Mar 28, 2012

How to Have a Blast and Not Break the Bank

I was chatting on MSN with a friend today and trying to lure her away from her work to get a coffee, since I'm stuck working at home with nary a drop of coffee left in the house (except maybe for some ancient instant coffee that has been in the cupboard for years and years...not going to go there!) until we get to the store. And she sort of jokingly commented that I'm a cheap date, since I'm all about the walks and grabbing a coffee. I was a tiny bit offended, but then started thinking of all the cheap outings with friends and others that I've been on, in particular an outing I had with a friend in high school that really was the cheapest date ever.

My friend Radha and I met up at the public library in my home town, picked a movie from off the lending shelves ( I'm pretty sure we watched Prince of Egypt or something animated like that) and popped it onto the viewing TV in the library. We put on those ridiculously huge 80's headphones, plugged 'em in and watched a movie together in comfy library armchairs. After the movie, with our ears all squished from the headphones, we headed over to the grocery store down town, and bought a loaf of fresh bread and some peanut button, and had a walk and a feast in the park. All in all, an awesome day, with a cost of oh, $3 or $4?

So I thought I'd share a few of my favourite (and cheap) ways to spend time with friends.

Picnic in the Park 


There is nothing like grabbing a few sandwiches or making up a fancy feast to bring to the park and eat on a picnic blanket. Throw in some crayons and paper,  a frisbee and a book, and you've got yourself a fun time!

Coffee Date


I have regular coffee dates with friends, and I like to try to go to new places that I haven't tried before -especially if they also serve tasty treats and have good tables for doing a crossword puzzle on.



Personally I find walks are just better all around when you throw in a dog, a friend, a trail and good cup of coffee, but there is always somewhere new and interesting to walk, or people to watch if you have the time.

Craft Night 


If you have friends that are creative in any way, this one's an obvious. All you really need is somewhere to meet, a few cups of tea and maybe a person or two to kick in some snacks, and you're all ready to craft /draw/ write / knit the night away together. Knit at chat at my local yarn store is pretty much my favourite way to pass the time, as well as the best place to get tips when you're stuck on your latest knitting project. Or you could always learn a new skill or teach one to someone else!

Board Game Night


Let's face it, everyone has a closet full of board games in their house somewhere, and it can be fun to break them out sometimes and have a good marathon of games. Scrabble is definitely one of my personal favourites, as well as a good card game. At one of the last Brownie camps I went to, myself and the other leaders were waking up the kids playing a rip-roaring game of cards.

I probably could think of tons of other ideas, but here's a few others:

  • Talk, share things you haven't before. Make a connection
  • Movie or TV show marathon - hello popped at home popcorn! It's sometimes fun to pick a theme and make a night of it 
  • Cooking together- it's always nice to whip up a meal or a batch of cookies 
  • Museum - lots of museums have a night where it's free or very cheap to go and see the permanent collection. I used to go to the ROM for these nights all the time when I lived in Toronto  
  • Concert - there are tons of shows going on on any given night, with minimal or no cover. Plus you never know, you might end up seeing the next big band before they get famous!
  • Play - A lot of community groups put on plays, with relatively inexpensive tickets 
  • Lectures- going to a public lecture or talk is a great way to learn something new, and these are often free 


  1. Very nice post! It definitely doesn't hurt to have some free/cheap activities:)
    Ooh, picnics, that's always lovely. Thankfully the weather is getting better and better!

    1. Thanks lady! I know right...even when I have money, sometimes it seems a waste to go out all the time. If you do things that are more costly on a special occasion, it makes it all the more special in my eyes! And picnics are pretty much my favourite thing in the whole world.:)


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