Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight. Read full profile. Spending time with friends is, in and of itself, a great way to pass the time without spending a lot of money. But if you and your friends are used to going out to clubs, pubs or eateries together as your way of hanging out, then you can change it up a bit and save some money too.
If you are having trouble convincing your friends to do things on the cheap, then be upfront with them. But here are some great alternatives you can offer. A potluck dinner party. Host a dinner party and ask everyone to bring a dish to share.
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If you are not comfortable with cooking, maybe try and learn how to cook a new dish together with your friends. Host a spa day. Give each other manicures. Try out new hairstyles. Make some facial masks or exfoliates using natural, at-home ingredients.
Then drink mimosas. Movie marathon. Get the free trial just for the marathon! Pinterest party! Do them. At home one night with friends.
Go to the park. Pack a picnic.
Hang out. Watch people.
Play on the swings. Have an organization party.
Serve drinks and food and trade stuff among yourselves. Hold a yard sale. After all of that cleaning, why not hang out together and make some extra cash too? Concerts in the park. All summer long, many parks host free concerts. Go with your friends. Hang out, bring a picnic dinner. This is a very relaxing way to chill out on a hot summer night after work.
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Volunteer together. Offer to do the yard work for the local senior center or hang out with the kids at the YMCA. After a few hours of volunteering together, you will have new respect for each other and something new to chat about. Play board games. Drag out the Scrabble or the Yahtzee. You can hang out and play all sorts of games with large groups or small ones. Hold a tournament and compete against each other. Video game tournament.
Not into board games? Well, how about a video game tournament? Grab a ball and a bat and go play baseball at the local park. Grab a basketball or a tennis racket. Go to the school play.
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Iron Chef night. Bring your friends over and have an Iron Chef night where you cook dinner out of only the items in your pantry. No buying anything! Go dumpster diving. I said it.
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Check out the dumpsters in your area and see what you can find. You might even find dinner! Here are some tips for respectful diving. Go to yard sales. Take all that money you made at your yard sale and cruise around your town together looking for cool stuff. Maybe you could even fix something up and resell it.
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Find some cool trails around your town and go hiking. Do it! Totally fun. Swap movies and music. Then swap with abandon. Go on a walking tour of your town. Most towns or cities have a historic district. Find out if there is a walking tour available. If not, make one up! Scavenger hunt. Put your friends to the test — yes, this is for grown-ups — to find different things in your city…like a certain bike rack, a vintagethat sort of thing. The winner gets a dinner cooked by the losers.
Find out when the free days are at your local museum or zoo. Most have them and they can be great fun to visit with friends. Hold a quilting bee. Grab some old T-shirts that you love, old jeans, whatever. Cut them into squares and sew them together. Who knows?
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Maybe it will become a regular thing? Go to Open Mic night. Your town is likely harboring some great talent at an open mic night that has no cover and cheap drinks! Go to a religious service. Find a swimming hole. Head to the old town swimming hole — or find a new one.
What a great way to spend a lazy afternoon with friends. Start a book club, card club canasta anyone? Something you and your friends like. My parents used to belong to a cooking club where once a month all of their friends gathered at one house and the host family cooked a meal from a different country. I learned a lot about food that year.