Enjoying Yourself Without Spending a Fortune: A Guide to Frugal Entertainment

There are so many forms of entertainment that cost a lot of money and are simply out of reach for some people. With things like tickets to watch your favourite football team costing as much as £50, and often more, tickets to watch Formula 1 racing costing hundreds of pounds, it’s surprising that in the current financial climate they have any spectators. Even going to the theatre can set you back £30 or £40, and can soon amount to a very expensive evening out.

However, there are forms of entertainment that cost a lot less, and ways of enjoying yourself without spending a fortune.

Daily Deal Websites

There are numerous daily deal websites that offer savings on just about everything, from products to theatre tickets and even holidays. If you have not heard of these before, they are basically what the name says, websites that offer short-term deals with big reductions in price. Most deals only last for 24 hours, although sometimes they last a little longer.

‘Daily Deals Section At ZealDeal’ – zealdeal via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Often, you will find they are local to your area and do not necessarily involve big brand names. Keeping your eyes on the deals is the secret, so when that spa weekend you have always wanted comes up you are ready to grab it with both hands. Don’t be tempted to impulse buy as then you will spend more than you intended, but if they put up a deal on one of your favourite forms of entertainment, they can save you a decent amount of money.

Free Online Games

Not all forms of entertainment involve leaving your home. As long as you have access to a PC or digital device, and have an internet connection, there is no end of free online games to choose from. You may think of playing online games as something children and teenagers do, but there are games for adults too. For instance, there is a huge choice of online casinos, and many of them offer free bets so you can play just for fun. There are some online casinos that even give free bets on things like the Grand National, ideal if you are a horse-racing fan. For those interested in horse racing but not knowledgeable enough, sites such as Oddschecker offer betting tips and analysis to inform your decision.

‘Horse Racing’ – Paul via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

You will also find word games, puzzle games, and many of the board games that we played as children have been successfully transferred to online gaming sites. There are also some TV game shows that have been converted for online, and although you will not win the big prizes they used to on the TV, you can still have fun playing games such as The Weakest Link and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Event Websites

Most events, even one-offs, have a website. If you want to find special offers on admission tickets, that is the place to look. You will often find, especially if the event is over a few days, that some days are cheaper than others. For example, if they have a children’s day they are usually much cheaper and are sometimes free, even if you do not have children to tag along with you.

Music and other festivals sometimes start cheaper with early-bird tickets, building to the highest prices on the last day. Then there is your choice of which day of the week you attend an event. Weekends always tend to be the dearest, but go on what is one of the much quieter days, such as a Tuesday or Wednesday, and you will probably find a discounted price.

It is also worth checking out the websites of local theatres who may hold open rehearsals for plays, ballet, opera, symphony or shows. Depending on the venue, rehearsals can sometimes be free to watch, but will at least be at a greatly reduced price.

Use Free Resources

Make use of your free local resources if you like to read, use the local library and remember if there is a book you want to read that they do not have, they will usually arrange to get it for you.

Check with your local council. People do not always realise just how many things councils have going on for their residents, and often they are free. Many of them offer workshops and classes, and there could be something that is of interest to you.

You could even turn yourself into a local resource by offering a skill you have to other people. Whether you do that for free or not is your choice, but you may find that teaching someone else how to knit, cook, work with wood or anything else you can do is very enjoyable and satisfying.

Watch Out For The Deals

Next time someone hands you a leaflet in your local supermarket, or in the street, don’t just screw it up and throw it away. It could be a two for one deal at a local restaurant or cheaper admittance to a theme park. Look closely at the restaurant menus as often they have deals where children eat for free when adults accompany them, but they do not always shout too loudly about it.

Keep your eyes on newspapers and magazines for adverts that are offering a discount, and on shop counters where leaflets have been left. Remember, all these people want you as their customer, and if special deals are the way to get you to visit their venue, then that is what they will do.

Some employers negotiate special deals for their staff, often on things like travel or accommodation. Find out if you are entitled to any deal because of where you work, and take advantage if you do.

The Great Outdoors

Make the most of parks and green spaces in your local area. They are usually totally free, and a stroll around a lake, a bike ride over the hills or family hike can all be great fun and cost nothing apart from a picnic.

No matter where you live, there will be somewhere not too far away that is open and free for public use. Take a ball and have a kick-about, or take a book and relax while the children play. Playing hide and seek in the local park, riding their bikes along a trail or climbing some hills sticks in the memory of children. You will not only be having fun for free, but building memories for them as well.

It does not matter if you do not have children, these places can be just as pleasant for adults, although probably a bit quieter.

Entertain Friends At Home

You can always entertain people at home without spending too much money. It is cheaper to cook a meal yourself than to eat out, and perfectly acceptable these days to say you will provide the food and the guests can bring the wine, or whatever else they want to drink.

‘Bbq Season Is Opened’ – Miia Sample via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It is also becoming popular in the summer months to open up your garden as the venue and ask some of the guests to bring food, and some of them to bring drinks. You can even set up a BBQ and ask that some of the food be burgers, sausages and other food that can be barbequed. As long as there are cobs and salad brought along by others, you could all have a very tasty meal at very little cost to you.

Enjoy Yourself Without Spending a Fortune

There are lots of ways to entertain yourself and your family without spending a fortune. The ones above are just a few suggestions, but they are not an exhaustive list by any means. You can look locally for plays being put on by schools and drama groups, or classes in a new interest can be fun. Speak to friends and acquaintances about your locality, there may be things you are not aware of even if you have lived there for years.


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