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Frugal Entertainment Ideas: Live Simple, the New Revolution

Updated on September 17, 2012

LET'S HAVE SOME FUN!

Bev and I went to the movie theater a couple weeks ago, one of our rare “dates” where we actually spent money. Two tickets (matinee price), and a large popcorn and one shared drink……$26! Just shoot me!

Just because I ramble on about living simple does not mean there are not things I want to do; I’m only human and there are many entertainment events and activities I WANT to do. I would love to go out for a nice dinner at Gardner’s Restaurant here in Olympia. I would love to go to the State Historical Museum in Tacoma, and I would love to spend the day in Seattle at the Science Center. However, if living simple has taught me anything, it has taught me that there is a huge difference between wanting and needing, and the simple fact is that I don’t need to do any of those things.

Instead, Bev and I find things to do that cost nothing…..zero….nada! Well, okay, they sometimes cost us the price of the gasoline we use to drive our Honda Fit somewhere, but you get the point. Compared to two hours at the movie theater for $26, our frugal ideas appear like manna from heaven.

So now I’d like to share some of those ideas with you, and hopefully you can enjoy yourselves as much as Bev and I do every single time we are together. It’s all about love, folks! Love and saving money! That’s the Living Simple Way!

A walk in one of our city parks
A walk in one of our city parks | Source

GO FOR A WALK

Yes, I said go for a walk! Practically every day Bev and I go for a walk, either around the neighborhood or at a local park. It’s great exercise and it doesn’t cost a penny.

What? That doesn’t sound like fun to you? Well then maybe you should find a better walking partner, because the two of us have a blast every single time we walk together. Take a camera and capture some memories, and if it’s a digital camera this doesn’t cost you a penny either.

SPORTING EVENTS

I love sports! Unfortunately, I can’t afford to attend the local pro games. It is impossible to go to a Seattle Mariners or Seattle Seahawks game for less than $100 and that just won’t do on a frugal budget.

However, I can get my “sports fix” by attending local youth events. On any given weekend there is a Little League game or Youth Football game that is free and loads of fun to attend. You will be watching sports played for the love of the game rather than watching overpaid pro athletes. You will be amazed how quickly you become excited watching complete strangers playing their hearts out for the game they love.

Our neighborhood street fair.
Our neighborhood street fair. | Source

FREE LOCAL EVENTS

I don’t know about where you live, but Olympia, my hometown, has free entertainment going on practically every weekend at a local park, or the Farmer’s Market. There are street fairs, artist fairs, musical concerts, and they all cost nothing. How cool is that?

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and get a calendar of events. They are usually online and you just might be surprised how much entertainment is waiting for you at no cost.

VOLUNTEER

This one is near and dear to my heart. Nothing is more entertaining than helping others. Our city has an endless array of opportunities to help the community. They are not only free, but they give you a chance to feel good about yourself, and that is a win-win situation for sure.

What if your community does not have any such opportunities? Well then why don’t you start one yourself? The power of one! Great ideas start with individuals who refuse to think that they cannot do something. Look for a need in your community and then be the spearhead that affects change. It beats the heck out of going to a movie any old day!

BOOKSTORE EVENTS

If you have a local bookstore, chances are they will have free readings by local authors. Hey, for those authors reading this, why not get in on the fun and offer to do a reading at your local bookstore? The same goes for the local library. Almost any weekend the library here in Olympia has free readings or workshops, and if your library doesn’t do it then approach them and give them the suggestion.

The bigger the city that you live in, the more opportunities you have, and they are almost always free. If you are an artist or musician, offer to play for free or have a showing for free. Living Simple is about improving the quality of life, for yourself and your community. Get involved and make things happen!

LOCAL SCHOOL EVENTS

The economic reality of today’s world is that schools need money; they are constantly holding events to raise money for their needs. Drama clubs, band clubs, they are all there for you to enjoy, and they rarely cost much to attend. For $10 you and your significant other can enjoy a great play or concert held by local kids, and you will be helping them in the process.

TAKE UP A HOBBY

If you are single, what have you always wanted to do? Play the guitar? Learn a craft? Whatever, now is the time! Take up a hobby and you have an activity that you can do at any time, and you will gain so much enjoyment from it.

If you are in a relationship, is there something the two of you would like to do together as a hobby? Let your imagination run wild, find common interests, and then go for it! Life isn’t getting any shorter, so why not start now?

HAVE A POTLUCK DINNER OR GAME NIGHT WITH FRIENDS

Once a month? Once a week? Hold it at a new person’s house each time, and have a fun get-together. You can play board games, play Charades, have different theme meals, whatever; the point is community and spending time with people you enjoy, and the cost is very reasonable.

During the summer months have it on the patio, or build a bonfire and roast marshmallows. During the winter months have a card game….how about a bridge tournament or have teams for Trivial Pursuit? The point is to have fun with neighbors and friends, build community, and not spend money!

A hike in the Cascade Mountains
A hike in the Cascade Mountains | Source

ENJOY THE SEASONS

How much does it cost to go sledding? How much does it cost to go leaf peeping in the Fall? How about hiking or camping or swimming? What does a drive and picnic in the country cost? How about fishing?

There is so much to do; why aren’t you out doing it? Nature has given us this beautiful playground for our enjoyment; don’t you think you should get out there and take advantage of it all?

Berry picking is going on right now in our part of the country; just about anywhere you go blackberries are waiting for us and they are free! We are also collecting pine cones for decoration during the holidays, and the leaves will be changing colors shortly and they are craft projects just waiting to happen. Best part of it all….it’s all free entertainment!

Care To Take A Poll?

Are You Into Frugal Living?

See results

START A CLUB!

What do you like to do? You could start a book club! You could start a crafts club! You could start any club that appeals to your interests, and meet once a month. You could have a movie club and show movies once a month. How about a gardening club? Use your imagination and get involved in an activity that costs nothing and gives you hours of entertainment.

SO MANY MORE IDEAS

What do all of these ideas have in common? For one, they cost next to nothing! Another commonality is that they exercise our imagination; the more we learn to find frugal entertainment, the more ideas we will come up with. Living Simple is about changing our ways of thinking! It is entirely possible to find entertainment that costs nothing or next to nothing. We just have to be willing to change our attitudes and do it!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Strawberry, Sha! Too funny! Yes, water is affected by elevation, but then how would you know that, living in the flattest state in the country. LOL Thanks my dear!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Good to hear. I'm bringing a homemade-from-scratch cheesecake. I make the topping from scratch too. Do you prefer strawberry or blueberry? I make a mean pot of black-eyed peas, too. I made a batch for my inlaws in Montana a bunch of years back. This little girl didn't know elevation affects the time it takes water to boil down! Sheesh, that was a learning experience, but I pulled it off! They loved it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, the party doesn't begin until you arrive, so how can you be late? We were all just early and waiting for you. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent ideas, Bill. I just love this series! (sorry I'm so late to the party!)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, great suggestions and yes, you lucked out. I didn't know about the college bookstores. Great idea. Thanks for sharing that one!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Volunteering can be a good way to get a free meal, too...

      I really hate being bored, so I actually volunteer a fair amount, even when they don't feed me.

      Another good way to get free stuff is to check local college bookstores for back to school coupon books. A friend and I used some free movie tickets from one of these coupon books just the other day. While exiting the theater, we got two more free passes each! These new tickets are only good this week Mon-Thurs, but still. We really lucked out!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity, I love that....up on the roof....do you play the song by the Drifters while you are dining? LOL

      Yes....Yes.....let us meet up close and share someday my dear friend!

      Thank you....hugs to you

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 4 years ago

      Great ideas Bill! The last time my husband and I went out to dinner was about 2 years ago!!! Lol. One of our favourite things to do without spending money (especially in summer) is to make a plate of homemade nachos, take a bottle of cheep wine and have a picnic on our roof while watching the stars :) Hopefully we can swap stories and ideas up close an personal someday soon my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, the thing is, no matter what you do for him, he will love it! It came from you and that will make it special. Thank you my friend, and I happen to think you rock as well. :)

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Oh Bill,

      How I was nodding and saying "YEP, KNOW THAT ONE" - Our lifestyle has changed considerably over the past two years. Movies,Restaurants,Musicals, Theatre, Shopping Trips .... All things I love but do I need them? No, of course not as you say, What we want and what we need . . .two very different things. I read this at just the right time. My other half's birthday is tomorrow and I have always made a fuss of his and all my families birthday's - I love it. Now, I find myself looking to do something special for tomorrow without spending cash. Card is made as I love doing that! Now to just use my imagination on making it a special day for him. I have some great ideas from you oh wise one which has brightened my day ! Thanks Bill, you ROCK!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      GoGreen, I have the feeling there will be more to choose from in a couple years. This economy is not going to improve for 80% of us. Just keep sitting on the patio and they will come. :) Thank you!

    • GoGreenTips profile image

      Greg Johnson 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Great ideas about living simply. We love going for walks and just sitting on our patio and talking. Often thought of starting a club...just seems hard to find others that live simply as well. Great hub...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Movie! Did I read your new hub? OMG, I don't remember! I know I had it bookmarked....sigh! Well, I'll be there shortly!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Everything seems to cost so much these days, we are like you and look for free things to do!

      We too do lots of walking - I can recommend watching the local kids playing football, it's a great way to spend a few hours and it's free. The kids put everything into the game and it's a joy to watch their enthusiasm and commitment!

      A great hub Billy, thank you and voted up

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mpropp, welcome to my site and thank you for the follow. I read your profile and I'm excited about you finally following your dream. Good for you! Winter in Minnesota can be a bit brutal, so best of luck enjoying nature in December. LOL You are hardier than I am for sure.

      Thank you for the kind comment and have a wonderful afternoon!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 5 years ago from Minnesota

      This is an excellent hub, full of really great ideas. I agree with so many of the comments also. You don't have to spend money on entertainment when there are so many free activities to participate in! I also am a huge fan of the library. In Minnesota, our library system "literally" has hundreds of free classes, author readings, children's entertainment, senior activities, etc. We enjoy all 4 seasons here, so I really appreciate the reminder to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Samnashy, great comment. It us usually us humans that complicate life....simple is better for sure. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you LaThing! The holidays will be upon us sooner than we think. Thank goodness I do not have to spend to give a gift.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jacob, I have the feeling these are going to relevant for some time to come. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't know, Martin; I find you entertaining all by yourself, and you are free to me. :) Thank you Sir!

    • samnashy profile image

      Sam Graham 5 years ago from Australia

      Voting up. Great hub, as it's often said " the simple things in life are the best". Thanks.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Oh, yes, we have are days when we go out and treat ourselves, but not foolishly. Outdoor activities and finding things to do locally are wonderful ideas for entertainment. Love your ideas and will be using them. Thanks Billy, for this wonderful series. Enjoying all of them :)

      Voting up and sharing!

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 5 years ago from Delhi, India

      Nice ideas. Relevant for this time of recession.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I have a knoll 6 blocks away, ocean 16 blocks, lake 2o blocks... I live in SF, free entertainment... But me...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Faith! I appreciate you greatly and I hope you are enjoying your new adventure.

      Peace and happiness today and always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Spy; you are wise for someone so young.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      im into frugal and simple living. i saved for the future and never really spend money for 'wants' those things that are not necessary and just for fun like expensive phones. it's hard to earn a living nowadays. what a great topic you have here bill.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Hi billybuc, as always, I am late to the party, but I am here. These are really great ideas, and actually all in my eyes, seem to be a lot more fun than the ones we would actually have to pay money for to enjoy! We have not been to a movie theatre in, I don't know how long, as you say, coke and popcorn ----breaks the bank! My favorite one, and I am so glad you mentioned it here, volunteering -hooray for billybuc! The photos you have included are great too. You have outdone yourself with this one. I believe this one, of all the frugal ones, is my favorite. Have a lovely evening. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree Rosemay; boredom is not an option! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, and I'm betting it didn't cost you a penny now did it? Thanks for adding to the discussion; you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I have to be careful around you; you make things disappear. :) Yep, no money needed when we were kids....it does indeed make me wonder.

      Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PWalker, telling me about the beaches year round was almost cruel. :) I did love D.C. when I was there and was amazed by the number of values. I really need to go back there, but not in the summer. That place is brutal in the summer.

      Thank you so much for the visit!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      An awesome hub about getting back to basics and entertaining ourselves. There are so many things we can do as well as the great list that you have here. Nobody has an excuse to be bored on a budget

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, Billy. If I weren't at the lake every day, I never would have seen those great American White pelicans, which, by the way, are still there today. Some have left, but I have great photos. Prior to that, there was an incredible fog bank, so I got photos of birds in the fog.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill, Great ideas! (Hope this isn't a second post of comments. I just hit the button and it cleared all comments from your hub off of my screen.) Walking is a great idea now that the temperatures are cooler. (Just couldn't see myself joining the mall crowd during summer months) Seems like when we were kids we never had a hard time finding something to do without spending money. Kind of makes you wonder "what happened" doesn't it? Great Hub!

    • profile image

      PWalker281 5 years ago

      I agree with TT, billybuc, take advantage of those senior discounts! I absolutely LOVE them! It's one of the few ways this society honors seniors and I'm taking full advantage :-).

      And while I do miss all of the free museums in my hometown of Washington DC, living in beautiful Oahu, Hawaii more than makes up for it. Lots to do for free - like going to the beach year round (although the water is cool in "winter"), trekking up to the North Shore during winter for the surfing events, getting together with my craft buddies several times a month, reading on my Kindle (I always find something good in the top 100 free books list), and much much more.

      Excellent ideas! Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I love Little League baseball and Youth Football...I'm not a big basketball fan but there are always community leagues for kids in that sport too. What I would love to attend is a youth hockey game, but that sport is not alive here in Olympia. Thank you Dianna!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, thank you for taking the time to check this out. I know things are a bit tough right now so you are greatly appreciated. We are saving our money for one movie we both feel we have to see...."Lincoln" by Spielberg in November....but that will be it for our splurge entertainment, and I do get a senior discount. :) It stings to write that but it does save money. LOL

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      We have stopped going to the movies also. WE find that the local library has a huge selection and also do the freebees like events and volunteer. Great idea on the local games, will have to check into those here. Voted up.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      Wow! $26. We seldom go to the movies as it is too difficult for my husband and there really aren't that many great movies anyway. The last time we went we went to the early movie and we get the senior break, so it wasn't that bad. I agree there are many fun thinks to do that don't cost money. We grew up playing cards and board games and laughed all the time. I love walking also but that is limited for us unfortunately. I do like to go walk on the beach when I can. W

      We live on a budget and when we want to do something special, like a meal out, we usually plan ahead. You had some great ideas in this hub for fun without the cost.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, I think the same thing when I see a family go to the movies....how the heck can they afford it? I much prefer a Little League game for exactly the reason you mentioned...I end up rooting for a team and I don't know any of the kids....it is just the joy of the game.

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I'm convinced anyone can live this way, but most people can't imagine doing so.....we need an attitude revolution before it is absolutely necessary and they don't know what to do. Thank you for the plug about walking; it is so true, it is relaxing and a great time to unwind and reflect while walking.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, wonderful idea about the sing-a-long! I'll bet that is a blast. Thank you my friend; you are a joy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, we have had some chilly nights of late, so the leaves are definitely changing now. I am so wrapped up in this frugal thing that I am now looking for as many ways as possible to save without seeming like a fanatic. :) Thank you!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Since embracing the frugal lifestyle, there are many things that I don't do anymore, at the same time, there are many things that I do now. Whatever I can do for free is the thing for me. In the past, I would have paid money to go to the gym, because walking would have seemed so boring. Now, walking is a very enjoyable activity. In fact, walking at night - after dinner, just after the sunset, is very comforting and relaxing. Life is much more rewarding with simple living. You are right about having to change the way we think. My mind opened up to many wonderful things once I had a change of attitude about spending less to have a great life.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Great ideas that we can all enjoy! When my entertainment piggy bank is on the low side, I invite friends and neighbors for a "pot-luck" party. I supply the briquettes and everyone brings along a favorite dish.

      For another free evening of entertainment, I invite people for an evening of relaxation and a sing-a-long party. I provide the piano and playing favorite songs to sing to and guests provide desserts. We have a blast!

      Thanks billy - Up, more and sharing.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      As usual...wonderful ideas and so easy for people to do. Growing up near Washington DC I was spoiled because almost all of the museums there are free! We often take our bikes to local parks and ride around and like you we love to look at the seasons. The leaves are just starting, barely, to look like they are going to change here. Nice hub.

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      Suzette Walker 5 years ago from Taos, NM

      Bill, these are great ideas. Sometimes a local Little League game can be more exciting than a pro game. No elevated egos yet! And you get to see the sheer joy and excitement from the kids. Taking walks and hiking are my favorite "frugal entertainment." Just enjoying the outside is heaven. I can't believe how much movies cost. I haven't been to an evening movie in years - I only go to matinees. I cringe everytime I see a family at the movies - it has to cost $100. I can't believe it! Thanks for a informative article with great ideas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, like that would really happen! LOL I can't imagine anyone not believing I'm 63, but hope springs eternal.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Healthy, maybe more people will learn by necessity and this movement will really take off. Thank you and good luck to you.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Btrbell, you just reminded me that we have a theater that occasionally has dollar night.....now I have to go check out their website. Thank you for that and for reading.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Bill...Bill...Bill....you should be scoring big time on the senior discount! Almost every place offers them! Tuck that pride in the back pocket and rock the discount. They'll probably even card you so you have to prove yer an old fart! :) (Kinda like getting carded like your 21 all over again) Carpe Discount!

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I really appreciate the great entertainment ideas since this is a year of learning to live "creatively" due to the economy. Often on certain days museums are free and movie prices are discounted. We do take a lot of walks now which is not only relaxing but a little exercise.

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      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Geat hub, great ideas! I don't know how anyone can afford to go to movies, etc? We duo have a $2 movie near us. It's not first run but since we aren't paying $10 to get in, we haven't already seen it! Thank you for all the great ideas! we are walkers like you are and I try to be a bit adventurous in the kitchen for a change of pace!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT.....LOL....I am just stubborn enough not to ask for senior discounts. There is no explanation for that other than pride and a refusal to admit I am as old as I am. LOL....still laughing....thanks for the wake up call, Sis!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thunder, you just reminded me of a hub I keep meaning to write; thank you for the reminder and the comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, there is no doubt that Kindle is here to stay; the numbers support that belief. I'm so old-fashioned that I still love the feel of the book in my hands. :) You are right, of course; there is a free computer app that can be downloaded and I'll have to do that one of these days when I have spare time.

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      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      There's no need to buy a Kindle unless you just want one, since you can download the Kindle computer app (free) and read e-books on your computer, the way I do. Eventually, I'm sure one of my family members will "gift" me with a Kindle in hopes of "downsizing" my book supply even further! Until then, I enjoy both (with the paper-and-board type taking most of my attention). However, if I manage to write enough short stories for a collection, I will be e-publishing it. My stance on e-publishing has changed much more for the positive since reading of many Hubbers' experiences with the form.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      We participate in a lot of these sorts of activities that you've listed simply because they don't have a lot of activities in the sticks. :) I bet you could write a whole hub on all the different types of volunteer opportunities abound and the rewards they have to offer.

      A lot of times, local artists will have free shows to expose their work to the community. Bill, doesn't your zoo offer a senior's day?

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      A revolution, I love it and am right there with you. It's funny how we need reminding about simple things to do like walking and pot lucks and clubs and volunteering. I know my parents lived this way. How did we all get so lost?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kthix, so you are the one we can blame for Borders!!! :) I don't have a Kindle yet although I have eight books published on Kindle. LOL I know, it makes no sense, but there you go! Thanks for the great comment and suggestion.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizBejabbers, you brought up a good point. I wanted to go to the local zoo last month until I looked online to see what the cost was....$20 for an adult! Are you kidding me? I'll read old National Geographics and use my imagination; I refuse to spend twenty bucks for the zoo. I love your comment, and I'll look into your suggestion about birthday coupons at restaurants. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, I swear, the library is the best bargain in the civilized world. Thank you and I'm glad you are enjoying these hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, great comment, especially the very last part about it being less expensive now than in years gone by. Isn't that the truth? I went through money back then like I was printing it myself. Those days are certainly gone. And there is no way I'm giving up my cell phone. :) Thank you my friend!

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      kthix10 5 years ago from IL

      I balked on getting a kindle for so many years because I thought for sure that I would spend more money on books since I am an avid reader. The kindle was a birthday present - aka cost me nothing. Our library has a kindle sharing program which means I am actually saving money because I don't have to drive to the library to return books or get new ones, I never have late fees, and I don't think I have bought a new book in over a year. Maybe I personally put Borders out of business.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 5 years ago

      We prefer watching movies at home to fighting crowds at the movies. We feel like we’ve saved enough money to buy our big-screen TV and pay for Netflix and satellite subscriptions. We recently added a home theater sound system. We find that we actually enjoy waiting for the big movies to come out and watch at home where we can adjust the sound and picture to please us. A friend of mine complains that they can’t afford a system like ours, but they eat out every night and sometimes twice a day. We also cook most of our own meals at home. When we save money by taking part in inexpensive or free entertainment, then we don’t mind occasionally spending money on eating out at a family restaurant or a fast food joint, but not every day like our friends do. By the way, twice a year we go to this really nice restaurant because they send us 20% off coupons for our birthdays. Remember to sign up for those, too.

      I enjoy our parks, but our zoo has gotten too expensive. It is a shame because I hear young families complaining that they can't afford to take their children. We haven’t been there in years.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to go to our local library and get movies for free. Now we splurge on Netflix. Loving these frugal hubs Bill!

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      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I can't recall the last time I set foot in a movie theater or a restaurant. That's fact, not exaggeration. I pay $8.55 per month for streaming video from Netflix, though I only watch it in "spurts"--usually when a new British TV series is available, then I go through the entire season in a week!

      Reading, writing and listening to or playing music are the activities I enjoy the most, and they are my chief means of entertainment.

      As a confessed bibliophile, I do buy an occasional book, but it's hard to break the ingrained habit of my adult life. I am parting with some books so they won't take over my entire home, selling them on Amazon Marketplace (Jaye's Recycled Books), which helps pay for the new ones! In addition, I keep a free public library card in use, one of the best bargains there is--as long as government budget cutters don't give libraries the ax.

      My broadband Internet access allows me to write for HP and read the writings of other HP authors, to research and also to keep up with news of the world without having to listen to broadcasters--it's worth every cent.

      The small amount of electricity used by my electronic keyboard is minuscule, as is the energy needed to play a CD.

      Chatting with family members and friends over my low-cost phone is frugal, but the pleasure it brings me is priceless. Even greater is seeing them in person and (usually) feeding them a meal I enjoyed cooking. (Don't ask me about my grocery bill, for I buy very little food that is not organic. I believe in spending money according to my priorities.)

      All in all, entertaining myself at this stage of life is much less expensive than it was in years gone by. Slowing down certainly saves $$$.

      Excellent hub, Bill. Voted Up++.

      Jaye

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasha, I would spend $100 for Cirque de Solie....who could blame you? I love staying at home in sweat pants; the perfect clothes for any home activity!

      Thank you young lady; have a great week in Oregon.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      lol, my husband and I are such shut ins we usually just play an online game with our brothers and some friends. ^_^ We all get to stay in the comfort of our home in our comfy sweats, yet still socialize.

      I seriously can't remember the last time I went to a theater! The only thing we do out of the house entertainment wise is once a year Cirque de Solie comes to town and we shell out the $100 per ticket to get amazing seats.

      I love a lot of these ideas and now that we have have two kids I think we should get out more... I will definitely try these out! Thank you^_^ voted up and pinned

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Angelo, you are oh so right! I need to get a new camera, so thanks for the reminder.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! I hope you are well in British Columbia; have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, if you are starting at your age, you will have this whole frugal lifestyle down by the time you are in your thirties, and be much better for it. Thanks buddy!

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Great ideas. I go for walks and take a camera along. You never know what you will see out there in the world.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've described so many good ideas for frugal entertainment, Bill! My favorite one is walking. There is so much to see and enjoy on a walk, and often interesting and free things to do in addition to walking. It's a wonderful activity. Thanks for all the other suggestions, too.

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      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      What I'm trying to do with my friends is to have movie nights at one of our places and just watch shows via netflix. How can you beat unlimited movies for just $7 a month? I'm starting the frugal stuff, Bill! Being a college student, it's definitely a little hard to start the frugal process, but hey it's a slow and sure process! Thanks for the advice!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You were more frugal than I was as a single parent....I budgeted $50 per week for groceries. Tough times but they taught me some valuable lessons about spending and I haven't forgotten them at all. Great comment Kelly; thanks for stopping by.

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      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      See Bill when I was raising my oldest her daddy decided it just wasn't working out for him...he stopped paying child support. It was really hard to just survive and pay bills! I found tons of cool stuff to do here that is free. I took my child to the Zoo, free seats at the Muny Opera House, there used to be free standing spots to see Cardinals games.

      I was on a super tight budget - in fact I spent exactly 30 bucks a week on groceries! Haha I had an absolute blast too - parks are free and almost everywhere will have specials. Wow - I can't believe how I made it on like 300 bucks a week? Crazy!

      Great hub and this reminded me of some great times!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, exactly! The time of meditation is invaluable to me. Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria; that woman you mentioned will probably outlive us all because of her attitude toward life.

      I appreciate you my friend; thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle! Entertainment does not have to cost a penny; I hope you try the book club idea; it's a lot of fun.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Great ideas Bill, I walk every-ware since I don't own a car and It is enjoyable even alone. I can meditate as I walk and appreciate the gifts from the universe that are all free!

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      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi Bill,

      There is nothing like a walk, with your sweetie, with your pooch or alone. That is heaven on Earth.

      My girlfriend's 83 yo Mom volunteers at the theater seating people, because she loves the shows, the people contact and I swear she is ageless.

      Love your series and your life philosophy. Voted UP and UABI.

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      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for these ideas, Bill. My friends and I are into potluck dinners for seasons like Xmas and New Year. Walking is great exercise too. Starting a book club is a great idea, or in Singapore, we have "mahjong clubs", sort of a chinese game fashioned on poker. Thanks for these! I share and tweet.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, I love that money isn't tight for you but you see no reason to spend it frivolously. Good for you! I only have about fifty movies from days gone by, but hey are movies I love, and friends have twice as many, so I am never wanting for entertainment.

      Thanks my friend; have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Love it Mel....although it hurt to hear that your winter is ending as ours begins soon. :) Thank you; now get out there and enjoy that nature reserve.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, your comments are always so clever......Land of the Savings.....love it buddy. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I'm honestly not against television; I just think people spend too much time watching mindless programming like reality shows. Reality is right outside their window. LOL And it's always entertaining! Thank you my dear; have a wonderful week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, as a young couple with kids, how could you not go frugal, unless you were born into a fortune. :) Thank you my dear; I always appreciate you stopping by and warming my site with your smile.

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      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      All such wonderful suggestions! People just don't stop often enough to realize all the wonderful and free activities and options around them. I learned to appreciate many of the things you mention when we had only one income and I was staying at home raising three little boys.

      Money isn't so tight now, but why throw it away. I have a dear friend and between us we probably have a collection of 150 movies acquired over the years (purchased used for under 4$ a piece). Every other Friday, one of us cooks brunch for the other and we revisit one of our favorite films together.

      This is a great Hub with terrific suggestions. ~~ Theresa

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Bill, I love, love, love this! We have recently discovered our love for hiking together and also that there's a beautiful nature reserve 10 minutes from where we live! We'll be doing that a lot more now that winter is over. We also had friends over on the weekend and played 30 seconds and had a bring and braai (barbeque). It was loads of fun. There are so many things we can do without spending money (or much). Thanks for this, voted up and sharing! :)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      More ideas that rock Billy. If things go this way, this country will be called the Frugal States of America; land of the savings and home of bravest, that dared to put in office a real person. Great tips Billy! You have it all planned and most of your ideas are tax free.

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      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      $26 for a flick!!! Wow! No wonder I haven't been in over 15 years. I am trying to embrace a more frugal lifestyle but admit - I still have my TV and a $99/annual Netflix subscription. It more than satisfies my need for a flick, plus, I get to choose from some incredible independent films and documentaries, on my schedule. lol...I guess that could be considered a step towards being more frugal, right?

      Another great hub Bill. There are so many things in nature to enjoy that cost nothing but time and maybe a tank of gas to get there. I wish more people could see the value in that. You and Bev are doing something really huge and, the coolest part is your sharing and...teaching. Great job!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      From the beginning of your article I was nodding along and saying to myself this why I too don't go to the movies anymore. Seriously the cost of just a matinee is ridiculous. I very much agree with you on this, as well as the cost of Sporting events. I live in NY and to go to a baseball game (The Mets) or Football (The Giants) would cost me probably a quarter of my husband's paycheck. So not worth it and love your ideas on how to save money and still be able to do activities for entertainment. We try whenever possible to do fun outings that are not too pricy with two small kids. Have of course voted, shared, tweeted and pinned!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, believe it or not, I write this stuff and I need reminders. :) There is so much to do if we only search for the opportunities. I worry too....and I will worry more....because this economy is not going to get better for the little guy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      swachira, thank you so much for the visit! I hope this list helps you in the future.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I always learn something new when reading about your frugal living ideas. We don't spend a lot of money and rarely eat out or go to a movie. Yes we have our boat but no longer a second home. Iworry about money all the time as the landscape is constantly changing and going up in price. Just buying food today is costly...and we don't eat fancy stuff but lots of produce. Prescott has many free things to do. We are always searching out new trails for hiking and biking. The famous Prescott square has many music and other events all year long.

      However I have to bookmark the hub so I constantly remember. So UP and Share...Thanks for a great hub.

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      [ Danson Wachira ] 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi billybuc, you did well to highlight this especially at this time when the world economy does not allow over spending. I will surely try some of these ideas especially on sporting events. Voted up and useful.