*Quick* Coupon for Free Bowling. (+ The Blessing of Saying No)

{Update: Hooray! The link is working again for me! Give it a whirl and let me know what happens.}

Okay, I have a little story to share, but I’ll give you the link to the free bowling coupon first (so you can skip my blathering if you must.)

Sign up here for AMF’s eclub (I use my “sign up email address” not my “real email address” for stuff like this.) You will automatically get a coupon for $20 off a game of bowling for 4 people. We signed up a few days ago and today we got another coupon for a FREE round of bowling for up to 6 people! SCORE! (or should I say “STRIKE!”)

I just heard that the sign-up link might be expiring tonight, so I wanted to share it with anyone who’s still up and reading. If it’s already Tuesday when you’re reading this, give it a whirl anyway and let me know what happens.

Now, on to my story. So, part of living on a budget means that you plan ahead for your month. You pencil in weddings and birthday parties and Chanukahs so that your budget for that month actually reflects what’s going on that month.

The problem is, what happens when stuff comes up?  Sometimes it’s REALLY IMPORTANT stuff and then you — or, rather, me and my husband — go back at the budget and figure out what category to “borrow” the money from in order to cover this thing that just came up.

But sometimes it’s stuff that frankly isn’t THAT important. Or, it’s important, but even if you had planned in advance, it wouldn’t have fit into your budget anyway, so you have a convenient excuse to say no.

What the heck am I talking about? My son’s school has a PTO fundraiser where moms and their sons go bowling. I can’t remember the exact price, but I know it was more than my “blow money” for the whole month. (Admittedly, my blow money category is kinda puny.) We love our school and do what we can to support it. But mom-and-son bowling just isn’t in the budget.

So I did the unpopular thing and said no. At first my son was disappointed but complacent. But then then he learned that he could earn a Boy Scouts badge (or bead or some other Boy Scout doodad) for going bowling with a group of people. And hooboy, did he beg me to take him to the mom-and-son-a-thon.

Despite his strong-arming, I remained firm. I told him that *this* event just wasn’t in our budget. I did offer that I would take him bowling another time, when we could get a coupon. (My kids know that treats are bought when coupons are found.)

Fast forward 10 days and what did we get?! A COUPON!!!! FOR FREE BOWLING!

Oh, how I love it when I do the financially responsible thing and karma emails me a coupon!

See, saying no really can be a blessing.


  1. great, you can take a group and he can get his doo dad! Go Webelos! BTW, google that word and you can tell him what a webelo is, if he didn’t already figure it out! (WEBELOS is actually an acronym that stands for We Be Loyal Scouts. – and I just got 6 swag bucks for searching for you. ok I’m in a weird mood!)

  2. During the summer AMF has a kids club where you sign up each kid, and then every week they email you a link where you can print out a coupon for two free games of bowling for each kid EVERY day of the week. We only used it a few times last summer because the closest AMF to us is about an hour away, but it’s only about 5-10 minutes from where my grandmother was living at the time, so we tried to combine trips sometimes.

    • Yes! We love the kids bowl free club. We use it at least once a week, but we are fortunate to have a couple nearby options.

  3. If the fundraiser/event/whatever is more than we are willing/able to pay but we have no moral or ethical objection to what it is and my stepson really, really wants it we tell him he is free to spend his own allowance. Nine times out of ten, it is no longer attractive if it involves his own money.
    Yay free bowling!

    • Isn’t that the truth about telling them to pay for it on their own. I even did that with a baseball cap for the Boy Scouts. I told him we’d split it with him and at first he was gung-ho, but now he keeps finding other things to spend his $6 on.

  4. Mara, Our kids bowl as part of the home school league. We get an inordinate amount of free games because we pay their league fees in full. I think we just have to pay for shoe rental. So if you EVER want to come bowling with our family on a Sunday or an afternoon free of school, let us know.

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