We’re a big baseball family primarily because of my husband. He’s a lifelong St Louis Cardinals fan and we love going to games whenever we can.
We’re also lucky to live in Southwest Florida where lots of teams come for spring training.
But going to the ballpark can be a huge expense, especially with kids, and especially if you don’t plan ahead.
So check out this checklist before you go so you can save a ton of cash.
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1- Eat Before You Go
Food is the biggest money sucker at the ballpark. Well, if I’m being honest, the number one sucker is booze. But we’ll keep this to G rated needs.
Eating a full meal at home before you go to the game will take a major bite out of your spending.
Sure, you may still want to get an ice cream or some popcorn as a snack. But that’s way cheaper than hotdogs and hamburgers and fries multiplied by all your family members.
2- Take In Anything… And Everything… You Can
If you don’t want to or don’t have time to eat before you go.. do a little research to find out what you can take inside the ballpark with you. Some ballparks will allow you to take food inside as long as it’s in a soft-sided cooler.
A lot of ballparks will let you take in water bottles as well, and some even allow soda. The general rule with most parks seems to require plastic bottles that are factory sealed and are smaller than two liters. Just no glass, cans, thermoses or alcohol of any kind.
Check the stadiums’ websites for all these details.
3- Limit The Cash You Take
If you want to keep yourself on a tight leash, take away some temptation by getting cash before the game, outside the ballpark, and only spend that money.
First, it will save you ATM fees. Second, deciding how much money to budget for ahead of time is better than making an impulse dash to the ATM while you’re surrounded by the smell of hotdogs and popcorn and kids begging for souvenirs that they’ll probably never pick up after that day.
4- Get Souvenirs Ahead Of Time
It’s great to show your pride for your favorite team. But you don’t necessarily have to give your team your whole paycheck. Clothing and other souvenirs are really expensive at ballpark stores.
Save a ton of money by buying shirts and hats a few weeks ahead of time at local stores, on eBay or through online sales. You can also make your own gear if own a cutting machine, or you can buy iron-on designs from Etsy.