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Many articles discuss free and cheap activities for the family, but what does a single Frugalite do with their time? How can we get out and have some fun on the cheap, especially in these uncertain times? Read on!
Local Parks, Beaches, Museums
Parks and beaches are usually free or, in the case of state parks, very cheap. Getting out in nature is very stress relieving, therefore a great way to recharge and restore our balance. Walking, swimming, and breathing in the fresh air are but a few of the ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Pack a lunch and hike a trail!
Museums tend to be cheap and can be a great way to spend an afternoon. My local museum features not only local history but art from local artists! If the weather isn’t great for the outdoors, this is a wonderful alternative.
There are many organizations whose day-to-day operations depend upon volunteers. Everything from animal shelters to literacy foundations to farmer’s markets to homeless shelters and schools, there’s something for everyone! Make a list of your interests and see what’s out there! This is a great way to meet new friends with common interests. Read on for more specific ways to get involved in your community.
Yoga, Meditation, Tai chi
These ancient arts are great ways to deal with the stress of uncertain times! Stretch the muscles and breathe deeply while calming the mind and managing the anxiety so common right now. Try these practices in the great outdoors! A beach, a peaceful park-who could ask for more? There are many classes in the studio and dojo. There are also many free videos on YouTube.
If you’re interested in martial arts, join a dojo! This is a more expensive option but can be very worthwhile. You’ll get great exercise, meet new friends, and learn both respect and discipline, in addition to the culture of the art you’re studying. Self-defense capability is never a bad thing!
Local Charity Walks
How about getting out on Earth Day and helping clean up a bit? Similar activities occur throughout the year in many areas. Many organizations raise money in this way, including veterans organizations. Charity suppers are another way to get involved. Many single people enjoy getting out for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. A friendly face can ease a great deal of loneliness for both of you!
Biking is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise! I’ve found this to be a full-body workout and very stress relieving. I can ride the streets around my house or enjoy one of the many bike trails my city maintains. Be aware, however, that trails often charge a low user fee. There are also regulations to consider so all traffic on the road gets along peacefully. Knowing your local ordinances is always a good thing. Frugalites don’t like traffic tickets! You might even find a friend to ride with if you don’t have one already.
At-Home Workout Programs
During the lockdown last year, many gyms and individual teachers went virtual. Some have maintained that option, and again, there’s always YouTube. It’s fun to meet with friends, even via Zoom. Exercise has many benefits, including the generation of endorphins that make us feel better. This is another excellent way to relieve stress and manage anxiety.
Learn New Skills or Hone Existing Ones
There are many ways to go back to school, and some are Frugalite cheap! Whether you’re taking online classes to learn new job skills or attending on-site to learn CPR, self-improvement can be both cheap and rewarding. Learn a new language or get that Master Gardener certification! Opportunities are limited only by your imagination.
Do you enjoy sports and hanging out with kids? Consider volunteering for after-school sports! Contact your local school district for more information. Your local YMCA or Boys & Girls Club might be another option.
Do you enjoy performing arts? Community theaters are also looking for volunteers, and not just for acting parts. There are many behind-the-scenes roles to play, from costumes to makeup to set design. Online platforms like Meetup can help you find a theater group in your area.
Do you like to sew? Everyone loves a homemade quilt, and it’s a very useful skill to develop. Meeting other quilters is a definite plus. And, there’s nothing like a handmade quilt to help you stay warm without adding to your heating bill! Here is a great beginners tutorial.
Gardening, Indoors or Out
Either herbs on your windowsill or a full production garden in your yard, or a community garden. Who doesn’t love fresh herbs and veggies? Community gardens are a great place to get out and interact with people who have similar interests, with the added benefit of making your community a better place. Plots are typically very cheap to rent, and producing one’s food is a definite benefit.
Fishing is a very peaceful way to get out in nature! Whether you catch and release or take your catch home for supper, you’ll have a lovely day just taking it all in.
Pen Pals/Online Forums
This is a very low-cost way to ease one’s loneliness and get to know other people comfortably. Companions can be found on social media or a local message board, though caution is always warranted. A Post Office box used to keep your home address confidential might be useful.
Mentoring is another excellent way to interact with kids. Mentors such as Big Brothers Big Sisters work with at-risk youth to help them get a better handle on life. Requirements vary by organization.
Another program for your consideration is SCORE, which stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives. People with a lifetime of business experience advise young entrepreneurs in a wide variety of endeavors. Your life lessons can be very valuable!
Reading at the Library
Reading to kids can be fun! Many libraries offer storytimes and need volunteers. Check with your local library for information about their programs.
Chess or Other Games
How about chess club or hitting the local game store to enjoy an RPG like Dungeons and Dragons? The list of available games is lengthy! Contact your local store for their schedule. If you prefer online gaming, there’s a long list of empire-building games that allow player interaction. Anything from Star Trek: Fleet Command to the Assassins Creed series to Minecraft and the Elder Scrolls games can help pass an enjoyable evening. You can play many for free, with in-app purchases optional.
Many seniors are lonely, and all have great stories to tell. Many nursing homes and senior centers are relaxing visitor regulations post-Covid. Other options might include your county’s version of the ADRC, the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center in my county. They help seniors in a variety of ways. Veterans organizations such as the DAV and VFW also need volunteers. AARP offers a Go-To Guide for Volunteering With Seniors.
What Do You Like to Do In Your Free Time?
There are many, many ways for single Frugalites to enjoy leisure time. Whether one prefers to volunteer, go solo, or hang out online, there’s something for everyone. How do you like to enjoy your free time? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
5 thoughts on “Cheap Activities for the Single Frugalite”
As a new widow life totally changed. I’d been a stay at home caretaker of my very ill husband. When I found work it was in the city so I had to relocate to a city where I knew no one.
I found a church where I could go straight from work to a morning service then stay for a fellowship time between morning services. I made a few friends and we occasionally shared lunches on Sundays. Sometimes I took a sandwhich and a drink to go read and have lunch alone at a little neighborhood park. I walked and got to know my neighborhood and the restaurants near the University a few blocks from my apartment. I took a job as manager of 2 four plexes for an out of state owner inexchange for lower rent. I was paid extra for cleaning empty apartments, renting then, painting or other repairs. I gardened in the backyard of my apartment and planted flowers and edibles in the unused flowerbeds at the four plex where I lived. I volunteered to help serve holiday meals so I wasn’t alone. I sewed baby caps to donate at a hospital. I knitted a few lap robes for a rest home there in the city.
I stayed busy and wasn’t board or lonely. When I met the man I later married, it was surprising but nice to be courted. We met initially to be friends. A little over a year later we married. Friends from the church I’d been attending and my grown children gave us a nice wedding. Friends provided the place, music and cake. My kids supplied a meal potluck style meal. An old friend officiated. Life is full of surprises.
It certainly is! And life is what you make of it. I wish we could meet face to face one day. I think you’d be a very interesting person to know.
I found this to be especially difficult during the lockdowns. During the first one I was with my daughter, but during the second one, I was out of the country and locked down in Mexico. A couple of neighbors and I made a “bubble” and switched off having dinner at each others’ condos for a little bit of socialization. I was lucky enough to be near the beach so my dogs and I put in a lot of miles out there walking.
You have some awesome ideas!
I had covid in April and May of last year. No pneumonia but I still barely survived. Hubs had diarrhea for three days and it was over. Go figure..
He was still able to move around pretty good and could follow directions. I’d get to the livingroom and park myself in a recliner for the day. A neighbor would call me every three days, pick up money at the front door and go shopping for us. He’d bring in cases of bottled water and three premade sub sandwhiches. I’d tell hubs to put water in the fridge and sandwhiches on the door. I’d eat a few bites from a sandwhich and hubs would eat on the rest all day. When the neighbor realized I hadn’t eat at all in 10 days he brought in a generic drink like Ensure for us. Then he went to a reservation grocery store and bought up several different warm deli lunches. I tried but most I just couldn’t eat. Chicken tenders and potato wedges were OK. It took three days to eat one lunch. But I was eating. It was several months like that. I lost nearly 50lb. But I survived. I’ve gain some back but I think a lot is muscle. Still I’m wearing 6 numbers smaller pants. That part is nice. I’m still recovering. At first I couldn’t lift a gallon of milk. Now I’m moving 40 lb feed sacks and can stack 40lb bags of pellets. The 50lb dog food bags I still need help with. Hubs barely walks now so I’m away very little.
Every two weeks I go to a community pantry, pick up prescriptions, milk at walmart and come home. Some places are still masked some aren’t so I keep a couple in the vehicles.
When big stores were allowed to open everyone was spaced 6 ft apart. At walmart the lines were across the front, around the corner and too long. It’s the main place to shop for folks from as far north or south as 100 miles and 80 miles to the west and 70 mile to the east. Many little communities all go here and three Indian reservations. It was miserable trying to shop. Once a month was enough of that. I drove to our rural post office once a week to get the mail. Now its closer to once every two weeks.
As I was begining to recover a homeless man here was cooking for his 91 year old mother every two or three days. He’d bring us lunch on those days. He’d stand on the porch and visit for a few minutes. The man who had done the shopping for us or his wife would bring an occasional meal and visit for a bit.
In October the neighbors who had done our shopping both were hospitalized with covid. She came home in three days. He was dead in three weeks. We all miss him.
She and I still visit and share meals with each other. She drives me to some appointments but I’m driving to most things if they are in our nearest little town. I’ve changed our primary care to the clinic now. His specialist are still in the city.
Neighbors are finally starting to get out some. Its nice to say hello and catch up with how they are doing. A retired chief of police lives up the road. Dogs had scattered my trash. He stopped in to clean up that mess. Now he’s coming every two weeks to haul our trash to the transfere station over 4 miles away. We’ve also started getting free hot lunches delivered. I didn’t know they had started delivering out here. He told me. We’re 16 miles from the senior center. The hot lunches are a big help. I’m working all I can on gardening and caring for my critters. When I was so sick the same neighbor who shopped for us took over caring for the critters. I’ve started building a pen to move the chickens and ducks into. I’ll use a shipping crate as a duck house and build a coop for the chickens from salvaged lumber and plywood from an old mobilehome we’ve torn down. I’m slowly doing that. A couple of yearsago I’d have had it all done within a week. Now it’s a little at a time over months and still not done. Hubs barely walks now. He sleeps most of the time either in bed or in my recliner. So I’m sort of on a different lockdown these days. He shouldn’t be alone much but I chose not to leave him in the resthome where he was placed for 20 days rehab after a week in the hospital with an infection. They were going to keep him. I refused. I have POA and can make that choice. I keep him talking, feed him meals or he doesn’t eat much anymore, and talk him through how to stand up from a chair. They just left him in wheelchair or bed all the time. I keep him walking through the home as needed. When it cools in the afternoon and the front porch is in the shade I have him walk out to my nice leather office chair and sit for an hour while I work on the garden. Were both much happier with him at home. Rain isn’t helping my leather chair but I’ve just found a padded upholstered chair I’ll be putting out there and bring my office chair back inside. Not complaining. I made the choice.
I’m glad for good neighbors who look out for each other. I try to be a good neighbor too. I spent many years here giving out food from our church and toys for every child in the church and all of this community. Every summer I raised so many food donations I provided a van full of food to several different mission churches for their summer campmeetings. We had freezers and refrigerators overflowing even after giving away a lot of it. After campmeeting was over we sent more food to other missions then gave away here to any who asked for help and we also ate from the excess. The hugh commercial freezer was turned off as soon as possible. Back then I had 5 upright freezers still full to use up and a 20×25 storeroom with rows of shelves full of #10 cans of fruit and vegetables and dry goods- flour, salt, seasonings, ect and more than 1000 lb of pasta to give away or use up before I could start gathering for the next summer. We had lots of church dinners and school lunches out of that. I miss those days. But life changes and its still good. When I was first widowed I lived on that stored food for 2 years while still giving a lot away. During my years away my sons gave out food till it was gone. All that’s left is 6 bottles of syrup for Italian Ices. I’ll finish those. The labels have come off but they are still good. They are pink grapefruit and pomegranate. Both are pleasant mixed with soda or water over ice. Nice on a hot day. The crushed ice maker is worn out but ice cubes are fine for me. I still have a fine 6ft charbroiler with double commercial ovens underneath, a big refrigerated salad bar with lots of refrigerated space underneath, and a three door refrigerated counter. The 6 burner stove top works but the gas line to the oven needs hooked up. I’m considering moving that to my patio to cook and can on. The commercial meat slicer is still here. Nearly every food broker and restaurant supply company or food producer was a regular doner. I’d written letters then called ahead and took them by hand to every owner or manager myself. That opened a lot of doors. One especially made sure we had lots of deli meats and roasts. One year he gave us a pick up load of large containers of seasalt and seasonings. A coffee roasting company filled my van and pickup with custom roasted coffee for the campmeeting plus lots of colorful 4 oz mylar bags of whole bean coffee. A janitorial supply company gave us cleaning and sanitizing products, mops and commercial buckets ect. Paper towels and dispensers too. It was an adventure. I still have 4 more cases of brown non perforated paper towels from the paper company that always kept us in paper goods. I’m using from those. I just tear off what I need.
I’m a Craigslist junky. This week I’m repurposing 6″ deep drawers as shelving units. I have a stack of melamine shelving from a cabinet shop and I had a full pickup load of assorted sizes of new drawers from a different cabinet shop that went out of business. I have all the drawers glides too but I’m removing those. I also have a drawer full of pulls and another full of hinges. Sure handy to go to. All of it free for the hauling. Earlier this week I repurposed an upper kitchen cabinet such as might go over a fridge, into a hutch on a stand in my livingroom. I took off the doors, put books inside and the TV on top. The doors are going in the two drawers I’m hanging for my cookbooks. The doors are being cut down to become cleats and shelves. Two more drawers are being mounted on a 2×4 frame with casters to go under my bed.
I can’t leave much so I’m working here. That’s my lockdown answer. My small home doesn’t have much storage so I’m creating some.
Brilliant ideas of how to still be useful at an older age and if you are stuck at home. Sometimes we take more and sometimes we give more but it all works out somehow.