Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saving Money on School Events

I love my son. I love that he plays sports. I want to support that the best way I know how. I want to be at all his games, cheering him on from the sidelines. But how can large families afford to attend these events?

Our school charges $6 for adults and $2 for students to attend football games on Friday nights. We have 6 people in our family so each Friday it cost us $16 to attend my oldest son's football game. Thankfully the younger 2 children aren't "students"...yet. We also have games on Mondays. These typically run another $10-$15. So on average we are spending $30 weekly just on admission to sporting events. If the games are away we have to tack on more for gas money.

Of course along with sporting events comes beverages, dinner and treats. I have been trying my hardest to keep the kids away from the concession stand. We usually can get away with eating dinner at home or bringing our own sandwiches but we usually allow them 1 "treat" from the concession stand.

So how can you support your child and attend sporting/school events with minimal expense? Here are a few ideas I have.

1. Look into a family pass. With larger families this may be the way to attend multiple school events and pay just one large lump sum. Our school offers activities passes for families for $150. This includes admission to all home sporting events for the entire year. With a child who participates in football, basketball and track it would be in our best interest to look into a family pass.

2. Cut out the drinks. Drinks alone at our concession stand cost $2. Bringing our own saves me $10.

3. Eat before heading out. Games typically fall during dinner time. If you don't have time to eat before you leave, pack a picnic dinner and take it with you.

4. Bring your own snacks. We usually allow 1 "treat" to be bought at the concession. My kids usually pick up a candy bar or candy of some type. I think I will start bringing them as well. I can usually find candy on sale at Walgreens. Candy bars cycle through at 3/$1 every so often. This would be a good time to stock up and save them for game days.

I am all for supporting our team and school but we have to draw the line somewhere. We just can't afford to buy it all. Admission, gas money, drinks, food it could easily add up to over $75 a week for us.

How do you save money at school events?


  1. I am very frustrated with this right now. My son plays middle school soccer. Someone donated money last year to build an entirely new, fancy, astroturf field. it is beautiful - and fully fenced in. Now we can't watch for free - we have to pay. Everyone is complaining about it. The district and/or taxpayers paid nothing for this field. The upkeep is less than the previous field that had been there. They are charging purely because they can.

    So we haven't really been going very much. My dh or I will try to go to the home games, sometimes the away games (we are never charged for that) and we never all go to a game, unless they are playing on an old field that they don't charge for. While I would love for it to be more of a family event, realistically we are rarely all available to go anyway - plus I want to take a stand against the paying for a middle school sport thing. It makes me mad.

  2. Have you thought about volunteering? The school usually needs parents to man the concessions, pour gatorade for the players, etc. You shouldn't have to pay for a ticket if you are working at the game. You may even be able to bring your younger kids with you to help.