon booklet with buy one get one free admissions to other fun places in Columbus like Cosi, the Columbus Museum of Art and Wexler Center for the Arts. There was an extra savings of $37.75 in coupons.

So for $377.75 worth of services(provided we get to go as many times as I did the math for), I paid a whopping $89 and I get to watch my children learn and discover all year long...and I get to see bears. I have a thing for bears.

1 comment:

Katrina said...

And if you go to the zoo in Ft. Wayne...
you are going to AFRICA!
That is what Alisa thinks. She is going to Africa, cute huh?