10 Ways to Have Fun for Almost Nothing in 2013 | A Rose in Bloom
It is really no secret that Americans spend hundreds of dollars on entertainment a year.  Between eating out with friends, going to movies, concerts, etc… Americans blow money left and right.  What a lot of people don’t realize is that you can have a lot of fun WITHOUT going bankrupt.  I am not saying to never go to full priced movies or go to the bars with friends.  I would never recommend that because I enjoy doing those things myself.  But doing it every weekend is just not feasible for most people.  If you’re looking to trim your budget, here are some tips on how to save money on entertainment.

1.       Frequent parks and other outdoorsy areas.  
Here you can go hiking or camping pretty easily.  Getting in touch with nature is not only healthy for a well-balanced human being, but in most cases it’s free. 

2.       Dollar  movie theatres! 
 Between these and Redbox you cannot go wrong!  Here they usually play anything you have wanted to see one month after the release date.  I think here it costs $1.50, but that hasn’t stopped me.  Great cheap date with friends.

3.       Get to know your neighbors.
 Easier said than done, but if you can make friends with your neighbors, you will always have someone to go to the pool with, have a movie night, or take turns having dinner parties.

4.       Frequent your local library. 
Not only is reading important for keeping a sharp mind, they have anything you want for free.  Just be sure to return it on time.  Most libraries have free fun events at random, so check out your local library to see what’s on the agenda.  Couple of months ago our library showed the Star Wars trilogy back to back on a Saturday. 

5.       Look for free music events. 
Lots of places do this.  A frozen yogurt parlor across the street had free live music every Friday night this past summer.  Bars do it too, just be careful.  If you must drink, pregame beforehand so you don’t run up a huge tab.  Don’t forget to take the bus home or have a DD.

6.       Organize movie nights and potlucks with friends! 
Hanging out with your friends in your home or theirs is a much cheaper alternative to going out.  I used to have people bring their own booze and I would bartend.  Fun!  We would also have dance parties.  That was nice because we didn’t have the random drunk assholes who hit on girls, get stuff spilled on us, and we only listened to music we actually enjoyed.

7.       Holiday related downtown activities. 
Most downtowns have parades and festivals for holidays, and not just Christmas either. I am talking 4th of July, Halloween, and even St. Patrick’s Day.

8.       Farmer’s Markets. 
Not only can you get a higher quality food at Farmer’s Markets, but many have free classes and live music.  They are very relaxing.

9.       Whole Foods Market.
 If you have Whole Foods nearby, every Friday they have 5 for $5.  You pay $5, and they give you a beer glass that you get to keep.  Then you go around the store and try five different beers and appetizers that go with these beers.  If you don’t want to pay, you can forgo the beer and try the food for free.  Whole Foods has also had free wine tastings lately, and they update their local calendars with free or cheap events pretty regularly.  Just don’t get tempted to buy too much if you are trying to save money.

10.   Museums and art centers. 
Many museums either have minimal costs or free days.  UK museum here is free unless they have a special gallery touring there, and even then it’s free on Friday nights.  You can also be on the lookout for free dance recitals, dress rehearsals (universities often have “open dress rehearsal” which allows people to see the show for free to warm up the actors for the real audience), and other random events.  As an actor and dancer, I can’t tell you how many free events I performed in when I lived in Huntsville.  Here, it is less, but still, if you hang out at local restaurants and bookshops, you will often see fliers for cheap and/or free events in your local arts community.
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