Budget and Savings, Budget Entertaining, General

12 Things to Do That Don’t Cost Money

12 Things to Do That Don’t Cost Money

free things that don't cost money


Frugal living is on the rise with families today and it’s more important than ever to know how to find and enjoy free activities.  There are many things to do that don’t cost money and some are family oriented and some are for individuals.  So, it doesn’t matter if you are a college student or a family of five.  There are things to do that don’t cost money!

I have come up with twelve things to do that don’t cost money just for this article that I feel would be tons of fun, so let’s get started.

Festivals – Concerts – Street Fairs

free concerts

In many cities, there are free concerts in the park and festivals and street fairs throughout the year.  For example, a small town not too far from me has the black-eyed pea festival, and another has a peach festival.

To find out when concerts and street fun are scheduled you can do two things.  Either look online at the city calendar, which is usually on the city website under “upcoming events”.  You can also call the Chamber of Commerce and they should be able to tell you of any free activities coming soon.

Pot Luck Cookout

pot luck cookouts

I love this form of fun.  My husband and I have had or gone to many of these potluck cookouts.  It’s a simple matter of calling up friends and giving them a date.  Tell them what community dish you are fixing, which is usually the meat for the one who is hosting the party.  Others can bring the side dishes and desserts.

Although it may sound expensive being the one who does the meat you must remember you aren’t spending money on anything else.  Tell everyone to bring their own choice of beverage and one dish.  It’s a lot of fun and can be held outdoors or indoors.  We have always had them in the spring or summer and it’s one of the things to do that don’t cost money we love the best!

Don’t forget to bring out the boom box or Cd’s for music to really get the party going!

Game Night

game night

Game night is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment around and people have been doing it for years!  My girlfriends and I have a game night once a month at one of our homes.  We love to play bingo so we all take something from around the house we don’t want anymore, like a book we’ve read, a piece of jewelry, or an unused candle and use them for gifts for the bingo winners.

You don’t have to take food, but my friends and I always take a finger-food type dish for snacks.  It’s great fun and fellowship and it’s one of the best things to do that don’t cost money!

Take Photos for Fun and Profit

You don’t have to be a world-renowned photographer to take good pictures and you don’t always need a fancy camera.  If you have one that’s great, but cell phone cameras today can do some pretty amazing things.  You can even get special lenses to attach to your phone for better photos and they are extremely cheap.

Taking photos can be exciting and it’s a great way to get outdoors and explore.  If you don’t want to spend money you just carry a backpack with snacks and water inside.  The side benefit is you are getting exercise.

There is another benefit to being a photo bug and it’s that you can make money from your photos.  All the photos you see on Family Dollar Stretcher come from stock photography sites, except for those I take myself.

These stock photo sites need photos and you might be able to get your accepted to be in their catalog of photos.  It works like this.  Every time someone downloads (buys) your photo, you get paid.  There are some photos that have been downloaded thousands of times!

If you decide to make money with your photos you need to study these sites and see what types of photos they are looking for.  Some are scenery but some are silly things like a potato, a dog walking, etc.  Be sure if people are in your photo that you get a model’s release!

Some stock photo sites are Shutterstock, Istockphoto, and Deposit photos.  These are just three, there are many more you can find with an online search.

Museums and Art Galleries

museums and galleries

Some people turn their noses up when you say museums and art galleries, but not all are like you would imagine.  Try some of the free ones and you’d be surprised at what’s inside.

While most of the larger museums and galleries cost money there are still free ones open to the public, so look for those.  After all, a little culture is good for us all, especially our children who need a well-rounded education.

Bicycle Riding

bicycle riding

The whole purpose of this article is for things to do that don’t cost money so if you don’t own a bicycle you can skip this section.  For those of you who do have bikes, this is a great activity for individuals and families.  The more the merrier.

You don’t need to haul your bikes to the countryside unless you want to, you can simply find a nice neighborhood to ride in and enjoy the outdoors.  Riding bikes are great exercise and just makes you feel so much better!

Again, take a backpack with water and snacks, especially if children are riding along with you.  Remember their bikes are smaller and they must peddle much more to keep up with you!

The Library – What Can I Do For Fun There?


The library is one of the greatest resources around and has many benefits that will fit your family and it’s all free!

While most people don’t stay and read at the library, they do offer free story times and other functions for children throughout the summer months you can take them to.

What I love about the library beside the fact it’s free, is that I can get so many of my literary needs net there.  For example, I can check out movies without having to rent them or pay for Netflix.  I can check out books of course, but my favorite is books on CD.  I love listening to books when traveling or cleaning house.  I especially love the books on CD where the narrator uses different voices for each of the characters.  It really makes a book come to life!

If you love self-help Cds and books you can get tons of them at the library.  Don’t pay $200 for Tony Robbins courses when you can check them out for free at the library!

Now, for a bonus, you may not know about.  If you want to do any research you usually must go to the research materials in the library and those cannot be checked out, or they sign you in online to their resource materials!  However, I am a writer and blogger so I asked if I could have the password and sign-on ID for their reference materials online.  Within a couple of days, they called and gave it to me.  Now I can get on the Texas Library Data Base anytime I want to do research!

Listen to Podcast and Online Radio Talk Shows

podcast and music

Podcast and online radio are all the rage right now and there is some great information on them too!  A podcast can be listened to on your computer or you can download it to your phone and listen anywhere you are.  That is my favorite way to listen is on my phone.  Podcast come in all categories so if you are interested in cooking you will find podcasts on that.  I love listening to podcasts about online business since that’s what I’m interested in.

Online radio is very similar.  You can listen to programs live, or later after they have been recorded.  It’s a great way to entertain yourself for free and learn a lot at the same time.

Cooking Marathon

cooking in bulk

This one may sound crazy but to me, it’s great fun to see how much food I can get cooked in four hours.  It’s like a game to me.  Not only do I enjoy it while doing it, my family reaps the benefits of having great foods already cooked for the entire week usually.

You really aren’t spending any extra money because this is foods you’ve bought to cook the whole week anyway, you are just going to cook them all at one time!

I love to put a roast, whole chicken, and maybe a meatloaf in the oven at the same time.  Then I can cook beans, stew, or whatever in my electric pressure cooker at the same time.  I also have a slow cooker, so I may put another meat, like pork in there.  So already at the same time, I have meatloaf, chicken, pork, beans, roast, etc. cooking quickly.

Next, while those are cooking I prepare some vegetables on the stove and in the microwave.  By now the kitchen smells so good the family is peaking around the corner!

Next, I make a large salad but don’t mix it together.  I get lettuces in a bag, cut tomatoes in a plastic container with a lid, etc.  Then when time to make the salads during the week, everything is already cut and ready to go!

I forgot to mention you need to be sure your refrigerator is cleaned out before you start because you need plenty of room to store all the cooked foods.  If your food can be stored in a gallon freezer bag you will save room in the refrigerator over large containers.  They can be put in a container before heating.

Make a Time Capsule with Your Kids

time capsule

Your children will love making a time capsule and it’s certainly one of the things that don’t cost money to do.  You can take items from around the house or yard to put in the time capsule.  Little Tommy may want to put in a special rock he found at the lake, or an action figure he has.  Just be sure he knows you aren’t going to dig it back up!

You can take an old cookie tin or a shoe box to make the time capsule and tie it up with a pretty ribbon if you want.  Let the children get involved and give them some choices of how they want the time capsule to look.

Once all the items are in the time capsule you find a special place in the yard, or in the country to bury it.  It’s especially nice if it’s a place where you know they can go back in twenty years and dig it up if they want when they are grown.  Many times things to do that don’t cost money are just simple plain creative ideas!

Have a Treasure Hunt with Your Kids

treasure map

This activity is another favorite of children and it’s fun for the parents as well.  You make a crude map, easy for children to understand, that leads to different clues.  Each clue leads them to the next clue and so on until they reach “X” marks the spot on the map. The map will show all the places to find the clues as well.

One the children find the spot that is where their treasure will be.  It could be a special treat you’ve made for them or a special gift or game you’ve been saving for them.  It’s up to you and what you think will be fun for the children.  This can be done outside or indoors!  Of course, it’s more fun outside!



Puzzles can encompass many things from jigsaw puzzles to word games and Sudoku.  All three are fun and cost little to no money.  Puzzles can easily be traded.  My sister and I love jigsaw puzzles and buy them at the goodwill for 99 cents.  Once we work them we trade them with each other.

Other types of word and number paper games can be downloaded for free off the Internet.  You can print four Sudoku puzzles to a page, or spend $1 and get a whole book at the Dollar General.  Any way you look at it puzzles are cheap entertainment!

Conclusion:  Well those are the twelve things to do that don’t cost money that I’ve brought to you today.  There are many more and I’ll bring them to you once the research is done.

Remember, having fun and relaxing doesn’t have to cost money.  Enjoy the free things in life and you will love it!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge