Good to Know…. FREE Summer Meals for Kids

Because Time2Save is a frugal living website, we aim to write for people all over the financial spectrum.  If you’re in need of help this summer to feed your kids – or if you know a family struggling – this is good info to know!  If you’re here looking for Free Kids Meals/Deals at local restaurants – check out our Restaurant Deal Archives!

Many cities across the country offer completely free summer meals to kids. Those families who depend upon free school breakfast and lunch during the school year need not worry about their kids going hungry just because school’s out.  Free meals are handed out daily, in convenient city parks, pools, schools and other locations, to fill this exact need.

For instance, our community pool, the school down the road, the museum and 25 locations within a 5 mile radius of me all hand out completely free brown bag lunches to kids every day during the summer. (Do a check HERE to find locations near you!)

I have met with several moms at the community pool who come at a certain time of day specifically to take advantage of free lunches.  You don’t have to be starving or homeless to benefit from these free meals, you just have to be needing a helping hand.  If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to take advantage of this program.  Oftentimes I see the older man who hands lunches out at the park, put several bags back into his cooler when it’s time to leave.

If you know someone who could use a hand, pass on this information!

Nutritious free meals are available for children and teens 18 and younger at many locations throughout the nation throughout the summer while school is out of session. Use the mapping tool to find a site near you.


If you’re passionate about helping other through couponing, frugal living and giving and more – check out these ideas in our Time2Give archives :)

How to Make Blessing Bags

Gas Station Mission

Operation Christmas Child

Becoming a Purposeful Giver 

Pool Party Fish Cake Recipe (Great for Father’s Day too!)




UPDATE: This would be such a fun Father’s Day cake as well, for the fishing dad!

To celebrate summer break – the kids and I made this fun Pool Party Fish Cake and invited the neighborhood kids over for cake and water games!  Check out our post on 15 water games HERE!

It turned out super cute – and would be appropriate for any pool party, summertime soiree or even Father’s Day for the fishing dad.  Here’s how to make your own Pool Party Fish Cake.

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Homemade Firestarters | Dryer Lint & Candle Wax!


I’m re-posting this tutorial I wrote previously on how to make homemade firestarters because camping season is HERE again!  (Check out some good tent deals here)

This weekend I took my 4 boys out for our first ever family camping trip.  It was all I could’ve hoped for – they were thrilled to cook hotdogs over the campfire, make S’mores, tell silly ghost stories, and listen to old John Denver songs on the guitar.(Well – maybe not so thrilled about the last one ;) )   We swam in the lake until we were exhausted, and finally cuddled up in our tiny 4 person tent together while I lay awake hoping no critters would come looking for leftovers.

It was wonderful – memories they’ll have forever  – just like I do from when I went camping as a kid with my parents.  There was one thing, though, that I wished I had remembered to bring along – something to make the all-important campfire even easier to get going: these HomeMade FireStarters.

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The Drive-In: Go before summer’s over!


The Drive-In | Frugal Family Fun (if you can find it)

(Jamie here!)  One of my favorite summer activities to do with the family is going to the Drive-In Movies.  For a family of 6, going to the movies is just too expensive for us. But at the Drive-In, our family can see two movies back-to-back for $10 total.  (With a healthy does of nostalgic charm at no extra charge. :) )

The Drive-In has been on my summer to-do-list for years now – and somehow or other we always waited too long and then they were closed for the year.  But a few summers ago, we finally loaded up ye old Land Rover with kids, blankets and lawn chairs and drove the 30 minutes to the nearest drive-in.

If you’re not lucky enough to live near a drive-in theater, I am so sad for you :(

See that sad face?  That is my sad face of pity for you!  Just come visit me some weekend and I will TAKE you to the drive-in – that’s how much I want you to go!  (Although you’ll maybe have to scrunch up on the floor – or we could tie you to the roof- because my family of 6 has a way of filling a Land Rover right on up)

Our favorite night to go is Sunday nights in the summer.  That’s when it’s Carload Night at the Swingin’ Midway Drive-In – where you can squeeze a whole carload of people in for just $10 total.

This.  Is. Awesome-Sauce.

When I was a kid, we would borrow my Paw-Paw’s old station wagon and take half the neighborhood with us to carload night.  (It was just $5 a car then)  Mom would pop a brown grocery bag full of popcorn to take along, and we’d lie a bunch of blankets in the back end of the wagon for movie time – cue total happiness.



Being the nostalgic sort – I insisted on backing up to the screen with our tailgate out, so the kids could lie on blankets to watch the movie.  Dad & I sat in lawnchairs with a gallon-sized cup of soda to share, and the kids happily sipped on juice boxes and munched popcorn.  Before the movie and during intermission – the kids roamed freely on the playground in front of the big screen.  Squeaking see-saws, merry go rounds, and swings kept time with the 1950′s music blaring through the bulky metal speakers.

When the show started, they raced back to the truck to throw off flip-flops and snuggle back into their blanket nest.  Somewhere between the begining of Mr. Popper’s Penguins and the end of Captain America – dad and I even got time to sneak in some hand holding…

We finished the long double-feature night by bundling the sleeping kids into their car seats and hanging our speakers back on the wooden posts.  As the tires crunched through the gravel out the drive, I smiled knowing the kids would be reliving drive-in memories for years just like me.

If you’re interested in finding a Drive-In Theater in your neck of the woods – you can search by state HERE. If you plan on heading to my very own Swingin’ Midway Drive-in, they even have a Facebook page with info on upcoming flicks.  Just remember – if you’re heading out to Carload Night, make sure to heed the following rule posted on their page:

*All vehicles are subject to random trunk search for SNEAK INS. SNEAK INS pay DOUBLE

Don’t be a sneak in!  :)

Tell me – what’s your favorite summer fun thing to do with your family?

10 Summer-Fun Ideas To Try At Home


10 Summer Fun Ideas to Try at Home

Jamie here!  Having fun doesn’t have to cost money – or even require you to leave home.  In fact – some of my kids’ favorite things to do require only that I drop everything and dive into pretend play or poke holes in the lid of a mason jar.  Here is my list of 10 Summer Fun Ideas To Do In Your Yard – also check out the Top 10 Neighborhood Games you can play on summer evenings!

1.) Flashlight Tag.

The thrill of hide-n-seek lies in the fearfully giddy waiting period – while the seeker wanders about the yard yelling “GOTCHA” at the unlucky.  The thrill is heightened to a new level when done in the dark – with flashlights!  Grab some neighborhood kids to join in – and then sit back in your lawn chair with iced tea to supervise.

2.) Homemade Bubbles & Bubble-Makers.


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Make your own “Water Bombs” for the Pool with Sponges!

Make your own water bombs with sponges!

I saw this project on Pinterest a few weeks back and I ran out and bought several sponges and made them with the boys.  It was so easy and you would not BELIEVE how popular they were at the community pool!  All the kids loved them – and I sat on the edge of the pool tossing them back and forth with all the boys.  It got me wet – but hey, when it’s 100 degrees, getting wet is really not so bad is it? ;)

Photo courtesy of Make and Takes

You’ll Need:


  1. Cut each sponge into 4 long strips and group them together in your hand.
  2. Fasten the middle with a rubber band very tightly so that the sponges fluff out all around it.
  3. Dunk in water – throw – enjoy!

For more water games – check out our post on 15 water games HERE!

DIY Kids’ TV Snack Tray


DIY Kids’ TV Snack Tray


Now that it’s summer, lots of us probably have our kiddos asking to snack/lunch/picnic during movie time in the living room.  Here’s a cute little project to keep the crumbs at bay!  This is a post our friend Amber did for us – so cute!

Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life!

If any of you are like me, you have a constant flow of crumbs surrounding your couches and rugs from the kids eating snacks. In my case, I pretty much let Jude (my 2 year old) eat whatever, whenever and where ever he wants it. This is mostly because he never wants to eat, so when he does, I happily oblige. So with him, I decided to come up with something that would allow him to snack without having to sit at a table (which is a struggle all of its own).

This DIY can go with any style though, I can picture it on an ottoman with some magazines and a candle, or used as a breakfast tray on special occasions. My creative sister-in-law, Jillian, even decorated hers with a paper map of Detroit.

What you need:

  • Tray (I got a cheap tray from Ikea, around 8 bucks)
  • Paint (I always shop the oops paint at Home Depot, a small jar is .50!)
  • Fabric
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Polyurethane/Clear coat

1.  Lay out your fabric over the tray, do a quick trace around the bottom edge, so you’ll know where to cut. As you can see, mine did not turn out perfect..don’t sweat it!

2. Paint around the entire upper part of the tray. In the picture, I have the tray taped off BUT you do not need to do this. I found out afterwards that since my fabric did not fit exact, it looks better if you paint around the base of the tray also. (See picture in Step 3)

 3. After the paint is COMPLETELY dry, pour Mod Podge onto the tray and completely cover over the entire base with a foam brush. Lay fabric back down and smooth out with your hands until it is completely stuck to tray.

4. After the fabric and Mod Podge is hardened and dry, add more Mod Podge to the top of the fabric. Coat and smooth over with foam brush.

 5. After its completely dry you can spray the whole thing with a clear coat spray, or you can brush on a polyurethane coat. Whatever you think would be easiest to clean.


Here is my finished product, we would love to see yours!