We all love having fun, but sometimes our search for entertainment comes at a cost — literally. But you don’t have to spend big bucks to go out for food or a movie to have a fun time with your friends.
Spending time with friends is not only good for your health, it can recharge your soul and increase your sense of belonging. Whether you’ve maintained your friendships since childhood or are constantly forming new relationships, there are tons of ways to pass the time without spending all of your hard-earned money. After all, relationships are all about the moments you share. Here are some fun things to do with friends that can also save you money.
1. Binge Watch A Series
Going to the movies can be costly, and while everyone loves to watch a good film, sometimes there’s nothing better than simply hunkering down on the couch for hours with your BFF. And thanks to online streaming services such as Netflix, HBO, or Hulu, you now have unlimited access to movies and shows that are just a click away. Whether you’re rewatching old favorites or binge watching (watching multiple installments of a series in one sitting) a new, trendy TV show, it’s is a great way to pass the time with a friend. Research shows that people between the ages of 18-24 are binge-watching the most, but no matter your age, there’s nothing wrong with doing so sparingly — just as long as you get out and enjoy some fresh air once in a while.
2. Host A Potluck Dinner
Hosting a potluck is a great way to be together and eat some delicious homemade food. Next time you want to chat with friends over a meal, forget going to a restaurant or ordering takeout — a potluck is the perfect way to enjoy food and the company of friends for very little cost. Just make sure you coordinate dishes ahead of time with your friends so you have a complete meal with main dishes, sides, desserts and drinks.
3. Have A Spa Day
Organizing a spa day with friends is both relaxing and a great time to catch up and socialize while pampering yourself. And while you could definitely go to an actual spa with your BFF, hosting your own DIY spa day is much easier on the bank account. A spa treatment entails a day of tranquility and beautification so you can fully recharge, so be sure you are fully equipped. Have plenty of candles and lots of low lighting, and relaxing music for a calm ambiance. Don’t forget to pick up some essential oils, as well as pillows, blankets and some fuzzy slippers for comfort and calm, as well as plenty of face masks.
4. Take A Walk
Studies show that walking has a variety of benefits, from strengthening your bones and muscles to elevating your mood. Wherever you choose to walk, at least 30 minutes per day is all you need to gain the benefits. You can walk anywhere — along the beach, in the woods, and even just around your neighborhood or to the store. Walking also relieves stress, so gathering up your friends for a morning or afternoon promenade is a great therapy session. If you are trying to healthier, having a couple of friends as accountability partners is also ideal to keep you motivated and moving.
5. Go To A Concert In The Park
Listening to live music is uplifting, inspirational, and even hosts benefits for the mind and body, according to research. During the summer, many communities offer free music in venues such as parks and amphitheaters where you can socialize, eat, and dance. You may sometimes even bring your own food to share with your friends as you sway to the music and enjoy a night of fun and relaxation under the stars, especially after a long, stressful day. Keep an eye on your community events to see what free concerts are being offered near you.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, enables you to be part of something bigger, and can even help combat depression and make you feel good. It is especially fun when you do so with a group of friends or people who share a common love for a particular cause. There is no shortage of things to do that can help better the community and make someone’s day much brighter. Research volunteer opportunities near you, and gather up your friends to help give back.
7. Go For A Bike Ride
There’s nothing like the freeing feeling of wind on your face as you coast along with your pals. Riding a bike is a fun and rejuvenating activity that can brighten any mundane day. Pedal along the beach, ride through a park, or race along an open road — the options are endless. Bike riding also has many health benefits, allows you to explore your town, and is a fun way of getting some fresh air.
8. Start A Book Club
If you and your friends love to read, consider forming a book club. Instead of constantly trading books and borrowing from each other, forming a book club allows you and your friends to read the same books simultaneously, so they’re fresh in your minds and you can spend time raving about it over snacks and drinks. Book clubs are also a great way to discover new stories and meet new friends.
9. Have A Yard Sale
Have too much stuff you need to get rid? Round up your friends and host an epic yard sale that will not only make you tons of money but will also clear out some clutter. You can sell whatever you want — jewelry, clothing, old records, antiques, furniture and much more. Decide whose house will host your yard sale and have your friends gather everything they have lying around their house that they no longer want for a yard sale that will catch the eyes of potential customers. Hosting a yard sale is just as fun as attending them — sit back in some lawn chairs with your friends to bask in the sun, meet some new people, and make a couple bucks. After you’re done, you can go shopping for new items yourselves!
10. Play Board Games
Have a classic night in with some snacks, a little wine, and plenty of board games. There are always new and improved games coming out each year, but you can also bring out some of your childhood favorites for a nostalgic experience — fancy a game of Clue, anyone? You can hold a tournament and play for cash, or have a more laid-back and relaxed night. Board games insight fun, laughs, and great conversation for a stress-free night. Bust out your Uno deck or a start a lengthy game of Monopoly and make a night of it with some competitive fun.
11. Go Camping
If you and your friends spend most of your time indoors, mix it up and spend a weekend under the stars. Camping is an activity that everyone should experience in their lifetime. Other than spending quality time outside, camping allows you to be one with nature and learn some survival skills while you’re roasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs. Not to mention, being surrounded by the quiet sounds of nature creates less stress if you are used to constant city noise. Ditch your smartphones for the trip, but just remember to always keep safety in mind.
12. Go For A Hike
If a 30-minute walk with your friends isn’t enough, sometimes a long, good hike is what you need. Take a hike down a trail or through the woods to enjoy the natural wonders of your neighborhood. Maybe you’ll discover something you’ve never seen before, but you’re certain to rid yourself of any stress or anxiety that is weighing you down. Hiking can be done alone, but, as with many things, it’s much better with companions. Make a plan with your friends to take the roads less traveled, or even take a day trip to a nearby park you’ve never explored before.
13. Host A Swap Party
Clothes swapping is a fun way to get rid of some of your old things while acquiring new items without having to spend a dime. You can host a swap party with your friends to trade your old clothes and accessories for new ones. Just gather your friends and their excess stuff and let the swapping begin. It’s a good idea to invite those who have a similar taste to yours, otherwise, it won’t be so fun being left with items that you hate. You can even make a party out of it and send out invites to all those who you wish to participate. Just serve some drinks and food, and you’ve got yourself a bash.
14. Have A Cook-Off
If you’re searching for some unconventional cooking or a dinner party with a fun spin, consider some light competition between friends. Host a cook-off and see who wins the title as the best chef among your friends. Just decide on a dish, gather the ingredients and go. Each competitor will create their dish, that the other guests will then taste test. After the tasting, your friends can vote on who has the best flavor, and the winner gets to take home an inexpensive glass of wine, a dessert or any other unique prize of your choosing.