Entertainment makes life, well, entertaining. Unfortunately, it's usually one of those extras that get eliminated from the budget when times get tough. When you're watching your wallet, nights out on the town are out, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! SparkPeople members tell us how they have fun on a shoestring budget—and sometimes for free!
These members have fun while saving money. How do you entertain yourself and your family for less? Share your tip in the comments section.
- "Don't buy magazines or newspapers. Read online, or ask friends or family if you can have theirs when they've finished. Make sure you pass them on again."
- "Camp, even if it's just in the backyard."
- "Free entertainment: college lectures, library programs, playgrounds, festivals, petting zoos, museums, church socials, gardening, barbecues, etc. Also, try an old fashioned "barn raising" with a modern twist: help a friend move, repair something around the house, plant a garden, etc. (You also get exercise!)"
- "Plan potlucks or supper clubs so the expense is shared and each person can decide whether to spend money on prepared food or spend time making a recipe."
- "We have cable TV, but that's our entertainment. We also invite family for barbecues at our house."
- "Use your local library. I check out movies, TV shows on DVD, books, magazines and more without spending a dime! Plus, libraries are hubs for free activities and social events, such as knitting circles and book clubs."
- "I've noticed that there are more birthday parties and picnics going on at parks this year. Everybody seems to have just as much fun as they would at an expensive party place--maybe more. I've seen adults playing on the swings and see-saws and having a blast!"
- "Grow herbs and give them as gifts. Try mint. It grows almost everywhere, and people love it in teas."
- "For gift ideas, use your library and the Internet to check out craft ideas. Hit garage sales to pick up craft supplies. I always find them there, especially things like skeins of yarn, looms and kits that people bought and never used."
- "Get involved with a fun church geared towards kids. There are so many good ones out there. Get involved within your community library, city, political party, etc. There are so many free and fun events out there, and getting involved teaches the kids about citizenship and government."
- "Start shopping for the holidays now! You can find deals year-round on presents."
- "Make some money: recycle bottles and cans, save coins. Set aside that money for something fun."