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Posted on May 2016 in Feature, You, Your Money

Entertainment on a budget


Weekends and vacations are something we look forward to with great anticipation, but filling those free hours with fun can sometimes get a little expensive. Happily, there are wonderful ways to spend time together that don’t have to cost a thing!

The next time you and your loved ones are wondering what to do together, try one or two of these fantastic, frugal ideas for spending quality time together on a dime:

  1. Try cooking an authentic meal from another culture. You have to eat anyway, right? So why not make it an event! Get the whole family involved in the research process, choose a recipe, shop for the ingredients (bonus points if you find most or all of what you need in your own pantry), and get cooking! Check out All Recipes  for a variety of world cuisine recipes.
  2. Get a library card. Did you know you can “rent” movies for free at the library? And while you’re there you can nab a bestseller or two – perfect for those lazy days.
  3. Learn a simple papercraft. This is a great thing to do with kids, especially on those hot summer days when going outside just has to wait until the sun goes down. Visit our how-to article on making origami snowflakes, or check out books on origami or paper quilling from the library and get your craft on!
  4. Divide and conquer. Annual memberships to museums and art galleries can be pricey, so consider splitting the cost with family or friends and share the membership.
  5. Check for freebies. Zoos, museums, and science centers sometimes have “free to the public” days. Do a little research on the attractions in your area to find out if there are any days that you and your family can get in at no cost.
  6. Shake your family tree. Finding out more about the people who came before you is a wonderful way to spend your free time. Check out our article on how to unlock your past for some great tips that will help you get started on your research.
  7. Go on a walking tour of your city. Do some research on historic areas and buildings in your city or town, and create a free walking tour for family and friends. Stop at interesting locations, talk about the history of the place and important events that happened there, and enjoy a little exercise and companionship in the process.
  8. Swap entertainment. Most of us have shelves filled with DVDs, CDs and books that we don’t want to part with, but aren’t using all the time. Have a few friends bring over some of their favorites and do a temporary swap. It’s a great way to refresh your media library and bookshelf without purchasing a thing! Just make sure to clearly label the items you exchange, and write down who has taken what so you’ll all be sure get your items back.
  9. Make a time capsule. This is fun for everyone in the family, but particularly interesting for children and grandchildren. Find a container of some sort – a box with a lock is particularly good, but anything with a lid that can be stored easily will work – and ask family members to bring one or two small items to add to the time capsule. Talk about the importance of each item as you add them to the box, then decide upon a date to open it before storing it safely away. For some great tips on creating a family time capsule, visit eHow.
  10. Let Foresters help! Our fun Foresters sponsored events allow you and your family to enjoy quality time together without the hassle of planning or the burden of high costs. Visit to find out about fun family events in your area.

Creating amazing memories that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime doesn’t have to cost a cent. In fact, sometimes the happiest times are the simplest ones.

For 50 free ways to have fun outside, visit WiseBread, and for 30 great ideas for having fun at home visit Lifehack.


413718A CAN/US (05/16)

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