Mardi Gras on a Budget: Top Money-Saving Tips

Keep those pockets in check this Carnival.

For many, heading out to parades during Carnival is a great family tradition. However, if you don’t plan ahead, unexpected costs can add up. Here are five cost-effective tips to help you enjoy Mardi Gras while watching your budget.

1. Plan for the full day.

Planning ahead for your trip to the parade route can save money by cutting down on unexpected costs. Plan out costs early in the day, so you don’t have an emergency later. Finding a restroom can be similar to a treasure hunt! Scope out locations and potential costs in advance to avoid spending extra bucks. Consider public transportation or carpooling with friends or family to cut down on parking and travelling expenses. Bring active games like jump ropes, footballs or Frisbees. There may be time between parades, and jump ropes are a great way to make new friends!

2. Pack healthy snacks.

Food along the parade route can hit your pockets hard. Plan in advance by packing a cooler with healthy and finger-friendly snacks like sandwiches and chicken fingers. If you decide to buy food, check for specials on platters from your local grocery store. Consider partnering with family or friends to budget and divide food costs.

3. Ditch the cans and bottles.

Filling gallon jugs with water and bringing cups that can be reused throughout the day is less expensive than buying a case of soda. It’s a great way to stay hydrated and avoid paying for drinks along the route.

4. DIY Mardi Gras Costumes!

Get creative with your parade gear by creating your own Mardi Gras costumes instead of purchasing from a store. Check thrift stores for cost-effective items to help build your look. Craft stores can help you find items to create headpieces. You can even print out a mask on cardstock like the ones found here at TheBalance.com. Kids can show their personal style, and you can put it in a scrapbook as a keepsake.

5. Check the weather.

Mardi Gras parades will roll unless there is severe weather activity. Rain may delay a parade, but it will rarely stop it. Have the FOX 8 Weather App (Download for AndroidDownload for iOS) on hand to get insight from our expert meteorologists. Checking in advance can ensure you don’t spend extra money on umbrellas or rain coats. Pack weather gear to avoid spending money on the route.