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When the weather turns cooler, our family loves to get out of the house and find new ways to spend time with each other. Unfortunately, sometimes our budget doesn’t always allow for that. Luckily, I’ve gotten quite good over the years of having fun on a budget and usually pretty close to free. Family activities don’t have to be a huge money drain. In fact they can be quite cheap if you know what activities are actually frugal activities and which ones aren’t. The list is really endless, but these 10 frugal activities you can do this weekend are a fantastic place to get started.
While most of these are targeted at families, they absolutely work for single folks or couples as well too! Okay, most of them do. They’re all cheap, fun and easy to do. They’re also very easy to do which makes them perfect for those on the fly moments when you need a quick idea. If you need to find money in your budget for even the cheapest activity like I sometimes do, I do online work to add at least $225/mo to my income. I then use that money to pay bills, buy groceries or to fund a fun family weekend.
10 Frugal Activities You Can Do This Weekend
If you’re looking for homeschool activities, I’d be willing to bet that you could figure out a way to make most of these educational. In fact, some of them actually are down right educational and chances are quite good that your kids will never notice that they’re learning. Isn’t that the best kind of learning? The kind where they don’t even realize that they’re learning?
Head out and catch a fish –
Head to the local lake or even pond with your fishing poles and see what you can catch for some family fun that is extremely cheap. You’ll want to make sure that you have fishing licenses if your state requires them but usually they can be picked up for less than $20.00 per person. For adults, any old pole will do, but if you’re taking your kids, make sure that you have a youth fishing pole for them. For younger kids, they may be more interested if you buy them a fishing pole with their favorite character to help get them interested.
Want to make things more frugal? If the water around you is safe, eat what you catch that night for dinner!
Head outside and have a water war –
We love this one when the weather is warm! Divide the family into two teams then load up with water balloons, squirt toys, and water buckets and go to war! The winning team is the one who…well…I am not sure, but you’re sure to have fun! If you want to even it up, make sure that at least one member of each team has a Super Soaker water gun. That way, at least two people will be able to soak the others!
Make a few nature crafts –
Crafts are always a big hit with kids and they’re usually pretty frugal (and educational!) too! To bring nature into things you can play with rainbows, make leaf rubbings or make your own bird feeder by rolling a toilet paper tube in peanut butter then bird seed. Make a bug house out of a jar or you can even make a birdhouse using some scrap wood. Crush berries to make your own paint or go on a nature scavenger hunt. No matter what you choose to do, Mother Nature has provided plenty of free or cheap ways to entertain you and your family.
Get outdoors and go camping –
Unless you are the type that goes camping with thousands of dollars worth of expensive equipment, camping is usually pretty frugal. All you really need to take with you is a family tent, lantern, lighter and a few other basic items. Most state and national parks will let you camp per night for cheap which makes it the perfect frugal activity for you to do this weekend. If you can’t afford to pay for a camping spot or you don’t have the necessary gear required, spend the night camping in your back yard. Hang a couple of thick blankets over a tree to create a tent then do the same on the ground. Pull out your sleeping bags and spend the night camping in your back yard.
Take a hike and go wildlife watching –
Pack the family up and plan a hiking trip to do some hiking and wildlife watching! In addition to the items you’ll need for your hiking trip, you might also want to look at taking binoculars to watch the birds, or jars and nets for chasing and catching bugs. As you hike, have the kids look for animal prints or feathers to keep them entertained. Make sure you take a picnic blanket and lunch too since your kids will likely get hungry.
Play a game –
There are so many excellent outdoor sports that it doesn’t make sense to skip them in this post because the majority of them are very frugal. Give basketball, baseball, football, volleyball, horseshoes, golf basketball, Frisbee, or one of the many fun outdoor sports a try the next time you’re looking for a frugal activity to do. You don’t need to buy your equipment new since most sporting equipment can be bought for a deal on your next thrift store shopping trip.
Create a sidewalk mural
All kids love to draw and it’s super fun to do so on a large scale. If you need a frugal activity for the kids this weekend, pop down to the dollar store and grab a box of sidewalk chalk. Turn the kids loose and let them draw on the sidewalk in front of the house or your driveway. They could draw a nature scene, play hopscotch, have a gigantic game of tic tac toe or even draw and color photos of themselves! No matter what they choose to draw, they’ll have a blast doing it and you’ll enjoy the low cost.
Visit a local fruit stand or u-pick farm –
Another outdoor frugal activity you can do this weekend is also healthy and educational! Visit a local fruit stand for inexpensive produce, or go to a u-pick farm and gather some yourself. Your kids will love seeing how the fruit grows and you’ll be able to enjoy saving money on your groceries a bit. Once you get your goodies home, bake up a sweet dessert like my strawberry dessert bars! Fun, frugal, and tasty!
Visit the beach and make a memory jar –
Visit a local beach or wetland and gather small trinkets to create a memory jar. Try adding sand, rocks, shells, a few dried plants and whatever else you find. When you miss the beach, you will always have your own little one in a jar. We are headed to the beach to do some camping soon and doing this one is on our list!
Check your city calendar –
A lot of cities and towns offer things like movies in the park, free summer concerts and more that are fantastic for a frugal family activity. Check the Chamber of Commerce website for where you live for an event calendar. From there you should be able to find something fun to do for sure. Most of the events you’ll find will be free but a few will likely have a small charge. Usually they are less than $5.00 per person so don’t let a charge keep you from having fun!
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