Aug 18, 2010 – Andrew
Neither of us are the kind of person who has to spend money to have a good time. But even we don’t like the idea of endless nights at home reading quietly, or doing yardwork. The best date nights are ones where we can spend nothing (or next to nothing) and do something cool and different. Last week we were lucky enough to hit that magic combo two nights running!
On Tuesday, a co-worker gave me a pass for the early screening of Eat, Pray, Love – the new Julia Roberts flick based on the book. Even tho we ended up in the extreme left of the very front row, we turned it into a game as we pointed out the fun-house mirror distortions of body parts our odd angle allowed. We brought our own water and a few homemade cookies and splurged on a shared small popcorn – Courtney even used her feminine wiles to wrangle us a free refill!
Total Cost: $6 for popcorn (my treat)
On Wednesday, we went to see the Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC – my boss had passed on 2 comp tickets he wasn’t going to be able to use (thanks Joe!). Courtney packed a picnic dinner and we ate in Congress Park, then strolled downtown, stopping for some homemade ice cream (smalls of course!) before heading over. The show was amazing (a review of Gershwin’s non-Broadway tunes) and a very cool and different way to spend the evening.
Total Cost: $7 for ice cream (her treat)
More fun ways to be a cheap SOB:
- Library – the ultimate freebie: These are the one thing government has totally gotten right. Libraries are amazing community resources and you can walk with new books, CDs, movies, magazines, audiobooks and more, all for the cost of a few late fees a year (which just goes back to the library anyway). They usually have postings for book readings and reading clubs, free concerts, community events, and other great ways to have fun for next to nothing. There’s usually even free internet access.
Quote: “I feel like we’re getting away with something!” – Courtney on walking out of the library with an armload of goodies.
- Exercise: No need for a gym membership if you don’t want to drop the money, you can exercise anywhere and most activities are inherently fun. Walking, biking, dancing, running, swimming – and other ways to get around. Group activities like volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, tag (fun even in your 30s!), soccer, basketball or tennis – hey, your local library probably has info on all of these in your area!
- Hobby Up: If there’s something you like to do, or something you’ve been meaning to learn, devote some time to developing that skill or interest. Get a book on the subject then teach yourself an instrument, learn to sew or knit, start some wood-working projects – start canning, or gardening, or anything else you’re even vaguely interested in. The sky is truly the limit (unless you pursue model rockets, in which case that’s not a problem either) and you’ll build useful skills.
- Creative Relaxation: Grab a blanket and all that great reading material you picked up for free and lay out in your yard. The new perspective alone will spark some conversation and give you a whole new way of looking at your home. Same goes for parks and the beach.
- ‘Free’ Loaders: Host a party centered around activities that don’t cost anything (also good for date or double-date nights)
- Host a film festival with all your free movies
- Invite friends over for board games (everyone bring their favorite and vote on which to play or do each for a half hour)
- Organize a hike to show off your favorite natural wonders
- Do a ‘groceries-only’ dinner party or BBQ; everyone brings something they already have in their pantry or fridge