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Free & FUN Things To Do When You're Tapped Out & Broke!

Updated on May 26, 2012

I have seen some horrible ideas for free and fun things to do such as ride a bike, go for a drive or things like that. But I found any articles that really offered anything unique to do. A few that I have found could only be done once or twice without losing interest. Check out a few of the things that I have managed to figure out that I find fun and exciting without breaking the bank! If you have any other great ideas let me know and I'll add them to the list!

GeoCaching Free Iphone App
GeoCaching Free Iphone App

GeoCaching - A Modern Day Treasure Hunt

Arrr Mateys, if it's treasure yee be after than this is the perfect FREE option for you! Enough with the pirate talk. What in the world is Geo Caching? It truly is a way to find treasure. OK so usually they are just small items that people have left behind to help you remember the experience of finding it, but they are usually very unique little trinkets. Basically you go online to the Geocaching website and register for a free account. You then type in your zip code to see what caches are located around you. These caches are usually small boxes that contain a log of others who have visited as well as some sort of little trinket. It's alright to take your treasure home with you but you really should replace it with something interesting for the next person to find. For this reason, you can always go to re-explore a previously found cache or even try to hide one on your own! Nowadays, there is no special equipment required to get started and you probably already have the tools necessary. The concept is a high tech treasure map that you use either a hand held GPS receiver, or any GPS enabled phone. I even found that the GeoCaching site has a free app available in the App store for beginners that helps with everything from finding a Geo Cache to locate to actually vibrating your phone when you get close to it! Check out the video from the site it pretty much sums it all up. Other things you can do with this idea is to pick a cache in a town you have never been to, it makes for a much more memorable adventure! The site even has coordinates to the US Geological Survey markers. There is no treasure per say, but some of these are interesting as they can be in the middle of no where, or right in plain sight and you never knew it. If you're in the Orlando Florida area, check out some of the markers located around Disney World. The ones in the theme parks are actually pretty cool, but you can also find them around the free areas like Downtown Disney or many of the hotels.

If you really get into this hobby, you can purchase a more accurate GPS receiver online at a fraction of the cost of retail locations. In the Iphone app store, you can even find paid apps that are more robust and more helpful with the Caches for a small charge.

Show Off Your Trivia Skills

Trivia Night - Believe it or not, there are tons of places locally that offer FREE trivia nights. I have been to a few in restaurants, bars, even community events! Many restaurants for example have contests one or more nights per week that can actually pay off. Not only is there usually no cover charge, but you can bring a group of friends to show off your knowledge. A bit of advice for a 4 person trivia team: You need 4 types of people in order to really clean house. Hopefully you're one of these types, but you really should have a movie guy, music lover, T.V. couch potato, and someone with tons of useless trivia. This should cover all of your bases! Most locations don't have a cover charge but sometimes they do have drink minimums if you go to bar locations. The good news though is that the winners usually compete for prizes such as discounts on bar tabs or even cash. If you're all by yourself, sometimes you can meet new people by joining up with their teams if they are a person short, or you can find locations that have single person trivia such as Buzztime.

Host A Movie Night

OK, so this one may not necessarily be free, but it can be! We have a few very like minded friends that are usually just plain ole' broke so we try to stick together! We often times host an in home movie night that involves a quick meal or snacks and a movie. A friend of ours has a massive DVD collection that rivals any Blockbuster Video or Netflix sources so we usually ask him to bring something along. He usually brings along a few choices and we pick when everyone shows up. The key to having a successful inexpensive or even free movie night is the advertising! That's right, we try to get as many people packed into our house as possible. My wife and I post invitations via Facebook, Myspace, and text messaging. We advertise it as "We'll supply the movie and popcorn, you bring the fun!" Along with a few details such as BYOB or Bring your own drinks, and voila! You have a few hours of fun with friends and family that often times doesn't even cost a dime. If you don't have any good movies or friends with DVD collections, try a Red Box movie rental location or even a Blockbuster Kiosk for a $1 a night, It's hard to go wrong. Better yet, odds are at least one of your friends has a Netflix account. Did you know each account has free online streaming included? If you have a Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 or even one of the new web connected TVs or DVD players, you can ask them to log into their account for free streaming movies. Incidentally, the streaming options on the Wii no longer require you to pre register or receive a CD in the mail, just search for Netflix in the Wii Shop channel, it's free!

Digital Scavenger Hunt

We did this all the time growing up! It usually involved actually questionably acquiring some items, but that can be solved with today's technology! In fact it can make it much more interesting. A friend of mine actually plans these out about a week in advance and tries to get as many people involved as possible. The idea is to find wacky and somewhat difficult to find items, locations, or events and snap a photo of them. Before the digital age we would actually need to being the items back with us but that really became a pain, especially if the person organizing the hunt was rather devious. When digital cameras were big on the scene, we would take pictures of the items instead. The person organizing the hunt would check the cameras before everyone went out searching to make sure no left over pictures were on the camera from previous hunts. It's sad really that we had a few cheaters in the group :) The last hunt he hosted had the best technology twist ever though. On the pre arranged day and time we all met at a central location and were given our lists of items. We then split into teams and the organizer made sure there was at least one person in every car that had a cell phone with a camera and facebook access. Once we all set out to find our items, when we would snap a photo, the designated person in our car would upload the photo to facebook. After the hunt we gathered at a local Denny's Restaurant to see who had the most pictures on their facebook page of the items on the list. The winning team actually got a trophy! Ok so it was just an old bowling trophy my buddy found at a thrift shop, but we keep recycling it for bragging rights. Over the years we have had plenty of interesting items to look for, maybe a few of these might spark an idea or two!

  • Street Sign With A Name Of A Teammate (example St. James Place - My buddy James was in the car at the time)
  • Someone Pulled Over By A Police Officer - Lights Must Be On To Prove It!
  • Public Signs or Addresses With Particular Numbers In Them
  • Chuck Norris Movie
  • 5 1/4 Inch Floppy Disk
  • Bronze Statue of a Person
  • Foreign Flag On Flag Pole

The list goes on and on! Just use your imagination. My friend actually posts requests on facebook for ideas. With his large social network he gets all sorts of responses from people not even participating in the hunt!


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    • monicamelendez profile image

      monicamelendez 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      We have game nights with our friends all the time and it's probably the funnest thing we do! 100% free unless we make treats. Very cheap if we do.

    • RichardPac profile image

      RichardPac 6 years ago from Sunny Florida!

      I hope you give it a try. Over the past few years, since almost everyone has a cell phone with GPS now, it has opened up quite a few more people to the hoby.

    • RichardPac profile image

      RichardPac 6 years ago from Sunny Florida!

      I love the Checkpoints program! My wife and I have used that app a few times and have had fun walking around the big box stores. It's even more interesting to see the looks on the employee's faces wondering what in the world we were doing!

    • i scribble profile image

      i scribble 6 years ago

      I love this idea-geocaching especially. Hubby & I are stuck in a rut of eating out, movies, & walking the dog. This sounds fun.

    • profile image

      Josh and Lindsey 7 years ago from Indiana

      What a great list of ideas! My husband and I aren't broke, but we are frugal (actually, he's just really cheap!), and we don't like to spend money to go out. One of our favorite things to do is similar to your scavenger hunts. We call it a "scan date". We use his iPhone and go to stores where we use the Shopkick and Checkpoints apps to scan items. We think of it as a scavenger hunt. It's fun, and we earn a bit of money while we're at it. :) Thanks for more fun ideas!