weekend http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13509/all en-US 40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_relaxing_weekend_000006121440.jpg" alt="Woman finding free way to make the most of the weekend" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The weekend is the perfect time to catch up on things you're behind on, get started on tasks you've been putting off, and recharge your body and mind. To make the most of your two-day break, why not start planning for the upcoming week to take the edge off of those Monday morning blues? Here are some ideas for how to be productive over the weekend, and all of them are super cheap or even free!</p> <p>1. Go grocery shopping.</p> <p>2. Try out new recipes, and plan lunch for the week.</p> <p>3. Get all of your laundry done.</p> <p>4. Get rid of <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/30-Day-Declutter-Challenge-34947493">clutter</a> that's been getting in your way.</p> <p>5. Watch an inspirational movie that will get you pumped for new challenges.</p> <p>6. Organize your kitchen so everything is easy to find when you're in a rush.</p> <p>7. Check out a new book from the library.</p> <p>8. Research quicker or cheaper routes for your commute.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Productivity-Apps-35922167">Apps That'll Make You Feel Like There Are 40 Hours in a Day</a></p> <p>9. Pick out what you plan to wear on Monday &mdash; or for the whole week.</p> <p>10.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Projects-Weekend-34786814">DIY</a> a gift for an upcoming bridal shower or birthday so you don't have to go shopping after work.</p> <p>11. Wake up early.</p> <p>12. Get caught up on all of the major news.</p> <p>13. Sleep, so you'll be well-rested when Monday rolls around.</p> <p>14. Clean out your inbox to make room for more emails.</p> <p>15. Try <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cool-Upcycling-Projects-24338804">upcycling items</a> that may be useful on your commute or at work.</p> <p>16. Meditate or practice yoga.</p> <p>17. Avoid overdoing it if you go out at night.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Stupid-Things-Make-Your-Life-Better-Reddit-37270312#photo-37270312">15 Stupid Things That Significantly Increase Your Quality of Life</a></p> <p>18. Catch up with friends you don't get to see during the week.</p> <p>19. Give your house a deep clean so you don't have to worry about it after work the next week.</p> <p>20. Start a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Books-Change-My-Life-21195577">motivational book</a> that inspires or challenges you.</p> <p>21. Get in some of the workouts you skipped over the past week.</p> <p>22. Practice new hair and makeup tricks so you don't waste time in the morning before work.</p> <p>23. Pay your bills.</p> <p>24. Make a to-do list for the upcoming week, month, or even year!</p> <p>25. Network and connect with other professionals in your area.</p> <p>26.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Take-Mind-Off-Work-18502206">Detox</a> from everything going on with your job.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Good-Bedtime-Habits-34564273">Life-Changing Daily Rituals For a Better Night's Sleep</a></p> <p>27. Spend quality time with your significant other.</p> <p>28. Sell some of your old things so that you have extra spending money for the week.</p> <p>29. Polish your jewelry with <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Jewelry-Cleaner-30499088">DIY cleaner</a>.</p> <p>30. Schedule or cancel any appointments.</p> <p>31. Call your friends or family that you've been meaning to catch up with.</p> <p>32. Update and refresh your <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-Remove-From-Your-Resume-28918668">résumé</a>.</p> <p>33. Search and apply for jobs.</p> <p>34. Download useful organizational apps.</p> <p>35. Do something you feel passionate about, like gardening, painting, or volunteering.</p> <p>36. File your paid bills and legal documents.</p> <p>37. Recharge your body and mind.</p> <p>38. Update your finances.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Tips-Saving-Money-Starbucks-3751741#photo-3751741">14 Starbucks Hacks That Will Save You Money</a></p> <p>39. Make a great <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Songs-Get-You-Pumped-Work-35126829">playlist</a> for your work week.</p> <p>40. Take out the garbage and recycling.</p> <p>41. Paint your nails and toe nails.</p> <p>42. Shop for any home supplies you might need during the week, like toilet paper, dish soap, or shampoo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Productivity-Apps-35922167">Apps That'll Make You Feel Like There Are 40 Hours in a Day</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Stupid-Things-Make-Your-Life-Better-Reddit-37270312#photo-37270312">15 Stupid Things That Significantly Increase Your Quality of Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Good-Bedtime-Habits-34564273">Life-Changing Daily Rituals For a Better Night's Sleep</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Tips-Saving-Money-Starbucks-3751741#photo-3751741">14 Starbucks Hacks That Will Save You Money</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-have-a-frugal-friday">15 Ways to Have a Frugal Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">How to Throw a Fabulous (and Frugal!) Dinner Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours">Cheap Fun and Libations: Brewery and Winery Tours</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-a-frugal-dinner-club">How to Start a Frugal Dinner Club</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Food and Drink productivity things to do weekend Fri, 15 May 2015 17:00:12 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1394046 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ideas to Make Money on the Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ideas-to-make-money-on-the-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ideas-to-make-money-on-the-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-87829134.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on ideas to make money on the weekend, tactics to avoid wasting food, and money-saving tax tips for parents.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/make-money-weekend-ideas/">37 Easy Ideas To Make Money On The Weekend</a> &mdash; To make money on the weekend, tutor students and recycle. [And Then We Saved]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/seven-tactics-to-avoid-wasting-food/">Seven Tactics to Avoid Wasting Food</a> &mdash; Avoid wasting food by using a grocery list and meal plan. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tax-Tips-Parents-2014-34156771">8 Money-Saving Tax Tips for Parents</a> &mdash; If you are a parent, take advantage of the child tax credit and higher education credits during tax season. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/4-ways-deal-old-electronics/">Turning Your Hobby into a Job</a> &mdash; When turning your hobby into a job, be aware of the cost of your materials and find items that sell well. [TheDollarStretcher.com]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneybluebook.com/lending-money-loved-ones.html/">Lending money to loved ones: a realist's guide</a> &mdash; Use your head as well as your heart when you lend money to loved ones. [Money Blue Book]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading<a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/automatic-investment-plan-advantages/"><br /> </a></h2> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/4-ways-deal-old-electronics/">4 ways to deal with old electronics</a> &mdash; Deal with old electronics by giving it to charity. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/02/how-long-should-i-keep-financial-and-tax-records.html">How Long Should I Keep Financial and Tax Records?</a> &mdash; You should hold onto a paper copy or receipt of any tax-relevant financial exchange. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://retireby40.org/spot-work-home-scams/">How to Spot Work From Home Scams</a> &mdash; If you get an unsolicited email to work from home, chances are it's a scam. [Retire by 40]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/automatic-investment-plan-advantages/">5 Advantages to Using Automatic Investment Plans</a> &mdash; Using an automatic investment plan helps you save on commissions and fees. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/14-manners-that-are-nice-to-see-in-kids">14 Manners That Are Nice to See in Kids</a> &mdash; It is nice to see kids who don't interrupt and that eat quietly. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ideas-to-make-money-on-the-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-money-from-valentines-day">13 Ways to Make Money From Valentine&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-retirement-jobs">6 Great Retirement Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-morning-commute">6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Morning Commute</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income best money tips extra money money weekend Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:00:27 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1129115 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Have a Perfect No-Spend Weekend! http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3935702554_5bd026824e_z.jpg" alt="community garden" title="community garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to be to make getting out of debt a bigger priority in our lives, but what do you do if you&rsquo;re not quite ready to make the full commitment (especially around the holidays) or if you&rsquo;re not quite sure you&rsquo;ll be able to handle it?</p> <p>The perfect solution is a No-Spend Weekend! You&rsquo;ll reap the benefits of cutting-back without the time commitment. After you get your feet wet with a No-Spend Weekend you just might be ready to try it for a year! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</a>)</p> <h3>1. Remember: Potlucks Are Your Friend!</h3> <p>There are a ton of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">different potluck options</a>. Get creative and try breakfast, dessert, or appetizer potlucks. Recently I went to a pumpkin potluck, and everyone brought something around the pumpkin theme. It was a very clever idea! When everyone brings something the burden is lifted from one person, and you just might get to try some new foods!</p> <h3>2. Clear Out the Clutter</h3> <p>Go through everything in the closets, in the basement, under the beds, in the dressers.</p> <h3>3. Volunteer</h3> <p>Put a deposit in your karma bank, and help a person or organization in need.</p> <h3>4. Tap Into Your Library or Community for Free Events</h3> <p>Every city has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">free events</a>; pick up a local paper and look online for listings.</p> <h3>5. Nap</h3> <p>Relax! A no-spend weekend is the perfect time to take that nap you keep dreaming about.</p> <h3>6. Wash All Your Linens</h3> <p>Nothing is better than clean sheets!</p> <h3>7. Have a Sleepover</h3> <p>Channel your childhood, grab your sleeping bags, and stay up late telling ghost stories.</p> <h3>8. Sign Up for a Free Week at a Gym</h3> <p>Get out of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">work-out rut</a> quite like switching up your gym &mdash; even if it is just for a week (or a weekend)!</p> <h3>9. Try Out New Hairstyles</h3> <p>A whole new look for you could be as simple as parting your hair on the opposite side, slicking your hair back, conquering that fishtail braid, or simply pulling your hair up just a slightly higher ponytail.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite no-spend activities, and have you tried a no-spend weekend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anna-newell-jones">Anna Newell Jones</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff">11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up">30 Free Ways to Cheer Yourself Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-holidays-id-like-to-see">5 Financial Holidays I&#039;d Like to See</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-envy-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/windows-phone-7-giveaway">Windows Phone 7 &amp; XBox Live Gold Membership Giveaway From Wise Bread</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living decluttering free things to do weekend Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:00:31 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 955762 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Have a Frugal Friday http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-have-a-frugal-friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-have-a-frugal-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4448931385_50a5b41b2e_z.jpg" alt="drum circle" title="drum circle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="157" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you shout out TGIF, does your wallet feel the same way?</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to spend money on Fridays &mdash; it&rsquo;s the end of the week, so you want to treat yourself, and sometimes it's payday. But by being conscious of the amount of money you&rsquo;re spending on food and recreation at the end of the workweek and replacing them with low- or no-cost alternatives, you can save a bundle. To get you in the ideal mindset to have a frugal Friday, here are 15 easy ways you can cut back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Frugal Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h3>1. Skip the Starbucks</h3> <p>If your favorite barista has your regular waiting for you as soon as you walk in the door, you&rsquo;re spending way too much money on joe. Skip the coffee shop this Friday, make a pot of coffee or tea at home, and bring it to work in a large thermos to help get you through the morning.</p> <h3>2. Walk, Bike, or Carpool to Work</h3> <p>Give your car a rest and walk or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guide-to-becoming-a-part-time-bicycle-commuter">bike to work</a> if your office is within a reasonable distance. If you&rsquo;re too far away to walk or bike, ask a coworker if he or she can pick you up. The latter may be a good way to strike up a conversation about establishing a routine carpool that will help everyone involved save money on gas and maintenance costs.</p> <h3>3. Pack Your Lunch</h3> <p>Bring your lunch to work so you can avoid the pricey, probably not-very-healthy meal you&rsquo;d pick up or order otherwise.</p> <h3>4. Rely on Natural Light</h3> <p>When you go into a room, what&rsquo;s the first thing you do? Turn on the lights, right? Of course, and we all do it. But before you turn on the lights, decide whether or not there&rsquo;s enough natural light in the room (you&rsquo;ll need to open the blinds or curtains) for you to work. If there is, keep the lights off to help save energy and money. Who knows &mdash; this one-time practice might become a habit when you realize that natural light is sufficient for a lot of situations.</p> <h3>5. Use Your Coupons</h3> <p>I love my daily deal coupons, and I&rsquo;m sure you do, too. Pick out one or two in your queue to use on a Friday to save money on lunch (if you didn&rsquo;t pack one) and an activity if you plan to go out later.</p> <h3>6. Watch an Outdoor Movie</h3> <p>This is a summertime-only way to save, but I couldn&rsquo;t leave it off the list since I enjoy it so much. If you live in or near a decent-size city, chances are it&rsquo;s home to an outdoor movie series on Friday nights. A quick search on the Internet will let you know show times and titles. Pack a picnic with a bottle of wine, bring a blanket, and sit back and be entertained for the low, low fee of nothing.</p> <h3>7. See a Local Band</h3> <p>Pick up your area&rsquo;s events guide or calendar and plan to catch a free show performed by a local act.</p> <h3>8. Play Video Games</h3> <p>My console doesn&rsquo;t get much use &mdash; I forget it&rsquo;s there sometimes &mdash; but video games are a great way to spend a no-cost night at home while having a good time with your partner or friends.</p> <h3>9. Go Thrift Shopping</h3> <p>If it&rsquo;s imperative that you engage in a bit of retail therapy &mdash; like it often is for me &mdash; head for the thrift store instead of the mall. You&rsquo;ll find quirkier cooler things at the thrift store and you won&rsquo;t spend nearly as much on it.</p> <h3>10. Attend a Free Class</h3> <p>Your nearby community center, church, or other area establishment likely offers free classes. Check the online calendar and choose one to do on a Friday night.</p> <h3>11. Rent a DVD From the Library</h3> <p>Instead of running out to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Redbox</a> or renting a movie On Demand, stop by the library on your way home from work to browse the DVD section and check out a movie or two to watch on a Friday night.</p> <h3>12. Go to the Gym</h3> <p>You pay a pretty penny for your monthly gym membership, so you might as well use it. I know it&rsquo;s hard to workout on a Friday, but you&rsquo;ll feel much better heading into the weekend if you do.</p> <h3>13. Visit a Free Museum</h3> <p>How often do you get out to soak up the free culture in your area? If you don&rsquo;t have any plans this Friday night, maybe it&rsquo;s time you visited one the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free">free museums</a> near you.</p> <h3>14. Have Leftovers for Dinner</h3> <p>I know, this isn&rsquo;t very exciting, but think of the money you&rsquo;ll save. It doesn&rsquo;t have to be leftovers straight from the fridge, either. Perhaps you can think of a way to incorporate the leftovers into a new dish that you can get excited about.</p> <h3>15. Split Dinner Costs With a Friend</h3> <p>If leftovers aren&rsquo;t an option, invite a friend over for a delivery dinner. You two can split the pizza &mdash; which will be better for your wallet and your waistline.</p> <p><em>Do you try to save money on Fridays? How do you make Fridays frugal? Let me know in the comments below</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-have-a-frugal-friday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-before-the-new-year">25 Things to Do Before the New Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lessons-in-frugality-from-the-walking-dead">Lessons in Frugality From &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting General Tips Lifestyle cutting back things to do weekend Fri, 13 Jul 2012 10:36:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 939800 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Throw a Fabulous (and Frugal!) Dinner Party http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dinner_party.jpg" alt="Women at a dinner party" title="Women at a dinner party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="132" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m excited to announce that we are fast approaching one of my favorite times of year. No, not Thanksgiving, or the holiday season, or even the New Year. No, it&rsquo;s none of those things &mdash; it&rsquo;s Dinner Party Season! I love dinner parties because they provide a fabulous excuse to dress up, decorate, and catch up. I love that they&rsquo;re different from the standard weekend schedule, which generally involves small gatherings or loud bars. I also love that they give me a reason to not hibernate during the cold winter months. With all these reasons to love dinner parties, what&rsquo;s to stop you from throwing one every weekend? Oh, right &mdash; feeding all those people can get <em>expensive</em>. Don&rsquo;t let that ruin your fun, though! Instead, try these tricks for throwing your very own fabulous-yet-frugal dinner party. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/class-without-tons-of-cash-frugal-cocktail-party-ideas">Frugal Cocktail&nbsp;Party Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>Themes</h2> <p>People love theme parties because they add to the feeling that this is not just an everyday occasion. They also allow your party to take on aesthetically appealing flair without having to spend a lot of dough (unless, of course, your theme is opulence...maybe you should avoid that one). If you don&rsquo;t have a specific theme already in mind, try picking one based on the party&rsquo;s main dish. Twice-baked potatoes might suggest a harvest or fall theme, for example, while pulled pork tacos or chicken fajitas would go nicely with a Mexican theme. Notice that those main dishes are ones that fit squarely within a frugal budget, which leads me to my next section...</p> <h2>Main Dishes</h2> <p>In order to get the most bang for your buck when serving a big group, choose a main dish that can be made inexpensively. If you know, for example, that broiler chickens are steeply discounted at least once a month, pick one or two up to make a great <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/roast-chicken-with-rosemary/detail.aspx">rosemary roast chicken</a>. Or go for a main dish with a protein that&rsquo;s not meat. Try something like the <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/ultimate-twice-baked-potatoes/detail.aspx">twice-baked potatoes</a> mentioned above. Of course, you probably don&rsquo;t want to feed your guests ramen noodles in the name of frugality, although <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ramen-recipes-to-write-home-about">ramen noodles do have their place</a>. Spend money where it counts by adding one or two upgraded ingredients to your main course, like gruyere cheese for your twice-baked potatoes or a béchamel sauce (white, milk-based sauce) for a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/baked-rigatoni-with-bechamel-sauce-recipe2/index.html">pasta dish</a>.</p> <h2>Appetizers</h2> <p>When planning dinner party appetizers, a few simple rules will take you a long way: stick with your theme, keep it simple, and, like with your main dish, throw in some luxury. Sticking with a chosen theme will keep your appetizers from being all over the board and will save you time by narrowing down possibilities right off the bat. Keep the appetizers you do choose simple, in terms of number served, number of ingredients per appetizer, and how you choose to serve the appetizers. The caterer&rsquo;s rule of thumb is that, for a dinner party of 8-10 guests, three appetizer options are appropriate, with about 10-12 bite-size portions per person. Even though you&rsquo;re keeping it simple and using as few ingredients as possible per appetizer, add some extravagance to your starters by using a few more expensive ingredients sparingly. For example, this is a great place to use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-seafood-appetizers-to-impress-your-guests">seafood</a>, which is generally a more expensive protein.</p> <h2>Drinks</h2> <p>To keep you dinner party more on the frugal side, consider making it BYOB. Like potluck dinners, BYOB dinners work because they satisfy a guest&rsquo;s desire to contribute while satisfying your need to be economical. If you don&rsquo;t want to ask guests to bring their own drinks, consider serving one signature drink (like <a href="http://therecipegirl.blogspot.com/2008/02/red-wine-sangria-recipe.html">red wine sangria</a> for a tapas party or <a href="http://thatssomichelle.blogspot.com/2011/10/hot-buttered-apple-cider-rum.html">buttered apple cider rum</a> for a holiday party). This is always less expensive than offering a full bar. Or, if you&rsquo;re a real wine-lover like myself, head on over to your local Trader Joe&rsquo;s for a great, cheap wine pairing. I once bought an entire case of completely respectable and drinkable white wine for less than $60 for a party. If you&rsquo;re not lucky enough to live close to a Trader Joe&rsquo;s, or you live in a state that doesn&rsquo;t sell liquor in grocery stores (I&rsquo;m talking to you, Pennsylvania), try finding a general type of wine to complement your main dish at <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/beverages/food-wine-pairing-guide-00000000008252/index.html">Real Simple&rsquo;s wine pairing guide</a>, then do some online research to find inexpensive yet enjoyable labels of that variety.</p> <h2>Invites</h2> <p>Save money on invites by foregoing the old-fashioned mailed kind in favor of electronic ones. You could create a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/">Facebook Event</a>, or try one of the many free websites like <a href="http://www.punchbowl.com/digital-invitations?gclid=CIrR7LS5tqwCFcjb4Aod9D_DHg">Punchbowl</a>, <a href="http://www.smilebox.com/invitations.html">Smilebox</a>, or <a href="http://new.evite.com/#home">Evite</a>. Of course, if you&rsquo;re having an impromptu dinner party, word-of-mouth and phone calls may be all you need.</p> <h2>Presentation</h2> <p>Even <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/sassy-water-368368">water can look fancy</a> with sliced fruit or a few other ingredients in it. Don&rsquo;t forget the old rule that we eat with our eyes first. To that end, consider how to present each course in a creative way (bonus points if you can tie the presentation into your theme as in, for example, serving a Chinese dish in cardboard take-out boxes). Other examples include making ice cubes infused with fruit or herbs, serving appetizers or desserts in shot glasses, dishing up a soup course in a bread bowl or giant mug, and adding garnishes where necessary. But wait, aren&rsquo;t these extra serving paraphernalia going to cost me, you ask? Why, so glad you asked! This brings me to my next point...</p> <h2>Using What You&rsquo;ve Got</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t buy new serving dishes; use things you already have around the house to serve up food in creative new ways. For example, I have some martini glasses that have yet to be used (I love martinis; I just don&rsquo;t drink them at home). I could put those to work as adorable appetizer vessels, or as innovative serving containers for, say, chocolate mousse. My big glass hurricane, once it&rsquo;s washed out, would be a great way to serve a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/double-chocolate-mocha-trifle/detail.aspx">dessert trifle</a> or, alternatively, it could be filled with just about anything to make a centerpiece to match the party&rsquo;s theme.</p> <h2>Getting the Group Involved</h2> <p>Of course, the most frugal (yet still fun) way to throw a dinner party is to go potluck. The upside to this one is that people generally feel compelled to bring something to a party anyway &mdash; this just formalizes the process. Also, the meal is not only cheaper for the host; it&rsquo;s also usually less expensive for each guest to bring a dish than to make dinner for themselves at home. I would suggest sticking with a theme for your potluck, so you don&rsquo;t end up with, say, a seaweed salad appetizer and a lasagna entrée (although I love both seaweed salad and lasagna, I think it&rsquo;s a little incongruous to mix the two in one sitting). I would also assign people specific courses (appetizer, salad, sides) so you don&rsquo;t end up with a dinner entirely composed of shrimp cocktail appetizers.</p> <p>Progressive dinner parties are a variation on potlucks; however, not only does each guest provide a dish, but they also provide the venue &mdash; their own home. At a progressive dinner party, each guest agrees to provide one stage of the meal (appetizer, main course, dessert) and to play host for their particular course. One of the major benefits of a progressive dinner party is, of course, that the cost of providing one course of a meal is a lot less than providing the entire meal. It&rsquo;s also nice to have a change of scenery, too, and progressive dinner parties spread clean-up duties over a number of households. Of course, a progressive dinner party works best when guests live relatively close to one another.</p> <h2>Games</h2> <p>Throwing a frugal, fabulous dinner party entails more than food and drink. Keep your guests entertained with some games, too. I&rsquo;m not suggesting you pull out the old Twister mat (although you can if you&rsquo;re so inclined), but games are a great way to bond with old friends and get to know new ones too. Games are also easily had for free; if you don&rsquo;t have one of the classics, chances are, one of your guests will. To get an idea of which games are especially suited for dinner parties, check out this list of the <a href="http://www.thedailymeal.com/11-best-games-dinner-parties">top dinner party games</a>, or try my personal favorite, <a href="http://www.target.com/p/Classic-Game-Collection-Mexican-Train-Dominoes/-/A-12858403#?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&amp;AFID=Google_PLA_df&amp;LNM=%7C12858403&amp;CPNG=NoCPNG&amp;ci_sku=12858403&amp;ci_gpa=pla&amp;ci_kw=">Mexican Train dominoes</a> (yes, my friends think I&rsquo;m 80 years old for loving this game, but I promise you, they love playing it).</p> <p><em>Have ideas that aren&rsquo;t included here? Share them in the comments! </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surviving-the-holiday-season-entertaining-and-being-entertained-on-a-budget">Surviving the Holiday Season: Entertaining (and Being Entertained) on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-an-awesome-frugal-movie-night">How to Host an Awesome Frugal Movie Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-dinner-party-for-6-feed-em-for-under-20">A Dinner Party for 6: Feed &#039;Em for Under $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink Lifestyle dinner parties entertaining frugal food weekend Wed, 23 Nov 2011 11:24:48 +0000 Janey Osterlind 795610 at http://www.wisebread.com 47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/funwkd-biking-4984553-small.jpg" alt="woman biking" title="woman biking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever have a conversation that goes like this...?</p> <p>&quot;What do you want to do this weekend?&quot;</p> <p><em>*Shoulder shrug* </em></p> <p>&quot;I dunno, whatta you wanna do?&quot;</p> <p><em>*Shoulder shrug and sigh* </em></p> <p>&quot;I dunno; there's nothing to ever do around here.&quot;</p> <p>I've had conversations like that many times in the past, but not anymore. I'm learning to appreciate the little things in life and enjoy living in the moment more. Too often when we think about &quot;fun&quot; things, we think of the expensive options like taking in a ballgame, going on vacation, or going to a concert. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Reward Cards</a>)</p> <p>Here's a list to help free you from boredom without emptying your wallet this weekend.</p> <h3>1. Go to the Park</h3> <p>You can take your family or go with a friend. Swing on the swings like when you were a kid.</p> <h3>2. Watch the Sunset</h3> <p>Find a great spot in your community to catch the sunset. We have a lake by our house that offers some great views!</p> <h3>3. Pack a Picnic Lunch</h3> <p>Throw a picnic lunch together and find a shady spot to enjoy the day with your loved ones.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-5394878-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>4. Play Board Games</h3> <p>Bring out the old favorites like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002JSM3KQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002JSM3KQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">Monopoly</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BHWFUG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004BHWFUG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">Scrabble</a>, or find new board games to play. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-five-economy-based-board-games-that-make-you-think">Board Games That Make You Think</a>)</p> <h3>5. Play Card Games</h3> <p>Invite a few friends over and have a card night.</p> <h3>6. Do a Road Rally With Friends</h3> <p>Get some friends together and go on a <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4531214_organize-road-rally.html">mobile scavenger hunt</a>. The first one back with all things on the list wins! Losers have to buy dessert.</p> <h3>7. Go on a Digital Scavenger Hunt</h3> <p>Make it a digital scavenger hunt. Think of some creative, hilarious pictures you could take with people in the community, or check out this list for <a href="http://www.coolest-parties.com/scavenger-hunt-list-ideas.html">scavenger hunt ideas</a>.</p> <h3>8. Throw a B.Y.O.E. Party</h3> <p>This stands of Bring Your Own Everything. Guests are encouraged to bring food and drinks to share. Or, check this post out for more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">frugal party ideas</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-3992897-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>9. Have a Bonfire or Campfire in Your Backyard</h3> <p>Make s'mores and <a href="http://kimandjason.com/blog/2009-06-23/11-campfire-games-you-have-to-play.html">play campfire games</a>.</p> <h3>10. Get Ice Cream</h3> <p>Hit up your local ice cream shop and indulge in your favorite dish! Our local Dairy Queen is located right on the lake, which ties in perfect with #2!</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009365G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00009365G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=seealso-20">Lello Gelato Junior Ice Cream Maker at Amazon</a>)</p> <h3>11. Make a Romantic Dinner</h3> <p>Plan a romantic, candlelight dinner for your spouse or loved one. Romance need not be expensive! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-simple-tips-for-romance-on-a-dime">Romance on a Dime</a>)</p> <h3>12. Grill Something New</h3> <p>Try a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sexy-summer-dinners-5-great-hot-weather-meal-ideas">new grilling recipe</a>. Recently I tried chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomatoes! Mmmm!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-5253635-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>13. Go to the Museum or Zoo</h3> <p>Many times a local museum will have free or discount days. Zoos are fairly inexpensive if you pack your own lunch and avoid the unnecessary extras.</p> <h3>14. Scan Your Old Photographs</h3> <p>Take the weekend to go through your old photos and scan them into a digital file. You can even create digital scrapbooks! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-your-family-memories-with-cloud-computing">Save Memories With Cloud Computing</a>)</p> <h3>15. Pretend You're a Tourist in Your Community</h3> <p>Most folks rarely visit their own city's tourist attractions. Take a weekend be a tourist in your own town.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-photography-4784660-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>16. Organize a Neighborhood Cleanup</h3> <p>Get friends and neighbors together to go and clean up a city block. Here are six steps to <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/bold-green-neighborhood-cleanup.html">organizing your own neighborhood cleanup</a>.</p> <h3>17. Go to the Farmers Market</h3> <p>Communities will usually have farmers markets on the weekends where you can get locally grown produce. The food is fresh and delicious! Here's a <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/05/03/the-savvy-shoppers-guide-to-the-farmers-market/">savvy guide to farmers markets</a>.</p> <h3>18. Pick Strawberries or Other Fruit</h3> <p>Find a &quot;U-Pick&quot; spot to gather some fresh strawberries, blueberries, or other fruit and then...</p> <h3>19. Bake a Pie</h3> <p>Use the freshly picked fruit to bake a homemade pie! (Need help with the <a href="http://mywoodenspoon.com/the-perfect-pie-crust/">pie crust</a>?)</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-4136412-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>20. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter</h3> <p>Organizations like these are always looking for volunteers. This will be one of the most rewarding things you could do this weekend and can possibly make a difference on your resume! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/translating-volunteer-experiences-and-skills-to-workplace-credentials">Translating Volunteer Experiences to Workplace Credentials</a>)</p> <h3>21. Invite Your Neighbors Over</h3> <p>With today's busy pace, it seems harder to get to know our neighbors. <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-invite-your-neighbors-to-your-party/">Invite them over</a> for dinner or dessert and make an effort to know more about them.</p> <h3>22. Go Fishing</h3> <p>Grab the poles, find a pond, and cast those lines!</p> <h3>23. Go to the Beach</h3> <p>Hit the sandy shores for a little rest and relaxation. Just don't forget to protect your skin! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-summery-ways-to-protect-your-skin">Ways to Protect Your Skin in the Summer</a>)</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-beach-1742876-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>24. Go to the Library</h3> <p>There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-should-support-your-local-library">benefits your local library</a> has to offer besides just books. You can rent movies, page through magazines, or surf the net.</p> <h3>25. Host a Classic Movie Marathon</h3> <p>Invite friends over for a movie marathon featuring all the classics you remember from when you were growing up. Or, host a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-movies-about-money">money movie marathon</a>!</p> <h3>26. Rearrange the Furniture in Your House</h3> <p>My wife and I did this last weekend. I love the new look and feel of our living room now! Rearranging furniture doesn't cost anything and adds a new flair to your place.</p> <h3>27. Write Out Your Bucket List and Pick One to Do</h3> <p>Brainstorm ideas for all the <a href="http://abundance-blog.marelisa-online.com/2010/05/21/bucket-list-ideas/">things you want to do in life</a>, and pick one to do this weekend.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-climb-366146-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>28. Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle</h3> <p>When is the last time you put together a puzzle? Find one you like and get to it.</p> <h3>29. Volunteer to Babysit for Someone Who &quot;Needs a Break&quot;</h3> <p>I know many parents who would <em>love</em> for someone to offer a chance to take a break from the busyness of life. Many single parents hardly ever get a chance to get out and unwind.</p> <h3>30. Clean Out Your Closet and Donate to a Thrift Store</h3> <p>Go through your closets and declutter. Find items you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">donate to your local Goodwill</a> or another thrift shop.</p> <h3>31. Watch for Shooting Stars</h3> <p>Go on a star-gazing adventure. Grab a blanket and head to a park to lay and watch the stars. Here's a <a href="http://stardate.org/nightsky/meteors">meteor shower calendar</a> to help.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-5074086-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>32. Go on a Bike Ride</h3> <p>Bike to a location you've never been to before. Or, bring your bike to a town or city you're unfamiliar with and create your own bike tour. Just be safe on your bike! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bicycling-safety-in-the-city">Bicycle Safety in the City</a>)</p> <h3>33. Take a Free Online Class</h3> <p>There are plenty of free online classes you could take to improve your skills in a certain area. Try your hand at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/158-free-investment-classes-from-morningstar-earn-rewards-while-you-learn">investment classes</a> if that interests you!</p> <h3>34. Write Out Your Life Plan</h3> <p>This one will take some thought but will be well worth it. Here's a <a href="http://michaelhyatt.com/creating-a-life-plan.html">great resource from Michael Hyatt </a>for helping you think through your life plan.</p> <h3>35. Set Three New Goals for Yourself</h3> <p>Related to the life plan is setting three new goals you'd like to accomplish in the new six to twelve months...and <a href="http://michaelhyatt.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-commit-your-goals-to-writing.html">write them down</a>!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-5319564-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>36. Find a Community Play to Attend</h3> <p>Many local communities offer inexpensive theater productions.</p> <h3>37. Help Someone in Need</h3> <p>Lend a helping hand to a neighbor, co-worker, or friend.</p> <h3>38. Buy Food for the Homeless and Listen to Their Stories</h3> <p>It's not always wise to <a href="http://www.redeemingriches.com/2009/08/05/should-you-give-money-to-a-homeless-person/">give money to a homeless person</a>, but you can buy food. Listen to their stories, and if possible, direct them to an organization that can help.</p> <h3>39. Go Bowling</h3> <p>Get some friends together and have a blast at the lanes!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-1132091-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>40. Visit Garage Sales and Look for Deals</h3> <p>Take a friend or two, grab breakfast, and then hit the local garage sales to scan for deals.</p> <h3>41. Tour the Local Fire or Police Station and Thank Them for Their Service</h3> <p>A simple gesture can really mean a lot to the men and women who serve us on a daily basis!</p> <h3>42. Visit a Local Nursing Home and Engage With the Residents</h3> <p>Many elderly folks have great tales to tell. <a href="http://www.agedcareinsite.com.au/pages/section/article.php?s=Breaking+News&amp;idArticle=20069">Listen to their stories</a> and see what you can learn from them.</p> <h3>43. Plant a Garden</h3> <p>You can make a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">garden box</a> or even an herb garden if you don't have much room. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">Small Space Garden Ideas</a>)</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/funwkd-garden-5123500-small.jpg" width="605" height="303" alt="" /></p> <h3>44. Go Dancing</h3> <p>Grab a few friends, put those dancing shoes on, and hit the local club.</p> <h3>45. Walk Through the Craft Store and Start an Art Project</h3> <p>Take your spouse or loved one to a craft store and each purchase a few crafts for a creative project. Or start a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones">pine cone project</a>!</p> <h3>46. Host a &quot;Minute to Win It&quot; Party</h3> <p>Invite a few friends over and challenge each other with some creative games based on the <a href="http://www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/" mce_href="http://www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/">hit TV show</a>.</p> <h3>47. Write a Letter to a Family Member You Haven't Talked to in a While</h3> <p>When is the last time you sat down and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter">wrote a letter</a>? There's something magical and nostalgic about the written word on paper. Send a letter to someone you haven't talked to in a while and tell them how much you love them.</p> <p>Hopefully these ideas are enough to get you started on a fun, cheap, and rewarding weekend!</p> <p><em>What cheap, fun things are you planning to do this weekend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-topp">Jason Topp</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall">31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cheap vacations family activities things to do weekend Wed, 03 Aug 2011 10:36:16 +0000 Jason Topp 643575 at http://www.wisebread.com An Unplugged Weekend: 7 Tips To Make It Happen http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen-julie-rains" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/an-unplugged-weekend-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006121440Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ll admit that I have a plugged-in problem. My weakness is working on the weekend in anticipation of a hectic schedule for the upcoming week. As the mom of two teenagers, I have weekdays with lots of interruptions and weeknights full of activities, so weekends offer hours to catch up on projects.</p> <p>Still, I enjoy time unplugged occasionally and know it's impotant to keep grounded. Here are a few tricks I've learned to help me get away.</p> <p><b>Define what unplugged means to you.</b></p> <p>&ldquo;Unplugged&rdquo; means off-the-digital-grid to me. Your definition may be more restrictive (as in no electricity or indoor plumbing) or less (no tweeting or status updates but still tethered to your mobile device).</p> <p>Whatever your thoughts on connectivity, decide what activities to stop, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Checking email;</li> <li>Social media networking;</li> <li>Researching online;</li> <li>Messaging;</li> <li>Responding to telephone calls.</li> </ul> <p><b>Decide how you&rsquo;ll spend your un-tethered time. </b></p> <p>Being unplugged, sadly, has become <i>unnatural</i> for me. So, I have to schedule something that takes me out of the digital loop. Most of my off-the-grid weekends revolve around outdoor adventures, hiking, canoeing, or trail riding in places with no or spotty cell phone coverage.</p> <p>Stepping away from your smart phone may be easy for you, but I&rsquo;m guessing that for most people, changing habits is hard. For your first unplugged weekend, develop a slate of activities so that you won&rsquo;t revert to posting status updates or responding to email inquiries. Eventually, you&rsquo;ll have a new mindset and stay more in touch with your family and friends than professional connections.</p> <p><b>Set expectations for your availability. </b></p> <p>Being available to handle <i>just one</i> problem is a mistake. Last year, I informed a client that I could not help with a project over an offline weekend (planned and anticipated months in advance), only to receive multiple emails asking for help, anyway. Even a short response sends the wrong signal.</p> <p>You too may have discovered that replying too-quickly to digital queries can backfire. Customers, employees, and vendors come to expect immediate gratification; they do not plan appropriately, thinking that you will be available to help if necessary. An email or phone call unanswered within a few hours sends them into a panic. If you&rsquo;ve consistently been &ldquo;on&rdquo; during the weekend, stop responding.</p> <p>To show responsiveness without being chained to work, do not engage over the weekend, but give a prompt answer early in the week, preferably on Monday.</p> <p><b>Decide what to do about loose ends.</b></p> <p>Knowing when to tie up loose ends before the weekend and when to let go <i>temporarily</i> of pending projects has been a dilemma for me. In the past, I have debated about whether to prompt customers for the information needed to finish a project by Friday or set aside the assignment for the next week. My approach has been to avoid these situations by either 1) establishing standard turnaround times for weekdays, holidays, and weekends; or 2) alerting customers that they need to provide me with information before a designated time if they need a project delivered by a certain deadline.</p> <p>You know your customers. Decide upfront how to handle unfinished business to keep their satisfaction.</p> <p><b>Create plans to handle emergencies. </b></p> <p>As a writer, I don&rsquo;t deal with work-related emergencies but realize that many businesses will need protocols to address weekend crises.</p> <p>Define potential scenarios that need immediate action, such as workplace accidents or facility break-ins. Then detail the steps that your employees need to take in order to react appropriately. This approach will likely involve contacting you for certain problems but having to be available during unplugged weekends should be rare.</p> <p><b>Stop feeling anxious.</b></p> <p>Being disconnected can cause anxiety for me, just as constant connection can be agitating.</p> <p>Certainly, a pitfall of disengaging all of Saturday and Sunday is that Monday mornings may be unusually hectic. It seems easier to deal with problems &ndash; throughout the weekend &ndash; as they occur. There may be some weekends that monitoring ecommerce orders, checking emails for client responses, etc. is necessary. Knowing that everything is running smoothly while you're away is calming, especially during your busy season.</p> <p>But having to work <i>most</i> weekends shouldn&rsquo;t mean that you have to work <i>every</i> weekend. Pick your times carefully to avoid worrying about what types of chaos you may encounter on Monday.</p> <p><b>Enjoy.</b></p> <p>Having unplugged weekends can make you more productive during the week. The break from the physical, mental, and emotional effort of work can give you a fresh perspective on business problems. The distance from digital devices can free your mind from drudgery and open possibilities for developing and refining strategies that will set your business apart.</p> <p>But you don&rsquo;t have to be productive at all. Just relax and enjoy being unplugged.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/an-unplugged-weekend-7-tips-to-make-it-happen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center distraction gadgets relaxing small business unplugging weekend Sun, 10 Apr 2011 22:19:10 +0000 Julie Rains 511553 at http://www.wisebread.com