After a year or two of increasingly frivolous spending, one of my goals going into the New Year is to save as much money as possible. In some areas of my life, like eating out or buying clothes, it’s obvious what I need to cut, and there are plenty of easy ways to save money.
The one area that I foresee giving me trouble is hanging out with friends. When the go-to outings are bar nights or dinner at a new restaurant, a night or two out can break your budget, particularly when your friends aren’t as money-conscious as you are.
Which is why we’re crowd-sourcing some inexpensive hang options. This one, suggested by Audrey Gonzalez the Financial Diet, sounds especially fun:
One of my friends came up with the idea to do a cooking club. Every month, someone in the group volunteers to demonstrate how to make a favourite dish, whether that’s chicken pot pie or paprikash or black bean and spinach enchiladas. We’ve even had people demonstrate simple cake decorating techniques or walk us through the basics of creating your own home garden.
We schedule the cooking club weeks ahead of time because of busy schedules and small children, and since there are enough of us, we only need to volunteer maybe once or twice every year. The rest of the time, you get to show up to socialise, learn how to make a new thing, and eat for free.
What a great way to synch up with friends, provide comfort and show off your culinary capabilities. You could also stick to a more traditional potluck situation.
Another suggestion that we’ve written up before: Start a short story club. This doesn’t involve the time commitment (or expense) of a book club, and, as Nick wrote, you can get more creative and avant garde with your picks.
A movie club also works. Inspired by the podcast Unspooled, some family members and I are beginning to work our way through the AFI Top 100 Movies of All Time list together. We pick one movie every other week, watch and then discuss. You could set up something like this too, tweaking the time frame to fit your needs. What’s great is you can find many of the films online for free, or rent them for less than a cup of coffee.
Do you have any original, cheap-ish activities you like to do with your friends and/or family? Let us know in the comments.