As you may have heard, the challenge for September is no eating out. And part of that includes saving money. Therefore, if I can’t eat out, and don’t want to be spending more money than I have to. What else can I do? In order to prevent me and my family from getting bored or hungry, I’ve come up with 35 activities that are free. And fun!
*Keep in mind:
– activities are varied in people and purpose (children, families, friends, couples). So find the ones relevant to you.
– some of these activities could have a cost associated with them, depending on what items you already own.
1. Host a Potluck
Invite over friends, family, neighbors. Tell everyone to bring a food dish to share. Then you all get to eat, hang out, and try a variety of different foods. And I’m guessing you already have to buy food to feed your family, so cost shouldn’t be an issue.
2. Go for a Walk
Walking is free. You can do it anywhere. And it requires no materials or preparation. So get your body moving.
3. Games Night
That’s right. A whole night dedicated just to games. Cards, Wii, puzzles, board games, video games. Any kind of game. Whatever you have. Play with your family, or invite over friends.
4. Movie Marathon
Choose some movies or tv shows you’ve been waiting to watch. And watch them. Whether for an evening, a day, or over the course of a few days.
5. At-Home Spa
Do your nails. Soak your feet. Put on a facial. Use whatever beauty products you have to create your own at-home spa. Wine or hot tea are completely optional 😉
Find a dessert that you have the ingredients for, and bake. Cookies, cake, pies, bars. Anything to satisfy the sweet tooth. But if you don’t like desserts, bake anyways, and give them away. Everyone loves home baked goodies. Or else make smaller portions. This recipe book makes desserts for 2, but they last my husband and I a few days.
7. Declutter Your Things
Go on a Mari Kondo journey, and get rid of everything that doesn’t bring you joy. Decide to part with pieces that you don’t love, don’t need, and don’t use. Less is more, as you may have seen in my very minimal wardrobe.
8. Garage Sale/ Flea Market
Since you’re trying to save money. Why not make more in the process? Take all the stuff you got rid of during decluttering, and sell it. Everything you don’t love, don’t use, and don’t want. Sell it to someone who does.
9. Clean Your Home
Cleaning is part of life, whether we like it or not. There are floors, windows, mirrors, bathrooms, bedrooms. I’m sure something needs to be cleaned. So… just start cleaning. It’s free, a productive use of time, and your home will look better afterwards.
10. Take Some Pictures
Get out your phone or camera, and go photo happy. Capture your children, pets, or partner. Take pictures of food, flowers, or your finally cleaned living room. Doesn’t matter, just have fun seeing what images you can get.
11. Watch the Sunrise/ Sunset
The beauty of the sunrise and sunset, is a resource we often forget about. So, get up early to witness the sunrise, and find a great location to take in the sunset. And maybe even take your camera with you 😉
There are endless resources if you want to do yoga. Books. Videos. Charts. I even wrote a yoga blogpost to get you started. So, start doing some poses. Anywhere. Anytime. Try out one of my favorite poses. Legs up the wall… you put your legs up along a wall and lay there. That’s it!
13. Have a Picnic
Pack up a lunch, snacks, drinks or dessert. Grab a blanket. And go somewhere. Your backyard. A park. Beach. Or hidden getaway. Enjoy eating your food in a new way, in a new environment.
14. Go Camping
Not fancy camping that you pay for. Find spaces that are free. Set up tent in your backyard, in an open field, or at a beach (if allowed). Bring whatever materials you may need, while enjoying the outdoors, and lack of luxury.
15. Make or Create or Build Something
Use your imagination and creative juices, to make something. Anything. A fort, a movie, a picnic table. You might surprise yourself.
16. Write – Journal
Another creative activity, focused around words. Writing. Write a story, poem, book or blog. Get all of those thoughts, ideas, frustrations, and worries- out!
17. Community Clean Up
Contribute to the area where you live. Clean up graffiti. Pick up garbage. Do anything to help make the community look better.
Just like cleaning up. Find a way to contribute to your community. Volunteer at churches, shelters, libraries, senior centers, hospitals. Your time is probably the best gift you can give. And it doesn’t cost money.
Whatever spiritual path you follow. Or religion you belong to. Connect with it. Pray. Meditate. Find that quiet place. That stillness.
20. Social Media
As much as social media and technology may hurt our relationships, or waste our time. It is free. As long as we have a phone and Wi-Fi. So, connect on Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Or see what google has in store.
21. Read a Book
I love books and reading. It is free, easy, relaxing, and entertaining. So, get a book, find a quiet place, and just read. Escape. Stimulate your mind. If you need suggestions. I recently read 100 books, and wrote about it here.
22. Do Nothing
Yes. Do nothing. Absolutely nothing.
23. Take a Nap
So many other countries actually incorporate afternoon naps into their lifestyle. Now is your chance to try it out. Take a nap. Rest a little. (Apparently my family is really good at this ).
24. Cook a New Meal
If you can’t eat out, might as well have fun cooking. Find some recipe books, get on Pinterest. Find something new to cook. Something different. A food you would actually be excited to try. Then cook it.
25. Color and Paint
Get out the crayons, pencil crayons, markers, and paints. Draw, color, paint. A design, a picture, a person, or a mess. Have fun, get creative.
26. Music/ Dance Party
We all love a good dance party. Blast the music. Sing. Dance around. Grab hairbrushes as microphones. Really get into it.
Laughter is the best medicine. So, make time to laugh. Tell jokes, watch a funny video. Or just laugh. Whatever you need to do to get your giggles going.
I’m sure there are plenty of things to be done outside. Watering flowers, and pulling weeds. Cutting grass, and rearranging rocks (my daughter throws them, and I put them back).
Who doesn’t love a massage? Well don’t pay a masseuse. Grab your spouse, partner or friend, and give each other massages.
We were all thinking this one. I just came out and said it. Sex with your partner is fun, and free.
This is a no brainer. Exercise is free, and can be done anywhere. Do some jumping jacks, planks, push-ups, or run. The body needs to move.
32. Play Sports
Grab a baseball, basketball, football, and start playing. By yourself, with a friend, or find a group. Keep score, or don’t. Follow the rules, or don’t. Make a team, or league, or challenge out of it. Or don’t. The options are endless. And completely up to you.
33. Learn Something
You can learn pretty much anything online nowadays. Find something you want to learn. Put it into Google. And boom. You will soon understand Italian, be able to bake pies, or know how to draw cartoons.
34. Observe Nature
Nature is beautiful. All around us. Always there. And always free. So, take advantage. Observe the butterflies, flowers, trees and bees. Watch the sun, moon, stars and clouds. Listen to the rain, thunder, birds, and wind.
Start making your own lists. Lists of places you want to go. Things you like to do. Lists of errands, shopping, or chores. Songs, movies, books. The options are endless, and there are always new things to make a list for.
Now I’m sure there are plenty more things to do that are free. But this list is what we do to have fun, without spending money, or eating out (at least for the month of September). And because we move around a lot, these options are useful anywhere. For anyone. But I’d love to hear what you do. Please leave me your suggestions!
And it’s never to late to join in on our September Challenge.