It’s summer vacation and we are about a month in.
Normally by now we would have spent a fortune on activities, entertainment and such.
So far this summer I have spent very little money and my kids and I have had a blast!
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Yes, you read that right. We have SAVED MONEY by playing Pokemon.
Pokemon GO is a free game/app based on the popular franchise of the same name. I initially started an account about 2 years ago and played for a couple months when it was super popular. Fast forward 2 years. I was still playing for a few minutes every once in a while. My husband, who initially was uninterested in playing, finally gave it a shot. He and I are playfully competitive and it became a race to see who could catch what first and how quickly he could catch up to my trainer level. We began playing pretty frequently.
My son is 6. Pokemon is his life.
He had a Pokemon birthday party, watches all the old cartoons and has a binder full of Pokemon cards. He quickly became our go to guide. He could tell us what any silhouette (un-caught Pokemon in the game) was, tell us what type it was and what would be good against it in battle, he knows his stuff.
With summer approaching, I really wanted to find a way for my son to be able to play the game with Mom and Dad. Neither of of my kids have cell phones or their own devices in order to get the app but I remembered that my old phone still had it from 2 years ago. As long as it could connect to WiFi, we could turn the mobile hotspot on my phone on and he could connect. Now for my daughter…we didn’t have any other additional devices to connect. I found a inexpensive tracfone on amazon with good reviews and knew that was my cheapest bet. That’s the $36 I referenced above. It works great for Pokemon GO and is the ONLY money I have spent so far this summer!
We have a ton of fun, stay active, and all hang out together. Its great! AND I SAVE MONEY!
Ok but how is it fun? What do you do in Pokemon Go?!
Lots of things!
Gotta catch em all right?
I’m not going to teach you every last little thing about the game and how to play. Its pretty easy plus its 2018 and Google is your friend. But here are some bare mininum basics!
First of all, Just adding Pokemon to your collection is an entire game in itself. As of now there are close to 400 different Pokemon to try to add to your Pokedex! You will encounter many of these Pokemon in the “wild” aka just out and about. You catch Pokemon with Pokeballs and you find Pokeballs at Pokestops.
A Pokestop is a big blue disc at locations all over that you spin to gain items you need for game play. Items such as Pokeballs, potions, berries and more. (Yes, you can buy these items using real money but why would you do that if you can get them for free from Pokestops?!)
Gyms also contain Pokestops but also gives you something to do besides catch wild Pokemon. Battle them.
There are 3 color teams in Pokemon. Blue, Red and Yellow.
You can battle any gym that is an opposing color and then take it over. In addition to regular team battles, there are raid battles. During a raid battle teams of all colors can join forces to battle the raid boss, which is many times a legendary Pokemon. You get extra items and a chance to catch the raid boss if your battle is successful. Most raid battles require multiple people which is great for us as a family of 4.
Niantic, the company that makes Pokemon Go, also does a great job of keeping the game exciting and fresh! They are constantly rolling out new challenges and special weeks/days to keep trainers on their toes. So far this summer we have seen Adventure Week and Water Festival. Every month there is also a community day. During community day certain Pokemon appear often and usually have special features and moves, as well as many other incentives that vary from event to event.
Want to know what I believe is the BEST part of Pokemon Go, even better than saving money?
It gets us outside, as a family! Pokestops and gyms are everywhere, but usually very prevalent in parks. We have spent more time walking in parks and nature for Pokemon than we ever did before. Many of the Pokestops in our local parks are actually monuments with facts and information on them, my kids love reading each and every one of them and don’t even realize they are learning history about where they live!
I’m loving the fact that we found an activity that we can do, for FREE, as a family, as often as we want whenever we want. It has helped our summer budget TREMENDOUSLY.
Here’s an example!
My husbands usually at work for the day, so Im figuring the cost of everything for me and the two kids.
Cost of 3 movie tickets: $26
Cost of ONE HOUR at the trampoline park: $36 (the same price I paid for the device that will keep her entertained all summer!)
Cost of ONE trip to the public pool: $14
Cost of ONE trip to the roller rink: $21
Cost of playing Pokemon GO all summer long?!: FREE
You get the idea! Of course im not saying NOT to do anything else besides play Pokemon, but if you are broke like me and have kids to keep busy, this is a wonderful and entertaining option!
P.S. Send me an email with your trainer code and we can be friends!