I love to have fun. I am not sure if it is because I am blonde and there is a rumor that we have more fun, but I love to have fun. And one of the most fun times that I have is when I am hanging out with my friends. I used to go out with friends and not think much about where we were going, so we chose our locations based on whatever was convenient or had a great atmosphere. However, not being mindful of your “fun” can cost you money, so I have really focused the last few years on finding ways to continue to have lots of fun, but not kill the budget. Here are some things that I came up with, because in the end, Girls Just Want to Have Fun!!
- Ladies Night / Happy Hour – If you are going out with just the ladies, then you absolutely have to plan in advance and determine where available “Ladies Nights” are in your area. In New York, they mostly seem to take place on Wednesday nights. I have found deals as low as $1 drinks or 3 free martinis or margaritas for ladies. If you are going out with a mixed group, then look for happy hour specials. I use newyorkhappyhours.com or drinkdeal.com to find locations, but if you just search for happy hour and your location, you will come up with a number of options to research. The only word of caution I have is to make sure that you double check with the bar when you get there about the happy hour specials and make sure the bartender knows that that is why you are there. It takes time to research locations, times and deals, but this research means saving money, which I think is time well spent.
- Potluck – We have friends in our neighborhood that we like to spend time with; however, we have children and hate to pay for babysitters. Instead, we have potlucks and trade off who hosts it on a monthly basis. Fortunately, our children get along so they can babysit each other, and splitting the dinner and drinks is much less expensive than an evening out, plus we know we will like the cooking.
- Book Clubs – I have a number of friends who are part of book clubs. It is not only a great way to socialize and become “well-read” but you will save yourself a bunch of money by sharing books through kindle or utilizing your local public library. If each person brings a bottle of wine or beer, then you can keep the “night out” below $10 a person.
- Brunch at Home – I am a big fan of brunch entertaining, the food is not only inexpensive, but there is something fun about drinking during the day. Thanks to Pinterest, you can find a number of easy or inexpensive brunch options for a group. In fact, I recently shared one on this website. And mimosas can be made cheaply with $6 cava or prosecco and $2 orange juice. I have been able to entertain 6+ people for brunch for less than $30.
- Movie Nights at Home – I work hard all week, and sometimes, even though I feel like having fun, I don’t feel like leaving the house. My hubby and son were recently out of town, and I had a good friend over on a Friday night. We made pasta and watched Dirty Dancing and Girls Just Want to Have Fun. The entire evening cost less than $20 (thanks to Netflix), and we had an amazing time. It reminded me of when I was in college again.
I think that something that is important to note, is that if you have great friends, it doesn’t matter what you do, just being around them, you know you will have a great time. So focus more on the company and less on the surroundings and you will be amazed at how much money you can save.
What do you do for fun with your friends that is also inexpensive?