As you probably all know by now, I love to go do things with my family, but I also love to save money, and let's face it - events, museums, etc. are EXPENSIVE!
One of the ways I save money is by purchasing memberships. If there is a place we want to go, I always check the membership price and do a cost analysis to see if it makes sense to buy a membership. For example:
Membership to nearby Science Museum: $65 for a year
One day entrance for our family: $28
So, if we will go more than 2x in the next year, the membership is a better deal. Typically, once we purchase the membership we end up saving lots more because we'll go to that location when we are looking for something to do since "it's already paid for." But, sometimes, we pay full price or find a B1G1 free coupon and use that instead - depends upon if I think we'll visit the place enough times to make the membership worthwhile - don't spend extra money on a membership if you won't really use it (been there, done that!).
These days, if you keep your eyes open, you can score even better deals on memberships! For example, yesterday the membership for the example above was on sale on Groupon for $30! Of course I purchased it, because not only do we only have to visit twice, but this particular membership included free or reduced admission to 250 other science museums. Since I know we'll take several long and short vacations this summer, I've paid for a number of admissions to various fun museums - including some of the biggies in Chicago like the Field Museum! What a deal - thinking ahead will really save me in the long run.
I'll try to remember to add up our savings over the year - it will be fun to check back next year and see how much we really save!
I'm such a fan of Groupon - if you haven't checked it out yet, please do so - and remember to check nearby cities or places you will vacation in the near future also. These links take you to my referral page, but if you aren't comfortable with that, just go to the main page - it's a great place to find a fun bargain.