Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Fun and Experiences - Cheaply

Here in the U.S. we are in the throws of winter and it sure can be boring.  We all need to come up with new and creative ways to have a little fun and do it cheaply.  There are a lot of options.

READ - read a book.  It can be fiction, fantasy, biography, history, cookbooks, books of frugal living, gardening, ANYTHING
Books can take you to another place and time.  There is much to learn and lots of laughs and tears to be had.

Think about starting a neighborhood library.  This is becoming a big thing.  I don't believe it would work in my area, I think it might be vandalized - but many are doing this.
Any type of structure could be put together - just so it has a door to keep out weather.  Take a book, leave a book and share.  I think this would be a fun neighborhood project.

OLD MOVIES & TV - if you already have cable, consider watching some of the old classic movies and TV shows.  They were all pretty darn wholesome, not like the stuff on TV today.  Most cable packages have at least one channel that provides the older things.

SEW/CRAFT - so much can be made and created.  Think about making a simple quilt/patch work with old clothes and fabrics.  Make pillows, placemats, other clothes, Christmas gifts/ornaments, etc.  Needlecraft is fun - crochet, knit, embroidery, etc.  You can often find supplies at yard sales and thrift stores so you don't have to spend a fortune.

YOU TUBE - Oh my there is so much to learn.  You can watch movies and shows and you can learn HOW TO do just about anything in the world,  Mechanics, canning, gardening, off-grid living, thrifting, dumpster diving, sewing, plumbing, carpentry - ANYTHING

GARDEN - it doesn't have to cost a lot (actually can get seeds for pennies), nor do you have to have a big yard.  Gardening can be done on a large scale or small.  Pots on your patio, old wash tubs, totes, reusable grocery bags (filled with dirt), turn feed bags into plant bags, even just bags of dirt - cut open and seeds inserted!  You can plant a few veggies in amongst flowers and bushes (veggies are pretty plants).  Find others who enjoy gardening and share your bounties.  It is fun, fresh air, provides healthy food, and great exercise.  

COMPOST - old trash can with air holes drilled in it can be used.  Dump all refuse (except meat and dairy), add leaves, grass clippings, etc.  Make your own wonderful rich dirt.  You can use old pallets and make a compost box as well.  So many options.
Learn to make a homemade water barrel and recycle water as well to help grow things.

WALK - take a walk around the neighborhood and get to know neighbors.  Walk through parks, the woods or fields.  Go to your local garden center or greenhouse or floral conservatory and enjoy the smells and sights.
Walk around and help clean the neighborhood of any debris.  Glean from unused trees and bushes.
Walk through thrift shops and flea markets to get ideas for your own stuff.  
NOTE:  resist buying!!!!!

VISIT - friends and family.  Visit your local animal shelter.  Visit shut-ins.

ORGANIZE a neighborhood sale.  This not only benefits you but your neighbors as well.  Everyone gets rid of stuff, makes a little money, enjoys the outdoors and socialize with others.

HAVE a picnic.  It can be in the yard for you and your family, at a park for maybe more people, even a neighborhood picnic.  Heck, you can even have a picnic in the house on a rainy/snowy day.

PORCH SIT - watch the world go by, watch nature, read a book, just relax!  Fresh air, relaxing and sunshine.

RECYCLE - learn more about recycling and reusing things.  Work on having a zero impact on environment - harder than it sounds!!!! 

Have fun and do it quite cheaply.  NO reason not to.  We all need to try new things and experience new things and make our lives a little fuller.
A fuller life and new experiences can actually improve our attitudes and moods.

My plan is to expand myself - I need NEW joy!  How about you?


  1. My library has a bunch of free classes. I signed up for some. Some are crafts, others are cooking. It is just nice to get out. Hubby and I went to a friend's house Friday night to watch a movie after dinner.We brought wine and they put out cookies. No big fuss. My church has different groups that get together for cards, crocheting and mommy and me. All free.

    1. Love it!!!! More ideas. I forgot all about classes and projects at the library and church.
      Dinner/movie at home with family/friends is always a winner.
      Thank you for more ideas!!!!!

  2. We have one of those up the street and so far it has been fine. It has been there for at least 3 years. I wish I had time to craft but I have so much to do. If you lived close I would have you over here helping me.

    1. How cool on the little library.
      Your day will come - when you slow down some! IF you slow down.
      I'd be there in a minute!

  3. I was just thinking about how to have more joy in our life. We are seniors, my hubby and I and things are in a rut. Thanks for such a helpful post.

    1. RUT is the word! I hear you. Sometimes we just have to change it up a bit.

  4. We have a great senior center about a mile from us. Besides lots of classes/card games/presentations/field trips etc., it also serves lunch each day for a nominal charge and delivers meals to the homebound (both for a fee and Meals on Wheels for those who qualify). I'm not old enough to attend (for age 60+), and my 88 year old husband refuses to "hang out with old people", but a lot of older folks here in the trailer park do attend. There is even a shuttle bus for those who do not drive.
    Many gyms participate in Silver Sneakers and other reduced dues programs for older folks. Check your health insurance plan to see if they participate. Many local gyms have classes specifically geared for older women. Trust me, nobody cares what you look like in sweatpants and a t-shirt!
    I love the Little Free Library idea. I have left magazines and books at our cluster mailbox pavilion, and they are always gone within a day. Library book sales are great places to pick up very inexpensive books, too.
    Our state parks (Pennsylvania) have free presentations on nature and host nature walks in season. I think some of the local parks do, too.
    Anyone who likes to crochet, sew, quilt, or knit might want to check out Project Linus (projectlinus.org). There are chapters all over the country. A lot of our materials are donated or purchased with donated funds. I love that I get to make comfort blankets for seriously ill and traumatized kids with gorgeous fabrics and don't have to pay for most of the supplies. Our chapter meets several times a month, ten months out of the year.
    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Love this post, Cheryl!

    1. Oh wow, tons more great ideas. You gals are a gold mine of wonderful ideas. Thank you so much.
      LOL - your hubby sounds like my grandma did years ago. She lived in a senior apartment complex, and gave classes at the senior center. When Daddy would call her and ask what she had done that day - she would say "I was down teaching the old people". She was 86 at the time!!! She 'taught' up until her last day.
      Thanks again for all the great ideas.

  5. Here in winter, I try only to go out when I have to, but I'm never bored. If I'm not crafting, I'm reading or listening to music, and then of course, there is housework.

    I meet up with friends at least once a week and attend the library for Stitch and Chat weekly. When it's warmer I walk almost every day, and last summer I volunteered for a local charity to keep their flower beds cleaned up. I'll probably change that up this year as I found it boring being by myself. Then there are visits to see my grandson and daughter.

    1. More good ideas. Geesh, I meant to mention volunteering - for any place- but forgot. I love that idea of keeping the flower beds nice.
      Thank you!

  6. A retired neighbor walks a homebound neighbor's dog in good weather. Both the dog and the neighbor get some exercise!
    A couple of retirees I know usher at local theatrical productions. They have gotten to see some big-name plays for free. I think the symphony orchestra uses volunteer ushers, too.
    The conservancy group in my area relies on volunteers to plant and maintain flower gardens in prominent green spaces throughout the area.
    The animal shelters in my area are always looking for dog walkers and other volunteers.
    State extension offices offer classes here affiliated with a local college. I know they offer Master Gardener certification and other programs.
    Many colleges and universities will let seniors audit college classes for little or no fee. There are also numerous college classes available online for little or no fee (no college credit). Take adult continuing ed classes through a local community college. Ours offers an amazing variety.
    Sing with a community choir or join a community band or orchestra.

    1. You are on a roll. WOW - so many great ideas. My goodness, if we can't all find something new to do this year with all the great ideas coming in - something is wrong.

  7. I almost forgot one of my favorite hobbies: genealogy. Ancestry.com is very expensive, but the LDS church website (familysearch.org) is free. I've been researching for over 40 years, building on my grandmother's research, and still learn new things.
    Before dementia took his mind, my father wrote a small book of childhood family memories centered around a collection of photographs. The book was nothing fancy, just photocopied. We children and a few family members who requested it were given copies. He was a very reticent man and didn't talk much, but I learned a lot about his family and some of our ancestors through his book. I think he truly enjoyed writing it. Just be prepared for other family members' memories to not necessarily agree! LOL!

    1. I have done genealogy for years. I have been amiss for a couple years - been did that for ages. It is fun - especially when you find something. That is the incentive to keep going. when we belonged to ancestry.com we shared the cost with a different family member and shared the password. 2 families got the use of the membership.
      I have Mom's journals and she wrote a lot of stuff in them about family.

      Another thing that could go along with this is - PLAN a family reunion! I have a ton of people wanting me to do this - they want to come, but don't want to help. Hmmmm.

  8. Those are all wonderful ideas and activities. You are such a good example for so many of us. Hugs- Diana

    1. Aaahhhh thank you. I need to do some of these myself. Hope we can all just encourage one another

  9. I volunteer - lots of opportunities in most areas. I also take a language class on Saturday mornings and do online courses (for free) FutureLearn & Coursera both have lots of options.
    I also belong to a social club for those over 55 - membership is only $40/yr and they feature many free and low cost activities.
    I have a yearly membership to both the Art Gallery and the Museum and take advantage of all the exhibits on offer. And my local library offers all sorts of activities besides books & movies, including many tech classes.
    I wish that I could do more but, I've also gone back to work 25 hours per week - partly because I need the money but also because I was bored and getting into a rut at home. The fact that I have to get up and out each day encourages me to do all those other things.

    1. From all the things you listed I don't see how you could get bored! You have all kinds of fun things to do. That is so cool.
      Sounds like you keep quite active. Good for you.
      TRhanks for more great ideas.

  10. Such great ideas!
    Now that our taxes are done for the year, I will have Saturdays to do what I like. First on the list is finishing quilts for my 3 youngest granddaughters. And then I'd like to make one for our bed. I've made throws for the living room but not our room.
    I also want to delve into more serious Bible Study than I have have time for now.
    Gardening, ds2 & I will be putting our garden back into production this year. We let it go fallow last year when neither of us had time to care for it properly.
    Walking: I love walking out here in the country. Looking forward to warmer days to do that.
    Also I've been asked to give a class on using the Instant Pot for some friends. I think I'll do that this Spring.
    I am looking forward to retirement in 10 years so I can be very busy. :)

    1. My goodness it sounds like you will have plenty to keep you busy for quite a while. It is nice that it is all productive too!
      How nice to be asked to do that class. They must hold you in high regard.

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