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Your Take: What’s Your Favorite Frugal Weekend Idea?

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Last year, I had a whole series on frugal weekend ideas like visiting local wineries, going to a major league baseball game, visit a national park, or something simple like borrow a movie from the library.

My favorite frugal weekend idea is probably to visit a local winery, such as when we visited Boordy (which ended up not being frugal!) a few weeks ago, because it has all the key characteristics in a great weekend day. First, I like being outdoors and most wineries have outdoor seating and relaxing areas. Second, I enjoy the gift of Dionysus and I enjoy enjoying it over several hours basking in the warm sun. Third, it’s a very social activity that has something for everyone. If you enjoy wine, you have wine. If you don’t have wine, you enjoy the setting. If you hate being outdoors and wine, well we’re probably not friends (and you’re probably a vampire). 🙂

I’d like to know, what’s your favorite frugal weekend idea?

(Photo: tambako

{ 45 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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45 Responses to “Your Take: What’s Your Favorite Frugal Weekend Idea?”

  1. I like riding my bicycle on the weekend…if it does not rain to hard. Bicycling is cheap, fun, and it keeps you in shape!


  2. Kyle says:

    I definitely wouldn’t visit a local winery, we aren’t exactly wine country. We are in National Park territory though and I do love the mountains. I also love the lake though, it isn’t quite frugal because the boat takes gas but it beats a movie any day.

  3. A good weekend visiting the “Big City” checking out the small parks, museums and urban gardens. Pack a lunch or buy a simple sandwich, and save your cash for a microbrew or two. Dress up (as in a suit) to get better service.

  4. My wife and I love inviting friends over and playing board games. We are talking about sorry and monopoly though. Some of our favorites include:

    Puerto Rico
    San Juan
    Ticket To Ride
    Wits & Wagers

    Sure they can cost a pretty penny up front, but can last for years providing non-stop fun!

  5. Daniel says:

    One of my favorite frugal weekend activities begins tomorrow – FISHING season, opening day! The only real cost is a $20 license each year, and the price of bagels and coffee that we grab before a trip. Maybe a new spool of line each year, and a few new lures as well. But definitely not an expensive hobby.

  6. Rob Carlson says:

    Next time you’re at Boordy, drop me a line. It’s only about ten minutes from my house.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Call me boring, but there’s nothing better than a cookout on a nice day. While I like throwing some big fat steaks on the grill, it can be just as fun and a lot cheaper with a few packs of brats or burgers and a cooler filled with cold beer.

    Nothing better than hanging out around the grill with some good company and enjoying the weather.

    • Jim says:

      That’s probably my second favorite frugal weekend idea, I love a cookout. You should try smoking, it’s a lot longer cooking time (5-6 hours) but the payoff is huge. It takes some practice to get it right but you will not regret it.

      • Jeremy says:

        Yeah, smoking is awesome, too. I will occasionally convert my grill into a smoker but it’s kind of a pain. I need to just buy a dedicated smoker instead.

        • Jim says:

          If you have the room, I recommend a dedicated smoker. They hold the smoke and regulate temperature a lot better than converting a regular grill to a smoker.

  8. I love taking my dogs to the park, sitting under a tree and read!

  9. Andrew says:

    My wife and I went to a baseball game on Monday. Our tickets cost $97.50, and while we were restrained in our snacking, we probably still went through nearly $20. It was a lot of fun, but hardly cheap.

    • Jessica says:

      It really depends on your local team and stadium. Not to brag about my awesome Phillies (Go Phils!) but while Yankee fans pay an arm and a leg to attend games and eat, standing room tickets for the 2008 World Champions of Baseball are still just $13 each, with a nosebleed seat starting at around $15. We sit behind right field for $23 dollars each on special occasions, and usually go during a food promotion like “Dollar Dog Night” were a five hot dog meal is $5 (That’s a lot of hot dogs). That means our price total for the whole trip can range from $36 to $56 for two people to have a few hours of entertainment. If you work the system, you can totally do it cheap.

  10. SarahJane says:

    I enjoy hiking. We live only 2 miles from a “drive-up glacier” so there’s plenty of free recreational activities near by – hiking, birdwatching, skiing, biking, canoeing, etc.

    Forest Service cabins are a favorite activity too. We can hike 3 miles to a secluded lake with a public use cabin, dock, fire pit, and canoe – $35 a night. It’s worth $35 to get out of town. [I live in an isolated Alaskan town – the only way out is via plane or ferry]

    • MissMartha says:

      Wow SarahJane! That sounds amazing! My favorite frugal weekend activity is to go hiking. Now that we just adopted a doggie, we’re hoping that he’ll be able to join us!

  11. MoneyNing says:

    I think you are mistaking outdoors with sun. I have vampire friends they all like the outdoors, just not during the day. Wine (alcohol) also makes them happy.

    As to weekend frugal ideas, mountain biking I heard is awesome. You have to invest in the bike but it’s pretty frugal considering how many times you can go without additional expenses.

  12. When I lived near and in the wine country in CA, I enjoyed visiting wineries on a regular basis. It’s educational, historical and tasty too.

    Next to that, I’m big on vegetable gardening. It’s relaxing and it provides a tremendous benefit in terms of fresh, clean, whole foods all year long. Our vegetable gardens provide fresh cold tolerant vegetables well into the winter, and our winter squash never runs out.

    Fishing is also a very frugal way to spend the weekend. A license costs nearly nothing, and your efforts put food on the table.

    We also enjoy card games. It’s a wonderfully frugal way to enjoy the company of others. It’s amazing the number of games that can be played with a deck of cards.


  13. kiki says:

    We love doing board or card game nights- tapas and an inexpensive but tasty wine make for a lovely evening.

    We also enjoy spending the afternoon at one of the many local parks. We pack up our charcoal grill and some picnic food, and cook lunch/dinner there. Whether we lounge on the big picnic blanket with a book and the dog, or take a ball to toss around, we always have a really nice time.

    A friend of mine who lives in Kentucky likes to hunt for treasures at the weekend estate sales. She said you can find a lot of neat things without spending much money, and it’s oddly intriguing rifling through someone’s life collections.

  14. Hiking. Camping. Gardening. Swimming in the backyard pool. Reading a novel. Any or all of these combined with liberal quantities of food + winer or beer.

    My idea of a great weekend is full-out loafing.

  15. Alex says:

    I love board game / video game nights with family or friends. A drink or two and some food rounds off the night perfectly. What more do you need in life besides food, friends, and family?!

  16. MoneyEnergy says:

    Definitely getting into nature somewhere if you can – walking out by the lake or visiting a new wildlife spot you haven’t been to. Also, just lying on the beach, reading in the sun, playing with you pets if you have them. Also, take a “vacation” in your own city and see something there you haven’t seen – rather than spending on hotels to get away.

  17. saladdin says:

    Posting on your forum.


  18. Phelix says:

    Hosting dinner with friends… and board games or a DVD.
    Or, instead of hosting, do “bring a dish”..

    It’s the company that makes weekend!

  19. MJ says:

    We live in San Jose, CA, so we have the choice of many weekend activites. We’ve done Napa and local wineries, state parks, beaches, college sports (Cal, Stanford, SJSU) and of course the SF Giants & 49ers games. San Jose even has a GIANT monopoly board you & friends can play on!
    One the most fun activities I have enjoyed is watching the minor leaue baseball team of the San Jose Giants. All the fun of summer but a little cheaper. With a group of friends someone prints monopoly money, and we bet on anything we can… # strikes, type of pitch, length of an inning, even what the airline is of the planes flying overhead into the airport. It’s fun, every laughs & we get to enjoy the summer day with family & friends.

  20. Raj says:

    I love Jim’s tip since winetasting in Napa was exactly what I was doing last weekend. Seriously, going on a picturesque hike in the mountains or on a beachside path with a packed lunch from home cannot be beat. Bring fold-out chairs and/or towels to sit on you’ll be recharged in a matter of hours. COST: simple transportation and a few groceries.

  21. Travis says:

    Seattle and San Fransisco used to be good weekend trips but if it is frugal…Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, or Bryce National Parks are less than a 4 hour drive from my house and those can be quite cheap and breathtaking.

  22. NessaMae says:

    I really like to do geocaching. I have only done this once or twice but it is not very expensive at all. Geocaching is lie finding a hidden treasure where the cooridnates are posted online at specific latitude/longitude and you have to use a GPS system to find it. So really you are required to have a GPS (not cheap) but a lot of people have those and once that is purchased there is endless fun to be had. you can find more information at the following site:

  23. Monevator says:

    Get a mobile phone with a lot of free minutes and a tub of grapes and a bottle of nice vino, then dig out your old address book and call 5 people you haven’t spoken to in years.

    3 will be out, one won’t take your call, and one will talk to you for an amazing hour and you’ll get a friend back who you lost because you were too busy to stay in touch.

  24. Matt Fyffe says:

    For me it’s all about walking/hiking. I love being outdoors and any opportunity to spend time outside is a blast. Best of all, it costs nothing!

  25. carla says:

    I love taking a hike in our neighborhood. We live in an area where on one side of the hills, you can see nothing but green rolling hills for miles and on the other side, a view of the Golden Gate and Mount Tamalpais. Redwoods, unique architecture of the homes is the, the Rose Garden and heading down the hill to have dinner, wine and/or coffee and heading up back home just in time to see the sunset.

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