Sunday, February 7, 2010

El Cheapo Weekend

We generally spend our weekends doing fun but inexpensive activities. During our spending heyday, it would be nothing to spend hundreds of dollars over the course of a weekend on eating out, getting a manicure and pedicure, buying clothes and shoes, going to the movies, buying new "toys", etc.

Now our weekends consist of free or cheap activities such as:
  • Volksmarching. The cost is $3 per walk if you want to get credit and patches for your accomplishments. This is a great group of people who meet every Saturday and walk 10k routes together. We did this yesterday and had perfect weather, a wonderful group of people to walk with, and some strenuous hills to tackle, overall a great walk!
  • Library. This is a wonderful free option which entails hanging out at our local library, reading, then maybe borrowing books or DVDs on my way out.
  • Working at home. Sometimes we do a major cleaning. Other times we do projects such as cleaning out the garage. In the spring we will have yard work and gardening. Actually staying at home is the best way to both get needed tasks done AND save money. If you aren't out and about, you don't spend money.
  • Movie marathon. One lazy Sunday we were nearly out of money for the month and it was the middle of winter so there wasn't much to do around the house. We ended up watching 12 HOURS of Lifetime movies (we're paying for cable so we might as well use it). We called it our 'movie marathon weekend' and now when there isn't much to do we occasionally consider having a similar marathon weekend.
  • Making money. A couple of times during the summer we hold garage sales which take up the entire weekend and instead of spending money, we end up making money. Other times I will get busy and post ads on Craigslist for items we want to sell which is easier to do if we will actually be home in order to meet the buyers.
  • Baking and cooking. Another occasional activity we do is have a cooking and baking weekend. Generally we clean out the fridge and the cupboards then get busy processing food by baking cookies, banana bread, and regular bread for the upcoming week. We cook up a pot of stew or chili, make egg rolls, tamales, or other items that take a long time to produce, and sometimes even invite friends or neighbors to enjoy the bounty.
  • Low cost fitness activities. Some weekend when we are looking for something to do, we will choose low cost fitness activities such as bike riding, hiking, swimming, racquetball (free at our military base gym), kicking a soccer ball around a local field, etc. This is a great way to get outdoors, get some sunshine, and get some exercise all at the same time.

Weekends need not be money drains on your budget. You can do relaxing, out of the ordinary things that mix up your routine a bit but still don't cost a whole lot of money.

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