In honor of my first-ever No-Buy Month, I thought I’d share some of the free things that my friends and I do when our love don’t cost a thing. This will be a quick list, but I’m always interested to hear what other ideas anyone may have!
Without any further ado, here are 25 free things you can do today with your friends:
1. Local Road Trip. For me, this has meant a day trip out to Vasquez Rocks, or a drive down to Thousand Steps Beach in Laguna. It technically costs gas money, but split between friends, it’s negligible.
2. Hot Tub Time. Just bring music, a bottle of wine (or whatever beverage you have on hand), and snacks! If you have a friend with a hot tub at their apartment or home, make the best of it!
3. Beach Day. For those of us who live driving distance from a beach, this is a no-brainer.
4. Potluck. Everyone brings a dish (or bottle) of their choice, and host a few friends at home.
5. Cook Together. Better yet, ask people to bring ingredients for their favorite dish, and learn to make it!
6. Outdoor Movie or Concert. Look it up! There are a ton of these, and they’re usually free. I’ve found some great music outside a restaurant or in a park, and when you get to know the people involved, they let you in on the less-advertised events coming up. Always a great time!
7. Movie Night. Duh – for me, this is usually the most recent episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but host friends for whatever tickles your fancy. Old Korean Horror Flicks? The best Shark movies of all time? Do your thing!
8. Paint & Wine Night. I’ll never understand why people go out and give their money to learn how to paint by numbers while drinking wine. Just do it yourself, at home! I guarantee you that someone you know has paint supplies, and you probably have some wine laying around. Play some music, get, uh, “lit,” and try to paint something hilarious. If you really need to paint by numbers, you can print out free guides online!
9. Picnic at the Park. When was the last time you did this? If you can pack a lunch and a blanket, take your girls out for a picturesque day!
10. Free Museum Days. Look for local freebie days at your local art, history, and science centers, and run amok!
11. Art Shows. What’s better than feeling oh-so-cultured and getting free wine and cheese?
12. Live Bands. I guarantee there’s a pub, market, or a bar around that offers live music with no cover. Who knows? Sometimes the artists will surprise you! Sit yourself down, get some water, and enjoy the show!
13. Volunteer at a Shelter Together. Ask your local animal shelter if they could use a few extra hands on a Saturday, and spend the day taking care of adorable pups and cats in need of a bit of socialization.
14. Donate Blood. I have a friend who donates blood every three months like clockwork. If you’re, um, needle-averse, go ahead and skip this one. But if you’re not afraid of needles, aren’t anemic, and haven’t gotten a tattoo in the past year, go for it!
15. Get Political. There’s always something going on, whether a town hall, a walk for a worthy cause, or a meet-up. It’s free, and you’re doing something worthwhile!
16. DIY Day. I’m sure that you, like me, either have craft supplies up the wazoo or know someone who does. Go on Pinterest, find something you guys want to make, and get to it!
17. Make a Care Package. I guarantee there’s someone you and your friends care about, who is out of state or abroad. Maybe include the DIY crafts you guys put together, or a book you just finished. The contents matter less than the thought behind it!
18. Hit The Gym. Or, you know, whatever’s available. If one of you has an apartment complex with a gym, woohoo! Otherwise, get creative. Last time I checked, a jog and some crunches are free of charge!
19. Lead Your Own Group Class. I have a hardcore yogi friend who will break out her downward dog at the drop of a hat. She’s taught me a lot! I’ve also been picking up meditation from a friend who went a bit further down the rabbit hole in San Francisco than I ever did. If you or a friend is passionate about something, why not share it?
20. Go On A Bike Ride. I’m a sucker for a good bike ride. Hell, it’s why I had my stupid-expensive apartment before this last move. While here in LA we have occasional events where the city will shut down major streets for bikers, you don’t need that every time you want to go riding. Just find a new path, get out there, and enjoy some sunshine. “But Tis, what if I don’t have a bike,” you say?
21. Hike. No bike? I got you. There’s definitely a trail worth blazing within a short drive of where you are. Pack some water and sandwiches, and go make a day of it!
22. Dive Bar Karaoke. Super guilty of going with friends and ordering water throughout the night… but hey, it’s great entertainment! Go sing Sweet Child of Mine with the best of them.
23. Board Game Night. I keep a few board games like chess, checkers, Battleship, and even Jenga handy at all times because I’m an old woman at heart, but free apps like Heads Up are just as fun to play in a group.
24. Cards Against Humanity Night. Making this its own item altogether, because it’s worth it. If you haven’t played this game yet, do it. As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s a family favorite, and pretty much guarantees you learn more about the people you’re with than you ever wanted to know. “But Tis, buying this costs money,” you say. Not so! They have a free downloadable version here!
25. Video Game Tournament. You bet I’m serious! If you or a friend have a particularly fun group game, why not? Some favorites include Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and Rocket League, a game that mixes Fifa World Cup and Mario Kart (sounds stupid, is stupid, but also very addicting)!
There you have it! For a month with only 28 days, I’ll be done with this #NoBuy before I know it. Bring on the bad karaoke and Rocket League – I’ll see you there!
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