No Spend Challenge: Free Family Activities

Family fun doesn't always have to cost money. There are plenty of activities you can try together that are just as fun, or even more fun, then activities that require cash.

Family fun doesn’t always have to cost money. There are plenty of activities you can try together that are just as fun, or even more fun, then activities that require cash.

Here are some free family activity ideas that are sure to please! Pick a couple to try this weekend!

  • Have a picnic, inside or outside depending on the weather
  • Have another family over for dinner – this is way cheaper then eating out!
  • Movie night – grab a movie off the shelf that you haven’t watched in a while and make some homemade microwave popcorn!
  • Have a theme night/day – Mexican, Italian, pirate…the list goes on. Plan dinners and activities around your theme!
  • Have a craft night – paint, sew (here are some simple felt sewing ideas), draw…etc!
  • Head to your local library – stock up on reading material or even sit in on story time!
  • Have a game night – pull out those board games and cards!
  • Unplug – Turn off the cell phone, TV, computer and just reconnect with your wonderful family!
  • Go bird watching – see how many different types of birds you can spot. Maybe bring along a bird book from the library.
  • Build an indoor fort – camp out in it or have a picnic in it!
  • Check out the free community events offered in your area
  • Make a list of activities you want to do during the Summer
  • Go for a walk
  • Have a yard sale and set up a lemonade stand that the kids can man.
  • Clip and organize coupons.  Make it a game for the kids.
  • Help an elderly neighbour or friend
  • Visit a playground and actually play together

Many of these ideas can be adapted to every season, but the important thing is that you get out there and have fun together as a family!  Enjoy each other!

What other free or cheap activities can you suggest?

Free Date Night Ideas

free date night ideas

Date night can be hard enough to find time for, and it can also be expensive.  It’s important to remember that being romantic doesn’t have to mean spending all your cash.  Here are some free date night (or date day) ideas, that you can try today!

  • Self-guided tours of your city
  • Lunch or dinner in a park
  • Go for a hike
  • Check out a movie from the library
  • Have a date-night at home
  • Check with local universities for visiting speakers or musical performances
  • Read your local newspaper or check online for free community events
  • Go for a drive and listen to your favourite music
  • People watch in a crowded area
  • Cook together at home
  • Play Games
  • Stargaze
  • Volunteer together
  • Tour a local winery

How often do you go on dates?  I’d love to hear your free or cheap date ideas!



No Spend Challenge: Be Grateful


I guess there’s two choices you can make during a No Spend Challenge, or life in general.  That is to be grateful for all that you already have or to be ungrateful because you want more.

In all honesty, this is a struggle I’m met with every day.  Some days I’m so frustrated with our lack of living space, I forget that I have a roof over my head.  Other days, I’m so frustrated that my husband didn’t put the dishes away when I asked, I forgot he just vacuumed and took Sienna out so I could work.

I am blessed.  I need that reminder all too often.

Since starting the No Spend Challenge this month, I’ve been reminded of just how much I do have in my life.  I’m overrun by material items and my little family constantly reminds me that I’m surrounded by love, fun and hope.  I want to start recognizing my blessings before I start to feel an entitlement to something “better”.  Quite often I find it very hard to feel grateful while I’m dealing with a problem or two.

But as the picture above says, Today I am Grateful!

Can you relate?  What are you grateful for today?  Do you have troubles “counting your blessings”?  How do you help yourself to be more grateful?

Download the cute Grateful poster pictured above from My Fabuless Life.

No Spend Challenge: Beauty On a Budget

This week, we’re going to touch on some of the items that can take up a lot of our budget if we let them: entertainment and beauty (Makeup, hair, spa). I happen to think that both of these things are important factors in a balanced life, but they don’t have to cost a lot!

So for today, don’t you think it’s time to spoil ourselves? I think so! I guess this one is mostly for the ladies, but here are some tips for beauty on a budget:

The best beauty on a budget tips!

Make your own body scrubs

Take a cup of olive oil and about 3 tablespoons of sugar and mix the two together. You can also use coarse salt if you want something a bit more rough. Then apply to your body in circular motions for 2 minutes and rinse off. Your skin will be so smooth! You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil if you like! Here are some more of my favorite scrubs:

Make your own cream blush

Grab an almost empty lipstick tube, dig out the remaining lipstick and put it on a plate. Next, put it in the microwave and warm it at 30 second intervals (don’t exceed 2 minutes!) until it’s slightly runny and then mix a few drops of moisturizer into the lipstick on the plate. (you may want to use a paper plate) Play around with the mixture to find the right consistency. Add more moisturizer for a more sheer shade. Quickly pour your new creation into a container that you have lying around or find one at the dollar store.

Turn Lipstick into Lip Gloss

Again with a nearly empty lipstick tube, squeeze a small amount of Vaseline into a ziplock bag and close the bag. Mash the two together and throw it into the microwave and warm for 30 second intervals, don’t exceed 2 minutes! When it’s slightly runny cut a small hole in the corner of the zip lock bag and squeeze the new lip gloss into a small makeup container.

Make you own Hot Oil Treatment

Click here for a great tutorial!

Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Brighten your Hair

An apple-cider vinegar rinse works like a clarifying shampoo and leaves your hair with great shine. Add a small amount to your hand then spread through your hair. Rinse.

Go For a Walk

It’ll make you feel wonderful and bring a nice glow to your cheeks!

Give Yourself a Pedicure

Here’s a great link on how to do one at home!

Use Epsom Salt

Pour a cup of Epsom salts into your bath full of hot water. Soak in it to relax your muscles and remove toxins.

For more great ideas, click here for a big list of homemade beauty recipes!

What are your favourite homemade beauty treatments? Do you regularly do it at home or do you splurge and have your beauty treatments professionally done?

No Spend Challenge: Time to Declutter

I don’t know about you, but every time I do some sort of no spend challenge, I get the urge to declutter and organize. Maybe it’s my way of occupying my time instead of thinking I have to be in a store. What ever the reason, I love the feeling I get after  I finish a good purge. Really makes me consider why I want to buy anything new for the house.

Several of you have mentioned in the Simply Frugal Community that you have already started organizing without my prompting and I think that is so excellent!

I’ve actually done quite a bit of decluttering already (in December) because we were going to list our house for sale. I think thanks to our efforts, it sold really fast! As in, we listed it on a Friday, had a showing on Sunday, then an offer on Monday. Blew us away with how quickly everything went!

On that note, this week, we’re going to spend some time decluttering, organizing and cleaning!

I just don’t see the need in keeping or moving anything that we still won’t use, just because our house is bigger. Saves the hassle of packing it up!

Rather than following a set list of tasks, I’m going to list out a whole bunch of suggestions for areas/things you can declutter. Pick what speaks to you! Choose one, or choose a bunch!

  • Organize Coupons
  • Organize/Purge Toys
  • Organize Purses
  • Organize Board Games
  • Put Away Christmas Decorations
  • Organize Craft Supplies
  • Organize/Purge Footwear
  • Organize/Purge Books
  • Purge Clothes
  • Organize Bathroom Cupboards
  • Organize Nightstands
  • Organize Electronics (cords, batteries…etc)
  • Clean Under Beds
  • Tidy Desk/Organize Digital Photos
  • Refill Spices (wipe bottles)
  • Work on Filing System, Shred Papers
  • Clean Fridge and Freezers
  • Organize/Clean Pantry Cupboards
  • Organize Office Supplies
  • Tidy/Purge Linens (Sheets, Towels)
  • Organize Recipes

As I start packing up our stuff for the move, I’ll be going through everything. But this week, I really want to try to get my filing and recipes in order!

Tomorrow, look for a post outlining 31 items you can purge right away. You know, in case you just need a list telling you exactly what you don’t need to hang on to any more. 🙂

I’d love to know what you will be working on this week? Let me know in the comments below!

No Spend Challenge: Eat “Out” at Home

A No Spend Challenge: 28 Days of Being Simply Frugal.

I’ve mentioned it before, but my husband and I really enjoy eating out once a week.  I’m pretty sure I enjoy it more than my husband, but regardless, eating out can become a big expense.  Needless to say, because of the No Spend Challenge, our once a week restaurant dining has not and will not be happening this month. (So far so good!)

Rather than feel sorry for myself, I thought it would be fun to search online for restaurant copycat recipes so that we could eat “out” at home. I found 14 delicious looking recipes that I can’t wait to try!

If you’re joining me for the No Spend Challenge, today’s task is to eat “out” at home with your family or friends. (Or plan to do so this weekend.) Choose from one of these recipes, or search for a different version of your favorite restaurant meal.  Why not make it really special by pulling out a table cloth, cloth napkins and candles if you have them?

Does your family eat out a lot?  What are your favourite restaurant meals?  Do you have a version you create at home?  Leave a recipe in the comments if you’ve got one to share!