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Cheap/Free Activities
Old 12-02-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
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Cheap/Free Activities

I've given up most of the costly hobbies/activities that cluttered my early adulthood, but a few vices left (boating for one). We are consciously trying out other hobbies/activities (Zelinksi Get-A-Life-Tree if you're familiar) now in preparation for retirement when the recession is over in a few years. For example, I have always enjoyed riding my bicycle whether for pure exercise, sightseeing or just enjoying a nice day - and it hardly costs anything.

I thought this would be a great place to troll for other cheap/free hobbies/activities (that I can add to our Tree). I'm sure we'll get some comedic great ideas from everyone here.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
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Ok. Navel gazing.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:54 PM   #3
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One activity comes to mind, but I shall refrain.

Pencil and paper are inexpensive for sketching...not too good for the muscles, but it broadens and soothes the mind.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
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Obvious ones. Walking,hiking. Pack a brown bag picnic lunch go out to the park or waterfront. Unfortunately most of my hobbies dont fall in the cheap range.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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Have you counted frequenting this forum? Good time killer, too much in fact...

Loving to travel to Europe, I often check out travel DVDs from the public library.

Also often check out foreign movie DVDs. As I get older, I like dramas, and no longer the American action genre with non-realistic stunts. The foreign movies carried by public libraries tend to be of the award-winning type, and also offer a window into their cultures, something that interests me.

I also read more non-fiction works. Public libraries are great. One big reason I may not want to retire to the 2nd home in the AZ boonie high country I bought as part of the initial plan.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:20 PM   #6
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- do something analog (no computers or cell phones allowed) - in nice weather, grab a book or sketch pad or letter writing pad, a folding chair, a baby cooler, and go find a lake or stream and sit and enjoy. in winter, do inside in front of a sunny window.
- go buy a dozen cheap kites and hit the park or beach or lakeside. fly one yourself and watch adults come over and reminisce. hand them a cheap kite and string, say "it's on the house" and watch the smiles. i actually do this, especially if they have kids with them. i am The Kite Lady.
in winter, build a snowman, or better yet, a snow fort.
- garden outside or make indoor plants for yourself or friends.
- call friends you've lost touch with. this is downright magical.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:20 PM   #7
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How about geocaching?

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Old 12-02-2008, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach View Post
How about geocaching?

Coach
I went camping in the George Washington National Forest in early Oct, and we went on an 8 mile day hike through the mountains along the VA/WV border. As is usual with this group, we missed the blazes at one point and ended up 1/2 mile downhill on the wrong trail. While casting around through the woods trying to find the trail I came across an ammo box in a hollow tree. Looked in it (of course ) and found out it was a geocache stash GC11XBB Road to No Where (Traditional Cache) in West Virginia, United States created by two2dive4

I had never heard of geocaching, but since then I've been reading up on it. Definitely fits the cost/fun requirements. Good suggestion.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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Since I live in Florida a day at the beach with a good book is my favorite free activity.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:25 PM   #10
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I enjoy cooking, especially in the winter (pretty weird for a guy, huh?) Depending on your ingredients, I would submit that it goes beyond cheap and beyond free to being a great money saver. Entertainment that saves you money! How can you beat that?
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:34 PM   #11
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-I second cooking.
-Ever consider writing a journal or personal history?
-Hiking/biking/trail running in the good weather months.
-Wii Fit...see other thread.
-Competing with yourself to see just how frugally you can live.
-Volunteerism...could go along with cooking. Find a family in your community or parish that is down on their luck, cook a meal for them, leave it on the porch, press the doorbell and run...
-Mow the neighbor's lawn when (s)he isn't looking...especially nice if she is an elderly widow.
-Invite friends for a weekly/monthly game night...scrabble, uno, cards, etc.

Just let your imagination run wild, I'm sure you'll find a lot of somethings that will be fun/interesting.

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Old 12-02-2008, 11:28 PM   #12
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-Mow the neighbor's lawn when (s)he isn't looking...especially nice if she is an elderly widow.
And maybe even nicer if she's a young widow.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:41 PM   #13
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If you've got a large rock laying around you can try the Sisyphean challenge.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:03 AM   #14
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--Sunset watching
--Feeding the ducks at the local lake
--Hiking with the dog
--Having friends over for a simple supper (soup and bread)
--Cheapo wine tasting parties (everyone has to bring a bottle, nobody can spend more than $10, winner gets a bottle of Thunderbird for a prize, loser has to drink some of it)
-- A friend of ours is into architectural walking tours of our town
-- Riding the city bus around town
-- Reading trashy magazines at the public library
-- Free lectures in the community
-- Volunteering (I especially like packing food boxes at the local food bank, but there are lots of fun things to do in most towns)
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
One activity comes to mind, but I shall refrain.
"It is not economical to go to bed early to save candles if the result is twins." -- Chinese proverb
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:20 AM   #16
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- A day at the beach, especially with a longboard (entrance fee for a used board but unlimited rides)
- Neighborhood FOD walkdowns for stray coins, redeemable cans/bottles, and trash pickup
- Beach cleanup days with a volunteer group
- Your municipality's "Tour De Trash", where offered
- Twilight strolls of the neighborhood holiday decorations
- The local library
- Attending a neighborhood board meeting (if you've never been to one, it's hard to understand the "entertainment" factor)
- the "volunteer" section of the local newspaper

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One activity comes to mind, but I shall refrain.
Oh, it may seem cheap or even free at first...
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:55 AM   #17
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About cooking, I enjoy it more now that I eat less, and get more satisfaction out of feeding my family or guest. Hey, Hankster, it's not weird. Don't you notice most chefs/cooks are men?

It occurred to me that Midpack might be thinking more of a physical activity, since this is in the health forum. Or could it be mental health?

About physical activity, I don't know if any of you have access to a national forest near your home. From my hideout in the AZ high country, I could ride my dirt bike (motorcycle) into one. The most I have ridden with my son was 50 mi in a trip, over tough trails left by forest rangers. Came back sore for weeks. The cost of a used dirtbike isn't that bad. So far, in AZ you do not need to register such off-road vehicles nor pay for insurance.

Just occurred to me that I could try geocaching!!! I usually bring my GPS in case we get lost in the woods anyway.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urchina View Post
--Sunset watching
--Feeding the ducks at the local lake
--Hiking with the dog
--Having friends over for a simple supper (soup and bread)
--Cheapo wine tasting parties (everyone has to bring a bottle, nobody can spend more than $10, winner gets a bottle of Thunderbird for a prize, loser has to drink some of it)
-- A friend of ours is into architectural walking tours of our town
-- Riding the city bus around town
-- Reading trashy magazines at the public library
-- Free lectures in the community
-- Volunteering (I especially like packing food boxes at the local food bank, but there are lots of fun things to do in most towns)
--
Hey, this is my regular lifestyle. The bus is my main transportation; I sometimes read trashy magazines at the library: stuff like "Money" and "Kiplingers," walking tours are great, free lectures, check, ducks, check, volunteering, yep, friends over, you betcha.

OP, while you were posting this thread, I was enjoying "free day at the museum." Another one I've always liked is touring nearby college campuses, many of them have museums where a curator will jump at the chance to give a tour. There is a cathedral (Episcopal) where the priests jump out to give tours; I usually say I've been there before and know my way around; next time, maybe I'll take his tour.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:39 AM   #19
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Many of the above like bicycling, I also have an 11' boat with a 5 hp outboard. Boat was bought used and had been wet once, the outboard was a store demonstrator. The boat is unusual in that it folds up and leans against a corner in the garage so it doesn't take much room to keep.

The next acquisition will be a motorcycle. Not necessarily cheap to buy, but cheap to run though unless you get a huge one.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:30 AM   #20
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I enjoy cooking, especially in the winter (pretty weird for a guy, huh?)
I enjoy cooking, too. I don't think it's that weird, stereotypes notwithstanding.

I just hate the clean-up after cooking.
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