Even the most introverted of us love to get together with a group of friends every once in a while to share a good time. However, the expenses of outings can quickly add up, sometimes taking a stressful toll on our wallets. If you enjoy having your friends over but are trying to stick to a budget, then you can probably utilize some of these 9 ideas for things you can do with your buddies without putting a dent in your wallet.
Play some games
Card games or board games are a great way to connect with friends, and they seldom ring up any additional costs. If you’re looking to spice the night up with something exciting, up the stakes of your game night by including a few drinks or awarding prizes to the winners. To keep things low-cost, stick to immaterial prizes such as first dibs on dessert or extra points that’ll give an advantage during the next game night.
If old-fashioned card or tabletop games aren’t your posse’s thing, then go ahead and fire up the PC or console! Video games are a great way to help friends engage with one another, especially those that feature competitive matches that make it easy for players to switch out.
Hold a potluck
It’s no secret that making dinner at home is usually healthier and more frugal than dining out. You can make the most of this opportunity during your next get-together by hosting a potluck. When each person cooks their own dish and contributes to the party, the whole group can enjoy the variety of a buffet alongside the laid-back comfort of a home atmosphere–along with some peace of mind concerning their budgets and waistlines.
Have a bonfire
Most human beings have always felt an innate, primal draw to fire, often finding it both comforting and inspiring. If it’s practical to do so where you live, build a bonfire for you and your friends to enjoy together. Sharing a few drinks or snacks around a roaring fire can be an affordable way to enjoy one another’s company without spending much money.
If you live in an area that doesn’t permit or have room for bonfires, see whether a smaller fire pit or brazier might be more practical instead. The main goal is for you to swap stories and laughs around an open fire–even an arrangement of candles will do in a pinch.
Even when you’re looking to save some money, it’s hard to resist the urge to get together for a good movie. Fortunately, movie night doesn’t have to break your bank if you host it at home instead of taking a trip to the cinema. With a variety of providers on today’s market that offer a selection of premium movie channels, you won’t need to go anywhere in order to make the most of a group movie night. Additionally, you’ve got much more freedom when picking the night’s lineup at home.
Hike or stroll through the park
Do some research and see if there are any national parks or smaller public parks around your area. You and your friends can go there for group exercise sessions, picnics, or sociable hiking. Not only can going on long walks help you stay fit, but it can provide you with a great chance to unplug and engage with one another as well. Call up your friends and make it a regular event to go outside when the weather is prime and take a hike–just make sure you all stay hydrated!
Maintain a book or TV show club
Do you and your group of buddies share in the common love of a certain book series or TV show? Use this as an opportunity to get together and have some fun by discussing the latest chapter or episode. Start at the beginning regardless of how far along everyone has gotten, and no one will feel left out if they’re just getting started.
If you want to take things a step further, then you can theme the entire afternoon after the series you’re all keeping up with. Look into some fun recipes or group activities that relate to the latest episode or chapter, and use them to fuel further discussion of that week’s topic.
Play some casual sports
Whether you used to play baseball as a kid, play competitive tennis, or just enjoy a good round of catch with an old football, this is a great way to save money while also staying active. Rotate through people’s yards or the local parks for a change of scenery with each session to keep things extra lively. As with any game, you can utilize a point system in order to make things interesting and foster an atmosphere of friendly competition at no added cost. Who knows–regular backyard sports sessions might help you and your friends save money at the gym, too!
Take advantage of free, local events
Keep up with your local community calendar to see if there are any free classes being offered that would appeal to your group of friends. Perhaps you’ve got a couple of yoga enthusiasts in your group who would love to help the rest of you get started through a series of free classes at your community center.
One-time or annual events such as festivals and art shows are often either extremely affordable or cheap as well, and help to foster a sense of community that your whole group can benefit from.
Have an astronomy night
On a night when everyone’s schedules permit it, get your crew together for a night of stargazing. It costs nothing to lie back on a blanket and take in the natural beauty of the night sky, except perhaps for the price of snacks, beverages, or a drive to a rural spot if light pollution in your area is too high. Bring along a couple of sky maps or astronomy books to pick out constellations in the sky, or utilize some of the current apps on today’s market that help you identify celestial bodies.
Most people can get a lot out of an afternoon or evening spent with friends, and sharing in good times can certainly make life better. If you’re hoping to get all the benefits of socializing with your group of friends but don’t want to put a big dent in your wallet in the process, then these 9 tips might be for you!