15 Ways to Have a Frugal Friday


When you shout out TGIF, does your wallet feel the same way?

It’s easy to spend money on Fridays — it’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’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: 25 Frugal Changes You Can Make Today)

1. Skip the Starbucks

If your favorite barista has your regular waiting for you as soon as you walk in the door, you’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.

2. Walk, Bike, or Carpool to Work

Give your car a rest and walk or bike to work if your office is within a reasonable distance. If you’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.

3. Pack Your Lunch

Bring your lunch to work so you can avoid the pricey, probably not-very-healthy meal you’d pick up or order otherwise.

4. Rely on Natural Light

When you go into a room, what’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’s enough natural light in the room (you’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 — this one-time practice might become a habit when you realize that natural light is sufficient for a lot of situations.

5. Use Your Coupons

I love my daily deal coupons, and I’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’t pack one) and an activity if you plan to go out later.

6. Watch an Outdoor Movie

This is a summertime-only way to save, but I couldn’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’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.

7. See a Local Band

Pick up your area’s events guide or calendar and plan to catch a free show performed by a local act.

8. Play Video Games

My console doesn’t get much use — I forget it’s there sometimes — 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.

9. Go Thrift Shopping

If it’s imperative that you engage in a bit of retail therapy — like it often is for me — head for the thrift store instead of the mall. You’ll find quirkier cooler things at the thrift store and you won’t spend nearly as much on it.

10. Attend a Free Class

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.

11. Rent a DVD From the Library

Instead of running out to a Redbox 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.

12. Go to the Gym

You pay a pretty penny for your monthly gym membership, so you might as well use it. I know it’s hard to workout on a Friday, but you’ll feel much better heading into the weekend if you do.

13. Visit a Free Museum

How often do you get out to soak up the free culture in your area? If you don’t have any plans this Friday night, maybe it’s time you visited one the free museums near you.

14. Have Leftovers for Dinner

I know, this isn’t very exciting, but think of the money you’ll save. It doesn’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.

15. Split Dinner Costs With a Friend

If leftovers aren’t an option, invite a friend over for a delivery dinner. You two can split the pizza — which will be better for your wallet and your waistline.

Do you try to save money on Fridays? How do you make Fridays frugal? Let me know in the comments below

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Guest's picture

If more people carpooled to work not only would they save a TON of money on gas each month, but it would be so much better for our environment. I love that you included that tip because I don't think people even think of it as a possibility because we're all so attached to our cars as a means of transportation. It's so true that everyone wants to "treat" themselves at the end of the week. The fact that I get paid every OTHER Friday usually helps me resist, at least every other week.

Guest's picture
Purchase Wisely

Since I get paid twice a month, often payday falls on a Friday (one reason to love Friday the 13th!). If I have any cash in my wallet on a Friday payday, I take it out and set it aside. Every few months I take that stash and add it to my savings account. That's my Frugal Friday. :-)

Guest's picture

Great tips! The better part of it, you can also do these activities with your family during weekends. We normally go to the park for a picnic or kite flying, borrow DVDs from the public library if we would like to have a DVD marathon, or visit the museums in town. These activities do not only save us a lot of money but also educates my children and keeps our family bonded.

Guest's picture

Just a heads up - you assume that Friday is the end of the work week. What about employees at Hospitals, Prisons, or Fire Stations - just to name a few - who have rotating weekends, i.e. Monday/Tuesday, Tuesday/Wednesday, etc........
My husband and I make it a game to incorporate the tips you've mentioned, plus a few more, on any given day of the week.

Guest's picture

This comes right on time! I'm furloughed once a week because of DOD budget cuts so Fridays are starting to get pretty interesting as each week goes by. Friday used to be "Pizza Night" but now it's leftovers and a movie at home.