You are working hard every day to stick to your budget. Frugality has become your lifestyle and you are making great strides towards your financial goal…until the weekend comes.
Then precautions are thrown into the wind, treats and day trips are planned. Your hard earned and saved money slips through your fingers like sand on the beach.
What can you do? You finally have some time off to spend with your significant other, your kids. You don’t want to feel like you are punishing yourself or them.
Below I have listed 51 tips to have a fun and frugal weekend.
I have listed the activities based on being indoor, outdoor, creative or quality time. Of course, most, if not all add quality time to your life and some can clearly belong to more than one category.
1. Projects Around the House
If you are like me, you have these moments of motivation to get things done around the house, but never have the time to do them.
All the materials are there, but for some reason you never really schedule the project or improvement that needs to be done around the house/apartment.
Make plans to get that project done on the weekend. Write it on the calendar and make it a priority.
You’ll be surprised how many things will finally get done in your home.
2. Use Points for Movies
We have a credit and debit card that let us collect scene points for movies.
When we have enough points to cover the cost of the movie tickets, we go on a date.
It’s like two treats in one.
3. Use Existing Memberships
You probably have a library card to your local library and perhaps even a membership to your local museum.
Maybe you even have a membership to your community swimming pool lying around somewhere (I know I do).
Take yourself, the kids, your significant other to browse the library for books to read in the afternoon, to spend some time looking at mummies at the museum or to get some exercise at your local community centre.
You may have to leave the house for these activities, which can be a challenge when it’s cold or raining, but you will have a fun time once you get to your destination.
4. Cook Together
I used to do most of the cooking myself. Then my significant other showed interest in it and I started to teach him.
We would spend the afternoon in the kitchen chopping veggies, seasoning meats and talking about everything and anything.
Now we have two people in our household that can cook a delicious roast, sharing the chores of everyday life.
5. Bake Cookies
On a cold rainy or snowy afternoon ,maybe even before Christmas, it is a wonderful idea to stay in and bake a batch of cookies, maybe even trying a new recipe.
6. Play Video Games
Do you also have about a zillion video games you were so eager to buy, but haven’t even taken out of the shrink wrap?
It’s about time you tried them out. And what better time to do so than on a weekend you intend on staying in and saving money?
7. Marathon a TV or Movie Series
One of the things I love doing most when money is tight and the weather unfavorable is to watch movies or a show I haven’t seen yet.
Or marathon one of your favorite movie collections, like “Back to the Future”.
Your viewing platforms are endless with Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc. Some of which you are probably subscribed to.
You can do this alone, with your significant other, your entire family or a friend.
Make some snacks and you are good to go.
8. Donate Clothes or Other Household Items
Throughout the year I end up with a pile of clothing that either do not fit anymore or I started to associate with uncomfortable situations.
When the pile is a decent size, but small enough to be carried I bring it to clothing stores that will recycle the fabric and in turn receive coupons for future purchases.
You can also donate your clothing to local thrift stores or the Salvation Army.
9. Old Fashioned Board Game Night
Who doesn’t have about a dozen board games lying around somewhere, collecting dust?
Time to dust them off and have a good old fashioned family board game night.
The hours will fly by like nothing.
10. Learn a Language Together
There are fun and user friendly apps out there that can make it easy to learn a new language.
The Mango Languages app can be accessed through your local libraries website and it works very well on mobile devices and laptop computers.
11. Learn a Language Together
This seems like an obvious one and is related to suggestion number 3. Or if you have the habit of going to a bookstore, because it calms you and ended up buying three new books that now collect dust on your nightstand.
Grab one of those books, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, maybe add a cookie or two, wrap yourself in a blanket and go on a journey without stepping one foot outside.
12. Play an Instrument
Many of us probably have an instrument lying around that we used to love playing, but life kind of got in the way and we never appear to have time to pick it up anymore.
Now is your time. Give it another go, find instructional videos on YouTube and rediscover your love for playing. Just be mindful of the neighbors.
13. Use Public Courts and Fields
In the summer when the weather isn’t too humid or hot, we have made it a habit to visit our local public basketball court.
In the winter we go skating at the local community center.
Both are free and give us the opportunity to get a little physical activity.
14. Go to Theater in the Park
There is a great initiative happening in the biggest part of my home city.
Every summer a theater group produces Shakespearean plays, a different play every month and admission is the donation or a non-perishable food item.
15. Go To The Beach
If you are a beach god or goddess and the beach is within your range of travel, why not take a trip to the beach on the weekend.
Bring a hat, beach towel, sunscreen, beach umbrella and some snack and water and enjoy the sunshine and waves
16. Go on a Hike
If the beach isn’t your thing, check out your local hiking trails and make a day of it.
Put on your hiking boots, pack a lunch, spray on some bug spray and enjoy what mother nature has to offer.
17. Play Tourist in Your Own City
Have you ever had family or friends from out of town visit and tell you about all the things they have done and seen in your hometown, which you had no clue about? Yeah, me, too.
How about you play tourist in your own city for a day? It’ll give you a chance to see the sights you usually rush past or forgot about completely when running errands or getting annoyed at work.
18. Go for a Bike Ride
If you own a bike and there are places around your area that make bike riding safe enough, go for it.
Pack a snack and some water and get paddling in the fresh air.
Many years ago my cousin visited me and we made plans to stargaze at night. We got all our chores done in time and then spent a considerable time lounging on the back porch looking up at the sky.
I had no idea what constellations, but I saw a handful of shooting stars.
20. Have a Campfire in Your Backyard
If you own a backyard, this is a great activity to do with your kids. Maybe you still have some crackers, marshmallows and chocolate in the pantry.
Tell spooky stories and enjoy each other’s company.
21. Fly a Kite
I haven’t flown a kite in years, but chances are your kids probably have one lying around.
On a breezy autumn day this would be perfect before coming home to a cup of hot choco.
22. Check for Free Events in Your Town
Most of the time there is always something going on in your town or city, especially on weekends.
Check out your local library or community center, they usually have a calendar listing the activities happening on the weekends.
23. Do Some Yard Work
Yard work or prepping your balcony for the upcoming season can be surprisingly calming and stress reducing.
24. Have a Picnic
Grab your sweetheart or family, make up an array of goodies and head to the park for a picnic.
25. Write Short Stories or Poems
You have about half a dozen of stories or poems stored in the back of your mind, but never have the time to write them down?
Now is your chance to make time to sit down and write. How luxurious is that feeling. Dedicate your weekend to letting those creative juices flow. It feels so good.
26. Give Old Clothing a Facelift
Give your clothes a second chance. Turn your jeans with the ripped pant leg into jean shorts (they are still very fashionable).
Turn an old sweater into one that hangs off the shoulder a la “Flashdance”. The possibilities are endless.
27. Give Old Furniture a Face Lift
How about sanding that old, chipping paint off your chair or table and turn it into a piece that could into the theme of beach cottage furniture design?
Or how about a new coat of varnish before you throw that side table out?
You can get plenty of ideas from home design magazines to get you started.
28. Try Your Hand at Photography
It’s fun and everyone these days has a phone that’s more used as a camera than actually calling people anyway.
Play with lights, angles, colors and mood
29. Invent a New Game to Play
This might be a fun one to try with your kids. It engages their creative nature and encourages cooperation in designing the game.
30. Write a Play and Act it Out
It might not be as structured and well-rehearsed as the ones we see in the movie adaptations of “Little Women”, but they can still be fun and entertaining for the entire family.
Find things around the house that could be used as props and costumes and be amazed what you might end up producing.
I think knitting can be fun. I have all the materials to start and but never pick it up.
If that’s the same with you, then dedicate the next rainy afternoon to knitting. Put on a show or movie you have seen many times and that is comforting and just try your hand with those knitting needles.
32. Paint Your Nails
Most gals (and guys)most likely have all the materials to give themselves a mani/pedi and try fun colors and design, but we are so used to going to the salon.
I get it. If you have gone to the same salon for a while, you know the people working there. They have become your friends. But what about skipping every other trip to the salon and experimenting with some colors and designs yourself?
It could be fun.
33. Try Out a New Hairstyle
No one likes to try a new hairstyle when they are already rushing to get ready to go to work.
So, why not practice your new style on the weekend and have it down to a science by the time Monday rolls around?
34. Organize Your Home
Organizing your apartment or house can be incredibly creative. You can find different ways to file, pack and sort your papers, crafting materials, books, music etc. in such a way that makes sense to you and works best for you.
35. Try Painting
Pick up those paint brushes or pastel colors again and paint the moody winter sky you see just outside your window.
36. Make up a New Dish
Invent a new dish to try. Check your fridge and see what you could whip up with the ingredients that are about to expire.
It might become your new favorite thing to cook.
37. Create a Bucket List
Sit down with your significant other/family and come up with things you really want to do, see and visit in life.
Pick one item that can be easily accomplished and start making those new memories together.
38. Go Camping in Your Living Room
So, the weather is miserable outside and money is too tight to go to a campsite for the weekend?
Pretend to go camping in your own living room, make a sleepover out of it with hot chocolate, spooky stories told holding flashlights up to the face and just escaping reality for a little while.
39. Volunteer Your Time
There are plenty of organizations and charities out there that need willing and helping hands.
Make it a family thing to help out those in need.
40. Read Favorite Stories Out Loud
Take turns reading out of your favorite book. This is not only a great way to spend quality time with the family, but also encourages kids to practice their public speaking.
41. Look at Old Family Photos
I remember a few times when my grandparents came to visit and brought their projector and slides with them.
We spent the entire afternoon looking at photos of their trip to the Alps. Talking and laughing at blurry photos and generally having a good time.
42. Call a Family Member or Friend
With video calling it is easy to get in touch with people and actually see them, even though they live far away.
Call up a loved one, who doesn’t live close by and have a chat. It’s amazing what hearing a loved one’s voice and face can do to one’s mood.
43. Talk About Your Future Plans
Sometimes we get so stuck in our day to day life that we forget to stop and think about what we actually want.
Add to that the possibility to have a bonding and encouraging talk with your significant other can really put things into perspective.
The Power of communication is so often overlooked, so take this opportunity to touch base with your spouse.
44. Teach Each Other a Skill
Teach each other something new. Maybe one of you knows how to sew and the other knows how to make the most delicious, fluffiest pancakes.
How about you share your secrets with each other?
45. Take a Walk in Your Childhood Neighborhood
If it is possible, take each other on a walk through your old neighborhood where you grew up.
It’s remarkable how many memories pop up when you stand right in front of the convenience store where you used to buy your ice cream as a child, or walk past your old playground.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know the other person before you had a chance to them.
46. Ask for Help With a Difficult Task
Let’s say you are faced with a challenging task and you have no idea how to start or you are stuck.
Asking your significant other for help might be the perfect chance to bind. They may have some knowledge or insight into the matter that could help you complete your task.
Plus, it feels good to be wanted and appreciated for one’s skill set.
47. Make Financial Decisions Together
It might not be the most fun activity to spend parts of your weekend on, but it is a crucial one.
Taking care of financial matters and making financial decisions together creates a bond and a sense of unity.
Neither person feels alone in the matter and the idea of working towards shared goals together can be very motivating.
48. Bake Your Favorite Desserts Together
Have a baking date. Pick one treat each to make and start baking together.
49. Talk About The Week You Had
This goes hand in hand with tip number 43, in that communication is key to a healthy and strong relationship.
Talk to your significant other about your week, what was good, what was bad, what made you angry or happy.
Also talk about what’s coming up during the next week. What is giving you anxiety, what are you looking forward to?
The same goes for them. Give them a chance to tell you a bit of the life you don’t get to see.
Also, talk to your kids about anything that is bothering them or making them especially happy and about their day to day life.
50. Cocoon Time
Sometimes it’s okay to just do your own thing.
If you don’t have children, or they are older already, sometimes having everyone around the house, but each one is doing their own things can be nice.
It allows us to appreciate each other’s company without feeling pressured to pay attention or entertain each other.
51. Share an Interest
Read that short story aloud you have been working on all weekend. Showcase your improvements playing guitar or flute.
Show them on your computer the photos you have taken. Engage their attention by sharing your interests and pay attention to them while they share their interest.
Of course, there are many more things you can do as a couple or family that do not cost any money, but I hope this list gives you a good start to spending quality, creative, indoor or outdoor time without breaking your budget.
I find it remarkable what a little change in perspective can do to our interpersonal relationships and I hope you can get many wonderful memories out of the above listed tips.
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