Perhaps the best money-saving technique is to change your habits every so often. Going to the movies, eating out, and other entertainment really adds up over the course of a month or year. Weekends tend to be when most of us spend the most money, but it doesn’t have to be that way! A fun way to reduce spending while also being closer and having more fun as a family is to not spend any unnecessary money just one weekend a month.
To try out this fun, frugal challenge, we’ve put together a list of 11 fun things you can do that don’t cost any extra money. Driving and using utilities like phones and TV is fine as long as you don’t make extra purchases or rentals that increase the cost to use these things.
Fun, Frugal Activities For Your Family
Go to the library. No place has so many free and fun activities like your local library. While you’re there, see what community programs they have to offer such as story time, readings from local authors, clubs, or classes. If you haven’t been there in a while, the library probably offers more fun than you remembered!
Put together a keepsake t-shirt quilt for your kids. As kids grow out of their old clothes, it can be hard to get rid of the various t-shirts they acquire from sports, band, clubs and school activities. Rather than just donating these shirts, keep the memories alive by saving them for a quilt. All you need to do is cut out the design on the front or back. It works best to make a cardboard template that you use to keep all the squares the same size. If you’re not crafty, save the squares so you can get help from a friend or teach yourself how to quilt down the road.
Try geocaching. Kids and parents alike will both love geocaching if you’ve never done it before! It’s a real-world treasure hunting game that only requires a GPS enabled device such as a smart phone. All you need to do is register for free on geocaching.com to get started!
Organize a closet. Organizing can be overwhelming if you think about tackling your whole house. Instead, take on a closet. For linen closets, organize your matching sheet sets by placing all the folded linens from the set inside a pillowcase. In drawers, organize shirts by stacking them upright (like index cards) rather than stacking them in piles. Scarves can be looped around a hanger and hung in the closet to keep them organized. If you’ve done all that, search on Pinterest for other closet organizing ideas!
Start a bullet journal, art journal or diary. Bullet journals have become an incredibly popular way to combine journaling with to-do lists and important notes to yourself. There’s an art to it that you can read about on bulletjournal.com, but overall it’s a journal you fill with tasks and reminders that are organized by different types of bullet points. Each bullet point signifies something different, such as a reminder, a task, or something you have to plan in the future. Art journals are a fun project as well. Making one of these journals is far less rule-driven; simply get a sketchbook and use it to sketch, try new art techniques, make collages and put your ideas in any form you want. Kids will also have fun making an art journal with their own ideas.
Make a time capsule. One of the best ways to preserve memories is to create a time capsule with your kids. They can be as decorative or ordinary as you want. Grabbing a shoebox is an easy way to begin. First, mark the date the time capsule should be opened, usually between 5 and 15 years in the future. Next, collect items that reflect what life is like for your family in the present moment. Items may include a newspaper clipping, magazines, photos, a letter to your future selves, personal memorabilia, and an article of clothing that’s currently in style. Things change so fast and you’ll be instantly transported back in time when you open your capsule in the future!
Look for free events in a community newspaper or website. Chances are, there are a few local events going on this weekend that you didn’t even know about. Find your town’s local paper or go to your city’s website to see the event calendar. You may discover a fun new activity you never knew you could do for free in your town.
Cook a meal or treat with ingredients you already have. Dig into the back of your pantry to see what items have been pushed to the back. It’s often surprising how many meals can be made with items that you didn’t even know you had. Clear out some of your canned food by making a new soup recipe, or use up nearly-empty bags of baking ingredients by trying out a cookie recipe. It’s a great way to declutter and organize your pantry while saving on next week’s grocery costs.
Go to the museum. Not everyone has access to a free museum, but many museums with admission fees do have one free day a week or month. Do a little research as to when local museums offer free visits and plan a family trip. It’s also a good time to research local museums that you’ve never been to before. Museums aren’t just in big cities. Many local historical societies operate local interest museums in small towns throughout the country!
Organize your pictures. Maybe you want all your pictures on your computer, but all the old ones are stuck in a box under the bed. Or maybe you wish you had prints you could hold in your hands rather than swiping in your phone. Take a few hours scanning prints into your computer or earmarking phone pictures to order prints of. Once you have all your pictures where you want them, it’s much easier to revisit old times without the stress of disorganization.
Clear the clutter out of your garage. Garages are often the messiest part of the house. Get a head start on spring cleaning by purging and unnecessary items from your garage. While you’re in there, take stock of what’s taking up the most space. For many people, this is an unwanted vehicle. If you’re storing an extra car, a junk car or a seasonal vehicle, just imagine how much space you could free up by getting rid of your vehicle.
Wheels For Wishes is here to help with any unwanted vehicle you may have. Call 1-877-431-9474 or fill out an online car donation form this weekend and we’ll take your old car off your hands before you know it. In return for your car donation, you’ll receive free towing and a great tax deduction that you can enjoy on next year’s taxes!