Frugal Festival {Having Fun While Staying Within Budget}

Festival International is upon us, and I know we’re all looking forward to having a great time. This event is one of our most anticipated weekends of the year here. It’s a fun and relaxing weekend good for the whole family! We get to visit with all of our friends and enjoy all the specialties South Louisiana has to offer. But let’s be honest. Festivaling with kids is definitely an experience all its own. While the festival itself is free entry, the things that go along with it can get very expensive, especially if you have children. Treats, snacks, food, drinks, activities and things that just catch their eyes can add up quickly.

So here are a few tips on how to keep your festival within your budget but still have a great time. 

Get cash first

Before you head downtown, figure out how much you can spend on food and shopping. Take that out in cash and be determined to not spend more. Carefully spending only what you have available and not hitting up the ATM will save you both time and fees. It will also hopefully curb impulse buying. 

Plan ahead 

Drink tickets are a thing of the past! Thanks to technology, there will be no more lost tickets and faster service for thirsty kids. Take the a few minutes to load your RFID wristbands here before you go. More planning and less time in line is a mom win!


Convenience is a wonderful thing, right? I love parking close for convenience but sometimes my budget just doesn’t allow for it. Leave a little early to scope out a good parking space that you do not have to pay for or check out the shuttle bus from Cajun Field. 

Timing is key 

If you’re not wanting to spend money on food, do your best to plan around meal times. Perhaps eat an early lunch and head out right after. You can easily pack a few small snacks for your kids and then treat them to an ice cream or funnel cake instead of purchasing a full meal. 

Buy a pin

So I know this goes against what I was just saying about spending money; however, let’s remember that Festival International is a free event. But the way to keep it free is to purchase a little swag. Purchasing your festival pin ensures that we will get to enjoy this one-of-a-kind event for years to come.

Do you have any other tips to share? 

Carlie is a divorced mom of five. She moved to Lafayette 22 years ago from a small town in-between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. She has four young adult children from her first marriage that ended after 19 years, Christopher, Cara, Clay and Cade. She has a one year old daughter, Poppy Mae with her significant other, Joey. She is a work-at-home mother who is a freelance writer and photographer/owner of Carlie Anne Collective. Organized chaos and tons of lists are her style. Carlie loves to workout, travel, visit with her friends, bike with Poppy Mae in their neighborhood, attend outdoor concerts, eat out at local restaurants, walk aimlessly through stores looking for good deals and swing in her hammock while chatting about her BST addiction with her online friends. She keeps an active Instagram account as a photo journal of her days.


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