There’s a myth out there that being frugal means you can’t have any fun. Many believe that frugal fun and frugal ideas don’t even exist.
These are myths I despise and ones I’m trying to prove false.
Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to be boring.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy your life while staying on a realistic budget.
In fact, I believe that some of the many great ways to have fun are free or affordable. We spend hardly any money within our entertainment budget each month and still have a great time filled with new experiences. Just check out my Instagram if you don’t believe me!
Below are several different frugal ideas for fun activities.
Mystery shop for frugal fun.
Mystery shopping won’t make you rich, but it can be an easy way to earn free meals at restaurants, free outings, free hotel stays, and more.
You’ll have to pay for everything upfront with your own money and you will be required to fill out surveys afterward, but it’s a way to spoil yourself while still having frugal fun.
Related article: My Guide To Mystery Shopping
Take advantage of happy hours.
Happy hours are a great way to have discounted food and drinks. You may be able to save 50% or more by just visiting bars and restaurants during a specified time.
Another way to be frugal similar to this is to take advantage of cheaper days. For example, many rock climbing gyms have “ladies nights” and so do bars/restaurants, and many other places. The Valvoline near my house even has a Ladies Day for oil changes! Ladies night may mean free or discounted admission, drinks, etc. for women.
Sign up for email lists.
The next time your favorite restaurant or place asks if you would like to sign up for their email list, say yes!
You can earn valuable coupons, free visits, and more by doing this.
If you want to take it one step further, you could even create a separate email address for all of these offers to go to. That way you aren’t cluttering up your normal email address.
Recommended reading: 31 Birthday Freebies You Should Sign Up For
Visit the library.
Your local library can provide for many frugal ideas for you and your family.
You can borrow books or movies, which you can then bring home and have a fun night at home with friends and/or family members.
Many libraries nowadays even do much more than that. For example, my local library lets you also borrow things like state park passes, telescopes, hiking bags, games, musical instruments, and so much more. Many libraries also have free craft workshops or book club, which are great!
Get rewards from credit cards.
You can still go on vacations even if you are frugal and on a budget.
One way to have frugal fun and go on vacations is to churn credit cards. This is what I do and I earn more than $500 every other month for free – all I have to do is use credit cards to pay my bills just like how I normally would.
If you are good at managing credit cards and you know you won’t go into debt in order to earn rewards, then this can be a nice way to go on vacations on a budget.
Related article: Best Rewards Credit Cards
There are many frugal ideas for what you could do outside for fun. Plus, if you already have all of the gear then it can be an extremely cheap way to enjoy yourself.
For outdoor activities, you could:
- Go for a bike ride.
- Go for a hike.
- Go rock climbing.
- Go for a walk.
- Go for a run with your dogs.
- Go for a swim.
- Go fishing.
- Play soccer.
- Go camping.
- Have a picnic.
- Find local trails near your neighborhood.
- Have a bonfire.
- Watch a movie at an outdoor movie theater (look for discounts or even free admission days!).
There are a lot of fun things you can do outside!
Find free attractions in your city.
One thing I love about St. Louis (where I am from) is that pretty much everything is free. There are free concerts with famous bands every summer, there are free museums, the zoo is free, there are countless free festivals, and more.
I’m sure St. Louis isn’t the only city which offers so many free options either. I recommend checking out your town’s calendar and website to see what free attractions your town offers.
If you live in a town that is near a national park, you may also want to find out when their free entry days are. They usually have a few each year and that can be a great way to save money and enjoy amazing views.
If you have kids, another option for frugal fun ideas for kids is to go to Home Depot and attend one of their free workshops where you will build something.
Do fun things with your family at home.
There are so many frugal fun ideas that you can do at home. Entertainment options include:
- Arts and crafts
- Playing board games (like Monopoly!) on game night
- Learning how to bake with your kids (such as baking cookies!)
- Doing puzzles
- Making ice cream
- Building forts
- Finding a new recipe to make with your partner or kids with ingredients that you already have
- Having scavenger hunts
- Make an obstacle course in the backyard
- Flying a kite
- Have a lemonade stand
- Dollar store crafts
- Have a pizza night
- Put a tent in the backyard
- Go to a local park
- Having a movie night with your own snacks (like a bowl of popcorn!) and blankets
As you can see, there are many frugal ways to have fun that are low cost and won’t hurt your wallet!
There are many places where you can volunteer and make a meaningful difference by doing something fulfilling.
This may include a place such as an animal shelter.
What do you do for frugal fun? What frugal ideas do you have for fun activities?