Tag Archives: Frugal Fun

How to Entertain Yourself for Cheap (or Free)

When it comes to cutting corners and trimming the budget, one of the more annoying things to cut can be the entertainment allotment. Sure, it’s a smart idea and a wise way to reduce your outgoing cash flow, but it can start to feel boring after a while. But I’ve found a few ways to get around that that I think you’ll agree are great alternatives to overpaying for entertainment or going without it entirely.

If you want to really see a change, drop your cable service and subsist on online video. Many networks stream their offerings a day or two after they air, meaning you can watch cable and broadcast shows via the Internet at your convience. Hulu is a great site that offers new and classic TV series from a variety of networks. You can also turn to YouTube. True, most people know and use YouTube for personal videos or short clips, but they offer a growing number of movies to stream for free! Click here for more.

Another resource for lower-cost entertainment is DVD-by-mail services like Netflix, which includes the ability to stream movies on your computer in the subscription cost. It’s a small price to outlay in exchange for a reduced cable bill, and you’ll get to enjoy some entertainment options without forking over more than $100 for a pricey cable package.

There are also tons of free ways to entertain yourself on a budget. The public library is still the best place to go for free media, from books to CDs and DVDs. Seriously, don’t overlook the library if you’re looking for a thrifty entertainment fix. If you want to get out and see the world away from a screen, I suggest taking a trip to a local park, or even a state park. A walk or picnic in the park is a great way to spend an afternoon that won’t burn your budget, and many public parks also host free performances by symphonies and bands.

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of just getting out in the world and seeing what it has to offer. Take a bike ride or a walk, or make a date to catch up with friends. There are dozens of ways to entertain yourself that don’t have to be about money.

This guest post is contributed by Emily Thomas, who writes on the topics of online college degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: [email protected].

Hiking: frugal fun or mad workout?

South Fork Trail, Hwy 38, Jenks Lake Rd.

Forecast: Weather to be warm and sunny. I decided to make use of it and try out a new trail.

Start of Trail

I used to hike local trails with my kids quite a bit. Pre marriage, I used to live where the foothills were my back yard. So, it only took a couple of minutes to hit a good trail. Post marriage, just haven’t gotten around to it much since I relocated and have to drive a bit further for a good hike. Well, since this was suppose to be great weather this weekend, I decided to hit a new trail. And it proved to be a great hike! The weather was perfect, the sky was clear, very few people, and beautiful scenery.

My hubby

Mr. SeaDog walking the trail

Since that time lapse of not hiking, my kids don’t seem so keen to the idea of hiking outdoors. My son was away at a friend’s house and the daughter wanted to go to the babysitter’s house (bless her, she is the world’s greatest babysitter). So, I presented the idea to hubby. He, of course, remarked, “and miss the college Football game?” Yes, I was trying to pull the man away from the TV during Football season. lol. So, I had to search on the internet to make sure the hike didn’t lapse with the game. It worked out perfectly. Hiking 9am to 3pm. Game on at 5pm (USC vs. Cal).

ahhh, pretty

So, we made it a day. Packed one ice chest with snacks, water, and lunch. Packed one Backpack with sweatshirts, camera and more water for hike.

finally, fall is coming

First signs of fall – golden maple leaves

Well, like I said we haven’t been hiking for a while. This trail proved to be a great workout! Up hill, more up hill, levels out, up hill, come to Horse Meadows. Really pretty flat lands with picnic tables. Gives you a momentary break. And if the older couple (70-80s) could climb that mountain… than darn it, so can we! haha.

blue jay wanting our lunch

We hiked another 45 minutes past Horse Meadows. We saw that the trail continued to go uphill. At that time, we decided to conquer Dry Lake another time. Yeah, time to go down the hill. What a breeze! 😉

look, he was spying on us

It was funny to see the people heading up the mountain were huffing and puffing (just as we were going uphill). All the while, we were taking it downhill with no sweat.

We hiked about 6-7 miles round trip. A great hike for a couple of out-of-shapers.

We got down the mountain about 1pm. Time for lunch! We found a quiet, pretty spot to have lunch. I brought Dill Bread, Roast Beef, Pepper Jack Cheese, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, chips, apples, and chewy Oatmeal cookies.

this is the big tree we sat next to during lunch

Tis was a great day! Here is the break down to our frugal weekend.

  • Lunch: $23 – splurged a little
  • Adventure Day Pass: $5
  • Gas: $10
  • And the Chewy Oatmeal Cookies were scrumpious!

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    Calling all Bank of America Customers! Frugal Family Fun!

    Just wanted to let you in on something I read in my September issue of Woman’s Day.

    Bank of America has an agreement until April 2009 with 73 museums across the country that allow you to get in free the first weekend of the month if you show them your Bank of America debit, credit or ATM card. Go to bankofamerica.com/museums to find museums and other attractions in your area.

    Have fun & educate yourself & your kids! Mark your calendar, fellow BofA bloggers!