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Ideas For Living on a Budget in Phoenix


Living on a tight budget isn't always easy, and the cost of living in the Phoenix metro area really isn't less than most other major metropolitan areas. If saving money is important to you, then these resources might help you and your family live better with a little less money.

1. Free Things To Do With Kids

© Judy Hedding
Mall playgrounds, splash pads, free crafts, library programs -- check here for some ideas for free fun that you can have with the kids.
Free Things To Do For Kids

2. Kids Eat Free

Kids Eat Free
© Judy Hedding
The are quite a few restaurants around town that will give your child a free meal if he or she is accompanied by a paying adult. In this listing, I'll tell you which restaurants, which days of the week they offer the special, and any other restrictions they might have.
Restaurants That Offer Kids Eat Free Days - Alphabetical
Restaurants That Offer Kids Eat Free Days - By Day of the Week

3. Free and Cheap Things To Do in Scottsdale

Scottsdale Trolley
© City of Scottsdale
Not everything in Scottsdale, Arizona is accessible to only the wealthy! While Scottsdale might have a reputation of being where the rich and famous live and play, you might be surprised that you can plan entire itineraries around free and cheap activities here.
Scottsdale on the Cheap

4. Discount Theatre, Sports and Event Tickets

Discount Show Tickets
Entertainment is important. Even when budgets are tight, getting out with family, friends and significant others is a great stress reliever. You can relax and enjoy a show or event at a deeply discounted price. You'll find some great deals here.
Find Discounted Show Tickets

5. Dollar Stores

Dollar Stores in Phoenix
Chris Hondros/Getty
These deep discount stores are all over the place. You can buy food, furniture, housewares, cleaning supplies, toys and more. Be careful to assess the quality of what you are buying. A great bargain on scratchy sheets or plastic toys that fall apart after 5 minutes of playtime may not really be a bargain at all. Still, if you think it through, you can save quite a bit of money on some everyday items.
Where are the Dollar Stores

6. Thrift Stores

Phoenix Thrift Stores
Brendan Smialowski/Getty
Thrift stores generally sell items that have been donated to them. Be patient and visit often, because the inventory typically changes dramatically during any given week. Clothing, household goods and gift items are most common. You can also find some vintage items as well as great ideas for costumes.
Find a Thrift Store

7. Save Money on Your Electric Bill

© Judy Hedding
Both major electricity utility companies in the Phoenix area, SRP and APS, offer discount rate plans for people who can use most of the energy in their homes during off-peak hours. On average, people save from 4% to 7% per year when enrolling in these plans.
Get a Special Electric Rate Plan

8. Free Immunizations for Kids

Free Baby Shots
Andreas Rentz/Getty
Various organizations including the State of Arizona offer clinics where you can get free immunizations that are required before your child can go to school.
Find Free Shots for Your Kids

9. Public Swimming Pools

Save Money at Public Swimming Pools
© Judy Hedding
One of the best bargains of the summer is that there is sure to be a community pool not far from you. Typically a buck or two per person can provide an entire day of cool, wet fun. Pack some frozen drinks in a cooler, grab the towels and head out to one of more than 60 pools in Greater Phoenix. Pools typically open on Memorial Day weekend and close in early August when schools are back in session.
Find a Public Pool

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