things to do http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7622/all en-US $20 in Los Angeles: The 16 Best Ways to Spend It http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-los-angeles-the-16-best-ways-to-spend-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-in-los-angeles-the-16-best-ways-to-spend-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/los-angeles-5224486542_688f23ce34_z.jpg" alt="los angeles" title="los angeles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>San Franciscans and New Yorkers love to complain about Angelenos. We're intellectually shallow. We lack culture. We're superficial.</p> <p>Hilariously, the hate only goes one way. Angelenos don't feel the need to measure Los Angeles against other cities, because we know the truth: Los Angeles is great.</p> <p>Unlike most world-class cities, Los Angeles is still affordable to mere mortals. It's possible to enjoy a bourgeois lifestyle in L.A. on a shoestring budget.</p> <p>To prove it, here are 16 quintessentially Los Angeles things to do for under $20. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Watch a Movie</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/chinese-theater-4383246157_99ea0a8e48_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>While there are movie houses everywhere, the theaters in Los Angeles are temples to cinema. In addition to splendid architecture, L.A. film studios calibrate the sound and the picture for their features in local movie theaters, so there is nowhere on the planet that provides a more optimal film viewing experience.</p> <p>While the Mann Chinese and The Cinerama Dome are superstar tourist attractions, there is a reason why they are home to film premiere after film premiere: Their gigantic screens make even the smallest films feel epic.</p> <p>But access to the best first-run cinema on the biggest screens is only part of what makes Los Angeles the best place in the world to see movies. In terms of film history, film buffs in Los Angeles have the most viewing options. Los Angeles theaters regularly present films that were never transferred to digital format and source <a href="http://www.laweekly.com/2009-10-15/film-tv/coffin-joe-hallucinations-of-a-deranged-mind/">foreign films</a> that <a href="http://www.cinefamily.org/love-exposure/">never got</a> North American distribution.</p> <p>Don't want to fight tourists who don't know it's only polite to clap during the movie credits? Check out some locals only cinematic experiences:</p> <p><a href="https://www.laconservancy.org/node/1485">Last Remaining Seats</a> is the Los Angeles Conservancy's film series that matches classic films with historic theaters in the Broadway Theater District in downtown Los Angeles. In its heyday Broadway had the highest concentration of movie palaces in the world, and today it is the only large collection of movie theaters left in the United States. Just getting the chance to tour these masterpieces of Art Deco, Beaux Arts, Churrigueresque, and Gothic architectural design is worth the $20 ticket price for the films.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cinefamily.org/#calendar">The Cinefamily</a> at the Silent Movie Theater is a nonprofit movie theater that operates like a museum. The mission of Cinefamily is to provide a movie-going experience that cannot be found anywhere else in Los Angeles. The Cinefamily is home to unique programming such as <a href="http://www.cinefamily.org/films/the-doug-benson-movie-interruption/">Doug Benson's Movie Interruption</a> and the <a href="http://www.cinefamily.org/films/everything-is-festival-iv-the-dreamquest/">Everything is Festival</a>. Tickets to most movies are $12.</p> <p>If you have ever looked at a mausoleum and thought, &quot;This would be a great place to screen a movie,&quot; well, luckily for you, the cinephiles behind <a href="http://cinespia.org/how-to/">Cinespia</a> had the same great idea. Watch movies and picnic under the starless L.A. night sky at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Tickets range between $14 and $18 depending on the show.</p> <h2>2. I See (Famous) Dead People</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/monroe-grave-3427133657_f3a6f90c1a_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Speaking of cemeteries, Los Angeles is a great place to start your <a href="http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/08/mapping_16_of_los_angeless_most_celebrityfilled_cemeteries.php">celebrity gravestone</a> rubbing collection. In addition to being home to some of the most art directed cemeteries on the planet (Forest Lawn Glendale is so over-the-top that Evelyn Waugh satirized it in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IVV3PA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002IVV3PA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KJILDD54X5JUQB3P">The Loved One</a>), L.A. certainly boasts the largest <a href="http://popwatch.ew.com/2008/01/11/merv-griffin-he/">collection</a> of grave <a href="http://www.seeing-stars.com/ImagePages/RodneyDangerfieldGravePhoto.shtml">marker</a> <a href="http://www.seeing-stars.com/ImagePages/JackLemmonGravePhoto.shtml">jokes</a>. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Bugsy Siegal to Ray Charles is six feet under in the City of Angels. Sadly for us horror fans, Vincent Price was cremated and his ashes scattered over Point Dume. However, to quote Bauhaus, &quot;Bela Lugosi's dead&quot; (and buried at Holy Cross Cemetery).</p> <h2>3. Shred</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/skate-park-8010651212_9ea88b2681_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Skating (or what your dad refers to as &quot;skateboarding&quot;) is the indigenous sport of Los Angeles, so it's only natural that the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, operates <a href="http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/skateparks.htm">21 skate parks</a> that are free, open to the public, and skated by everyone from the rank beginner to members of the legendary <a href="http://selvedgeyard.com/2012/12/23/the-unlocking-of-americas-cement-playground-dogtown-z-boys/">Zephyr team</a>.</p> <h2>4. Buy Vinyl</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/amoeba-music-7848711140_8c0a45159f_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>A new favorite pastime of Angelenos is complaining about the high cost of records.</p> <p>That because the local market for vinyl has skyrocketed. <a href="http://www.gimmegimmerecords.com/">North East</a> Los Angeles <a href="http://www.rockaway.com/online/online/index.php">between</a> <a href="http://www.origamiorigami.com/">Echo Park</a> and <a href="http://www.permanentrecordschicago.com/news.php">Highland Park</a> has become a destination for vinyl collectors from Europe and Asia because it is home to no fewer than <a href="http://wombletonrecords.com/">10 Record stores</a>. Not CDs. Records. Unlike other cities, Los Angeles hasn't been shopped out, and still has great, <a href="http://www.atomicrecordsla.com/Atomic_Records/Home.html">hard-to-find</a> music in circulation. Shop now, while you can still afford to.</p> <h2>5. Go on a Taco Rampage</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/taco-truck-4896653712_a4e8a38a8c_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>While shopping for records in Highland Park, treat yourself to a taco. Highland Park is ground zero for Los Angeles's food truck scene. The taco trucks, and questionably legal driveway restaurants, just on York Blvd. represent the cuisine of 10 different states of Mexico. Tacos cost between $1 and $2 each. The <a href="http://www.greattacohunt.com/">Taco Blog</a> used to be the place to go for reviews and locations of some of the city's most famous mobile eateries, but the blogger has retired (the info is still relevant, however). Find more taco leads at the LAist's annual roundup of <a href="http://laist.com/2013/07/10/the_best_tacos_in_la.php">Los Angeles's best tacos</a>.</p> <h2>6. Workout With Richard Simmons</h2> <p>Sweat to the oldies with the Master. Classes with <a href="http://www.richardsimmons.com/site/calendar">Richard Simmons</a> only cost $12, so you have no excuse. Even if you are a couch potato, isn't the story you can tell your friends worth the expense?</p> <h2>7. Eat the Best Pastrami Sandwich in the Universe</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pastrami-5131134232_bd791381d8_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>David Sax's book, &quot;Save the Deli,&quot; was the shot heard round the kosher meat world when he stated that, &quot;Brace yourself New York, because what I am about to write is definitely go to piss a lot of you off, but it needs to be said: Los Angeles has become America's premier deli city.&quot; At the heart of the ensuing kerfuffle was Sax's proclamation that <a href="http://www.langersdeli.com/">Langer's Deli</a> is home to the finest pastrami sandwich in the universe, much less the country. According to Sax, &quot;Los Angeles is the example to the rest of the nation of how a deli can ultimately stay relevant.&quot;</p> <p>New Yorker foodies, were, of course outraged. Subsequently, everyone from Pulitzer Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold to the James Beard Foundation have weighed in favor of Langer's. Native New Yorker Nora Ephron, who went on record in the pages of The New Yorker that <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/08/19/020819fa_fact4">Langer's serves the best pastrami in America</a>, finally did a side-by-side taste-off between Langer's and Katz's, the iconic New York deli to quiet East Coast sore losers. Langer's handily <a href="http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/01/the-great-pastrami-taste-off-katzs-ny-vs-lang.html">won the re-match</a>.</p> <p>Suck it New York.</p> <p>Langer's <a href="http://www.langersdeli.com/langers-delicatessen-restaurant-menu/">pastrami sandwiches</a> cost $14 to $15.95 depending on the condiments.</p> <h2>8. Eat Through the History of the Hamburger</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/apple-pan-burger-5571163137_e463005e6a_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Los Angeles did not create the hamburger, but Los Angeles is where America's flagship sandwich was perfected. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_McDonald's_restaurant">McDonald's</a>, In-N-Out with its <a href="http://www.in-n-out.com/menu/not-so-secret-menu.aspx">Secret Menu</a>, and trendy upstart <a href="http://www.umami.com/umami-burger/">Umami Burger</a>, all got their start with Los Angeles <a href="http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-jonathan-gold-hamburgers-los-angeles-story-story.html#page=1">burger fans</a>.</p> <p>If there is one thing that Angelenos will fight over, it's where to get the <a href="http://www.laweekly.com/squidink/2011/12/13/10-best-burgers-in-los-angeles">best burger</a> in the city. Seriously, criticize <a href="http://laist.com/2012/06/28/x_la_burgers_better_than_the_apple.php#photo-1">the Apple Pan</a> and I will cut you.</p> <h2>9. Eat the Original French Dip Sandwich at Philippe's</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/french-dip-philippe-4829790580_5fa0ff1f2f_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If Los Angeles can't claim the title &quot;Sandwich Overlord,&quot; I don't know what city can. Angelenos are expert sandwich eaters. Rounding out the meat-on-bread trifecta is the Original French Dip sandwich from Philippe's in Chinatown. Why is it called &quot;The Original?&quot; Because in 1918, while making a roast beef sandwich for a police officer, restaurant owner Philippe Mathieu <a href="http://www.philippes.com/history/">accidentally dropped the bun</a> into a roasting pan still full of hot beef drippings, inadvertently inventing the French Dip Sandwich. The cop returned the next day with friends and requested the &quot;dipped sandwich&quot; and thus, a Los Angeles food tradition was born.</p> <p>Have you tried the genius that is this sandwich?</p> <p>French Dip sandwiches cost $6.50. There were almost riots in the streets when Philippe's announced in 2012 that it would be raising the cost of its coffee from 10 cents a cup to an outrageous 50 cents.</p> <p>While everyone can agree that the longest surviving restaurant in Los Angeles is an institution, almost no one knows how to pronounce the name of the joint. Is it Phil-leeps or Phil-lee-payz?</p> <p>Win a bet with this little-known piece of L.A. trivia: The Philippe heirs pronounce it <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18698187">Phil-lee-pee</a>.</p> <h2>10. Watch Your Favorite Television Show&hellip; Live</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tv-taping-5819408310_7c22918482_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Although you have to book your tickets in advance, being a part of the live, studio audience of your <a href="http://www.mytvtickets.com/">favorite show</a> is usually free. Get free tickets for The Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Real Time With Bill Maher, or The Price Is Right via the <a href="http://www.cbstelevisioncity.com/tickets">CBS Television City</a> website.</p> <p>Order Dr. Phil ticket's <a href="http://www.drphil.com/shows/page/be_in_the_audience/">online</a> or by telephone (323) 461-PHIL.</p> <p>Although there are a limited number of standby tickets available to <a href="http://www.ellentv.com/tickets/">Ellen</a> &mdash; call 818.954-5929 before noon on the day of the show &mdash; all other ticket requests should be made online. Be aware that proof of age is required to be in Ellen's audience. (Audience members must be at least 14 years old).</p> <h2>11. Find Your Imaginary Rocket Scientist Boyfriend at JPL</h2> <p>Science is sexy. How cute are the <a href="http://memegenerator.net/Nasa-Mohawk-Guy/images/new/alltime/page/33">guys</a> behind the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Mission? They have such great <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/08/03/157597270/crazy-smart-when-a-rocker-designs-a-mars-lander">hair</a>.</p> <p>What? Oh, right. Ahem.</p> <p>NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories has free tours. Tours are booked up to five months in advance, so <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/tours/views/">make your reservation</a> now.</p> <h2>12. Look at Really Public Art</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/la-mural-9733279951_7550c4ed04_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Los Angeles is one of the mural capitals of the world. The city is covered with large-scale legal and illegal street art. <a href="http://www.muralconservancy.org/murals">The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles</a> is a non-profit, art preservation group dedicated to preserving L.A.'s street art heritage. Both the MCLA and <a href="http://sparcinla.org/">SPARC</a> (Social and Public Art Resource Center) have comprehensive list of murals in every neighborhood.</p> <h2>13. Nobody Walks In LA</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peterson-musuem-8486571523_4721f487a3_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Well, that's the rumor anyway. You cannot talk about Los Angeles culture without talking about cars. The history of how the automobile shaped Los Angeles can be experienced at <a href="http://www.petersen.org/exhibitions/the-streetscape">The Streetscape: The Car and the City in Southern California</a>, a gloriously detailed permanent exhibition at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Active Military (with ID) get free admission, but general admission is $34 for adults (which busts the $20 budget, but read on&hellip;).</p> <p>One of Los Angeles's best-kept museum secrets and free activities is the <a href="http://www.nethercuttcollection.org/Visitor.aspx">Nethercutt Collection</a> in Sylmar. The four story museum houses one of the world's top collections of vintage and antique automobiles, lovingly collected and restored by J.B. Nethercutt, the heir to the Merle Norman Cosmetics fortune, and his wife, Dorothy.</p> <p>If the car museum experience is too stuffy, the oldest <a href="http://www.bobs.net/events/classic-car-show">Bob's Big Boy Restaurant</a> in the country hosts a classic car show in its parking lot every Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The car show is free. At this Bob's Big Boy and only this Bob's can you order, by special request only (it's not on the menu), the Go Big or Go Home Combo for $11.99: Two 8 ounce all-beef patties on a sesame seed bun with lettuce, cheese, dressing and relish. Served with fries.</p> <h2>14. Go Hiking</h2> <p>Although Los Angeles is often portrayed as a concrete nightmarescape, one of the city's charms is its easy access to <a href="http://modernhiker.com/la-hiking/">wilderness</a>. Popular hikes include routes to the <a href="http://laist.com/2012/02/18/three_ways_to_hike_to_the_hollywood.php">Hollywood Sign</a>, the <a href="http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/bronson-cave/">Batcave</a>, or <a href="http://socalhiker.net/mt-wilson-via-chantry-flats/">Mt. Wilson Observatory</a>.</p> <h2>15. Look at Famous Imaginary Architecture</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bradbury-2839358736_e46fb77b4d_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When I first started driving in Los Angeles I almost caused a major accident. I was so startled to see the Happy Days house (without the Fonz's motorcycle out front) that I slammed on the brakes.</p> <p>Before moving to Los Angeles, I had never thought about film and television houses existing, in the wild, and owned by actual people, not characters. Los Angeles is still the most filmed location in the world. Although many film locations are private residences (which means no trespassing, just looking), it's still fun to see the building in real life. It's sort of the architectural equivalent of star sighting a favorite celebrity.</p> <p>That said, <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1444920?checkin=06%2F12%2F2014&amp;checkout=06%2F15%2F2014&amp;s=sw0D">horror fans can rent</a> the carriage house that appears, as a location, in the first season of American Horror Story (and is located between the Murder House and Constance's House). The adjacent side portico of the host's home was used as Constance Langdon's front door, and the front lawn of the carriage house was the location of the gazebo/grave.</p> <p>While there are plenty of expensive &quot;Star Maps&quot; bus tours that depart from Hollywood Blvd., there are many self-guided tours for various neighborhoods all over Los Angeles that are much cheaper and much more detailed. My current favorite free architectural tour is the Los Angeles Conservancy's self-guided walking tour of downtown Los Angeles based on the film <a href="https://www.laconservancy.org/sites/default/files/files/documents/500DaysOfSummer_selfguided.pdf">500 Days of Summer</a>.</p> <h2>16. Listen to Live Music at the Hollywood Bowl</h2> <p>&nbsp;<img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/hollywood-bowl-5006199078_a902ed6fcf_z.jpg" /></p> <p>The Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural amphitheater in the country and the summer vacation home to both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Playboy Jazz Festival. In its <a href="http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/story/90.php">90-year history</a> the Hollywood Bowl has hosted everyone from the Beatles to Stevie Wonder to John Williams to Aerosmith. While stage-side seating costs a small fortune, the acoustics are no better up close in the box seats than they are in the back row, so even poor students can have a great concert experience, in this small, unique venue.</p> <p>The Hollywood Bowl is a thrifty, but romantic, date destination for foodies and for music lovers. Bring your own blanket to snuggle under and a picnic dinner to share, or rent a cushion and buy dinner from Hollywood Bowl vendors. The stacked parking is a nightmare, so prepare to walk or take one of the handy <a href="http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/visit/getting-to-the-bowl/bowlbus-shuttle">$5.00 shuttles</a>.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite budget experience in Los Angeles? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-los-angeles-the-16-best-ways-to-spend-it">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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</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/20-in-new-york-city-the-15-best-ways-to-spend-it">$20 in New York City: The 15 Best Ways to Spend It</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/fun-frugal-vacations-what-the-experts-fail-to-mention">Fun, Frugal Vacations: What the Experts Fail to Mention</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/10-insane-life-affirming-and-cheap-things-you-must-do-before-you-die">10 Insane, Life-Affirming, and Cheap Things You Must Do Before You Die</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/20-in-baltimore-the-20-best-ways-to-spend-it">$20 in Baltimore: The 20 Best Ways to Spend It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel $20 20 bucks cheap thrills Los Angeles things to do Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Max Wong 1145185 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Up and Get Out: How to Find Cheap Local Events http://www.wisebread.com/get-up-and-get-out-how-to-find-cheap-local-events <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-up-and-get-out-how-to-find-cheap-local-events" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/outdoors-4922090-small.jpg" alt="hiking" title="hiking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyday there&rsquo;s something fun and affordable happening where you live. Yes, even in small towns and cities; you just have to know where to look. To help you find these low-cost activities and events in your area, here are a few of the always reliable resources I use to help plan my next adventure. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays">15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays</a>)</p> <h2>Visit Ticket Sites</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t follow sports, but I love attending sporting events. There&rsquo;s something about the atmosphere &mdash; junk food, cold beer, excited fans &mdash; that draws me to the stadium, but as someone who&rsquo;s not particularly invested in the actual game, I search for the lowest possible price on tickets I can find. In particular, I find <a href="http://www.stubhub.com/">StubHub</a> to be useful since it shows me the absolute rock-bottom price available, which often is lower than what&rsquo;s available at the venue. StubHub tickets are sold by individual sellers, some of whom are simply trying to recoup a percentage of face value opposed to full face value. StubHub also is a great resource for concertgoers, too. There are a lot of big-name tickets available, and if you search at the right time you could score a big deal.</p> <h2>Sign Up for Event Newsletters</h2> <p>Many local establishments have event newsletters that they send to customers via email. The purpose of these marketing emails is to inform customers of what&rsquo;s happening with the hopes of getting you into the joint to buy food and drinks and enjoy the entertainment while you&rsquo;re at it. I&rsquo;m signed up to a few select places in my area because I generally like what they&rsquo;ve got going on. If they send email too often, I unsubscribe &mdash; which sometimes happens, and you can, too &mdash; but for the most part I&rsquo;m happy to know that there&rsquo;s always something nearby that I can do on a lazy day or night.</p> <h2>Subscribe to Daily Deal Emails</h2> <p>I use <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">daily deal sites</a> for a lot reasons &mdash; buying gifts for friends and family, scoring discounts at restaurants &mdash; but I also pay attention to the events they offer. My husband and I like to participate in activities, so I&rsquo;m always on the hunt for a great activity at an even better cost. Through daily deals, we&rsquo;ve gone camping, white water rafting, river tubing, zip lining, and more &mdash; all for much less than we would have paid normally.</p> <h2>Browse Craigslist</h2> <p>You can browse the Community section of Craigslist to find kitschy little events in your area, but I also recommend browsing the tickets and free sections as well. The latter in particular was fruitful for me one day when I came across a listing offering free tickets to a Mets game. I thought it might be too good to be true, but it turned out to be the good deed of a doctor who enjoyed giving away his season tickets to strangers on nights when he couldn&rsquo;t use them. Certainly that almost never happens, but you may be surprised what you can come up with on Craigslist if you dig deep enough.</p> <h2>Scour Local Print and Online Publications</h2> <p>Every community has a publication &mdash; usually online and off &mdash; that lists the events that are happening in that area each week. Subscribe online for alerts or receive the hard-copy publication so you can stay up to date on what&rsquo;s going down in your &lsquo;hood on a regular basis.</p> <h2>Check Out Tourism Sites</h2> <p>Tourism sites are helpful when searching for cheap events where you live and in places you&rsquo;re traveling. Whenever we go on a trip, I usually search the destination&rsquo;s tourism site to find things for my husband and me to do in that area. From free local concerts to ethnic festivals to high-school football games, if something <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours">noteworthy is happening in a particular area</a>, I can usually find it on a tourism site.</p> <h2>Walk Your Neighborhood</h2> <p>Take a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">stroll around you neighborhood</a> &mdash; or the downtown area of your town if you live in a more rural area &mdash; and browse flyers in windows, scope out sandwich boards on the streets, pick up event postcards, and read marquees to discover what&rsquo;s happening near you.</p> <h2>Utilize Social Media</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re active on social media, chances are you already have a slew of events in your &quot;Upcoming Events&quot; section of Facebook. Some of them will probably be of no relevance to you, but others may be just what you&rsquo;re looking for. Every now and then take a peek to see what&rsquo;s scheduled and plan to participate. Otherwise, social media is a great place to simply ask around. Somebody in your networks knows something fun and frugal happening &mdash; I guarantee it.</p> <h2>Get Specific and Search the Web</h2> <p>You can conduct generic searches for local events, but if they&rsquo;re not listed on the sites that come up in the results, you&rsquo;ll never know they&rsquo;re happening. For instance, in my area, free kayaking is available on the Hudson River on weekend mornings. I wouldn&rsquo;t have discovered this great event if I didn&rsquo;t specifically search for kayaking in my area. Same goes for free outdoor summer movies, which I maintain is one of the best no-cost events/dates ever. Search for &quot;free summer movie&quot; plus the town in which you live, and I bet you&rsquo;ll come up with something, whether it&rsquo;s in a park, a parking lot, or at a nearby church. The point is when you have a specific idea of something you want to do, head to your search engine and find it; it&rsquo;s almost always there.</p> <p><em>Have more ideas on how to find cheap local events? 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/get-up-and-get-out-how-to-find-cheap-local-events">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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/score-how-to-host-a-great-game-night">Score! How to Host a Great Game Night</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/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations">5 Romantic, Inexpensive Anniversary Celebrations</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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle cheap activities free events things to do Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:36:33 +0000 Mikey Rox 976306 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2617661214_ef5f9cef3c_o.jpg" alt="A group of friends" title="A group of friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to meet new people? The easiest and most important element is to just be &ldquo;out there.&rdquo; Be active and be open! Don&rsquo;t be picky, and be willing to hang out with everyone. A good rule to follow is to say &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to every invite (well, except the sketchy ones).</p> <p>Need some more specific ideas? Try these 10 ways to help meet new people. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">Why Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h3>1. Walk Your Dog (or Someone Else&rsquo;s Dog)</h3> <p>People love dogs, and they are a great conversation starter. Have a puppy? That&rsquo;s even better!</p> <h3>2. Hang Out With Your Kids (or Babysit Someone Else&rsquo;s Kid)</h3> <p>Like dogs and puppies, kids are great conversation starters. Join a parent group to meet other people who are in the same phase of life as you.</p> <h3>3. Get Tattoos (or Hang Out With Someone Who Has a Lot of Them)</h3> <p>My husband has a lot of tattoos on his arms and legs, so when he wears lots of tank tops and shorts during the summer, he gets asked about his tattoos pretty much non-stop. After puppies and kids, tattoos are one of the best conversation starters. Everyone wants to know what the tattoos are all about, what they mean, who did them, etc. Since I&rsquo;m hanging out with my husband when people are asking him about his tattoos, I get to meet a ton of people too.</p> <h3>4. Be the Photographer</h3> <p>Volunteer to be the photographer at an event. Having a camera in your hand helps to keep nervous fidgeting to a minimum, plus it gives you something to do and an obvious reason to talk to people. Asking &ldquo;can I take your picture?&rdquo; is a great way to start talking to someone. Give the person your business card, and tell them they can contact you to see the images from the event so you have a reason to connect after the event.</p> <h3>5. Put a Bowl of Candy at Your Desk</h3> <p>Have a job in a brand-new city, or have you moved to a new position within the same company? Whether you&rsquo;ve been at a company for a long or short amount of time, placing a bowl of candy out at your desk is a great way to meet new people. To meet even more people, set out chocolate. Most people will feel weird to just take candy and run, so they&rsquo;ll make small talk, and you&rsquo;ll get to connect with people you might not normally have met. Moral of the story &mdash; chocolate is people bait.</p> <h3>6. Have a Stand-Out Look</h3> <p>Do you own bright red sunglasses, a huge scarf, or quirky shoes? Do you have a huge beard, curly mustache, or glistening bald head? Do you wear hot pink lipstick? Anything that makes you stand out from the bunch will be a great conversation starter and will help to make you memorable.</p> <h3>7. Host a Potluck</h3> <p>Have your friends bring not only something to eat or drink, but a new person too.</p> <h3>8. Talk to the Person Who Is Alone</h3> <p>This one gets you major karma points and maybe a new friend in the process. Maybe the person standing by themselves feels even more awkward than you, and maybe they would like a new friend too. Everyone appreciates it when someone else strikes up the conversation first.</p> <h3>9. Get on the Bus</h3> <p>Commiserate about your mutual disdain for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-take-the-bus">public transportation</a>, or ask them about the book they&rsquo;re reading or where they are headed. You&rsquo;re stuck in a small amount of space for at least a few blocks, so pass the time with some small talk and maybe make a new friend in the process.</p> <h3>10. Through Social Media</h3> <p>While social media is called &ldquo;social media,&rdquo; how many people have you actually met through this medium? It just might be time to start making the most of all those online hours. Strike up conversations with people on <a href="http://facebook.com">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://twitter.com">Twitter</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/">Instagram</a>, and <a href="http://flickr.com">Flickr</a>. Utilize sites like <a href="http://www.meetup.com/">Meetup</a> and make use of apps like <a href="https://foursquare.com/">FourSquare</a> and <a href="http://highlig.ht/">Highlight</a> to meet people nearby.</p> <p>So now that you know where to meet all these new people, how do you become a good friend to keep these new people around? Remember these things:</p> <ul> <li>Smile, and don&rsquo;t cross your arms in front of yourself. These two things will make you look approachable and friendly.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Laugh easily, and let your guard down enough to be silly. People who take themselves too seriously can be a drag. Don&rsquo;t be a drag.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If someone acts like they like you, they probably do! Initiate hang-outs by saying, &ldquo;Hey, if you ever want to get together let me know. Here&rsquo;s my number.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don&rsquo;t bring up controversial topics right away. Or go for it, and you just might become friends because you both hate the same things &mdash; it&rsquo;s possible!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be thoughtful. Remember what people say and refer back to it. People like knowing they were listened to, and this brings us to the next tip on the list...&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Really listen to people and ask them about themselves. Talk more about the other person than about yourself. This is a tried-and-true technique! Ask open-ended questions; ones that require more than a &ldquo;yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;no&rdquo; answer. But don&rsquo;t be a pest. If the other person is giving you the &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to talk to you&rdquo; vibe, then don&rsquo;t be a Pushy Sue just because you want a new friend.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have the goal of making people feel better about themselves after they talk to you than they did before. Be careful to not be a suck-up or brown-noser, though, because that would be obvious and weird. There is a fine line, so be aware of it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Read &quot;How to Win Friends and Influence People&quot; by Dale Carnegie. This is a solid and classic book that is completely stuffed with great tips on how to make and keep friends.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><em>How do you make friends, and where do you meet new people?</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/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</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/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development friendship moving things to do Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:36:43 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 954697 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Ways to Spend a Night Out http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-spend-a-night-out <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-ways-to-spend-a-night-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/karaoke.jpg" alt="Karaoke" title="Karaoke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While I love entertaining at home and attending events at friends' houses, sometimes, I just want to go <em>out</em> in the evening. Well, that doesn't have to mean dropping lots of cash to be entertained. Below are 15 great ways you can affordably leave the house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house">7 Free Ways to&nbsp;Get Out of the House</a>)</p> <p>Also, a note about bars and coffee shops &mdash; you'll notice that I've included a fair amount of things that take place at those venues; they offer some great, free entertainment. You do need to buy something to spend time in them, but remember &mdash; just because you're in a bar doesn't mean you need four fancy mixed drinks, and just because you're in a coffee shop doesn't mean you need an extra-large latte and a brownie.</p> <h3>1. Attend Gallery Openings</h3> <p>A lot of buzz goes to First Fridays (or Second Saturdays, or Third Thursdays), nights when shops and galleries stay open late, often offering free food and drink. But many galleries have other openings that are not associated with these events, and they'll also often feature extended hours, free refreshments, and entertainment. Check your local event listings.</p> <h3>2. Got to a BYOB &mdash; or BYOF &mdash; Establishment</h3> <p>If you want dinner and drinks, one way to save a bit is to go to a restaurant that lets you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-drink-pairings-for-byob-restuarants">bring your own alcohol</a> &mdash; or a bar that lets you bring your own food. And don't think that BYOB means fancy food &mdash; depending on your local laws, it might be possible to find a BYOB&nbsp;in your area that serves inexpensive fare like burritos or sandwiches.</p> <h3>3. Have a Board Game Night at a Bar or Coffee Shop</h3> <p>Take the classic frugal entertainment out on the town. As long as you don't go overboard in order drinks, this will still be a frugal event.</p> <h3>4. Take a Walk</h3> <p>It's a classic for a reason &mdash; it's healthy, invigorating, and a great activity for chatting with friends.</p> <h3>5. Do a Scavenger Hunt</h3> <p>The prevalence of digital cameras and camera phones makes it easy to have a <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2262194_plan-photo-scavenger-hunt-groups.html">photo scavenger hunt</a>. Gather some friends or family, make up a list of photos people have to get (such as &quot;a pretty flower&quot; or &quot;shaking hands with a stranger&quot;), and split into teams. The first group to get photos of everything wins &mdash; plus everyone has great photos to share.</p> <h3>6. Go to the Preview of a&nbsp;Play</h3> <p>When new plays are about to open, they'll sometimes have &quot;previews&quot; &mdash; shows before the play officially opens where the performers work out kinks in front of a live audience. These tickets are often discounted. You can also look into rush tickets &mdash; available a few minutes before a show if it hasn't sold out, these tickets are usually drastically cheaper than regular ones. Rush tickets are sometimes available only to students; ask the theater if they offer them and, if so, what their policy is.</p> <h3>7. Take Advantage of Daily Deal Vouchers</h3> <p>I feel like they've gotten kind of a bad rap recently, but daily deals vouchers from companies like <a href="http://groupon.com">Groupon</a> and <a href="http://livingsocial.com">LivingSocial</a> can still net you some pretty awesome discounts for things to do outside the house. I bought trapeze classes through LivingSocial earlier this week!</p> <h3>8. Go Stargazing (or People Watching)</h3> <p>Which one you do is based largely on where you live &mdash; in the city, you can't make out those stars as well, and in rural areas, you probably don't have as many people to watch. Wherever you are, set up a blanket or plop down on a bench, and watch the world go by.</p> <h3>9. Attend an Open Mic</h3> <p>Whether it's for music or comedy, plenty of bars, coffee shops, and comedy clubs offer free nights where anyone can perform &mdash; or watch.</p> <h3>10. Check Out Secondary Stages</h3> <p>Some theaters have more than one stage. And while their secondary stage shows might not be as prestigious, they can also be plenty of fun &mdash; and a lot cheaper.</p> <h3>11. Do Karaoke</h3> <p>Don't worry if you can't sing &mdash; karaoke is about spirit!</p> <h3>12. Take a Cheap Night Class</h3> <p>Several businesses, schools, and organizations offer night classes &mdash; and many of them are exceedingly affordable. Whether you want to learn to knit, shine up your language skills, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-yourself-to-cook">become a better cook</a>, there's probably an evening class out there for you.</p> <h3>13. Compete in Bar Trivia</h3> <p>Bar trivia is only as expensive as the food and drinks you buy, which means you can make it very cheap indeed. Search online for &quot;bar trivia&quot; and the name of your town to find out what establishments in your area have trivia nights.</p> <h3>14. Go to an Arcade</h3> <p>Or, even better, if there's one in your area &mdash; a retro arcade. Recently, my boyfriend and I went to an arcade with lots of vintage machines. They were still $.25 each, and we played about a half-hour of pinball for just $1.00.</p> <h3>15. Join a Club</h3> <p>Whether it's a book club, a knitter's circle, or something else entirely, joining a club (or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-a-book-club">forming one with your friends</a>) is a great way to get out (and possibly meet new people).</p> <p><em>What are your favorite ways to get out of the house on the cheap?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-spend-a-night-out">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/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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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-frugal-non-depressing-ways-to-spend-nye">5 Frugal, Non-Depressing Ways to Spend NYE</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment bars cheap fun things to do Mon, 10 Sep 2012 10:36:41 +0000 Meg Favreau 954298 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Cheap Things to Do Before the Summer Is Gone http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-things-to-do-before-the-summer-is-gone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-cheap-things-to-do-before-the-summer-is-gone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5441656865_1520f8aedf_b.jpg" alt="Ferris wheel" title="ferris wheel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You guys, I have bad news. Summer is almost over! And although I secretly think that fall is the best season in the world (boots and scarves are my favorite), I can&rsquo;t say I&rsquo;m ready to say goodbye to this sunshine. So, what to do before the sun starts going down earlier and the A/C is turned off? Simple &mdash; go outside.</p> <p>Below, I&rsquo;ve put together some cheap (but mostly free) last-ditch efforts to make the most out of the gorgeous sunlight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun">25 Ways to Have Cheap Summer Fun</a>)</p> <h2>1. Fairs and Festivals</h2> <p>Two words: Ferris wheels. Soon they&rsquo;re going to be put back in their boxes and stored in a nearby trailer park (or wherever it is Ferris wheels hide for the colder months). Take advantage of every opportunity you can before summer is over to go to the fair and see your city from above, throw balls at impenetrable targets, and people watch. You might see a little more skin and a few less teeth than you were hoping for, but you can&rsquo;t deny the hilarity of it all. And who knows, maybe you'll win your sweetheart a giant panda...</p> <h2>2. Theme Parks</h2> <p>Roller coasters! Fake castles! Splash rides! I <em>love</em> a good theme park, but the bad news is most of them are overpriced. The good news is you can generally find two-for-one deals or special days when it costs a little less for the fun. Be sure to look on the park's website for discount information and check with your boss for any deals offered to your company.</p> <h2>3. Free Outdoor Movies</h2> <p>If you are anywhere near a big city (from Denver to Minneapolis to Pittsburgh), this is a must do. Scout it out &mdash; there&rsquo;s got to be one somewhere in a park. And most likely, they&rsquo;re not all over yet. Sometimes the movies are even new releases! And if there isn&rsquo;t one in your area, throw a blanket up, <a href="http://www.atsrentals.com/page--Projector-Rentals--gg.html">rent a projector</a> (with friends' monetary donations, of course), and have at it.</p> <h2>4. Free Outdoor Concerts</h2> <p>Summer concert series are popular throughout the world. Most of the large, outdoor festivals are over now, but you can still take advantage of a select few concerts, generally for free. Be on the lookout for after dark specials sponsored by breweries. They'll be in a lot of the same cities that have the free outdoor movies, but you might be surprised. Music is easier to come by than movie rights, so a ton of smaller towns offer downtown concert series at no cost.</p> <h2>5. Water Sports</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t normally swim all summer &mdash; I didn&rsquo;t grow up with a pool or take trips to the lake. But my best friend lives in apartment complex, and I&rsquo;ve swum every single Saturday this summer. When the warm weather ceases and the pool closes, I&rsquo;m going to be unbelievably disappointed. Also, the lake, river, and ocean are at the perfect temperature right now for a dip, kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddle boarding. Take advantage of any water sports in your area before it's too late!</p> <h2>6. Read in the Park</h2> <p>I read far more in the summer for leisure than I do any other time &mdash; I guess it's a habit I picked up from being in school. More time off in the summer, more time to read. Then again, there's nothing like soaking in the sun on soft grass and catching up on the latest bestseller (or if you're like me, the classics). Grab a good book, a blanket, and some sunglasses and head out to your park. If you don't mind an occasional whizzing Frisbee or barking dog, you'll be able to sink into another world in the middle of your neighborhood.</p> <h2>7. Outdoor Theater</h2> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re in New York for Shakespeare in the Park or in Portland for Star Trek in the Park, you're probably close to some sort of outdoor stage. Or if you live near a drive-in, drive over and watch a summer blockbuster in the car with your friends. While pricier, they make for a much more fun date option and you can bring your own food (and sometimes alcohol &mdash; if you're not the driver, of course).</p> <h2>8. Dry Your Clothes in the Sun</h2> <p>This is the time to forgo the dryer and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">put your clothes out on the line</a>. Not only will it save you energy costs, but as long as you don&rsquo;t let the clothes sit out in the sun too long (don&rsquo;t forget about fading!), it&rsquo;ll save the life of your wardrobe. Plus that natural fresh air smell really can&rsquo;t be contained in a bottle of Febreze.</p> <h2>9. Work on Your Tan</h2> <p>This is probably the most obvious one. Soon I'm going to be as pasty as the Microsoft Word background I&rsquo;m typing this on. And while I don't mind being asked if I'm allergic to the sun (yes, people ask me that), a slight tan does give me the illusion of &quot;health.&quot; I don't condone tanning beds, so if you want to get some last minute sun in, go for it!</p> <h2>10. Exercise Outside</h2> <p>Running outside is obviously free, but a lot of cities offer free park classes like yoga, tai chi, or Zumba. Look around in your town (or surrounding area) to see if you can catch one before they&rsquo;re all over. Also, the aforementioned Frisbee in the park is always fun, and since football season is starting, it's time to practice tossing the ball around too. Just because you've got a fantasy draft doesn't mean you can't play in real life, right?</p> <h2>11. Eat and Drink Outside</h2> <p>When I lived in New York, I always got so excited when the tables and chairs were placed outside and umbrellas started popping up. It meant summer was close! So if you're going to grab a beer with friends or lunch with your coworkers, pick a location outside. Best part &mdash; you don't have to use your &quot;indoor voice.&quot;</p> <h2>12. DIY Projects</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re like me, you have a &ldquo;found&rdquo; object in your house that you&rsquo;ve been meaning to paint or update all summer. Soon it&rsquo;s going to be too cold to stand outside and do it, so grab whatever it is you've been meaning to redo and get to work. It'll take far less time than you think, and you'll be glad to have that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-better-style-the-curated-closet">extra closet space</a> when you pull out all of your winter coats again.</p> <h2>13. Pedicures</h2> <p>Ladies (okay, fine, men too), you&rsquo;ve only got a few more weeks of toe-showing left. And since <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-give-yourself-a-manicure-at-home">giving yourself a pedicure</a> is far cheaper than purchasing one, grab a pumice stone and get to work. You may be putting your feet away soon, but that doesn't mean you have to hide them now.</p> <h2>14. Grill Out</h2> <p>Soon the propane tanks and charcoal are going to be (safely) stored away and the &quot;men&quot; are going to hang up their barbeque forks for one more year. Granted, you'll probably keep the grills out during most of football season, but eventually it'll get too cold, so fire it up, put some meat on, and enjoy the last bits of summer while you can.</p> <h2>15. Fish</h2> <p>I know fishing can be expensive if you're not a seasoned fisher(wo)man, but if it's something you like to do, get some time in before it's too late. Unfortunately, I can't add much advice to this particular subject because the only &quot;fishing&quot; I ever did was when I was little and tried to grab minnows in the creek by my aunt's house (yes, I'm from Tennessee), but if you live near a lake, go for it!</p> <p><em>What do you want to do before it's too cold?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-things-to-do-before-the-summer-is-gone">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-5"> <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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</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/15-frugal-ways-to-battle-boredom">15 Frugal Ways to Battle Boredom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment summer theme parks things to do Thu, 30 Aug 2012 10:36:43 +0000 Jennifer Holder 952436 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Start a Frugal Dinner Club http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-a-frugal-dinner-club <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-start-a-frugal-dinner-club" 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_fun.jpg" alt="Dinner party" title="Dinner party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A dinner party never has to be over the top, but anyone who has ever hosted one knows that the cost can escalate quickly.</p> <p>In an effort to impress their guests, many hosts opt to make a fancy dish with expensive ingredients. Or they go out all out on table decorations. Or they pick up pricey bottles of wine. Now, what once might have cost $25 total has increased to $100 &mdash; an amount that quickly sucks all the fun out of having friends over for an evening of good food and conversation. (See also: <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>)</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re a fan of dinner parties and keen to avoid this common mistake, perhaps starting a frugal dinner club is a good idea. The primary purpose of the frugal dinner club is to bring your friends together so you can spend quality time together enjoying delicious grub without spending a lot of money. If this sounds like a club you&rsquo;d like to start, here are a few criteria.</p> <h3>1. Establish the Club by Inviting Your Frugal Friends</h3> <p>Everyone in your frugal dinner club should be frugal-minded and resourceful. These are your friends who live on a budget, always have a coupon for dinner or activities, and can seek out the best deals no matter where they are. You don&rsquo;t want those friends for whom money is not a concern or those friends who are too lazy to save cash when they can. Inviting the latter will defeat the purpose of the club and take away the excitement.</p> <h3>2. Establish the Frugal Dinner Club Rules</h3> <p>Once your club is established, it&rsquo;s important to set up rules by which the club will abide. They don&rsquo;t have to be so strict that they turn off some members, but they should adhere to frugal principles. Consider these suggestions to adopt as your own rules:</p> <p><strong>Individual Dishes Alternate Meal to Meal</strong></p> <p>I like to cook all kinds of different foods, so I wouldn&rsquo;t want to be stuck always bringing the main dish or the side dish; sometimes I may want to bring dessert. Alternating the types of dishes members bring to every club meeting will keep it exciting for everyone.</p> <p><strong> Use Only In-Season Ingredients</strong></p> <p>Using only <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">in-season ingredients</a> will help you narrow down your recipe choices, but it will also save you money since in-season foods are inherently cheaper than out-of-season foods.</p> <p><strong>Clip and Swap Coupons</strong></p> <p>Of course you&rsquo;re going to use coupons to buy food for your frugal dinner club. So to enhance your stash, make it a rule that every member should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coupons">clip coupons</a> prior to each meeting so you can trade after dinner.</p> <p><strong>Put a Cap on the Cost of the Dishes</strong></p> <p>The group can decide a reasonable price point for each dish based on the amount of members in the group, but the price point should be low enough that it requires smart shopping and creative cooking. I&rsquo;d also suggest that everyone keeps their receipts so the group can tally up the total at the next club meeting, so everyone can see how much money is actually spent and saved.</p> <p><strong>Raid Pantries</strong></p> <p>Before anyone goes to the market to buy food, one of the rules should be that they must raid their pantries for ingredients. There&rsquo;s no reason to buy anything you already have. After you've searched your pantry, use <a href="http://www.recipekey.com/">Recipe Key</a> to input items to find a suitable dish to make for the club.</p> <h3>3. Set the Frugal Dinner Club Schedule</h3> <p>Come to a consensus within the group to settle on the appropriate meeting schedule.</p> <h3>4. Assign the Frugal Dinner Club Dishes</h3> <p>Now that you have your friends lined up, the frugal dinner club rules set, and a schedule firmly in place, it&rsquo;s time to assign dishes (not to be confused with recipes; those are at each member&rsquo;s discretion). Who will make the main? Who&rsquo;s in charge of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ultra-quick-homemade-desserts">dessert</a>? Discuss.</p> <h3>5. Sit Down for Dinner and Brag About Your Saving Savvy</h3> <p>This is the moment you&rsquo;ve all been waiting for. Gather for a meeting of your frugal dinner club and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Discuss the recipes (ask members to bring a print out for the rest of the group), the ingredients, what you had on hand and what you had to buy, how much you spent, and how much you saved. Then simply enjoy each other&rsquo;s company while stuffing your face with the satisfaction that you can throw a fabulous dinner party without inflicting any pain upon your pockets.</p> <p><em>Do you have a frugal dinner club? Do you have other suggestions for those who want to start one? 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/how-to-start-a-frugal-dinner-club">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-6"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-frugal-ways-to-have-people-over-even-if-you-dont-cook-and-clean">Easy, Frugal Ways to Have People Over (Even If You Don&#039;t Cook and Clean)</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/win-your-next-potluck-with-one-of-these-23-cheap-easy-potluck-dishes">Win Your Next Potluck With One of These 23 Cheap, Easy Potluck Dishes</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/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink affordable entertaining dinner party frugal recipes things to do Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:24:45 +0000 Mikey Rox 951304 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4962224228_83840a9fa6_z.jpg" alt="bikes at a park" title="bikes at a park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A Wise Bread reader recently asked us what are some fun and frugal things to do during the day, since she works at night. Since I quit my day job, I have found that there are many things in my community happening during the weekday when most people are at work. Here are some of my suggestions.</p> <h2>1. Go to the Library</h2> <p>The public library is not only full of books and DVDs that are free to access (with a library card), but many libraries also have enrichment programs that are free. I have seen free guitar lessons, art classes, and readings of books by authors at my local libraries. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-should-support-your-local-library">4 Reasons Why&nbsp;You Should Support Your Local Library</a>)</p> <h2>2. Take a Factory Tour</h2> <p>There are many factories and stores that give tours of their facilities. One famous example here in the Bay Area is the Jelly Belly factory. The tours are usually free, and guests get to have a little sample of the products. <a href="http://factorytoursusa.com/">Factory Tours USA</a> lists many of these tours.</p> <h2>3. Visit a&nbsp;Public Park or Beach</h2> <p>These public recreation areas are usually open from sunrise to sunset. Before I had my son, I rarely took advantage of them, but now I find that it's quite nice to just sit on the beach for a few hours. The large state parks usually feature many miles of walking trails, and they are great for some exercise.</p> <h2>4. Take Advantage of College Campuses</h2> <p>Many adult schools and colleges offer seminars that are free to attend, but they're generally during the weekdays when school is in session. I have also found reasonably priced dance and art classes in the local adult school catalogs. Some colleges even have free concerts and events that are open to the public. You do have to research these opportunities a bit, but they are out there.</p> <h2>5. Take Photos</h2> <p>For beginner photographers, it is easier to practice the art in natural light before moving onto purchasing expensive nighttime lenses. So if you have a lot of time during the day, you should consider taking some photos for fun. This hobby requires a small amount of initial investment, but if your skill level advances far enough, it is possible to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">sell your photos</a>.</p> <h2>6. Go Geocaching</h2> <p>This is a global treasure hunt game where <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hunting-for-treasure-frugal-fun-rich-rewards">people hide tiny &quot;caches&quot; at specific GPS coordinates</a>. All you need to play is a handheld GPS and the website <a href="http://geocaching.com">geocaching.com</a>. This hobby may cost you some gas if you decide to purposely drive to a cache that's far away, but you can also create your own little treasure boxes for other people to find.</p> <h2>7. Visit a Historic Site</h2> <p>Many historic sites around the country are accessible to the public. You can find a <a href="http://www.nps.gov/nr/">list of local historic sites online</a>. I have found that I have actually driven past some of these sites many times without bothering to visit. If you are a fan of local history, it can be quite fun to rediscover your own community via historic sites.</p> <h2>8. Go to a Discount Movie Theater</h2> <p>Depending on where you live, there may be a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">cheap movie theater</a> nearby that shows movies for $2 to $3 at strange times on weekdays. They often screen movies that have been in the theaters for awhile or foreign movies, but sometimes there are a few blockbusters. It is fairly cheap entertainment for an afternoon.</p> <p>I have listed eight possible fun activities for those who do not have a regular work schedule, but you may find many more activities in your community if you just venture out and take a look. Your hometown might be more interesting than you thought.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">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-7"> <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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun">Easy Ways to Rein in Your Spending Without Sacrificing Fun</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/score-how-to-host-a-great-game-night">Score! How to Host a Great Game Night</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/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations">5 Romantic, Inexpensive Anniversary Celebrations</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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle cinema geocaching public library saving money on weekdays things to do Tue, 14 Aug 2012 10:00:41 +0000 Xin Lu 950541 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-8"> <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/lessons-in-frugality-from-the-walking-dead">Lessons in Frugality From &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</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 25 New Things to Do Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-new-things-to-do-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/try something new _1.jpg" alt="25 new things to try" title="25 new things to try" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to get into the habit of doing the same things day-in and day-out. Here are 25 new things to try today to give your life a little bit of a shake-up! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life</a>)</p> <h3>1. Make Sure Everyone You Love Knows It</h3> <p>Do the important people in your life know how much they mean to you? When was the last time you told them? Whenever I let this slide I try to remember the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdyaPV4OVig">season five finale of &quot;Grey's Anatomy&quot;</a> that I randomly watched one day. As weird as it may sound, that episode reminds me why it's so important that loved ones know they're loved.</p> <h3>2. Get Prints Made of Your Digital Images</h3> <p>It seems like we're all taking pictures all the time (especially with Instagram's huge fame), but will future generations get to see these shots? Make sure your life's images don't get lost and forgotten. Fill up shoe boxes with photos so that down the road, your kids can go through and wonder about your life.</p> <h3>3. Call Your Mom (More)</h3> <p>She loves you and probably wants you to call way more than you do.</p> <h3>4. Run Through a Sprinkler</h3> <p>Nothing screams summer quite like running through a sprinkler. When was the last time you did it? This is a cheap idea, and it's a great way to feel like a kid again while doing something responsible &mdash; watering your lawn.</p> <h3>5. Say &quot;Yes&quot; to Everything for One Full Day</h3> <p>Pull a Jim Carrey in the movie <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1068680/">&quot;Yes Man&quot;</a> &mdash; see what happens when you open yourself to everything that comes your way. Do you find that you automatically say &quot;no&quot; to things without even really considering them?</p> <h3>6. Conquer Your Public-Speaking Fear by Trying Out Toastmasters</h3> <p>Speaking in public can be completely dreadful. What if that fear was removed or if became manageable? Try out <a href="http://www.toastmasters.org/">Toastmasters</a>.</p> <h3>7. At a Restaurant, Let the Waiter Pick Your Entire Meal</h3> <p>I once ate dinner at a restaurant in Montreal called <a href="http://www.onoir.com/MTL/en/frames.htm">O.Noir</a>. There was not a single light in the place, and we ate in pitch-black darkness. All of the waiters also happened to be blind. Needless to say, it was an unforgettable experience. Apart from the obvious, one of the things that stood out was that they had a &quot;surprise meal&quot; option. You could say if you were vegetarian or if you had other dietary concerns or restrictions, and they would accommodate that, but other than that, your meal was a complete surprise. Letting your waiter pick your meal is a way to get a little bit of the O.Noir experience no matter what city you live in.</p> <h3>8. Sleep in the Buff</h3> <p>If you've never done this before, it is completely liberating to try. Just be sure to keep a robe handy in case the fire alarm goes off.</p> <h3>9. Take a Bike Ride Through the City on a Summer Night</h3> <p>Here in Denver there is an event called the <a href="http://www.moonlight-classic.com/">Moonlight Classic</a> where some streets get shut down and bicyclists take to the road at midnight. The <a href="http://www.denvercruisers.com/">Denver Cruisers</a> also hit the road every Wednesday night throughout the summer. Maybe your city offers something similar? Don't forget a bike light.</p> <h3>10. Write and Send a Hand-Written Letter</h3> <p>Everything is email, text, and IM these days. Break out a pen, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-write-a-letter">put it on paper</a>.</p> <h3>11. Give a Sincere Compliment to at Least Three People</h3> <p>Who doesn't love a compliment? I love seeing people light-up and smile when they're complimented.</p> <h3>12. Try Cutting Your Own Hair</h3> <p><a href="http://www.andthenshesaved.com/and-then-she-saved/how-to-cut-your-own-hair-a-tutorial.html">Cutting your own hair</a> can feel very scary and intimidating the first time, but after you do it once, you'll wonder why you haven't been doing it all this time. (If you mess it up, then I'm sorry, and tell your hair-dresser I'm sorry too. Hey, it grows back, right?)</p> <h3>13. Tip Big</h3> <p>If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you know what hard work it is. You come home smelling like spoiled food, and it's a funk that's hard to wash out of your clothes. People can be rude, and the hours are sometimes brutal. Make someone's day by giving them a big tip. Trust me, they deserve it.</p> <h3>14. Shoot a Roll of 35mm Film</h3> <p>It can be exciting to not know exactly how a picture is going to turn out.&nbsp;</p> <h3>15. Decide What Your Three Wishes Would Be If a Genie Asked&nbsp;</h3> <p>Just have fun with it.&nbsp;</p> <h3>16. Do a &quot;No Spend&quot; Weekend</h3> <p>If you're not up for <a href="http://www.andthenshesaved.com/spendingfastguidelines/">an entire year of no-spending</a>, you can still positively impact your financial life by cutting back, even if it's for just a short amount of time.</p> <h3>17. Buy Bright Red Lipstick or Grow That Mustache</h3> <p>My husband hates the bright lipstick I wear. I like it, and I feel good wearing it. Even if no one is a fan of your choices but you, that's OK. Go forward with pride.</p> <h3>18. Take a Technology Break&nbsp;</h3> <p>Whenever I go on vacation, one of my favorite parts is that I get a break from technology. It's okay to cut yourself off for a day or two.</p> <h3>19. Wake Up an Hour Early</h3> <p>As hard as it is for me to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">wake-up early</a>, I always feel better when I do. There a peacefulness in those early hours.</p> <h3>20. Throughout the Day, Keep a List of Things You Are Grateful For</h3> <p>It's easy to take things for granted. Keeping a list and reviewing it at the end of the day keeps things in perspective. If you can't get yourself to write things down throughout the day, even just thinking about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gratitude-and-frugality">what you're grateful for</a> before you go to sleep is a good habit.</p> <h3>21. Make a Recipe You've Bookmarked on Pinterest</h3> <p>If you're anything like me, when you look at <a href="http://pinterest.com">Pinterest</a>, you get motivated to make and do lots of things but also discouraged that you're not making and doing lots of things. How many times do you make something you've pinned? Practically never? Today might be a good day to give one a go.</p> <h3>22. Get a Cardboard Box, Fill It Up With Clutter, and Donate It</h3> <p>Clearing out unwanted and useless junk feels good. Plain and simple.</p> <h3>23. Spend 20 Minutes Watching Funny or Die Videos</h3> <p>Laughing is good for you, and there is a lot of funniness happening on <a href="http://www.funnyordie.com/">Funny or Die</a>.</p> <h3>24. Create an Alter-Ego for Yourself</h3> <p>Do you wish your name was Natasha or Sven, you ran 20 miles a day, always stood up for the underdog, and had the most magnetic personality <em>ever</em>? Why not create that dimension of your personality in your mind and tap into it when you need extra strength?</p> <h3>25. Make a List of 33 Things to Do Before Your 33rd Birthday</h3> <p>It doesn't matter if you're turning 33 on your next birthday, or 20, or 63. Whatever stage you're at in life, create a list of things that you hope to accomplish before your next birthday.</p> <p><em>What do you do when you need to get out of a rut? What one are you going to try from this list?</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/25-new-things-to-do-today">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-9"> <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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/20-frugal-ways-to-brighten-your-spouses-day">20 Frugal Ways to Brighten Your Spouse&#039;s Day</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/score-how-to-host-a-great-game-night">Score! How to Host a Great Game Night</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle get out of your rut things to do trying new things Tue, 26 Jun 2012 09:48:17 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 935687 at http://www.wisebread.com Easy Ways to Rein in Your Spending Without Sacrificing Fun http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5453050233_b72f02b565_z_0.jpg" alt="family at park" title="family at park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are like most people, you may find it difficult to save money because you feel like you will miss out on all the good things in life if you are pinching your pennies. Sure, fabulous meals out, exotic vacations, stylish clothes, and cool gadgets are nice to have, but they can really rack up the bills. The good news is that by making a few small changes, you can enjoy the same quality of life you have always had without giving your wallet a beating. Here are a few examples. (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>Set Up a Card-Less Bank Account</h3> <p>ATM cards are ridiculously convenient. They allow you to take out money any time of day or night, whenever and wherever you need it. However, this also makes it tempting for you to spend that money wherever and whenever. There are many banks that allow you to operate on a no-card basis, so you can only deposit or withdraw money directly from a teller or, in the case of a high-yield online savings account, only via an online transfer.</p> <p>With these accounts you must physically go in to a bank to withdraw money, or wait a few days for the transfer to go through. This makes it more difficult to withdraw the funds, so it may prevent you from making impulse purchases. In addition, many card-less bank accounts have lower withdrawal fees and offer higher interest rates, so you may actually save more.</p> <h3>Host Nights in Instead of Going Out</h3> <p>A night out could cost you an arm and a leg in restaurant bills, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">movie tickets</a>, overpriced drinks, taxis, or cover charges. On the other hand, staying in can be very inexpensive and just as fun. Invite people over to your house for a movie night, throw a BBQ or a potluck dinner, or just relax with a bottle of wine and good company. There are plenty of things you can do in the comfort of your own home that are enjoyable, yet cost next to nothing.</p> <h3>Get Fit Without the Gym</h3> <p>We all know that going to the gym is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-going-to-the-gym-is-a-waste-of-money-time-and-resources">gym membership fees can also be wildly expensive</a>. Besides, who wants to stay cooped up in the gym when you can be enjoying the great outdoors? Think about ditching the gym membership and taking up cycling, walking, or hiking, especially if you live in a walkable neighborhood. If the weather is not great, invest in a yoga mat and some exercise DVDs that you can do at home. The amount you save on one month of gym fees will easily cover the costs of the DVDs and mat.</p> <h3>Scour Your City for Free or Discounted Events</h3> <p>There is nearly always something cheap to do if you know where to look. Search online listings or in your local papers for interesting events that do not cost anything to attend. Many festivals, outdoor concerts, and cultural events do not charge admission. In addition, many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free">museums, art galleries, and theaters offer special deals</a> on certain days of the week. For a completely free outing, take a trip to your local park for a picnic or an afternoon gathering instead spending money in restaurants and coffee shops.</p> <p>Cutting back on spending does not mean you have to cut back on fun as well. There are many ways you can have a good time without spending a cent. All it takes is some creative thinking and slight lifestyle changes, and you can enjoy life while watching your savings grow.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun">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-10"> <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/score-how-to-host-a-great-game-night">Score! How to Host a Great Game Night</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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</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/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall">31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Entertainment Lifestyle debit cards free things game nights gym things to do Mon, 18 Jun 2012 10:36:08 +0000 David Ning 935143 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Frugal Ways to Brighten Your Spouse's Day http://www.wisebread.com/20-frugal-ways-to-brighten-your-spouses-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-frugal-ways-to-brighten-your-spouses-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fountain_couple.jpg" alt="Couple in front of a fountain" title="Couple in front of a fountain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With everything that my husband and I have going on in our lives, it&rsquo;s often easy to forget about each other.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t mean that we forget that the other person exists, but it&rsquo;s not uncommon to get so wrapped up in our work and other responsibilities that we neglect our relationship at times.</p> <p>I know we&rsquo;re not alone in this. There are lots of other couples out there in similar situations. The good news is, letting your spouse know that they&rsquo;re on your mind isn&rsquo;t hard (and it doesn&rsquo;t have to cost much either).</p> <p>To help you show your sweetie that he or she is still the one for you, here are 20 frugal ways to bring a smile to their face today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">21 Frugal Ways to Reward&nbsp;Yourself Right Now</a>)</p> <h3>1. Write a Love Note</h3> <p>Tell your sweetie how much you love them in a quick note that you put in their lunch, briefcase, or bag. If you prefer the tech route, tweet the love note in 140 characters or less for all your followers to see.</p> <h3>2. Draw a Heart on the Bathroom Mirror</h3> <p>Express yourself when your partner isn&rsquo;t looking, drawing a heart when the glass is all fogged up from the steam.</p> <h3>3. Take on a Chore</h3> <p>Do something that your partner normally does, like take out the trash, walk the dogs, wash the dishes, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">clean the bathroom</a>. I sincerely hope my husband reads this entry.</p> <h3>4. Serve Breakfast in Bed</h3> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t like breakfast in bed? Eating in your undies is the best! To make the breakfast even more special, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to mold pancakes or cut a heart shape out of toast.</p> <h3>5. Give a Massage</h3> <p>Tell your partner take a load off while you rub their back, neck, and shoulders for at least five minutes.</p> <h3>6. Make a Special Playlist</h3> <p>A special playlist doesn&rsquo;t have the same appeal as a tangible mix tape, but the sentiment is still there. Steal your partner&rsquo;s iPod and upload a few songs that let him or her how you feel.</p> <h3>7. Stop by the Office for Lunch</h3> <p>Pop into your partner&rsquo;s office at lunchtime and surprise them with a quick bite to eat at a nearby restaurant.</p> <h3>8. Give a Compliment on a Physical Attribute</h3> <p>Guys are notorious for never noticing that their partner got their hair did. Make up for it by letting your partner know how great they look in a new outfit or that their diet/exercise routine is working well.</p> <h3>9. Wash the Car</h3> <p>Break out the bucket and soap, and make your partner&rsquo;s car shine.</p> <h3>10. Dedicate a Love Song</h3> <p>Call the radio station that you partner listens to and dedicate a song.</p> <h3>11. Declare Your Love on Facebook</h3> <p>You probably post a lot of nonsense on Facebook. Make at least one status update count by letting all your friends know just how special your man or lady friend is.</p> <h3>12. Make a YouTube Video</h3> <p>Record a video letting your partner know those things about them that make your heart flutter and post it for the world to see.</p> <h3>13. Run a Bubble Bath</h3> <p>Did you partner have a long day at work? Run a bubble bath and set up the tub with a glass of wine and a magazine.</p> <h3>14. Slow Dance in the Living Room</h3> <p>Turn on a slow jam and ask your partner to dance. Yes, right inside your house.</p> <h3>15. Pick Up the Phone to Say &quot;I Love You&quot;</h3> <p>Do you talk on the phone anymore? I don&rsquo;t. I prefer texting. Which is why sometimes it&rsquo;s nice &mdash; nostalgic even &mdash; to pick up the phone and call your lover just to say that you love &rsquo;em.</p> <h3>16. Turn Off the TV</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t pretend like your TV isn&rsquo;t on when you&rsquo;re having adult time. Turn it off so you can give each other the undivided attention you want and need.</p> <h3>17. Plan a Picnic</h3> <p>Make a few sandwiches, grab a blanket and a couple of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-five-economy-based-board-games-that-make-you-think">board games</a>, and head to the park for a relaxing afternoon filled with quality time.</p> <h3>18. Pitch a Tent</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to go anywhere. Pitch the tent in your backyard so you have the romance of camping but the convenience of home.</p> <h3>19. Cook Your Partner's Favorite Dinner</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-mostly-frugal-valentine-s-day-recipes">Make that special meal</a> that makes your partner melt. The key to a person's heart is through their stomach, after all.</p> <h3>20. Leave Your Partner Alone for a Few Hours</h3> <p>I love spending time with my husband, but sometimes I just need a few hours to myself. Give your partner the space they deserve by exiting the house on a Saturday or Sunday so you honey can relax however they want to.</p> <p><em>Have even more ways to brighten your partner&rsquo;s day in a low-cost way? 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/20-frugal-ways-to-brighten-your-spouses-day">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-11"> <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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</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/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year">Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine&#039;s Day (And Any Other Day of the Year)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle cheer up love spouses things to do Mon, 21 May 2012 10:36:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 929212 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Frugal Ways to Entertain Teenagers http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teen_girl_painting.jpg" alt="Teen Girl Painting" title="Teen Girl Painting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teens can be a tough audience to entertain. Their free time is precious, especially for those loaded with AP classes, sports and music commitments, work, and extra-curricular obligations. For many, down time is spent looking at screens, interacting with friends via social media and Skype, or both. So coming up with ways to engage them without resorting to digital devices is hard. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/timeless-money-lessons-from-teens">Timeless Money&nbsp;Lessons From&nbsp;Teens</a>)</p> <p>But even the most restless and demanding teens will enjoy these frugal activities.</p> <h3>1. Learn Family Secrets</h3> <p>Your kids have most likely been protected from family information or just were bored or confused by your stories when they were younger. But now that they are teens, they are ready for greater honesty and more grown-up tales. Intrigue them with explanations of how grandma paid for college, why great-grandma got divorced, how family members lived during the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/survival-basics-for-depression-era-kids">Depression</a>, what unpopular stances your parents took on controversial topics, and why a distant cousin ran away from home.</p> <h3>2. Enter a Contest</h3> <p>Teens like working with adolescent companions, being inventive and competitive. A contest that is neither sponsored by the school nor graded by school officials is especially inspiring to this age group. The research, collaboration, and execution of ideas involved in winning a competition are great sources of entertainment for extended periods of time.</p> <p>For example, my oldest son assembled and entered a team in a church-sponsored dodgeball tournament. He especially wanted to win first place for uniforms and so coordinated concept meetings, shopping trips to Goodwill, and uniform construction sessions. I think he spent more time planning and executing his uniform design than he did filling out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-college-applications">college applications</a>. (Epilogue &mdash; his team won &quot;best uniform,&quot; and he got into the university of his choice.)</p> <p>Similarly, I envision teenagers happily and eagerly getting together to do science experiments, create engineering marvels, practice for mud runs, etc. in hopes of winning a competition. Not only is contest preparation a frugal activity, but this kind of entertainment could reap <a href="http://www.siemens-foundation.org/en/competition.htm">financial rewards</a>&nbsp;as well as bragging rights.</p> <h3>3. Get Away From It All</h3> <p>Arrange an outing that you enjoy and invite one of your child's friends. At first, the teen will probably not get excited when you mention hiking in the woods, camping at the lake, or picking berries on a farm. But if a teenage buddy or a colorful friend of the family accompanies you on the trip, then they may actually look forward to such activities.</p> <p>Many teens who are otherwise sullen and whiny on a family only trip often become polite and even fun people when they are around those who are not mom, dad, and sibling. Friends provide both a distraction from what the teens might consider boring and serve as entertainment through conversation, humorous insights, and funny stories.</p> <h3>4. Go Bargain Shopping</h3> <p>Shopping is entertainment for many people, including teens. But rather than seeing how much your teen can spend, set a budget and let her have fun putting together outfits for nearly nothing&nbsp;while perusing fashion apparel and accessories at discount stores, consignment shops, and thrift shops.</p> <h3>5. Eat Outside</h3> <p>Teenagers will go wherever the food is. Serve a meal outside on your patio or deck to get them out of their element. Take a picnic to a nearby park, careful to find a spot where friends or classmates are unlikely to appear. Linger to spot wildlife (we have squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional deer in our backyard), enjoy the view of a pond at the park, or watch the sunset.</p> <h3>6. Attend a Play</h3> <p>Catch a theater performance at one of the local high schools, colleges, universities, or community centers. Many of these are free or cost $5 or less, though it&rsquo;s wise to check the ticket prices and suggested arrival times instead of making general assumptions. Plays can be frugal sources of entertainment for teens, especially if their friends are performing or helping stage the performance.</p> <h3>7. Listen to a Concert</h3> <p>Free or low-cost concerts are also often available at area schools and community gathering places. If friends of your teens are performing, they may like to see and hear the concert band, jazz band, orchestra, chorus, or choral groups.</p> <p>In addition, look for times when professional groups perform at low-cost venues, such as college campuses, street festivals, and community events.</p> <h3>8. Go to a Sporting Event</h3> <p>Go to a ballgame, track or swim meet, or other sporting event at the local high school or college. Most are priced reasonably, and some are free. Athletic competitions are often gathering places for teens, so they can enjoy being a spectator and hanging out with friends.</p> <h3>9. Visit the City</h3> <p>For those who live in the country or suburbs, visiting a large city can be an adventure. Teens may like to do simple things that city dwellers find tedious, like ride the metro, commuter train, or light rail to the city center. They may enjoy just walking around, doing some window shopping, analyzing architecture, and sampling treats sold by street vendors.</p> <h3>10. Visit the Country</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking to entertain city kids, take them to the country. Many rural areas and small towns offer attractions that teens find entertaining even if they won&rsquo;t admit to having fun.</p> <p>Plan ahead to make sure there is something to do. Look for outings to natural attractions like <a href="http://www.world-of-waterfalls.com/">waterfalls</a> and mountain vistas; <a href="http://www.preservationnation.org/travel-and-sites/travel/dozen-distinctive-destinations/listings.html">quaint downtowns</a> with full-service stores, fine art shops, and old-fashioned diners; and interesting <a href="http://www.nps.gov/nr/">historical sites</a>.</p> <h3>11. Ride a Bike</h3> <p>One of my son&rsquo;s friends recently got a low-priced road bike to ride around town and in the mountains near his home. When students were asked to submit photos to the school newspaper to show what they did over spring break, he was featured smiling broadly with his bike and helmet next to photos showing teenagers in much pricier locales such as the Caribbean, ocean cruises, and amusement parks in Florida.</p> <p>Take teens on a spin on lightly traveled roads. If you don't want your teen on the road, visit mountain bike trails or multi-use trails.</p> <h3>12. Take Photos or Videos</h3> <p>Another friend of my son&rsquo;s is an aspiring filmmaker. I&rsquo;ve seen him recording quirky teen activities (such as the aforementioned dodgeball tournament) and imagine that he spends much of his free time in this pursuit. Likewise, teens with strong visual or storytelling abilities will be entertained by capturing images on camera.</p> <h3>13. Visit a Museum</h3> <p>I know that a lot of teens find anything that might involve learning to be painful. But some museums are so well designed that even boredom-prone teenagers may consider them entertaining. Newer and updated museums with lots of ways to interact (watching video, listening to audio, playing trivia games, touching stuff, etc.) as well as zoos, aquariums, and art galleries can be enjoyable.</p> <h3>14. Tour College Campuses</h3> <p>Many teens will eventually go to college and, though visiting campuses is most prominently featured on the parent&rsquo;s to-do list, such a trip can be entertaining for adolescents. There are campus tours focusing on academics as well as those highlighting architecture. Plus, there is usually free or inexpensive entertainment, such as plays, concerts, and sporting events along with lectures and campus festivals.</p> <h3>15. Make an Art Project</h3> <p>Creative teens are entertained by participating in artistic endeavors, particularly those not associated with academics or grades. They especially enjoy working with other teens, either on the same project or side by side (just like when they were younger). Challenge them to make art out of trash for a fun project.</p> <h3>16. Go to the Park</h3> <p>Teens can enjoy going to parks without being loiterers or worse. There are lots of fun and frugal activities for teenagers, such as renting canoes and paddleboats, swimming, playing tennis, or strolling in the rose garden.</p> <h3>17. Take a Walk at Night</h3> <p>Add a bit of mystery to an otherwise dull activity &mdash; teens will love walking at night. Look at the stars and planets, planning evening outings in sync with <a href="http://astroguyz.com/2011/12/30/the-top-astronomy-events-for-2012/">astronomy events</a>.</p> <p>Choose a safe, preferably out-of-the-way place. Be careful, carry a flashlight (or wear a headlamp), and wear reflective gear.</p> <h3>18. Let &lsquo;em Play Pick-Up Ball</h3> <p>Pick-up ball and similar spur-of-the-moment games were a mainstay of my childhood, but my children never wandered miles from home to an open lot to play with neighborhood kids. Such things just didn&rsquo;t happen because well, kids rarely walk around neighborhoods unattended, and an open space without organized sports is rarely available. By the time they are teens, though, they should be fine playing pick-up basketball games or working out in public areas accompanied by friends.&nbsp;</p> <h3>19. Volunteer</h3> <p>Most of the teens I know are involved in an organization that requires community service. Though many of these hours are spent fulfilling obligations, volunteering can be entertaining, particularly if the teen is pursuing an activity that he really enjoys, working alongside friends, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-ways-to-get-a-free-meal">getting a free meal</a>. My sons, for example, like the country ham biscuits at the church's yard sale and pizza at community recycling days.</p> <p>Beyond regularly scheduled volunteer activities are even more intriguing and engaging opportunities. For example, one of my sons enjoys hanging out with younger kids in the inner city and their adult teachers in a childcare setting, which syncs (partly) with his career goal of teaching at-risk high school students. A friend&rsquo;s son loves serving at the animal shelter. Find meaningful volunteer gigs to entertain them while helping others.</p> <p>By the time they are 13, your children ought to be able to entertain themselves. But, sometimes, they can use a prod toward a healthy, wholesome, and frugal activity.</p> <p><em>What do the teens in your life do for cheap entertainment?</em></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/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers">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-12"> <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/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money">Here&#039;s How Delaying Marriage or Kids Saves You 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/6-totally-free-babysitting-alternatives">6 Totally Free Babysitting Alternatives</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/15-life-hacks-for-college-students-or-anyone-else-trying-to-save-money">15 Life Hacks for College Students (or Anyone Else Trying to Save Money)</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/can-you-survive-with-one-car-in-suburbia">Can You Survive with One Car in Suburbia?</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/7-places-teens-and-adults-can-learn-about-money">7 Places Teens (and Adults) Can Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family cheap entertainment teens things to do Fri, 18 May 2012 10:24:10 +0000 Julie Rains 929170 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Have Cheap Summer Fun http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2956787150_5f9228defc_z.jpg" alt="kids on beach" title="kids on beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking to enjoy your summer without breaking the bank? Check out the following ideas for frugal summer fun. (See also: <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>)</p> <h3>1. Get in the Water</h3> <p>We can&rsquo;t talk about summer without mentioning pools, right? Whether you have a pool in your backyard or in your community, this is not only a way to have fun, but swimming laps is also great exercise. No pool? No problem! Break out the hose and get a packet of water balloons for a few dollars or less.</p> <h3>2. Have a Picnic</h3> <p>Even if your job requires that you work year-round, you can still have picnic lunches with coworkers during the workweek or with friends on the weekends. Assign each person a drink or food item to bring, and have a great meal without an exorbitant cost.</p> <h3>3. Run a Car Wash to Raise Money for Charity</h3> <p>If you want to beat the heat, why not do it in a way that will also help out others? Hosting car washes is a popular summer activity, and the only costs you&rsquo;ll incur are for soap and water.</p> <h3>4. Have a Bonfire</h3> <p>For this, all you need is some wood and a fire pit (or place you can safely contain a fire without wildfire risk). Get some friends together and cook hot dogs and s&rsquo;mores for less than a couple dollars per person, if everyone chips in.</p> <h3>5. Garden</h3> <p>Have a green thumb? Summer may be a dry season for some states, but gardening and landscaping can still be done on the cheap if you have the tools available (or can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-10-items-to-borrow">borrow from a neighbor</a>).</p> <h3>6. Pursue Photography</h3> <p>Summer is a wonderful time to try your hand at photography. Whether you're taking pictures of family events, nature, vacations, or just hanging out with friends, photography is an affordable way to have fun and capture these memories for years to come.</p> <h3>7. Get in&nbsp;Shape</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s going to be hot this summer, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean you shouldn&rsquo;t get out and exercise. Biking, running, hiking, or sports can all be done for very little to no money if you have the equipment already.</p> <h3>8. Visit an Art Gallery or Museum</h3> <p>Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free">museums</a> and art galleries offer free or low-priced admission fees. Take advantage of a valuable cultural experience and escape the heat at the same time.</p> <h3>9. Read or Write a Book</h3> <p>Summer is a great time for reading on the beach or by the pool. Or, if you have an idea for a story in mind, why not use this season to put your thoughts to paper?</p> <h3>10. Study a New Language</h3> <p>Thanks to the internet, studying a language has never been easier. There are also several affordable apps for those with tablets or smartphones.</p> <h3>11. Take a Community College Class</h3> <p>A summer class at your local college probably won&rsquo;t cost you more than a couple hundred dollars (much less in some locales).</p> <h3>12. Learn to Knit or Sew</h3> <p>Knitted clothing isn&rsquo;t too popular in summer, but why not start preparing for the winter months now? Sewing is also useful year-round, and it won&rsquo;t cost you much to get started with a needle and thread.</p> <h3>13. Rough It</h3> <p>Camping isn&rsquo;t always dirt cheap, but if you&rsquo;re boondocking with your motorhome or camping on public lands, it can be a frugal vacation for many families. Or consider pitching a tent right in your own backyard!</p> <h3>14. Play Team Sports</h3> <p>With the days getting longer, the kids are going to want to be outside more. Either sign them up for a team sport (basketball, soccer, baseball, football, street hockey, etc.) or play with family and neighbors. There are also many adult sports clubs currently in existence or forming for the summer! Whether you want to play tennis, soccer, basketball, etc. &mdash; there are usually teams out there (some clubs are for all ages). Check your local parks and recreation website or search on Google to find some great clubs in your area.</p> <h3>15. Learn Magic Tricks</h3> <p>A well-performed magic trick can be a lot of fun. There are several websites, videos, and books you can find on the subject and some tricks can be done with simple goods from your own home.</p> <h3>16. Help the Kids Run a Lemonade Stand</h3> <p>A good way for kids to make money during the summer is opening a lemonade stand. It can be fun and a good learning experience in personal finance (you can never start too young). If not lemonade, then consider animal balloons, if your kids are willing to learn how to make them.</p> <h3>17. Host a Family Game Night</h3> <p>Have board games or video game consoles? Organize a family game night.</p> <h3>18. Go to a Matinee Movie</h3> <p>Many cinemas offer cheaper ticket prices on Tuesdays and for morning shows during the week. A few hours in a cool, dark theater can be a welcome change from the blistering heat outside.</p> <h3>19. Volunteer</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for some opportunities to serve your community, check for local postings or on <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org/">Volunteer Match</a>.</p> <h3>20. Prepare a Budget Meal</h3> <p>Even if budget meals are already a common habit for you, challenge yourself to spend less than you do normally. Maybe try more coupon clipping or grow more of your own produce.</p> <h3>21. Become a Masseur</h3> <p>Experiment with different massaging techniques on your friends or spouse. You might be able to convince them to give you one in return.</p> <h3>22. Have a BBQ Potluck</h3> <p>Grilling is another favorite pastime, especially during the summer. If everyone pitches in a dish, you can have a huge meal without the usual cost.</p> <h3>23. Go Couch Surfing</h3> <p>Want to travel but not pay a fortune for accommodations? Then check out <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.org/">CouchSurfing</a> for a free place to stay while on the go!</p> <h3>24. Catch Up on Your Favorite TV Shows</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">Hulu and Netflix</a> offer cheap streaming options. Some free episodes are also available online from the official network sites or iTunes.</p> <h3>25. Have a Garage Sale</h3> <p>Cut down on the &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; in your life, make money, and have fun while doing it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-cheap-summer-fun">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-13"> <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/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers">19 Frugal Ways to Entertain Teenagers</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</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/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</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/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living outdoor dining summer fun things to do Thu, 10 May 2012 10:24:11 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 927929 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Great Things to Do With $50 http://www.wisebread.com/50-great-things-to-do-with-50 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/50-great-things-to-do-with-50" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5227459764_17413e4738_z.jpg" alt="guys on a couch" title="guys on a couch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There&rsquo;s not much you can buy for a dollar these days, but 50 big ones can still score you something pretty decent.</p> <p>From funding in a Kickstarter campaign to updating your kitchenware to pampering your pet, here are 50 ideas on how you can spend half a Benjamin and not feel too bad about it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-25">10 Smart Things to Do With $25</a>)</p> <h3>1. Pick Up a Nice Bottle of Wine</h3> <p>Stop drinking the cheap stuff. Splurge for a better bottle, and make tonight a special occasion just because.</p> <h3>2. Tip Your Service Provider(s)</h3> <p>Did you give your mail carrier, door attendant, super, or other service provider a tip during the holiday season? If not, use the extra money as an opportunity to make amends.</p> <h3>3. Replace Old Pots and Pans</h3> <p>Kitchenware isn&rsquo;t cheap, but there are times when you can score great deals on skillets and other cooking essentials. If something you need falls below $50, go for it.</p> <h3>4. Catch Up on Bills</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re behind on bills, put the money toward what you owe. Even if it&rsquo;s not the full amount, it still counts. You don&rsquo;t want to rack up any more late fees, do you?</p> <h3>5. Take a Friend to the Movies</h3> <p>A matinee might not cost the full $50, but an evening show with drinks and popcorn will come pretty darn close. Just make sure you invite a friend who&rsquo;s worth it.</p> <h3>6. Have Your Oil Changed</h3> <p>Haven't you put this off long enough?&nbsp;</p> <h3>7. Stock Up on Toiletries and Grooming Products</h3> <p>Toothpaste, deodorant, and hair products are all pricey. Stock up now, and put these items away until you run out of what you already have.</p> <h3>8. Invest in the Stock Market</h3> <p>Open an E-Trade account, and buy stock in an up-and-coming company whose shares are at basement-level prices.</p> <h3>9. Donate to Charity</h3> <p>I prefer support local charities instead of national organizations because I feel like my money will directly impact someone needy in my community.</p> <h3>10. Go Grocery Shopping</h3> <p>Is your fridge almost empty? Make a stop at the supermarket to grab good food to make yourself a few nice meals.</p> <h3>11. Treat Yourself to New Clothes</h3> <p>I recently bought myself a new pair of shorts for summer. They were a much smarter and cheaper purchase than the sneakers that I was eyeing up. Although I still have my fingers crossed on the sneakers; my birthday is coming up, and I sent a tip to the Birthday Fairy informing him about the shoes.</p> <h3>12. Make Goodies Boxes for Your Neighbors</h3> <p>Buy all the ingredients you need to make several batches of cookies or muffins, plus boxes, bags, baskets, and ribbons to make a nice presentation to give to your neighbors.&nbsp;</p> <h3>13. Buy a Bus Ticket and Visit Friends or Family</h3> <p>Greyhound has affordable prices. I scored a ticket from NYC to Baltimore for this weekend for $48 round trip.</p> <h3>14. Score Tickets to an Event</h3> <p>You can find cheap tickets to sporting events and concerts on StubHub. Browse the selection, and find something cool that&rsquo;s within your budget.</p> <h3>15. Send Your Mom a Present</h3> <p>Seriously, don&rsquo;t forget. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-ways-to-celebrate-mothers-day">Mother&rsquo;s Day</a> is in less than two weeks.</p> <h3>16. Help Fund a Kickstarter Project</h3> <p>You never know &mdash; your gift might help someone create a product that will change the world. That&rsquo;d be pretty cool to be a part of.</p> <h3>17. Plan a One-Night Staycation</h3> <p>Book an available room or apartment nearby using Airbnb. It&rsquo;ll be like spending the night at a hotel &mdash; but for waaaay less.</p> <h3>18. Give It to Your Partner or Kids</h3> <p>Under one condition &mdash; they must leave the house for the better part of the day so you can relax.</p> <h3>19. Hire Someone to Clean Your House</h3> <p>Yes, you should probably do this yourself. But why bother when someone else is willing to do it for you?</p> <h3>20. Visit a Local Spa</h3> <p>Day passes are usually between $30 and $50, which gives you access to everything the facility has to offer. This is a great way to unwind and de-stress.</p> <h3>21. Schedule a Hair Appointment</h3> <p>Get a quick &rsquo;do update.&nbsp;</p> <h3>22. Splurge on a New Video Game</h3> <p>I would suggest buying two games for less than $25 rather than one game at $50. My way means double the fun.</p> <h3>23. Purchase Fresh Pillows</h3> <p>When was the last time you replaced the pillows on your bed? Pick up a couple quality head-resters and look forward to a good night&rsquo;s sleep.</p> <h3>24. Snag a Few Daily Deals</h3> <p>Check Groupon, LivingSocial, and other deal sites to find money-saving offers and activities in your neck of the woods.</p> <h3>25. Buy New Socks and Underwear</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s time to retire some of your rattier undergarments and replace them with undies and socks that your sweetie actually wants to see you in.</p> <h3>26. Start a _____________ Fund</h3> <p>Have your eye on something that costs more than $50? Start a fund specifically for that item with the $50 you have now.</p> <h3>27. Pamper Your Pet</h3> <p>Treat your pet to a day of play and a few new toys and goodies.&nbsp;</p> <h3>28. Have Your Car Detailed</h3> <p>Keeping it clean will help with resale value down the road.</p> <h3>29. Start a Garden</h3> <p>I recently went to Home Depot and bought a plastic tub, dirt, and herb seeds to grow a small garden on my roof.</p> <h3>30. Update Your iPad</h3> <p>Buy a few new movies, books, music downloads, or apps.</p> <h3>31. Spring for Two New Ties</h3> <p>You should always look good at the office. And if you&rsquo;re paying more than $25 per tie, you&rsquo;re shopping at the wrong stores.</p> <h3>32. Gas Up the Car</h3> <p>Hurry, before prices start climbing again.</p> <h3>33. Order a Disaster Kit</h3> <p>Better safe than sorry. This pre-packed disaster kit might very well save your life or help you save someone else&rsquo;s.</p> <h3>34. Adopt a Dog or Cat</h3> <p>Visit your local shelter to fall in love with a wonderful dog or cat in need of a forever home.</p> <h3>35. Send Your Grandmother a Gift</h3> <p>She&rsquo;s not your mom, but she&rsquo;s still a mother &mdash; and she loves you like you were her own. Show her your appreciation by sending her something that will make her day.</p> <h3>36. Take Cold-Weather Coats and Sweaters to the Dry Cleaner</h3> <p>Have the items cleaned now so they&rsquo;re ready to wear come fall.</p> <h3>37. Join a Social Sports League</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve played social sports (dodgeball, kickball, bowling) in two cities, and each league was $50 or less to join. Plus, you get to make friends while you&rsquo;re having fun. Totally worth the investment.&nbsp;</p> <h3>38. Plan a Date Night at Home</h3> <p>If you have On Demand, you can purchase pre-theater movies on your TV. They cost a bit more than the just-released titles &mdash; some can be up to $14.99 &mdash; but it&rsquo;s worth the money if it&rsquo;s a film you would have seen in theater anyway. Pick up some junk food too. Before the show starts, make munchies and milkshakes.</p> <h3>39. Add an Extra-Special Touch to a Getaway</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;ve already <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">planned a vacation</a>, look into adding something more romantic to the package. B&amp;B owners in particular are generally open to helping you enhance your stay with candlelight dinners, picnics, and other activities. I&rsquo;m sure you can find just the right thing for $50 or less.</p> <h3>40. Renew a Membership or Subscription</h3> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s a membership to a wholesale club or a subscription to your favorite magazine, update it now while you have the extra cash.</p> <h3>41. Make It Rain</h3> <p>Do you know what it feels like to drop money on unsuspecting people? Find out by going to your local mall with a pocket full of one-dollar bills and making it rain. You&rsquo;ll puts smiles on lots of faces, and you might even get away with it if you hightail it out of there before security catches up with you.</p> <h3>42. Buy Supplies for a Local School</h3> <p>I know needy school kids along with teachers who have to buy all their own classroom supplies. Help students and educators out by picking up school supplies that the whole class can enjoy and dropping them off.&nbsp;</p> <h3>43. Book a Massage Appointment</h3> <p>You may have to do your research to find a masseur who will give you a massage for less than $50, but even if the hour price is out of your budget you can ask if he or she offers more affordable 30-minute sessions.</p> <h3>44. Put It Into a Savings Account</h3> <p>Of course this is no fun, but it is the responsible thing to do. You never know when you might need that $50.</p> <h3>45. Make Repairs Around the House</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m sure there are a few small projects you&rsquo;ve neglected. Maybe it&rsquo;s replacing a few light bulbs or batteries, or perhaps you need organization supplies to clean up the garage. Whatever it is, make it your mission to take care of it with your $50.</p> <h3>46. Do Something You&rsquo;ve Never Done Before</h3> <p>Try a new restaurant. See a new show. Find something in your area that you haven&rsquo;t done yet and do it.</p> <h3>47. Create a Work of Art for Your Home</h3> <p>Pick up a blank canvas and a few supplies and channel your inner Andy Warhol.</p> <h3>48. Hide It In Your Wallet for a Rainy Day</h3> <p>Out of sight, out of mind. Hide a $50 bill in your wallet to use in emergencies. Much better than having to swipe the plastic.</p> <h3>49. Get a Tattoo</h3> <p>This isn&rsquo;t for everybody, but you can get a small tattoo for around $50 if you want one.</p> <h3>50. Play Blackjack</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s a risk, but if you know what you&rsquo;re doing you can double your money in an instant.</p> <p><em>Tell me, what would you do with an extra $50 in your pocket? 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/50-great-things-to-do-with-50">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-14"> <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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</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-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On</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/11-last-minute-gift-ideas-for-under-15">10 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Under $15</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/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping savings account Splurge things to do Mon, 07 May 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 926072 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5521130313_25024405b9_z.jpg" alt="woman and camera on beach" title="woman and camera on beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Starting a full-time small business is a process of blood, sweat, and tears; why not choose, instead, to take your existing hobby and use it as a little side hustle? Most life-long passions are a way to unwind and sharpen your skills. These ten also happen to have the ability to pad your budget! (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a>)</p> <h2>1. Photography</h2> <p>Snapping pics has become even more exciting now that digital has entered the realm. Professional photography is a demanding career, but a casual gig in stock photography, however, can be rewarding and done at your own pace. Look into sites like <a href="http://www.istockphoto.com/">iStockphoto</a> and others to hawk your digital wares. Payment ranges from a few pennies to 20 cents per photo.</p> <h2>2. Gardening</h2> <p>If your thumb is even slightly green, and you tend to do well with your garden year after year, you may be able to generate a little cash with your abundance of veggies, fruits, and flowers. While hobby gardening won&rsquo;t make you much more than the price to keep a garden, selling your extras to friends, family, or in a legal roadside set up could help you with this year&rsquo;s canning costs. Note that local law may require licensing to sell edibles or plants that may carry biological threats. Research carefully before making any sale.</p> <h2>3. Shopping</h2> <p>&ldquo;Pay me to shop?&rdquo; It sounds like a dream, doesn&rsquo;t it? But if you keep your expectations low and only shop those places you&rsquo;d buy from anyway, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">mystery shopping</a> can pay for your gas the next time you head to the mall. With an hourly wage of $6&ndash;$14 (plus reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses), it pays to have the occasional lunch out.</p> <h2>4. Blogging</h2> <p>While only a small percentage of bloggers bring in the big bucks, even the most humble blog can earn between $5&ndash;$100 a month through basic ad and affiliate sales. It takes a little time to establish yourself, so be patient. If you&rsquo;ve been blogging for a while, however, look into ways that writing about your passions can translate into commissions with our guide to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-bloggers-make-money-what-every-non-blogger-should-know">how bloggers make money</a>.</p> <h2>5. Organizing</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t like to do it, but if you are one of those who gets great joy from decluttering, creating spreadsheets, or hoarding plastic bins, you&rsquo;ll likely do great with part-time work as a <a href="http://www.1099mom.com/2012/03/ask-1099-mom-how-do-i-become-virtual.html">virtual assistant</a> or organizer. In today&rsquo;s consumer-driver world, people just have too much stuff and information (and not enough time or space). Spend a few hours each week offering your &ldquo;help,&rdquo; and you could easily score $10&ndash;$25 an hour for your skills.</p> <h2>6. Playing an Instrument</h2> <p>While hobbyists can&rsquo;t usually charge as much as professional musicians, plenty of budget-minded brides and grooms will pay between $100&ndash;$200 for the joy of music. I personally got through some tough money spots in college by playing the piano at weddings and by being a sub for the local church pianist. Keep a list of references for gigs you&rsquo;ve done to supply future inquiries.</p> <h2>7. Sewing</h2> <p>Your unique handicrafts can earn money on a site like Etsy, but most crafters earn cash with their more practical skills. Since no one in my family really likes to sew, for example, we happily pay for curtains to be assembled, blouses to be mended, or sheets to be shortened. If you can deal with last-minute requests and are quick with a needle, you can expect to get $14&ndash;$50 for each simple sewing project done from the comfort of your home!</p> <h2>8. Baking</h2> <p>Local laws vary, so be certain of any health regulations before you open shop. Many will require a separate kitchen or license before you advertise or even sell that first cake. For small bakers in some jurisdictions, however, it&rsquo;s acceptable to bake or decorate a cake to sell to family or friends without expensive legalities. If you can whip up a delicious cupcake or make a mean crumble, you could earn $15&ndash;$75 for an afternoon of baking!</p> <h2>9. Gaming</h2> <p>While there aren&rsquo;t really many legitimate jobs out there for playing your favorite online or console games, there is a demand for people to do the menial errands surrounding some RPGs, MMOGs, and MOGs, especially while they are at work or on vacation. If you spend a good chunk of your time playing highly competitive games online, it&rsquo;s possible charge a fee per batch of tasks (usually a few cents per action) or even sell your well-established accounts for a profit. To find out what sells, become active on forums and online message boards where other gamers chat. The pay of task work will be very low compared to steady online work (and the market will be diluted by those in foreign countries who can charge much lower rates.) Also note that many games officially prohibit some paid activities. Do this at your own discretion.</p> <h2>10. Dancing</h2> <p>Wives have been dragging husbands to dance studios for years, often with embarrassing or expensive results. If you have some formal dance training, are patient with others, and do a mean foxtrot, you could earn some cash giving lessons in your spare time. As with any service offerings, be sure you know who your customer is before you have them over or meet them at a studio. Expect to earn $25&ndash;$85 per lesson, charging more for couple&rsquo;s sessions.</p> <p>In short, if you have a skill, passion, or unique ability that you love to share, your hobby could help you meet those monthly budget gaps. Be sure to research questions you have about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources-for-freelancers">licensing and taxes</a> (and remember that even those small amounts of cash should be reported to the IRS.)&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What hobby of yours would you like to see turned into a part-time income?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">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-15"> <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/25-fun-frugal-things-to-do-tonight-besides-watch-tv">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/15-frugal-ways-to-battle-boredom">15 Frugal Ways to Battle Boredom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Extra Income fun money-making hobbies things to do Mon, 07 May 2012 09:48:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 927571 at http://www.wisebread.com