Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson
The weekend is a time for fun, but that doesn’t mean that your wallet has to go along for the ride. Give your bucks a rest, and consider doing activities that won’t cost you any money. After all, the best things in life are for free, right? Have a fun and frugal weekend with these suggestions:
- Play a sport: Even if you’re not athletic, playing a friendly game of basketball or tag football can be a great way to spend your Saturday afternoon. You’ll be spending quality time with your favourite pals and keeping your body in tip-top shape at the same time — a win-win situation!
- Start a DIY project: Try to recycle things you usually throw away and create something out of them. To start with, here’s what you can do with old coffee grounds, newspaper, and used books.
- Try nail art: Use the time this weekend to paint a creative manicure and pedicure. Invite some friends over to do nails together and ask them to bring more colours if you want some variety. For inspiration, check out all these cool nail ideas on our Pinterest page.
- Write out your bucket list: Take the time this weekend to write out your bucket list. List places you want to go, goals you want to achieve, and tasks you want to pursue.
- Join meetups: Want to make friends with people who share your own interest? Join Meetup.com, a social networking site that helps people meet up in real life. You can choose anything from networking with professionals in your field to meeting up with fellow doggy owners.
- Read books: Hang around a bookstore or a library and take your time to really savour and enjoy a good book. Be adventurous — pick a topic that you don’t know much about and start exploring a whole new world through a book. You can also take the time to reread some well-loved books you have lying around the house. It’s amazing how fast hours fly by when you have a book in your hands.
- organise book clubs: Loved the most recent book you read? Pass it along to friends and organise a book club so you can gather around and share your thoughts with people who share the same interests. If your pals aren’t up to it, then organise a book club on Meetup.com or on Facebook.
- Window-shop: Sometimes I just love window-shopping with friends, and it’s always fun to exchange remarks with each other. I actually went bargain window-shopping with some pals last weekend, and it’s such a great way to spend time with friends, and it can also be a good chance for you to check out new neighborhoods.
- Spa treatments: Don’t blow all your cash at a nail salon, trade spa services with a friend. Give a manicure and get a facial in return. Look online for some cool techniques for spa treatments such as massage styles and facial ingredients.
- Catch up with loved ones: Been out of touch with a certain someone or someones? Give them a call this weekend to see how they’re doing and catch up on what’s been going on in your life.
- Watch some Hulu videos: You know the hit show that everyone’s talking about that you never got to watch? It’s time to catch up with the episodes this weekend, courtesy of online free video streaming service Hulu. If you want older episodes that you can’t find on Hulu, then ask a friend to see if she’ll share her Netflix account with you and pick a video you’d both love to watch.
- Plan a trip: Ah, I can already feel the beginnings of Summer. You know what that means, right? Vacation time! Start making a list of places you want to go to, and do some research on the spots you want to visit when you get there. Check out what the prices are like on Bing Travel or Kayak, start doing some comparison shopping, and look for deals. Keep in mind that the best times to buy your plane tickets are generally on a Tuesday or Wednesday, so be sure to hold off buying anything.
- Learn a language: Have you always wanted to learn French, the language of love? Now’s your chance. If you’re looking to learn a language, then search the web for sites that will teach you the basics. You can also check to see what language apps are available on iTunes. There are plenty of YouTube videos and podcasts that people use to teach languages, so be sure to check those resources out too.
- Shop your closet: Skip the shopping mall, and browse your closet instead. I’m sure there are pieces of clothing that have been lingering in the back of your wardrobe, forgotten and neglected. Try to mix and match your clothing to create brand-new outfits for the office or a night out with friends.
- Admire architecture: Get cultural this weekend, and take a look at the amazing architecture in your city. You might be surprised at what gems you’ll find in your city. For example, the San Francisco City Hall is actually designed by renowned architect Arthur Brown Jr., and the building has been featured in many Hollywood films. Get to know the buildings you pass by every day and take for granted; you might be surprised at its beauty after you take a closer look!
- Take a hike: There’s nothing like a walk to clear the mind and enjoy a breath of fresh air. Make plans to take a walk in a park or visit hiking trails nearby. It’s also a great way to wind down from the hectic work week you had — scientists found that viewing bits of greenery is really good for relaxation.
- Free apps galore: Use the downtime this weekend to explore the apps world and taking advantage of all the free apps available. I’m seriously loving some I recently downloaded on the phone, and I’m going to use the free time to look for more. My favourite ones that help me save money include KiK Messenger for free texting, Tip and Split for easy tip calculations, and Cheap Gas!, an app that looks for the cheapest gas rates near you. My other freebie favourites: Casa’s home decorating apps and Geek’s top 10 free iPad apps.
- Animal time: I don’t have my own pets here with me, but I love animals. I spend my days cooing over the adorable pictures over at PetSugar, but sometimes pics aren’t enough. Get your animal fix by either offering to pet-sit for a friend or by volunteering at an animal shelter.
- Free gym trials: Everyone loves freebies (check out how popular our The Freebie Suite group is), so get a free trial at a gym or a yoga class you’ve been wanting to try. Hey, if blogger Julia Neyman can survive off of free gym passes for a year, then I’m sure you can find a suitable one for the weekend!
- Blogging to your heart’s content: I love blogging. I know you must be thinking, “Well duh; that’s what you do.” But I truly, truly love blogging, and I even do it for fun during my spare time. Blogging is a great way to spend the weekend, because you pass the hours doing research online, and it can also be an outlet for your frustrations. Pick a topic and start blogging away!
- Upload a YouTube video: If this guy can get a million bucks just by asking for it on YouTube, and if these YouTubers can make over six figures, then think of what kind of potential the video-sharing site has for you! Even if you’re not looking to make a buck, it’s fun to upload videos to share with friends. I have a couple up of my dog, and I love going back to it and watching it over and over again. I have high hopes for him . . . after all, if Justin Bieber can launch his career from YouTube, then my dog’s just a heartbeat away from being the next big hit.
- Create an OKCupid profile: If you’re single and ready to mingle, then try going on OKCupid.com to see who’s out there. It’s free to try, and you’ll have fun creating your profile. If you’re taken, then you can attempt to do it for your friend (with her permission, of course!). I created a few for friends, and it’s always fun to hear their reactions.
- Experimental cooking: Open up a cookbook or search for a recipe online and try a dish you’ve never attempted before. Don’t have the ingredients? It’s your chance to be daring — just improvise!
- Send a postcard: We’re so used to receiving electronic messages from our friends and family that it’s almost rare to receive physical letters. Take the time this weekend to write a letter or postcard to someone who lives in another city. Bonus points if you create your own postcard.
- Play with photography: Whip out your camera or iPhone and start taking pictures around you. It’s a great chance to go outdoors for a breath of fresh air and relax at the same time. Play around with apps such as Instagram to give your pictures a cool retro look.
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