I'm still not convinced. Apparently:
*it's Fall, my most favorite time of anytime, any year. Yet I'm in Los Angeles, where it's been well over 100 degrees all week, reaching the city's all-time record high. And,
*the recession is apparently over. The National Bureau of Economic Research says that our nation's pesky recession ended in June of 2009. If that's true, then why am I still penny-pinching?
I'm a true believer in finding ways to have lots of fun while spending less. "Number 31" and I just returned from a long vacation to the northwest, where we managed to enjoy our time while finding great deals. Many of our finds can be done anywhere in the world. So here are some tips for the frugal dater in any city:
*Look at your city differently
If you feel like you're growing tired of the same scenery, try looking at your town from a vantage point. Head to the top of the highest structure. Rent a couple bikes for a few hours. Take public transportation. Or go for a long walk instead of driving.
*Flora, Fauna, Fruits
Are you lucky enough to live somewhere that has a gorgeous landscape with particular flowers? Do you have orchards or vineyards? Trees getting ready for foliage? Take some time to visit your local gardens or even pick a pumpkin! (And it's almost prime time for apple picking!)
*Find local treasures
Don't wait until your family visits to take in the local hotspots. What's special about your town? Take the time to tour your Capitol or one of your town's historic spots. If you live near a college, track down the activities hosted by the fine arts departments. Usually these events are only a few dollars each.
*See the animals
Zoos are great, but they aren't your only chance to check out wildlife. While we were in Portland, Oregon, we managed to watch thousands of birds make a unique pit-stop while flying south. At dusk, more than 40-thousand swifts danced in the sky and dodged hungry hawks, while hundreds of locals gathered in a park to watch the show. In groups of hundreds at a time, the birds funneled into a school's old chimney, where they rested for the evening. It was more spectacular than a fireworks show. (And free!)
Our other favorite species to check out all over the northwest are the salmon, who are in the prime of their run right now. Track down your local hatchery, or an aviary or farm for ideas. (My secret hope is to milk a cow some day.)
What are some ways you can have fun for $31 or less in your hometown?