Frugal entertainment need not be a pipe dream. I know exactly how difficult it sometimes feels when all you want to do is sample a few of life's pleasures and discover that lots of them seem to cost the earth.
For instance I decided that I would go and watch a movie at our local cinema for the first time in years and was absolutely horrified to discover that it would cost around £7 to get in. Needless to say I didn't go.
The alternative of course is to stay at home, but if you're anything like me, this is only an option for 80% of the time. If I didn't get out and about I think I would go crazy and anyway why should we miss out just because we don't have as much money in the bank as others or are trying to save money for other more important things.
Do not despair my frugal friends, there is such a thing as frugal entertainment and here I hope to highlight a few of them for you.
A really good tip for supplementing those frugal entertainment occasions is to have a special jar put aside for loose change that can be put towards leisure activities.
It is amazing just how much you can put together over a couple of weeks and even if it doesn't cover the whole of the cost it will still go a long way towards making the activity possible and less painful on the purse.
The secret is to get into the habit of putting your loose small change into the jar every evening. Make it a ritual and easy to remember, for instance you could keep the jar on the bedside cabinet and when you get undressed at night, empty your pockets of the small coins. Or keep the jar by the front door, so when you take your coat off you also empty your pockets or purse of change.
It doesn't matter what you like doing in your leisure time, everything can be done cheaply if you plan ahead and shop around. Here is a list of some the things we like doing even on our small budget.
Eating Out - Admittedly we only do this on special occasions but even then there are ways to keep the cost down and still have a lovely meal.
Watching Movies - apart from going to the cinema (which can still be done if you know where to go), we watch a lot of movies at home on video or Dvd's.
However our personal collection of movies is quite small, so we usually have to rent them. By shopping around we have found some great ways to do this much cheaper than by going to the big rental stores.
Listening to music - Apart from listening to music at home we also really love to go to live events. Something that used to be restricted to rock music when we were younger but now we like to listen to all sorts of music and if it's live it's so much better. Over the years we have discovered that this can be done a lot of the time very cheaply or even free if you know where to go and we include it in our monthly frugal activities on a regular basis.
Theatre - yes even seeing a play can be a frugal entertainment option if you spend some time searching out the best deals and visiting venues other than traditional theatre houses.
We didn't realise that so much goes on locally and by groups that we just hadn't thought of. There are many more independent arts groups around than is sometime apparent and it can take some time to discover them.
But I'm sure than no matter where you live there will be theatre going opportunities.
Museums and art galleries - This is one of our favourite things to do. I think we have visited most of the major and quite a few of the smaller museums and art galleries in London over the years. Even though a lot of them are free, they still expect you to pay for special exhibitions and events, but even these can be made cheaper.
Hobbies - Frugal knitting is certainly a great hobby to consider taking up in your spare time. It is very relaxing as well as providing you with many useful items around the home such as clothing, bags and cushion covers.
It also need not be very expensive if you reuse yarn from old items of clothing and make use of the many free patterns available on the internet.
It is also very trendy to knit these days with many celebrities taking it up and showing off their creations on the covers of the magazines.
Simple pleasures are over looked and they may not seem to be as exciting as going to the cinema or clubbing but hey! life can't all be fun and games. Having said that there are still plenty of things that are fun and free, the ultimate frugal entertainment.
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