Entertainment Money Saving Tips

Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home

Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home
Written by Irina Vasilescu

When you take a look at your monthly household budget, how much are you actually spending on entertainment? If it looks like a lot, then you are probably allotting too much of your household maintenance funds on activities that keep you entertained.

Although there is absolutely nothing wrong in going out on family dinners or brunches at nice restaurants or paying prime dollar for tickets to blockbuster movies once in a while, it also would not hurt to limit your spending in this aspect. The good news is that there are plenty of free ways to entertain yourself at home, which we will enumerate here.

This Year, Challenge Yourself to Spend Less on Entertainment

If you’re not the type to monitor the ins and outs of your household expenses, now is as good a time to start as any. The year is just beginning and you can add to your list of resolutions an item like this: “Spend less money on entertainment”. This involves lowering your budget when eating out, going to the mall, doing crafts projects, watching movies, etc.

You can even challenge yourself and limit your budget on food. Instead of paying for pizza delivery, create a meal out of the ingredients that you already have at home. Not only will you save money, but you will also eat healthier.

It’s fun to add a few rules on how you can meet the challenge of spending less on entertainment. For instance, nobody should make a run to the convenience store to buy extra food so you can only consume what you have in the pantry.

You can use your utilities, but no renting movies on cable, Netflix or the video store. You should also not drive the car to visit a friend or go out because that would mean spending money on gas.

If you abide by these rules, you can stick to the challenge of spending less on entertainment. But what are you supposed to do to occupy your time? Read on to find out.

Things to Occupy Your Time with Minus the Need to Spend

If you find yourself sweating at the mere thought of not spending any money during the weekend, don’t fret! There are actually a lot of free ways to entertain yourself while at home.

Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home

Aside from not having to spend a lot of money or not spending anything at all, there are extra perks to doing such activities, which we will enumerate here:

Activity: Tending to your garden

Hours required: One hour or more, during the cooler part of the afternoon.
Benefit: You can grow your own food and have beautiful surroundings.

The number one thing that you can do to entertain yourself while at home without having to spend any money is tending to your garden. Of course, you initially have to buy the seeds and the garden soil as well as other gardening tools. But once you already have these items on hand, you can spend practically hours growing your garden.

Take your pick from plants which are ornamental, herbal or flowering. If you grow edible plants, you can have a supply of fresh herbs that you can use while cooking.

You can even whip up a salad without having to run to the grocery store to stock up on greens. Aside from growing your own food, you can also have more beautiful surroundings. Don’t worry if there is no extra space in your house or apartment for an elaborate garden – even vertical gardens or potted plants on window sills would do.

Activity: Organizing your room

Hours required: Half a day or more.
Benefit: You can feel refreshed whenever you walk into your room to rest and relax.

When was the last time that you organized your room? Whether you’re a college student or an adult who has a bunch of paperwork from ages ago stocked up on your filing cabinet, it is never too late to organize your things. Get rid of documents which are three years or older – except for the important ones that should be kept on file.

Rearrange your furniture, get rid of clutter, clean the windows and do a general cleaning of all the parts of the room. Doing so will give you that refreshed feeling once you lay down on your bed at night, knowing that all your things are organized.

Activity: Conduct an at-home spa session

Hours required: Two hours or more.
Benefit: You will feel and look great afterwards!

If you have a bunch of female friends, have them come over for an at-home spa party. Light up some scented candles and have the girls bring beauty product samples.

Go online and search for DIY facial mask recipes, as well as hair treatment recipes containing natural ingredients. Also have a mani-pedi section where you can do each other’s nails.

By indulging in these natural beauty treatments that you can all do right in the comfort of your own home, you would not have to spend a penny. Not only that, but you will also look and feel great afterwards. Isn’t that an excellent way to pass the time?

Activity: Listen to podcasts or take online courses

Hours required: Two hours or more, on a weekly basis.
Benefit: You will learn something new without having to enroll in school.

When you visit the Podcast section of the iTunes store, there are high-quality audio programs that you can download or listen to for free. One example is The Splendid Table where you can learn about food; Speaking of Faith which is a podcast about religion; This Week in Tech where you can listen to technology-related news; and Marketplace which is all about economics and business.

Another option is for you to visit MIT’s OpenCourseWare. Through it, you can look for a topic that you are interested in and download MP3 files of lectures on the subject.

Listen and learn while doing your household chores. Some of the subjects which you can learn the basics are philosophy, economics, Western philosophy and Physics. The iTunes store also has the “iTunes U” section which stands for iTunes University, offering free courses on a bunch of topics.

Activity: Catch up on your reading of binge on watching one TV series episode after another

Hours required: Two hours or more.
Benefit: You can use the activity as an excuse to be a couch potato or simply hog the bed.

When you have nothing else to do on the weekend and you would not want to spend any extra money on home entertainment, the best thing to do is catch up on your reading.

You should have a title or two of books which are lying around somewhere, always unread. Reading a book stimulates the imagination and is one of the best, free ways to pass the time.

If you have already read all the titles in your home library, swap your existing books with a friend or download free new e-books through the Amazon store for your Kindle; iTunes for your iPad or iPhone; and Google Play for your Android device. Make sure that you have a good document reader app so you can easily flip through the pages.

You can also catch up on the episodes of your favorite HBO series, medical drama or sitcom. Instead of watching one new episode every week, most people actually prefer binge-watching their favorite shows all in one sitting. This is a fun, great way to pass the time.

Activity: Learn a new recipe

Hours required: One or two hours.
Benefit: Once you perfect the recipe, you can add it to your cooking arsenal.

Whether you’re into baking or whipping up gourmet dishes, you can always take the time to learn a new recipe. Bring out your mom’s index card of recipes or go online to download some. Using the ingredients that you already have in your kitchen, you can whip up meals and improve your cooking or baking skills.

Activity: Gather the kids around to play board games

Hours required: Two to three hours.
Benefit: You can use the activity as a way to bond with the kids.

If you’re a couple with young or teenage kids, use your moneyless weekend to play board games. Bring out the board games that you have in the library or attic.

Teach the children the rules of the game, and you should have endless hours of fun engaging in the activity. This helps stimulate the minds of children and adults, while also serving as the perfect bonding activity for kids and parents.

Activity: Upcycle

Hours required: One hour or more.
Benefit: You can turn something that’s about to be thrown away into an item that’s more useful and beautiful.

Finally, there are lots of sites that you can visit which will teach you how to upcycle. This activity involves turning old items found in the house into something new and exciting.

For instance, you can turn old wine bottles into a breath taking chandelier if you have the right tools. Instead of buying expensive scent diffusers, you can turn bamboo skewers and essential oils into a DIY home fragrance. Sew together old t-shirts into a blanket, skirt or bag. The list of how you can upcycle ordinary things that can be found inside the house is practically endless. 

Just use your imagination and you can surely come up with other free ways to entertain yourself at home.

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.


  • We could really save some money by eliminating pizza night here. We do try to stick to cheaper pizza chains (like an independently owned shop that sells by the tray), but it is a considerable expense that would just be much much cheaper if we cooked on Friday nights! But it’s what we do instead of going to the movies. We get pizza and binge Netflix!

  • It’s really very beneficial if you learn how to just control your boredom and instead of translating it into somethign that will make you spend money just do some stuff online or in your home that is free and can give you more benefits. I really love listening to podcasts and watching online tutorials and that has helped me a lot in my career and in life. It’s free and it’s very helpful. Thanks for the extra tips!

  • Thanks for the ideas! I’m always looking for ways to save money and still have fun, so these should work out great for me. I always forget about podcasts and the idea about the free courses is something I will need to look into. If I’m bored I might as well learn something. Thanks!

  • I think people really need to absorb information like this. People often wonder why they have no money and it’s because we unthinkingly splurge on unnecessary entertainment costs instead of taking advantage of the entertainment that comes from creating amusement ourselves. People would be much more content not to go out all the time if they really had an idea of the money that they would be saving.

  • I personally prefer books to learn new information and to find entertainment, and having a library within a walking distance from my house makes it so much convenient. Not only that, but they usually have movie DVDs to rent, so it’s really easy for me to find new material. However, I think maybe it’s time I started learning some new recipes!

  • This article has some fantastic information. I’m unemployed right now, so I’m spending way more time than I’d like at home trying not to spend money. I love the idea of a spa afternoon- I will have to invite my friends over for one next weekend. I should really pamper myself more too- I have all kinds of beauty stuff I should be using.

    The tip about online courses is also a great one! I have been thinking about learning a foreign language and it never occurred to me there might be tools to help me with that online!

  • I save money by using my local library too. It has DVDs and CDs for loan, as well as books. The best thing is that they will order books in for you. You sometimes have to wait a while for them but there is always something else you can read in the meantime. I also like to search for free e-books on practical topics too.

  • I love pampering myself at home. It is so much cheaper and I’m not weirded out by someone’s hands all over me. I don’t like being touched by people I don’t know. But there are lots of recipes for facials and body scrubs in women’s magazines that are super easy to do and lots of fun.

  • These are some very great suggestions for passing the time without spending money. I would have to say my favorite idea is organizing- you could organize and complete one each week and in a month or two have your whole house organized! I know after cleaning up my clutter, I feel refreshed and happier. Organizing a room is a good way to pass the time and is also extremely productive and can help you get a little exercise in as well!
    My other favorite suggestion is the spa day- I am going to do that with my sister, we both are going to look up some homemade spa treatment recipes in preparation!

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