When my husband and I heard that someone from our town (James Durbin) was in the Top 10 of American Idol, we couldn’t help but tune in. We were disappointed when he was eliminated just two weeks before the finale, so when we found out he’d be playing a free homecoming concert on the beach we thought it would be great fun to attend. And it was. But the question here is whether I would recommend free concerts as a frugal activity, and the answer is… sort of.
What Went Wrong
This free concert ended up costing us $25 in food and drink due to poor planning on my part. The concert was advertised to start at 5pm and include only three songs, so I assumed we’d be done by 5:30pm, at which point we’d return home for dinner. Of course, I should have known that musicians never run on schedule- the concert didn’t start until 6pm, at which point my husband and 4-year-old daughter were starving. I had to by them $10 of french fries and fried nuts to tide them over until the concert finished, and then ended up needing to supplement that with a burger, popcorn chicken, and two $4 sodas. A $25 loss may not seem like such a big deal, but it represents a missed opportunity- if I had planned ahead by bringing our own food & drink, we would have had a great time that would have cost us no more than the amount we would spend anyway on homemade dinner. Plus, when saving money, as when losing weight, it’s the little things that can add up to success or failure.
The Plan for Next Time
Next time, you guessed it- I’ll make sure to bring our own food and drink, so that a free concert is truly free. But I need to be realistic- if it’s not easy to grab on our rush out the door, it’s not going to come with us. So, I’ll stock up on some frozen burritos or pocket calzones so that we can throw them in the microwave, then wrap them in tin foil and be on our way. I should also make sure to have juice pre-made in the refrigerator so that I can quickly pour some in our Klean Kanteens. This all sounds pretty simple, but I’ll let you know if I actually accomplish this next time.
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