My Favorite Ways to Have a No-Spend Weekend

Having fun shouldn't be expensive.

My husband and I have always been pretty frugal when it came to finding things to do. When we first began dating, we were barely making ends meet, so we had to get creative when it came to finding exciting things to do on the weekend. One of the easiest ways to save money and make some breathing room in our budget is to take on a no-spend weekend challenge.

Below are a few of our favorite fun things to do during a no-spend weekend. A lot of these are great for couple time but also fun for the whole family, if you have little ones.

Click to read more about why one mom doesn’t waste money buying her kids nice things.

Visit Your Local Nature Center

We love visiting our local nature preserves. They often offer many free activities, presentations and tours throughout the weekend. Explore your local nature center, check out native animals and let your kids take in the world around them.

Take Advantage of Your Library

The library is a definite favorite for our family. It offers free books to read (they have e-books now, too), movies to rent, story times, film nights, book clubs, author readings and programs for all interests and ages. Many libraries offer an activity pass or passport that can be checked out to offer free passes to parks, museums and cultural organizations for some major savings.

Check Out a New Gym or Yoga Studio

Many studios and gyms offer your first class free. These free classes are perfect for exploring a new hobby while getting in some exercise at the same time. I fell in love with my local studio through taking advantage of a free class and am so thankful to have done so.

Watch the Community Calendar

Our community puts on a ton of free events. I scour our local newspaper for events and take advantage of all the local cultural and community events that my city offers. We often attend the weekly “Music in the Park” concert to watch local musicians. Our kids love the free face painting and other children’s activities that are offered biweekly. Try searching your local paper (check for online editions) to see if your community offers similar fun.

Find Local Fun: Check Out These 7 Cheap and Wacky Festivals

Movie Night

A simple movie night with our family is one of my favorite ways to have a no-spend weekend evening. We usually just watch a movie through one of the many streaming avenues (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.), make some snacks with whatever we have in the pantry and enjoy some quality downtime with each other.

Outdoors Kid Games

Break out the leftover sidewalk chalk from last summer and head outside with the kids to play some old-school childhood games. We love drawing tic-tac-toe boards with chalk, playing hopscotch, hangman and creatively drawing on our driveway.

Clean and Declutter

While this isn’t the most exciting thing to do on my list, there’s nothing that feels better than enjoying a clean house. I love to take some time to do a deep clean and declutter in our home. I donate and sell a lot of items in our local “free-cycle” and mom-to-mom groups online. Not only do I make some room in my home, but I help others and make some money in the process.

Free Museum Days

Many museums and exhibits offer free museum days several times a month. I love packing up the kids and hitting the local science, art and children’s museums to explore and expand our horizons. We often pack a picnic lunch to enjoy midway through the day.

More on Frugal Fun: The Best Free Tourist Attractions in Every State

Go for a Hike

We love getting outdoors, so one of our favorite no-spend weekend activities is hiking. Not up for a long trail walk? Pack a lunch and go to the park as a family. Let the kids run off some energy and sit back and enjoy nature.

Game Night

I love pulling out board games and having a game night with family and friends. Dust those games off, make some snacks and drinks and chat the night away.

Clear the Pantry Dinner Challenge

I hate throwing out food, so every few weeks we have a “Chopped”-style dinner challenge. I take stock of what we have already available in our pantry and freezer, and then make use of them by creating some new meals. Make sure to get the kids involved in the cooking fun too.

Click to read more about the coolest things to do in every state for less than $20.

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