Frugal Family Fun

The ultimate family resource with over 300 budget friendly activities

Non-Fiction - Parenting
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 03/21/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Amanda Mawhinney is the author of My Koala Pouch where she writes about creating healthier families and fun activities for kids and adults. Amanda holds a degree in Psychology. She has professional experience in HR at a company with over 11,000 employees worldwide. She designed, created and implemented many developmental courses and an orientation program. She trained management, developed employees, facilitated mentorship programs and strengthened interdepartmental teams. Before having children of her own, Amanda was an AmeriCorps volunteer where she taught disabled and at- risk youth about giving back to the community and the environment.

Amanda currently homeschools her two delightful daughters and spends her days enjoying the great outdoors, reading, writing and doing fun activities with her family. Visit her website, My Koala Pouch at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Frugal Family Fun is the ultimate family resource with over 300 budget friendly activities. Amanda Mawhinney speaks about what being frugal means and how important it is in today's times when everyone is so busy and has no time for family. The book will help everyone work towards organizing fun family activities at minimum cost, which are affordable for all. Both outdoor and indoor activities suggested in the book are relaxing and will help to bring the family together. It makes the dreams of a perfect family come alive for everyone, and within a budget!

The book is an eye-opener to many of us and will help us understand that we don't need to spend a lot of time or money to have fun. The author extensively covers the topic and shares a lot of exciting tips and suggestions to have family fun without making a big dent in one's pocket. I find this book a good resource for building up better relationships with family members. The few questions at the end of each chapter are useful in making readers ponder. The guidance provided in the book is very methodical and can be put into practice without much difficulty. It's a well written book that will help everyone bond and reconnect in a better way with their families. It is also helpful in deciding which activity will suit each one's family to make their bonding enjoyable. The book speaks about a relevant topic and is very insightful.

Rachobug; Every Review M

This is an exceptionally well written book; "Frugal Family Fun" by Amanda Mawhinney gives insightful ideas, tips and suggestions. If you have children, you know that weekend activities plus school fees can add up fast. What's even better is being able to have fun family activity times with spending little to no money. Each month of the year has been broken down by the author, providing you with a helpful and cost free activity for each month. Kitchen activities, at home craft making, nature walks are just a few of the fantastic money saving ideas that she writes about. My family really enjoys doing "No money weekends" from time to time; meaning we deliberately spend no money at all for the weekend. It's fun to see how many activities can be accomplished for free. Insightful, helpful and well written. I'm giving this Frugal Family Fun 5 Stars! As an Amazon Top Reviewer I received this direct for my honest and unbiased review, I pride myself in only giving my honest and personal opinions.

Susan Barton

The author opens this book by introducing readers to what frugal is and why it’s so important to not only families, but to a variety of other groups. After all, states the author, the tips and suggestions contained in Frugal Family Fun can easily be used by churches, scout troupes, teachers and other group organizers. Right from the start Ms. Mawhinney had me hooked because the book is already promised to be a multi-purpose tool!

Every step is geared toward bonding together in a fun way. And, bonding together as a family or like-minded group builds stronger relationships and who doesn’t want that? The author’s suggestion of making the first activity fun by creating a list of ideas complete with interactive props along with a budget is excellent. This is a great way to get everyone onboard. It also provides a teachable moment with children about finances. There’s that multi-purpose aspect again!

There are ideas for every age group in this book. The author emphasizes the importance of getting all members of the group involved. There’s a generous section on taking special needs and challenges into consideration, which I found to be valuable.

From there, the author includes specific fun activities that are designed for specific purposes. Things like team-building, crafting, cooking, role-play, gardening, woodworking, stargazing, nature hiking, puppetry and so much more are included in great detail. There are things to do together outdoors or indoors, during the day or at night, and during any season of the year. In fact, this book is so packed with fun activities you’ll probably never hear those dreaded words, “there’s nothing to do” again. I love, love, love that the author devoted a full chapter to volunteering. It’s so important to make good stewards of our children as early as possible.

The author’s writing style is conversational, easy-going and engaging. She was definitely able to motivate me to try several of her ideas already! I highly recommend Frugal Family Fun to parents, teachers, caregivers and group leaders!


I am a very frugal person so I thought after I read this book I realized that I am frugal somewhat. The book explains what frugal is and why it's important especially in today's economy. It lets you see that having fun together can be fun and helps to build your trust and relationship with each other.

I loved the author's suggestion of building a list together of ideas that way everybody has an opinion and we can do from the list so everybody gets to do what they want also. You use a budget as well which is great for teaching children and family members about money, this way they can help safe also and help to meet the budget to that activity.

The author provides suggestions like doing crafts. Hiking, cooking, baking, and so much more that really are fun and don't cost a lot of money either. Our first activity was a nature walk through the woods by our house we talked and really got to know each other.

I took a book about trees and leaves, and we tried to find as many different ones as we could we spent six hours in the outdoors, together as a family and it cost us nothing. I am very pleased with the author's book and I recommend highly.

It's easy to read and relate to, and really gives you great ideas and things to think about.