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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.