Looking for fun & frugal ways to spend your free time?
It’s no secret that the cost of living is on the rise. Groceries, gas and just about everything else is getting higher and higher by the week and this is going to put a big dent in just about everyone’s wallet. So…what are we supposed to do for fun when we’re having to tighten our belts tighter & tighter, these days? The answer is we have to look for no cost or cheap entertainment! Believe it or not, there are dozens of fun and frugal ways to spend your free time!
You don’t have to spend a fortune to spend an enjoyable day and have fun!
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you buy a suggested product, I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my disclosure page.
Frugal Ways To Spend Your Free Time That Are Fun!
Workout at home
Exercising is a great way to spend your time and if you do it at home (or outside of a gym), it’s absolutely free!
Even if you think you’re limited on time, it doesn’t take much time to make a big difference in your overall health & well being AND the benefits are amazing! So, what are the benefits, you ask? Here are just a few to get you started:
- Protects You From Cardiovascular Disease.
- Aids In Weight Loss
- Reduces The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
- Strengthens Muscles And Bones
- Reduces Stress
- Effective Treatment For Depression And Anxiety
- Lowers High Blood Pressure
- Reduces Risk Of Cancer
I’ve been actively & consistently exercising (almost everyday) since the beginning of this year. At the time of this writing, I have lost 6lbs. and almost 4 1/2″ overall and I feel better than ever.
I didn’t want to join a gym again, so I found an exercise channel on YouTube that I was comfortable with and I began doing her workouts. I had to push myself in the beginning, but after about a month, I had formed a habit and I actually look forward to it, everyday!
I’ve always had a pretty good diet, so I really haven’t changed anything other than exercising.
If you’re interested in the workout YouTuber I like, her name is Schellea Fowler and her channel is Fabulous50s. Her workouts are great for anyone from 20 to 90! There’s literally something for everyone.
RELATED POST: Tips On How To Get Healthy On A Frugal Budget
Learn a new hobby
Hobbies are a very important part of our lives and extremely beneficial to our mental health. They give us an escape from day to day life and greatly reduce stress.
Hobbies also give us an opportunity to learn something new, develop new skills and to pass free time doing something we enjoy.
I have a craft room/studio that I refer to as my “happy place”. This is my little space where I paint, write & craft. It’s my place where I let my creative juices flow and it’s a space dedicated for just that purpose.
My hobbies are an extremely important part of my life. I have taken something I love doing and turned it into a little side hustle as well…and with it being a hobby, it’s never felt like work.
A hobby can be anything like reading, gardening, painting, crocheting/knitting, exercising, writing, sewing, ballroom dancing, photography, cooking/baking. There are soooo many choices!
YouTube is also a great resource for learning how to do just about anything and it’s FREE!
If you find yourself with some extra free time, try to learn something new! A hobby prevents you from wasting time because it can fill up your free time with productive, positive activities and keeps you from being bored.
What better way to spend an afternoon (or evening) organizing and decluttering your space. Most of us have closets, drawers, cabinets or even rooms that could use some cleaning & organization.
Sometimes, when the space seems too overwhelming to tackle, it’s better to break it down into bite size pieces…meaning, start small, like a drawer. Completely empty it and go through the contents to see what you need to keep and what you can throw out or donate. Then, only put back what’s important. Finish the task and then move on to the next one.
Even if you don’t think you have much time, dedicate 10-15 minutes to the task. You’ll be amazed what you can do in that short amount of time.
When your space is decluttered & organized, it makes for a much happier & soothing environment. Humans tend not to function well in clutter because it’s chaotic. Decluttering, cleaning & organizing may not seem like a fun task, but the benefits are phenomenal and it’s a great way to use your free time! You might even be able to make a little extra money, instead of spending money! It’s a win-win!!
Not only do I love to do decorative painting, but I also love trying other crafty projects. Recently, I did a post on How To Make A Coffee Filter Wreath. I have seen different versions of these beautiful wreaths on Pinterest & YouTube so I thought I’d give it a try. I LOVE how it turned out and I just so happened to have a perfect spot for it above my bed. You’d never know that I only spent $1.25 (the coffee filters from Dollar Tree) and the result was a beautiful decorative piece.
I also enjoy going to thrift stores and finding inexpensive pieces that I can make over for pennies. This can fall under the “hobby” section of this post, as well, because crafting can definitely be a great hobby that’s not only a lot of fun, but can be inexpensive and productive.
Say goodbye to cable/satellite
Best thing we’ve done to save money is ditching our satellite. We were spending over $100/month for about 5 channels that we truly ever watched. It was definitely not worth it!
We bought a new antenna and installed it ourselves. Antenna TV is free and we get tons of channels. To say we haven’t missed DirectTV is an understatement and I definitely don’t miss that monthly payment.
I also signed up for HULU last November on their promotional rate of .99 cents per month for 12 months. We’ve really enjoyed several shows over the last 6 months. Other less expensive choices include Peacock, Netflix, Amazon Prime and many more.
We also purchased an Amazon Firestick to use with our Smart TV and this definitely gives us more choices than we’ll ever be able to watch.
Invite friends over for potluck
We have a group of friends (3 other couples) that we get together with at least every quarter. We started doing this a few years ago so we could stay in touch, even when life gets too busy.
Each couple takes a quarter (3 month time frame) and picks an evening to host. They choose and cook the main course and the rest of us bring an appetizer, a side & a dessert. This is so much more fun that going out to a restaurant. We have an evening of laughter & friendship and we get a delicious meal without the huge expense & hassle of going out.
Read a book
Reading is one of the purest forms of entertainment. You can read a few minutes to several hours and it’s absolutely free!
Reading is also a great way to spend your free time and has so many benefits that include stress reduction, improves concentration & memory and stimulates the brain.
Hit up your local library for tons of free choices or local thrift stores for very cheap books! They sell them fro .25 to $3.00.
Do some gardening/yardwork
Many people find gardening & yard work to be therapeutic. For very little money and some sweat equity, you can have a hobby that will boost your mood, it’s great exercise and can also promote a better diet by supplying you with fresh, healthy produce.
My sweet mom has been an avid gardener for as long as I can remember and every day, she can not wait to get out in her garden! It keeps her busy and gives her such joy when she gets to reap the rewards of her labor. It’s truly a great mood booster for her.
Meal plan your week
Meal planning is an awesome way to spend some of your free time and there are so many benefits to planning your meals out for the week.
It saves money by reducing impulse spending on drive throughs & eating out, but it also saves time, reduces food waste and can be a great way to lose weight.
Set some goals
Every so often, I like to sit down and write out some of my goals for year, quarter or month, depending on what the goal is. I find that when I think about it and write it down, it goes from a dream to an actual goal. There’s something about writing it down that makes it more achievable when you see it on paper.
Once I write it down, I think about what needs to be done to be successful, like planning the steps to get there. This is called breaking it down. This will help you develop a plan and take action.
The act of writing it down will turn it into an actual “to do” list. This really works, friend! If there’s something that you’ve had in your mind that you’d like to do, make or achieve, get it out of your head and on paper to make it a reality!
Goal planning is fun, productive AND 100% FREE!!
Work on your budget/finances
Budgeting is definitely frugal but for some, it may not be in the top 10 fun ways to spend your free time!
One thing I find, though, is when I know where my money is going and my finances are in order, I breath a little easier. The stress goes way down and I can actually let myself have fun & enjoyment. This might be one of the BEST ways to spend a little free time by working on your finances. It can really save you a lot of money by having a budget & spending plan. When you create a budget, you may even find a little wiggle room for some spending money.
RELATED POST: Easy Ways To Improve Your Finances & How To Do A Zero Based Budget And Why They Work
Visit your local library
Libraries are full of free & fun things to do! Not only can you check out books & movies for free, they provide a safe haven for children and offer after school activities & programs, book clubs, free internet and computers.
During the summer, they offer free programs & activities for the kids(and adults) like scavenger hunts, magic shows, craft classes computer classes and much more! All for free! Libraries are a community hub that connects people to information and other people.
Go on a bike ride/walk
One of the best ways to improve your mood is to get outside and enjoy nature! And a great way to do that is to take a walk or a bike ride. Even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes, it’s a fantastic way to get some exercise, get a little Vitamin D and feel good!
If you don’t live in a neighborhood conducive to walking, head to the nearest local park. Many of them have walking or biking trails.
The outdoors is always free and can provide some of the best exercise & entertainment you’ll ever find. Take advantage of it!
This is my favorite way to spend our free time. We bought an RV 4 years ago after my husband retired and we LOVE it! It’s a much cheaper option than staying in a hotel and flying.
Camping may not be for everyone, but it has allowed us to see a lot of our state and some of the country while bringing our home and our little dog with us.
Visit a museum
Many museums, galleries, zoos, theaters and parks offer special discount days. Some even offer free admission on certain days. You can also check with your local library or online for passes to certain museums.
One thing we did recently with our oldest grandson was visit out state capital in Austin, Texas. It’s not technically a museum, but it could be. The building is beautiful and is made of pink granite. Once inside, we took a FREE guided tour through the Capital and were able to see where our legislators meet…House and Senate. They weren’t in session, but it was a treat to see where our laws are made.
The Capital is also full of history! It’s a big, old building with beautiful architecture, paintings and exhibits. If you love history and you live nearby your own state’s capital, you will enjoy learning about your state and it’ll only cost you the gas to get there.
Help others and make a positive impact on your community by volunteering. It’s a great way to spend your free time and it doesn’t cost a cent! There’s always someone that can use a helping hand, whether it’s volunteering in a nursing home, churches or even your own neighborhood. You can actually make a difference in the lives of others and the benefits can be extremely rewarding.
You can volunteer for an organization or go out on your own. Either way, it’s one of many great, frugal & productive ways to spend your free time.
Sell your unused items
After you’ve gone through your home and decluttered, selling all those unused items is one of the best frugal ways to spend your time! List your items on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or Ebay and make some money! You might enjoy it so much that you could even turn this into a side hustle!
When you go thrifting, you may spend a little money but it’s only a fraction of what you would spend if you were paying retail. This is what I do when I get that urge to shop! I get my “fix”, spend very little money and I usually come home with a lot!
When I either need something to wear or I’m looking for home decor, my local thrift shop is the first place I go to! I have found so many great items and clothes that I rarely shop in retail stores, anymore.
Start a blog
You know I had to put this one on the list. I started my blog 5 years ago after I broke my foot. I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on it and I had to keep it elevated for some time. Sitting down and watching T.V. all day is kind of hard for me, so I began researching what I needed to do to start a blog.
While researching blogging, I came across Elite Blog Academy and they were opening up enrollment for their course, teaching how to get a blog up and running and so much more.
This down time allowed me to pursue something that I had been wanting to do for a long time, but never seem to have the time to do it.
Now, my little blog generates a nice little side income and it gives me an outlet to write about what I love doing…personal finance & frugal living. It also allows me to connect with people that I, otherwise would never be able to.
Starting a blog is extremely inexpensive, it’s a great creative outlet and if you have patience, it can be very lucrative.
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce
Check out your local Chamber of Commerce and also neighboring towns COC. Most of them have websites where they have monthly calendars that will show you what’s happening locally. Festivals, farmers markets, art shows, plays and so much more entertainment possibilities.
Start using cash back apps
If you aren’t using at least one cash-back app, you’re missing out on FREE money! But, you may be asking “Are they legit?” Yes! They are! My favorite app is FETCH. It’s easy to use and I’ve made it a habit to scan every receipt I get as soon as I get it. Grocery, retail of any kind, restaurants, gas receipts…You name it! I scan it!
There are several free cash back apps out there and it’s as simple as downloading from the app store to get started.
I use the rewards for Amazon gift cards mainly, but there are so many other things you can use them for. Spend a little time checking them out and see which ones might work for you!
Here are my favorites and if you click my referral link below, it’s a win-win for both of us!
FETCH Rewards – Get 2,000 points ($2.00) when you snap your first receipt.
RAKUTEN – Spend $30 get $30 back.
IBOTTA – Get a $10 bonus when you submit your first receipt.
Finding frugal ways to spend your free time can be fun!!
Finding fun & frugal ways to spend your free time isn’t hard to do when you stop equating fun with spending money. Some of the best memories we have are those times when money was the tightest. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things in life that can bring you the most pleasure.
Do you have any ideas not listed for fun and frugal ways to spend your free time? Please share in the comments below.
For more money saving, frugal living tips, be sure to subscribe to Love To Frugal so you never miss a post! You can also join our Love To Frugal community by following me on Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram
other posts you may be interested in:
How To Live A Fabulous Lifestyle On A Budget
How To Save Money On A Tight Budget Every Month
Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas Close To Home
The post Frugal Ways To Spend Your Free Time That Are Fun! appeared first on Love To Frugal.