Welcome! If you love bargains and you live in Wichita, you’re going to like Wichita on the Cheap.
Why I Started Wichita on the Cheap
There’s a photo of me at Botanica on Mother’s Day – one of the few times I found out about the free admission in time to actually go. It was such a treat!
Back then, I would hear about a great deal or event after it had already happened and people were buzzing about how much fun it was. I thought I really should get better about keeping track of these things, because in our family we’re always trying to manage our spending, and because we really needed to get out more and take advantage of all the affordable things there are to do here in Wichita.
It was serendipitous that a fellow writer in another state was starting a national network of “on the Cheap” blogs at about the same time that I was thinking, “Someone ought to write about free events in Wichita before they happen.”
Whenever I hear myself say “someone ought to,” I know that “someone” ought to be me. Or – if it’s not going to be me – I’m not going to give myself permission to complain about no one doing it.
The upfront costs were minimal and I had the necessary web-skillz to make it happen, and no one else seemed to be doing it, so after much consideration, I decided to start Wichita on the Cheap.
It didn’t help that I was shy about being out in front of people. I was so nervous when I published my first post in September 2009 – about Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day – that I didn’t even tell anyone about it and didn’t write any more posts for a while. Finally, in December that same year, I had heard about so many great freebies and inexpensive events I couldn’t keep them to myself anymore. I began posting several times a week.
(The business plan was “start writing about stuff and people will love it so much you’ll somehow be able to afford to do it.” When people who heard about my project asked, “How do you make your money?” I would say, “I’ll let you know when I find out.”
Earning percentage-based affiliate commissions on things that are cheap to begin with is not the key to quick riches – I’ll tell you that right now. A media executive once told me they called it “stacking pennies” and she was absolutely right.)
I was right about one thing – people love it. This site has become pretty popular, for which I’m grateful. It has also opened doors for me to do other things that I would never have imagined myself doing. Like teaching classes on how to build websites. That is pretty cool.
But there’s a downside, too. Ironically, I’m really busy writing about freebies and deals and taking on other work projects, so I don’t have a lot of spare time to attend many of the cool, free events I write about. Our family is rich when it comes to having plenty to do, and we do take advantage of free and inexpensive events when we have the time, but my email is starting to pile up and my to-do list is laughably long and getting longer every day.
At the time of this writing, we are on the very tip of another summer vacation, and the person in the picture up there with me is not at all little anymore. Will we spend time together having fun on the cheap? (There will be some fun, I’m sure of it; but will it be enough?) “Someone” ought to figure out a way to make Wichita on the Cheap less of a one-person operation. I have one or two ideas about how to make that happen.
Still, the goal is the same as it always has been – to let you know about opportunities to live it up on less, right here where you live. And there are lots of opportunities, or else I wouldn’t be so busy. I encourage you to get out and explore something new this summer, even if it isn’t necessarily something you would normally think to do. I’m terrible at bowling, but had a great time going with the kids last summer when it was so hot. And even though I’m not a rock collector, our visit to the Wichita Gem and Mineral show one spring was memorable and fun. I could give you a ton of examples like that. (Which means we actually have been getting out and doing things, now that I think of it. That alleviates some of my mom-guilt right there.)
Anyway, the point is that no matter what your income level, there’s good, clean fun to be had here in Wichita, on the cheap.
Wichita on the Cheap is brought to you by freelance writer Carolyn Erickson, who has called Wichita her home since the 90s (and she’s been a cheapskate longer than that). Although this is her job, her primary motivation for Wichita on the Cheap comes from a real appreciation of all that Wichita has to offer and a desire to help others enjoy it.
Wichita on the Cheap is a member of the Living on the Cheap network, which is a national network of frugal folks who like to share money-saving info about the cities in which they live.
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