Unless it’s serious shoe shopping time–(please see Charge Healthy 😉 ), you can have a great time with friends and not spend a bundle. Within a group of girlfriends there’s always a disparity of lifestage and wallet size. Chances are someone’s looking for a new job, someone’s in school, someone’s just moved to a new city, or someone’s just made a big purchase and is on a strict budget. There’s no reason you two or more can’t have a blast hanging out on the cheap. As we turn from summer to fall, here are 7 great ideas to try and keep the laughs coming.
1) Dinner and a movie
Whether pay-per, Blu-ray or DVD, gather the gals and vote—silly, romantic or action! With a take-away pizza, Indian food or just a big bowl of pasta or bean dip and fresh veggies that all of you chip in on—it’s all good. Prepare for gossip and good times.
2) Take a hike
Or just a walk. Look up a central location and map out a 5K, 10K or beyond walk/run/hike. Arrange to meet, exercise and catch up for free. If you live/work near each other you can even schedule a leg of your journey home as a walk. My walking buddies and I have been known to brake for a doughnut, but that’s optional.
3) Power lunch
Pack your own lunch and if you’re lucky enough to work near a friend, meet her in a green space or just someplace away from your office, for some work-break conversation and chow.
4) Eat, pray it’ll turn out OK, and love eating it
Become foodies together. Schedule an afternoon or after work where you’ll work in one kitchen or another to prepare something like pesto or jam. You’ll enjoy the prep together and each have a store of knowledge and food to eat for cheap.
5) Get board
Some friends get snacks, one friend provides a space and some bring games—and let them begin! From molding “drumset” out of clay to getting double word score for “xenolith” in Scrabble, it’s laugher for basically free.
6) Play date
Do you and your friend have a companion dog (or as I call my 7 year old—puppy)? The nearest park or off-leash area calls. Again you get to chat and exercise as you spend quality time with the furballs. If you’ve felines—some caffeine or wine and honeysuckle toys (less druggy than catnip evidently) at someone’s home can do the trick nicely, too.
7) Friends who volunteer together
Spending time together and helping others rocks. Interested in pets? Supporting women? Enjoy helping seniors? Maybe you share an interest in charity work and can double your support by volunteering together. Even if you volunteer sometimes at different times for the same organization—it’s another facet that strengthens and enlivens your relationship. Not to mention strengthening your community!