10 More Hobbies You Can Start for Free

By Ashley Marcin on 5 February 2016 0 comments

In a 2014 time use survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics uncovered that Americans — on average — spend 2.8 hours watching television each day. That's a lot of time staring at a box, right?

Well, instead of straining your eyes and allowing your brain to transform into mush, maybe it's time for a new hobby. Here are a bunch more cool hobbies you can start today for free! (Related: 10 Fun Hobbies You Can Take Up for Free)

1. Cooking or Baking

Learning to make better dinners or desserts doesn't have to cost anything outside of your normal grocery budget. There are millions of recipes you can access for free online. To make sure you have the right ingredients and don't go over budget, try meal planning. All you have to do is find recipes that look good, write down what you'll need, and head to the store. You might not be able to make something special every night of the week, so start by cooking on a weekend when you might usually go out.

2. Nature Identification

Take out some books from your local library on nature identification. You can focus on birds, plants, insects, stars, or whatever else interests you most. Then step into your backyard and take a look around. I used to collect leaves so I could figure out the exact type of trees that we had growing in our neighborhood. Now that my daughter is older, she can join me on the adventure.

3. Weather Reporting

Are you always watching the precipitation or other weather events in your area? Your local branch of the National Weather Service likely runs free training sessions on how to become a weather spotter through the SKYWARN volunteer program. After you've taken the class, you'll work to identify and describe severe weather in your area and report back to your local station.

4. Drawing

I've never been good at art, so I was delighted to find Draw Space. This corner of the web offers free tutorials and instruction on drawing and other art for beginners all the way to advanced artists. Focus on contours, shading, composition, or any other area that interests you.

5. Photography

Yes! You can take up photography for free, provided you have an iPhone (or other cell phone with camera capabilities). And though you might not believe me, you can shoot DSLR-quality photos with your phone and a little knowledge. The iPhone Photography School has a number of tutorials on everything from "making the most of light" to photo editing. 

6. Whittling

Whittling is a relaxing craft that also happens to be free if you have an old pocket knife. According to The Art of Manliness, softwoods work best (you can find basswood, pine, and others at your local craft shop), but backyard twigs work just as well. Make sure your knife is sharp, learn the basic cuts, and get creative. Your library might have books with ideas for projects.

7. Vlogging

If you're not into writing or blogging, considering heading over to YouTube and starting your own vlog. Creating an account is free and — if you get popular — you may even make some money on the side if you link up your channel to Adsense. You can take videos and upload them in no time using your cell phone. What you talk about is up to you, so long as you follow the community guidelines.

8. Dancing

Could your moves use some work? Check out Club Dance Lessons for free videos on hip-hop, electronic, salsa, and all other types of dance. Whether you're looking for twerking lessons, dance seduction moves, or freestyle grooves, you're covered. Plus, dancing is great exercise if you hate going to the gym.

9. Couponing

I still haven't gotten into coupons, but some of my friends swear this ever-popular hobby saves them tons of cash. You'll likely want to get the Sunday paper, and scour the web for digital deals, but the savings you'll see is most usually worth the few dollars you'll spend. (See also: Score Coupons for Every Online Store)

10. Meditating

Sure, your body might be fit and active, but what about your mind? Try meditating to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and more. Gaiam offers a wonderful (and free!) start-up guide for How to Meditate. Start by sitting and closing your eyes. Breathe naturally. Focus your attention on your breath and work up to concentrating in this way for two to three minutes. From there, work your way to longer periods of time.

Did we miss any cool free hobbies? Let us know in the comments!

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