If you’re like me and read a lot of personal finance blogs and forums, you’ll know that one of the biggest roadblocks when it comes to frugality is perceived to be friends.
Many people believe that in order to have fun with their friends, they need to spend money. They think they need to eat at restaurants, go and see movies or go out drinking. We have found this is definitely not the case. We have great times with our friends (and family, but that’s for another post) without breaking the bank.
Occasionally, we do spend money on hanging out with our friends. But because this is fairly rare, we throughly enjoy it when we do and in the grand scheme of things it works out pretty affordable as we aren’t doing it every weekend.
- The Frugal Dinner Party
This is just a fancy way of saying invite your friends over for dinner! While you might need to spend a little bit extra on your groceries that week, it is vastly more affordable than eating at a restaurant.
Inviting friends around for dinner does not have to be fancy. We have invited people over for homemade pizza or tomato soup made in the slow cooker! The idea is that you’re spending time together and munching on some yummy food. Most people will not turn down a home cooked meal!
You can make it a bit more fancy by setting the table, dragging out those cloth napkins you got as a gift and drinking out of your special occasion wine glasses. Throw some music on and you’ve got yourself a memorable and frugal evening!
2. Active Pursuits
Certainly in Australia, and I know in many other countries as well, there is a wide range of local facilities for residents to use free of charge. There are parks everywhere, many with great walking paths, exercise stations and BBQs.
Meet a few of your friends down at a local park, take a soccer ball or a frisbee and a cooler of cold drinks. You’ve got an awesome afternoon on your hands, for almost no money.
Not everyone is particularly active- myself included. But anyone can toss a frisbee around and usually, they have a great time doing it. Going on a long walk with a friend has the added bonus of spending time talking and getting some exercise. And it’s all free!
3. Afternoon Tea at Home
Amongst my age demographic, one of the most popular things to do with friends is get coffee. At a cafe. For about $5 per coffee, plus a tasty treat. This can really start to add up if you’re not careful.
We shared how we like to beat the latte factor but you can do so with your friends as well.
Bake a yummy cake, some muffins or some biscuits. Invite your friends over on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy these treats with a cup of tea. It’ll probably taste a lot nicer than cafe bought stale cake and you can enjoy it in a peaceful atmosphere.
4. Board Game Night
This can either be done on its own, or in conjunction with option one above.
Invite your friends around for a board game night. Truly, it’s incredibly enjoyable to play board games as an adult, with your friends.
If you combine this with option one above, invite some friends around for some tasty food, clear the table and then hook into some board games. If you don’t want to provide dinner, invite friends over a little later in the evening and provide some snacks. Everyone will have a great time.
If you don’t have any board games, they can often be purchased relatively cheaply at Op Shops. I have also heard of people making their own and, if in doubt, a deck of cards retails for about $1.
5. Free Events Around Town
This will differ depending on where you live, but most places hold free local events. You just need to find out where and when!
Local community boards (both actual and virtual), city council websites and Twitter are great sources of information. For example, I follow my local city council and local universities on Twitter so I can always find out what is going on. Poopsie and I have found some great events this way.
Most people are not against doing free things- so invite your friends along. Most recently, we went to a food festival at Southbank and had a fantastic (and free) time!
How do you stay frugal when spending time with friends?