The best things in life are…actually, yes, they are free. At least, creativity is free. It’s only in recent times that recreation and entertainment has been sold to us for a very high price.
But do you really want to spend500 for a movie and popcorn with a friend?
Nah, you can do better – especially if you’re trying to save money these days, like most of us. Check out these ideas and step outside of the expensive, prepackaged entertainment box.
Try your hand at guerrilla gardening. You know that boring patch of grass on the corner?
I’m sure no one would mind if you sneaked in some sunflowers or a bunch of marigolds. is an underground urban movement to take back the little green spaces most people ignore.
Beautify your neighborhood, on the sly.
Hiking, biking or walking in a local natural area or park. Yes, this is obvious, but sometimes we forget how free and easy some of the best pleasures are!
Keep your eyes peeled for free concert and theater-in-the-park series starting in late spring and summer.
Take up urban foraging. Who doesn’t like free food? Learn about wild, regional edible plants or befriend a neighbor with an overloaded fruit tree going to waste.
Augment your diet with fresh, free foods!
Take your honey or some friends on a good, old-fashioned Picnic
Scour your books, CD’s and DVD’s for those items you just no longer need and trade them in for credit at a local used CD or bookstore. Spend the afternoon browsing for new reads and new tunes you’d never find otherwise. If there’s no used media store in your area, try a website
Spend a night stargazing. Find star maps online or in the library, then scout out the darkest part of town and learn the constellations. Watch as they change through the seasons. Bring a romantic partner for extra motivation.
Explore the vast world of podcasts. You can find storytelling and comedy podcasts too if you prefer something a little lighter, or podcasts featuring music you’d never hear on the radio.
I know, I know, this is not what people usually think of for fun,
Have a yard sale. You know you have lots of stuff you could do well to pass along, and make a little extra cash while you’re at it.
If the weather is still too cold where you live, start putting things aside now and you’ll be ready for yard sale season.
Make use of the public library. This has been one of my favorite free things since I was a kid. I mean, c’mon, books, movies, music – all for free!?! Depending on how extensive your local library system is, you will have an amazing amount of resources at your fingertips. Your taxes already paid for it, might as well take advantage.
Host a potluck. Humans are social animals, and we all love to eat. Food is a great icebreaker.
Pull out a sketchbook and draw. If you’ve got colored pencils or watercolors, play around with those, too. Looking at something deeply enough to draw it can be a powerful exercise in perception – and recognizing beauty in surprising places.
Get a regional plant identification guide (from the library, of course) and make a point of learning the names of the trees and plants in your area. It’s even more satisfying if you bring a sketchbook along and create your own personal botanical book.
Send a Note
Make homemade greeting cards for upcoming holidays and birthdays. You can use fabric scraps, magazine cut-outs and odd bits of beautiful paper. People love to receive snail mail.
Start keeping a journal. If you don’t like to write, don’t be dismayed.