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Have you heard of a no-spend weekend?
Sometimes I really feel like I’m out of the loop because I just recently heard about this. It makes perfect sense though. People will spend the most money during their free time, which for a lot of folks is on the weekends. I know I do. I can go the entire work week without spending a dime but when the weekend rolls around I’m suddenly Spenderella.
The idea behind a no-spend weekend is that you go the entire weekend only doing things that are free. And as excited as I am that fall is finally here, it also means that Christmas isn’t that far away. Eeek! It’s time to find ways to keep the excess spending at a minimum. A no-spend weekend here and there is a great way to keep a little cash in the pocket.
Here are 40 ideas for a no-spend weekend to get you started!
Go to the park
Walk your dog, take your kids to the playground or just people watch. Parks are free entertainment. Check your local paper for free concerts or movies in the park.
Find a trail and walk
We’re fortunate to have several trails around Springfield that are a nature lovers dream. If you have one too, take a walk and enjoy the scenery.
Clean up your neighborhood
Talk a walk around the neighborhood and collect any random trash that’s on the sidewalks or street. Collect cans and recycle them for money!
Have a bonfire in the backyard
Grab the marshmallows and hot dogs and have a mini cookout. Check with your city or county first for regulations that pertain to your area regarding open flames.
Download a guide from the internet and head outside to try and find your native birds. This is a fun activity to do with the kids.
Clean your garage
Reorganize your tools and get rid of any scrap material leftover from projects past. Create a recycling station for easier storage of recyclables.
Clean your car inside and out
Take it to the car wash and use the big vacuum or drag yours out to the garage. Spiff up the interior and wash the inside windows. Give the outside a proper cleaning too!
Pick one closet and clean it out
Get rid of outdated items, things that don’t fit or things you haven’t worn in more than 12 months. Start an area in your house or garage for items to donate.
Create a budget
While you’re not spending money, take this opportunity to come up with a monthly budget. Create a savings plan or a plan to pay off debt.
Plan your meals for the week
Make a list of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. Bonus points if you can make it a week with what’s in your pantry
Clip coupons and make a grocery list
If you don’t have everything on hand for number 10, now’s your opportunity to find ways to save on what you need. Check the ads!
Reorganize kitchen cabinets
A well-organized kitchen makes everything easier since the kitchen is often the main hub of a home. Find ways to store things that make sense for the way your house runs.
Create a board on Pinterest
Pick a room that you would like to makeover and create a new Pinterest board for it. Pin everything that inspires you!
Create a dish using only items you have on hand
Some of my best and most favorite recipes have come from trying to use up what I have on hand. Get creative and improve those culinary skills by finding a new dish!
Do a freezer cooking marathon
This one requires a little advance planning but spend the weekend cooking and freezing meals for the weeks ahead. You’ll be eating real food and saving money by buying in bulk.
Create a neighborhood lending library
It doesn’t have to be fancy but find a central location for your neighbors to share books. Spread the word on Facebook or NextDoor.
Go on a bike ride
Find a local bike trail and go for a ride. Go with a friend or make it a solo ride and contemplate the mysteries of the universe.
Host a potluck dinner
Invite family and friends over for an old-fashioned potluck. Play a group game or head outside and sit under the stars.
Get better at selfies or put your point and shoot through its paces. Taking better pictures means capturing more memories to enjoy as the years go on.
Learn to bake bread
Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread. Find a recipe on Pinterest and try it out. It’s not hard and the reward is fresh bread with no preservatives.
Clean up your phone
Deleted unused apps or really bad pictures (we all have them). They’re just taking up precious storage space on your phone anyway so get rid of it!
Give back to your community and donate your time. Check your local paper or Facebook for volunteer opportunities.
Put the credit cards on ice and head out to your favorite stores. Shop with your eyes only. If you find something you love, make a plan and save up for it.
Visit a bookstore
Whether it’s a chain like Borders and Barnes and Noble or a local mom and pop bookstore, spend some time looking around. Maybe find a new area to learn about.
Write a business plan
Have you ever dreamed of flipping your boss the bird and heading into the sunset to find your own destiny? Write a business plan and find a way to make it a reality.
Do a DIY or craft project
You know you have a bunch of things pinned that you’d like to try one day. Make this that day!
Make a bucket list
We all have things we want to do in this life. Write them down and figure out how to get them done!
Read a book
I don’t know about you but sometimes finding time for simple things like reading can be a challenge. Make some time and curl up with an old favorite or a new find.
Tackle one item on your to-do list
I have things that have been on my list for years like fix baseboard in the upstairs bathroom and touch up paint in the family room. We all have something, so pick one and do it!
Learn to knit
When I was trying to quit smoking a few years ago I had the bright idea to learn to knit to keep my hands busy. It took a little longer to kick the butts but the skill stayed on.
Visit the free attractions in your city like museums or historical landmarks
Sometimes it’s fun to play tourist in your own city. Go exploring and discover things you didn’t know about the place you call home.
Give yourself a manicure and pedicure
Save the 60 or 70 bucks you’d spend at the nail salon and paint your fingers and toes yourself. Smooth rough skin and get them baby soft. Pick a fun a color.
Create a wishlist on Amazon
I have so many things on my Amazon (affiliate link) wishlists. Some of it I’ll never buy but it’s still fun to look at. Go crazy and dream big!
Rearrange a room in your house
Move the furniture around and swap accessories from other parts of the house. It’s amazing what a little rearranging can do for a room.
Start a new workout
Find something you can do at home and try it out. Maybe you can cancel that gym membership you’re overpaying for.
Have a family game night
Pick something like Monopoly or make a new game up. Spending time with your family is the main goal, not winning or losing. Kidding! WINNING IS EVERYTHING.
Choose a theme and host a movie marathon
Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, rom-com, horror, film noir. Doesn’t matter, just pick a theme and invite your friends over for a marathon. Don’t forget the popcorn!
Create a family tree and do some genealogy research
There are plenty of places to do free genealogy research. See how far back you can go with your family tree. Warning – it can get pretty addictive.
Binge watch a series that you missed the first time around
I didn’t watch one episode of Gilmore Girls until it had been off the air for years. Find a series that you didn’t watch while it was on and binge it.
Explore your city
Make lists of restaurants you want to try, shops you want to visit or things you want to do. Every city has hidden gems so get out there and find them!
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