Yes, many families have to cut back on their budgets these days. And entertainment spending is often seen as expendable, so it may be the first place you cut. However, just because you're spending less on entertainment does not mean you are doomed to spend all your down time twiddling your thumbs. There are still plenty of ways to be entertained for little or no money. Here are some ideas.
For a small monthly fee, you can sign up with an online movie company and have movie night at your own home periodically. Instead of ordering out, make your own pizza (or individual pizzas), and pop your own popcorn. It's a cheap and fun way to spend the evening together as a family, whether you have children or not.
The family can get together and brainstorm about what they enjoy doing. Stick with inexpensive activities and just write them down. Post the list where everyone can see it, and when the need for entertainment comes up, refer to the list. Maybe you can alternate as to whose favorite activity you do - Dad's favorite this week, one of the kids' favorites the next.
These days, there is a lot of emphasis on getting in shape and becoming fit, particularly as a family. Why not combine entertainment with family fitness? Going on a hike together or bike ride is both something entertaining to do and inexpensive.
Check your local newspaper, radio station, and so forth to find out what is going on in your community. You might be pleasantly surprised to find there are charity walks, rummage sales, fairs, festivals, nature walks, and all kinds of other interesting goings-on. And if you can't find anything, consider organizing a community event for other families who are in a similar situation.
Have everyone over for the Big Game, and see if your guests will bring a food item (one person can bring chips, another can bring drinks, etc.). This works for family fun, too; buying snacks for an evening around the television is a lot cheaper than buying dinner and a movie out.
Okay, this may sound kind of boring...but that's only if you haven't tried them! There are all kinds of board games for families and groups that are really fun. There are the older, classic board games, like Sorry!, that may bring back fun memories, and there are also new board games that appeal to various ages. Buying a board game is a one-time purchase, and you can use it over and over. You can also add to your collection of board games for not much money.