I took our toddler to the local pool and it only cost $3! We spent 1.5 hours swimming and he had lots of fun. I did too but I couldn't summon up the courage to take him to the 5-feet area when the waves are on.
It got me wondering why when the 3 of us go to the local pool we pay $8. That doesn't add up obviously, but it couldn't be a mistake since we've gone there many times in the past. The lady at the counter said that the boy is "ok", meaning he goes in free. I'll definitely bring up the variance when all 3 of us go there again.
Cheap ways of entertaining the kids are possible. We've been good at taking him out for short hikes and walks and to playgrounds in the area. We haven't really bought him any toys in the last 6 or so months except for the Duplo. Oh wait, I bought him a stuffed toy (his favorite cartoon character) on eBay for $20 including shipping. Sadly, he didn't take to it like I thought he would! :-( I might just sell it before he dirties it up with jam or marmite.
I'm happy to report that we have met our grocery budget for this period. We've only spent $250 instead of the budgeted $300. Sad to say that probably 85% of what we bought were produce -- eating healthy is not cheap! It sucks.