After a few weeks of the same routine, most people can appreciate the prospect of breaking out of their evening habits to try something new. However, busting a daily pattern can be tricky if you are trying to stick with a budget.
But just because you want to save some cash, doesn’t mean you have to spend your nights trapped at home. Below are a few ideas and activities that you can enjoy on the cheap while you make the most of your night out.
Your best resource for finding cheap or free things to do are the event organizers looking to scrounge up an audience. As a general tip, you can usually find a whole host of leaflets and placards for unique and cheap activities on display at local coffee shops, libraries, or community centers. Your local paper will usually advertise free events, movies in the park, festivals, and workshops being put on by local businesses or arts organizations.
Go To College
Similarly to searching the local hotspots for things to do, if there’s a college in your area, it’ll probably offer some novel diversions with low to no cover charge. Most colleges have frequent cultural events on campus like academic lectures, readings, plays, and movie screenings that are open to the public.
Catch A Midnight Movie
If you don’t mind staying out past your bedtime and you can find one nearby, some smaller theaters host regular midnight movie screenings of classic, cult, or foreign films at a discounted ticket price.
Follow The Minor Leagues
While the big league sports teams may be able to fill out the bleachers at $70 a pop, you can find a lot of the same excitement by becoming a fan of local the farm team. Tickets for minor league games can generally be purchased for under $20 and there is almost always ticket promotions and food discounts you can find through the team’s website or affiliated newspaper.
Late Night Happy Hour
Some places offer happy hour with discounted food and drinks after 9 or 10 pm. If you can stay awake, you can get some grub 50% off for waiting a few extra hours for dinner. Do your research for local restaurants and bars near you, so when the opportunity arises you can go somewhere that has good food at a good price.
Brush Up On Your Karaoke
It doesn’t cost anything to belt out a few classics in front of a mostly sympathetic crowd. While most karaoke nights are hosted in bars with associated costs, there are ways to mitigate that.
For example if you’re intent on going to a bar, commit to spending a set amount of cash. That way avoid massive bar tabs. And thanks to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, you can mitigate some of that committing to a limit and spending more of your time in front of the mic than the bar.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to leave your wallet at home, you should check out geocaching.com. Geocaching is a world-wide scavenger hunt organized by online users who hide small notepads at specific coordinates for others to find, sign, and hide again. The hunt can be surprisingly thrilling, but you should of course use your better judgement and exercise precaution when trying to ferret out your hidden quarry.
Find a Meetup Group
Join others with similar interests in your area on a seminar, run, bird watching, knitting, or anything else by going to meetup.com and selecting an interest. If you are a mom, join other moms to discuss the adventures of childrearing, or if you are looking to network, join a specialized networking group. Generally, meetups are free or a low cost. Plus, you will meet new people you have never met that also want to get out of the house!