This summer our family had three young boys in baseball. It goes without saying, we have had an extremely busy summer. We only had two days a week where we didn’t have some type of kids sports commitment.
Along with this time commitment also came a huge financial commitment. For starters, we paid the entry fee for our kids to be in these sports leagues. Secondly, we spent a ton of money on gas by shipping them to and from practices and games. The final expense we were faced with was individual and team pictures.
Almost every kids sports rec league has the option of buying team pictures. Now-a-days, you have about 20 different “packages” to choose from. For example, our rec league picture packages offered the basic team picture, individual picture, picture on a coffee mug, picture on a mouse pad, and even a picture of your kid on his very own trading card. Can you see how easy it is for a lot of parents to drop a serious dime on memorabilia?
This year, my wife and I decided to buy my oldest son’s team picture and individual picture. We spent $15 on the most basic package. Then our youngest two boys are on the same tee-ball team, and we had to decide: Are we going to spend double what we spent on our oldest? Even up until the last minute in the van, I had struggled with what to do, but my frugality got the best of me and we weren’t willing to spend the money on 4 & 5 year old tee-ball pictures.
With no picture package in hand, I took the kids down to have their teams photos. As we sat around for all the kids to have their individual pictures taken, I soon felt like the odd man out. I felt like the poor family who wasn’t buying their kids’ pictures. I could tell on my kids demeanor that they felt left out and “different” too.
In order to help my kids feel like everyone else, here are a few tips I used to capture some memories and save us about 90% in costs.
- Took individual pictures with my camera phone – in an attempt to be quick thinking I told my boys to stand next to each other. I proceeded to take a bunch of pictures with my Moto X camera phone. In having 4 & 5 year olds I didn’t get the best pictures, but a chance to capture some memories.
- Download the Walgreens App – with our ball field so close to a Walgreens I used the app to upload all my photos to a our local store. In addition, I had gathered live action photos from their previous games too, and uploaded those too. In this situation, you don’t need to use the Walgreens App, you could use Snapfish, Walmart, CVS, or any number of online photo development apps. The point is use the App that is easy to use and will get you your pictures quickly.
- Stopped by Walgreens to pick up my photos – after the team pictures were done and my kids had played their game, I was able to quickly stop by and pick them up. I didn’t have to wait a week or two to get them back. I saved about 90% in costs by developing them on my own. I spent a $1.47 on my youngest kids photos, whereas I spent $15 on my oldest.
With all this said, you don’t always get the most professional looking photos with a camera phone, that you will get from a professional. Right out of the shoot, you’ve got to expect that you are trading quality photos for quick turn around and cheap value.
I’d like to hear from our readers on what techniques you use to save money on your kids photos OR why you always buy the package set.
A Gary Allan song was the last straw. The song itself was great (Airplanes if you’re wondering), but the $1.29 I had to pay for it irked me more than parting with 129 cents probably should. But it led me to try out some other options for playing music on my computer, because paying for music can add up! Spotify was a program a number of my friends were already using and I thought I would try it. After downloading it, using it, experimenting with it, and asking others about it, the bottom line is this: if you enjoy listening to music, Spotify needs to be a icon on your desktop! read more…
Some folks are just better with money than others. In other words, they are born “money managers”.
And, before I offend anyone – let me offer a few reasons for why I believe this to be so.
The prefrontal cortex
I recently heard a psychiatrist lecture about addictions and why some people are more susceptible to them than others.
Ever wonder about the answer to this question? I know I do. I spent 15 working years in personal and mortgage banking, and among other things, I learned well during that time how important a credit score can be. read more…
Recently, I was approached by Ooma to write a review on the Ooma Office. So while I’ve had the Ooma home phone service, I’ve been extremely pleased with both the service and price point. Here are the links to my previous Ooma posts [initial setup of Ooma, Ooma after one year and Ooma premium service review]. With those reviews in mind, here are few of my thoughts on the Ooma business.
Easy setup – after removing the base unit, I had my phone service operational within 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to setup, which was easier then the home phone service. The biggest thing to remember in setting it up is to note the device is on the bottom of the unit, and use that to register your Ooma business unit. Make sure you register your unit prior to plugging it in! read more…
I came to a conclusion while being shamelessly dressed liked a cow to get a free meal at Chick-Fil-A recently: sometimes you have to be creative to make or save a buck. Am I right? I began reflecting on the interesting, weird and bizarre things I have done all in the name of earning or saving some extra money.
Can you top mine? read more…
That said, thought we’d let you know that Amazon is having a one day only sale on its backpacks and bags at the site. And, if you are a Prime member, you can get free shipping on most of them.
The preceding is an affiliate link and we do receive a small commission on any sales through the site at no cost to you.
Part of the problem I’ve run into is that some of the places we frequent do not have traditional “sales” or discount their goods very often.
We have gone almost entirely organic for groceries. If anything, purchasing organic foods has helped us focus more on our diets while improving our health (I’ve personally lost 40lbs over the past year + have gotten rid of other ails in the process). read more…