8 Ways To Have Frugal Fun: Part 1

Okay, so we don’t have a choice but to have frugal fun as we are down one wage this year.

However, having frugal fun now is actually a boon as we are learning how to enjoy ourselves while spending very little money or none at all.

Then next year, when frugal fun is an option due to two wages coming in, we won’t be tempted to splurge on entertainment for ourselves or the family. We will already have the skills to enjoy life without relying on spending money or being polluting consumers.

I see this year as setting ourselves up now for success later. When we are back to two wages and all our children are at school, one wage will be used to pay the mortgage and to invest in low cost index funds in the share market.

We’ll continue to live from one wage whilst having plenty of eco-friendly frugal fun.

The best things in life are free: frugal fun time with family and friends

Free Community Events

Get in the loop on what’s being offered for free in your region.

Our local council puts on a large range of free events over summer. Some of the events available are live music in the park, exercise classes early in the morning, moonlit cinemas, and an outdoor ball.

There’s also other free events happening in nearby towns such as The Wall To Wall street art festival, an autumn festival, plus come and try for free days.

Our local library is another source for free events such as guest authors, beer and board games for the adults, and a large variety of school holiday programs for the kids.

Even businesses such as Bunnings Warehouse offer free workshops every week for adults and children.

What’s on offer in your region?

Go For a Picnic

When the weather is nice, pack a basket with food and drink, grab a rug and head to the great outdoors.

You don’t even necessarily need to go far. We’ve had picnics in our backyard, enjoying the space created in daily life to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate nature.

You’ll be amazed by what can be noticed when you slow down: the sun dappling through the tree leaves, a bird singing, bees foraging for pollen or shapes created by the passing clouds.

Do you have local parkland or a private space you can go to and relax with nature?

Invite Friends Over For a Potluck

Want to meet up with friends but are avoiding the costs of cafes, restaurants and pubs?

Invite your friends over for a shared meal where everyone brings a plate of food (and maybe even a bottle of wine).

We’ve had some great get togethers doing a potluck. My favourite would have be a winter potluck where everyone brings a casserole or bake to share, then we all settle in to watch a movie.

You could also do a summer BBQ based on the same concept of shared food. Perhaps at a parkland with a river or lake, or at the beach.

Organise a Progressive Dinner

Another option for avoiding costly cafes, pubs and restaurants would be the progressive dinner. I’ve haven’t been to one of these although they do sound like fun – as long as there’s a designated driver!

A progressive dinner involves a group of friends each serving one course of a meal at their house and then everyone moving on to the next house for the next course.

For example, first stop for an entree, then next house for soup, travel on for the main, keep going for dessert, and lastly after-dinner drinks. You could also have a theme to do with food such as tropical delights or a clothing theme where everyone wears a silly hat!

Join a Like-Minded Community Group

Do you have a hobby or interest or something you’d like to know more about?

It’s very possible that there’s a community group of like-minded people with whom you can share your ideas.

Community groups are a fantastic way to make connections with other local people. Look for your council’s Community Directory, or on Facebook, search the internet, look in the local newspaper or ask around to find your ‘tribe’.

A few suggestions:

  • Gardening: Landcare, Seed Savers
  • Sport: various clubs, running, cycling, football etc
  • Helping others: Rotary, Lion’s Club etc
  • Playing an instrument: join a local band, or club
  • Animals: obedience and dog club
  • Creative: art group, woodworking groups, local drama group
  • Change: local action groups

There’s something for everyone!

Arrange a Clothes Swap

Instead of discarding unwanted clothing, have a clothes swap with friends instead. Not only are you saving money, reusing resources, and supporting your friends – you’re also having frugal fun.

Be sure to include accessories like hats, shoes, scarves, bags and jewellery as it’s unlikely that everyone will wear the same size clothing.

Enjoy some wine and nibbles and get creative setting up your new wardrobe.

Check out One Million Women for an article on how to host a clothes swap event.

Go Geocaching

We’ve had many hours of family fun geocaching.

This activity involves using a GPS enabled device, such as a smartphone, to go on a real time, outdoors treasure hunt.

There are millions of hidden geocaches worldwide – and probably quite a few near you right now.

Geocaches are hidden containers at a set of coordinates. Using the geocaching App you zero in on the hide, and then you have to find it!

Through geocaching, we been taken to local places we didn’t know existed and learnt new information about our community.

When on holiday, we discovered things we wouldn’t otherwise have known about. On one beach holiday, the GPS coordinates took us to a ship wreck on the beach!

Whilst there is a free version, you could also pay a minimal yearly amount of $38 to access all the geocaches.

Do Free Exercise

Get your endorphins the natural way through exercise!

There are so many ways you can can have frugal fun in the great outdoors whilst improving your health and fitness.

Consider these ideas:

  • Packing a backpack with food and drink and heading off on a cycling adventure (even for Valentine’s Day)
  • Hiking on local tracks or trails
  • Swimming in a local river, lake or beach
  • Taking advantage of council installed outdoor gym equipment
  • Running with friends

Did you know that every Saturday all around the world, there’s a free timed walk or run event called parkrun.

Parkrun is a great example of free community based frugal fun

All you need to do is register on the parkrun website, print a barcode, find your nearest parkrun and join in.

Each week after you’ve completed parkrun you’ll receive an email letting you know how fast you walked or ran. Then the following week you might try to walk a little faster, or go harder during your run.

Even if you have no desire to improve your personal best time, parkrun is still a fantastic start to the weekend and a great way to meet other people in your local area.

Your Frugal Fun

What can you do for frugal fun?

  • What’s happening in your community for free?
  • Are there any peaceful places for you to picnic?
  • Have you tried hosting a potluck for family or friends?
  • Is a progressive dinner something you’ve tried before?
  • Are you involved in any community groups?
  • Is it time for a seasonal clothes swap?
  • Do you know where the geocaches are hiding near where you live?
  • What opportunities are there for free exercise in your community?

You really don’t need to spend a fortune to have fun, when fun can be had for free.

By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.


Please comment below with how you like to have frugal fun.