Lately, we’ve been spending a decent amount of money on keeping ourselves entertained. Do we regret this? Yes, kind of. While we’re having a good time, I’m tired of thinking that we need to spend the big bucks in order to have fun.

$25 for two movie tickets, and then buying food and candy can add up quickly and be equal to around $40 (and then you also have to factor in the costs to get to the actual movie theater). Or how about whenever we feel bored, so we go shopping. That is always a lot of money of course also!

There are many reasons for why we want to spend less money and be more frugal with our entertainment. We are really working on paying off my student loans, and we would also just like to focus more on having fun while not spending a ton of money.

Below are some frugal entertainment ideas, some are even free!

1. Go to the library

While I am failing in this category, this can be a big money saver. You can get your favorite books (hard copies or e-books!) and also rent movies, all for free of course. Usually the libraries will even have the most recent movies, so why go to the movie store? Renting movies at an actual store can cost $2-$3, and if you forget to return them, then the fees can add up quickly.

Also, for me, I always prefer to watch movies in the comfort of my home. I tend to have more fun this way, and I get to save money.

You can also go to the library and look for hobby books. Have you ever wanted to knit or learn something new such as a new language? The library can help you out with this for free.

2. Use discounted gift certificates

This is something that we do a lot of. We LOVE You can get cheap food certificates. Usually we can get around $40 worth of food for $15, and they are usually places that we already eat at. WIN-WIN in my book.

3. Looks for free local events

I LOVE St. Louis. Living here definitely has its perks, such as a lot of free things to do. The Science Museum, Zoo and many other places are completely free. I am still shocked that in some cities they charge $30 per person to go to the zoo, especially when the zoo here is one of the best.

Also, St. Louis has free music events in the summer. And I’m not talking just some random bands that most people haven’t heard of. Maroon 5, Nelly, Tom Petty and many others have played in recent years. There are also tons of other headliners, and this goes on ALL summer long, all for free. I’m sure many other cities have this as well, so look it up.

4. Go to the park

There are many fun events to do at the park. You can have a picnic, lay on the grass, play with your dogs and so on. One of my favorite things to do at the park around here is to paddle boat or kayak. They let you rent it for $15 for an hour here. And it’s always fun to kayak in Forest Park around the huge water fountains. Very pretty and romantic at the same time.

What do you do for frugal fun?



Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.