79 ways to have fun for nearly free
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79 Ways To Have Fun For Nearly Free

Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here.

Y’all know how much I hate to spend money. Saving more money has given us the freedom to pay off debt rapidly and have financial peace of mind. Buuuut that doesn’t mean that we’re un-fun hermits who stay cooped up in the house all the time. Saving money is important, but having fun is important, too!

Here are 79 ways to have fun for (almost) free. Add your own in the comments!

79 Ways to have fun for (almost) free

    • Rent books and movies from the library
    • Sign up to pick produce at any nearby farms. Many farms offer “Pick Your Own” options so you can get farm-fresh produce on the cheap. If you’re feelin philanthropic, some farms also let volunteers glean their crops after harvesting. The crops are then donated to the food bank.
    • Go window shopping
    • Make paper dolls from old magazines and newspapers. This was a favorite childhood activity I used to do with my great-grandma. She said this was how they made their toys during The Great Depression. It’s something I enjoyed nonetheless!
    • DIY home decor. Ain’t no shame in jazzing up your house with DIY decor. I like these decorative string balls and turning wood pallets into end tables.
    • Have a water balloon fight or play in the sprinklers.
    • At-home spa day. Paint your nails and take a long bath. Ahhhhh.
    • Host a scavenger hunt in your back yard

  • Go to a local nursery. See what plants are for sale and plan out your ideal lawn or garden plans. Bonus points if you plan a food forest. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Visit your local museum on a “free night”
    • Bake cookies, cupcakes, or even a full-blown cake
    • Go dumpster diving! I love seeing what people put out on the curb during bulk trash pickup. See if you can score some free items by dumptster diving.
    • Make Play-Doh from scratch. Here’s a recipe for non-edible Play-Doh. I like to make an edible version from peanut butter and powdered sugar. Just combine the powdered sugar until the mixture has the consistency you’re looking for. You can add food dye to the edible Play-Doh, too.
    • Create a crossword puzzle for free. Here’s a free crossword puzzle maker.ย 
    • Use a borrowed metal detector to find treasure.
    • Visit your local park and go for a walk
    • Make a homemadeย facial mask. Here are 9 recipes to try out. Why buy a face mask when you can make one?
    • Journaling. Write down your daily thoughts or start a gratitude journal.
    • Learn a new skill on YouTube. I’ve used YouTube to learn how to crochet and sew. Mr. Picky Pincher has also used it to change his brakes and change his oil.
    • Play The Floor Is Lava
  1. get the free 30 day frugal cleanse
    • Set up a tent in your living room and tell scary stories with flashlights
    • Volunteer. I know, I know. Volunteering doesn’t sound very sexy. But it’s honestly a really good time and you make the world a little less horrible. Try volunteering for a cause that’s dear to you. You can also volunteer to offer your professional skills if you don’t feel like leaving the house. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    • Host a Chopped competition to use up pantry ingredients
    • Start a blog. Here’s my quick guide on starting a blog.ย A love of writing is all it takes. ๐Ÿ™‚
    • Climb a tree

    • Take a nap. As an adult, there are few other more thrilling activities than taking a nap.
    • Try yoga and meditation. Here’s my favorite guided meditation playlist if you want to check it out. It’s super relaxing and much-needed on busy days.
    • Ask your insurance company for discounts. This isn’t necessarily “fun,” but finding new ways to save gobs of money is pretty fun to me. ๐Ÿ™‚
    • Draw caricatures of your friends
    • Visit an animal shelter. There’s nothing like seeing little fuzzy creatures to put a smile on your face. ๐Ÿ™‚
    • Fill in Mad Libs solo or with a buddy. Here are some printable Mad Libs to check out fo’ free.ย 
    • Play a board game. You can get these pretty cheaply at thrift stores.
    • Call your mom or write her a letter. C’mon, you know you don’t call your mom as often as you should. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    • Make a milkshake
    • Make a time capsule
    • Craft your own holiday cards to have on hand. Store bought cards are freakin’ expensive. Make your own birthday and holiday cards with on-hand craft supplies. Build up a supply to have ย your own cards on hand for any occasion–for zero dollars.
    • Declutter and donate
    • Build a blanket fort
    • Collect bugs in your yard
    • Try cutting your own hair
    • Go to a free community event
    • Host a cookie swap
    • Let a friend or significant other put makeup on you. Laughs for hours, my friends.
    • Bake bread. Here’s my recipe for easy white bread.ย 
    • Grill or smoke a good cut of meat. ribs, brisket. freeze extra.
    • Do some freezer cooking
    • Throw a crafting party
    • Thank somebody. Put together a thank you card or gift for a friend, family member, coworker, or even your local fire department. It feels great to thank people and spread some goodness.
    • Write your bucket list
    • Practice a foreign language. I’m awful at German, but I made sure to learn all of the swear words first. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Watch cat videos
    • Go to a dollar movie. Buy your own movie theater candy from Dollar Tree and take it with you.
    • Check out a religious service. Whether this is a religious service for a religion you follow, or a religion you don’t subscribe to, it’s worth checking out. I had the great opportunity to visit a Hindu temple and it was amazing. Connect with people who believe differently from you and learn a little more about the world.
    • Go to your local farmer’s market
    • Offer to babysit. Kids say the darndest things. If you know someone with kiddos who could use a break, offer to babysit. You get some funny kid time and the parents get a much-needed rest. Everyone wins!
    • Cook a mug cake. Here’s my recipe for the chocolate PMS mug cake.ย 
    • Practice creative new hair styles. Mainly for the ladies. Here’s a Buzzfeed article I like with different work hairstyles.ย 
    • Visit art galleriesand art openings. I’ve gone to a few of these and they usually have free booze!
    • Make up new constellations while star gazing
    • Press and dry flowers and leaves
    • Brewery and vineyard tour. These are usually free or cost about $10 per person.
    • People watching. It’s exhilarating to watch old men yelling at pigeons in the park. Get out of the house and watch people being people.
    • Read a banned book. How risque! Here’s the list of banned books if you feel like reading something provocative.ย 
    • Host a potluck dinner with friends and family
    • Have a Netflix binge
    • Try your hand at karaoke
    • Be a guerrilla gardener. Make your own seed bombs and throw them into empty lots. Bonus points if your seeds are for native plants!

  • Sell stuff on Craigslist. What’s more fun than emptying out your house and making some extra cash?
  • Check out local Meetups. Meetup.com has plenty of free group meetings in your town to check out.
  • Make yourself a toga and drink wine. Just like Caesar. Toga! Toga! Toga!
  • Blare an old song from your teenage years and dance like a goofball. My personal favorite is “What’s My Age Again?” from Blink-182.
  • Sign up for free trials. Many gyms, dance studios, and online services offer free trials. Sign up for these to try out a fun new activity.
  • Learn how to play the card game “Bull Shiz.” Here are the rules.ย 
  • Make a castle out of cardboard boxes and markers
  • Dance the night away.ย Go to a swing dance club or a salsa dancing club. You usually don’t even need a partner.
  • Upcycle junk around the house. Turn a ย wine bottle to pen holder, make a nice art piece out of old cutlery, and more. Check out Pinterest to get some good ideas for upcycling junk.
  • Have a legit tea party. Serve tea and bake homemade scones to serve with jam.
  • Peruse Groupon for deals
  • Learn how to extreme coupon

We want to know: What are your favorite ways to have fun for free?ย 

30 comments on “79 Ways To Have Fun For Nearly Free

  1. These are great ideas! It’s getting really hot where I am, so we have been itching to go out and have some fun. I really like picnics and potlucks in the summer. Other than that, the activities you suggested sound really fun!

    1. Thanks! I know, it’s so flipping hot here now that we have to wait until 8 pm to enjoy anything outside. Ugh.

    1. Yesyesyesyes to naps! Ever since I started working from home, I’ve been taking a 30 minute nap every day. Life changing, I say. Life changing. All adults should get a naptime.

  2. Great list! The library and walks are my favorites for free fun items. Our local library offers a number of free classes and entertainment too.

    1. Thanks! I absolutely adore the library. Ours started doing STEM classes with a 3D printer. I do wish they’d offer more events in the evenings for us folks with 9-5 jobs, though.

  3. Wow I bet it took you a hot minute to think a list this long up!

    Learning a foreign language is my favourite free thing to do atm – duolingo is a life saver! Thanks for a great write up ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Band concerts in the park.
    Free movie night in the park.
    Free fireworks in the park.
    Are you sensing a theme?
    I live in a popular summer resort area and there is literally a free event every day.
    No point in letting the tourists have all the fun!

    1. That’s so cool of you! I’d love to visit a mosque one day, too. I think there’s so much we can learn from one another.

  5. Definitely love the museum nights. Such a good way to spend some quality time while learning something.

    Yes to the animal shelter!!! Great way to save some lives.

  6. How about feeding wild birds who hang out in one area waiting for humans to feed them? ๐Ÿ˜€ We have something like that in my town and they are all so cute! You have never seen so many Canadian geese in one spot, haha. ๐Ÿ˜› There is also a Chinese gander who has children that are different from him/her that hang out with them. I think they imprinted on the gander or something because they are not the same type of bird. I call the Chinese gander Papa because of the information I read on identifying the sex of a Chinese gander, I think it is a male. ๐Ÿ™‚ ButI will never know for sure. Dx

    I buy the bird seed I feed to the birds at Walmart. A big 20lb. bag is under $10. ๐Ÿ™‚ Bread and other food like that is not good for birds to eat. ๐Ÿ™

      1. Aw, I’m so sorry that hapened to you. ๐Ÿ™ I have neer been attacked by a swan, but I know those Candian geese can be mean and attack people if they are not used to being around people. :/ You would like the birds I feed. ๐Ÿ™‚ They are nice for the most part, but some of them do not trust people so well so when you hand feed them, they either back away from you all warry like or they will bite your fingers hard enough until it makes you drop the food so they can eat it off of the ground. Some of them are pretty weird like that. O _o Or, if they have babies, forget it. They don’t want you near them or their kids at all, haha. ๐Ÿ™‚ Only if they know you, they will come up to you with their chicks, but they will stil hiss and stuff. ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. Well…definitely saving this to come back to next time I’m bored. ๐Ÿ™‚ The library right now is my most heavily-leaned on free activity. Between physical and digital I have probably 8-10 books out right now.

    1. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve already been consulting this list lol. Great job with using the library! I have a huge stack of books I need to return tomorrow for more free recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. As a librarian, I love the library suggestions! In addition to materials and events, many libraries offer summer reading programs for various ages; at my library this summer, we have bikes, iPads, gift cards, etc., as prizes for some fortunate participants (just a few perks in addition to the joy of reading). As well as the physical collection, we have free downloadable music, ebooks, and magazines, and free access to language/ESL, test prep, and auto repair databases, among many others. All in all…check out your library–you may be surprised at what you’ll find.

    One (slightly odd) hobby of mine: buying items inexpensively at thrifts and yard sales and reselling on eBay, Facebook sites, etc. It’s not “free,” but it’s usually inexpensive and can be lucrative. And who doesn’t love the research involved? (Okay, that’s a stretch.)

    1. Libraries (and librarians) are UH-MAZING. I can’t believe there isn’t a line out the door at our library for all of the neat stuff they offer. I don’t think that’s an odd hobby at all! Researching and reselling items seems quite appropriate for a librarian. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Wow, a great list! A nap is probably number one on my list. When my kids were little and resisting the post-lunch naptime, my husband used to wistfully remark that he wished someone would make HIM eat lunch then go take a nap every day.
    I might add these ideas:
    Walk in the rain on a warm rainy day and splash barefoot in the puddles.
    Get your exercise by learning how to cartwheel all over again.
    Check out a book on trees and take walks anywhere there are trees, seeing how many trees you can identify. This is quite fun for nature nerds like me.
    Get a cheap cane pole, some bait, and go fish (where legal — fines aren’t frugal!) off a bridge or pier. Some areas allow cane pole fishers to fish without a license, even.
    Write your memories.
    Organize those photos you’ve been putting off.
    And finally, play Name This State’s Capital. (How many of those do we all remember?)

    1. That’s such an awesome list! I just had a horrible mental image of me attempting to do cartwheels. Spoiler alert: I end up with a bloody nose. And oh my gosh, I need to organize photos! Good idea!

      1. Maybe you should skip the cartwheel suggestion then. We don’t want any bloody noses! Maybe you could get Zap to do cartwheels instead?

  10. Adult Naps are the best! I wish I could take them on a a regular basis. Some day that will become a reality.

    Also love to people watch. I have this thing that I do with my wife and daughter, when we are sitting “people watching” I will voice over what people are saying or talking about and make an entire story up for the family to enjoy. Lots of fun.

    1. OMG I love that idea! Sometimes I’ll make up life stories for people, but I like the idea of doing a voice over to their life even more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I’m a big fan of free nights that many places have. I always visit the local museums when they have their free saturdays as most of them do every month. Most of the stuff I enjoy is free and it’s great that life has so many enjoyable things that can be had without any monetary outlay. Nothing better than a nice walk in the park on a beautiful spring/summer day.

    1. I agree! If you have access to the internet, you can find a near-endless supply of free stuff to do around your city.

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