Thrifty Thursday: Saving Money at the Zoo (Guest Post)

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Thanks to Budget Savvy Diva for this weeks guest post.  Tips and Trick to Going to the Zoo without Breaking the Bank:

After a nice and relaxing day with my sweetie at the San Diego Zoo, I realized how quickly all the costs really add up! You have ticket prices, food, drinks, parking, and sunscreen because you forgot yours at home. \

Zoo Coupons:

Before you even leave the house, you need to be in budget-savvy mode. Decide what zoo you will be attending and do a quick search for coupons for that zoo. To test this out I took a few local zoos around Southern California and all of them had a discount coupon of some kind. A little bit of leg work on your part will result in money staying in your pocket!


Almost every zoo has a yearly membership of some kind. This is perfect choice if you are deciding on going to the zoo again during the year. But be realistic, you may want to go to the zoo again but what is the real possibility of it happening. You do not want to waste money on a pass that you do not even use. Many zoos also allow you to use the amount you already paid for that day’s admission and apply it to the membership. Also many zoos have cross memberships; you pay one fee and get access to multiple zoos. So remember to do a little bit of research if membership is a possibility.


Check out the parking options. Does the zoo charge for parking? How much is it? Where are other options to park? Try and decrease the amount of out-of-pocket spending on parking.


Check the zoo’s site for discounts. Zoo’s give discounts for seniors, students, military personal, and more. Perhaps there are days during the week that are discounted or purchasing tickets online might equal a discount. So always make sure to check.

Food and Drink:

Now this is the subject that sparked this article to be written. I have been exposed to the overpriced food and drinks of parks, especially working at Disneyland for three years. But nothing compares to the overpriced munchies at zoos. The back story to this video is my sweetie and I splurging by buying a drink, while waiting in line to pay I notice a family of four at the register. When the total of the lunch for two adults and two small boys were shown I thought the dad was going to faint, it was over $ 43.00!

Be Prepared:

Zoos expect you to come unprepared thus they have everything that you need but for a price. I check the price of a small bottle of sunscreen, $ 11.99; I also checked sunglasses, $ 23.99. These prices may seem unbelievable but someone must pay them if they are able to charge that. So take 5 minutes before you leave and do a mental check that you have everything you would need.

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