Do you want to try a no spend weekend? Here are 75+ fabulously free no spend ideas for you and your family!
My 2 kids are excellent at wanting to spend nearly the entire weekend at home just playing with their toys and each other.
I’m kind of a homebody myself, but there are also days I like to get out and do something, but I am also trying to be frugal and save money for certain financial goals.
That’s why I love the idea of a no spend weekend.
You can have a fun time at home or out of the home without spending any money!
What Is a No-Spend Weekend?
A no spend weekend is a budgeting trick people use to save money. On Saturday and Sunday, you simply don’t buy anything.
If you want to make this a bit more challenging, start the no-spend weekend on Friday night.
Are you thinking, “What can I do on the weekend without spending money?! I can’t possibly find things to do on a no spend weekend!!”
Or maybe a no-spend weekend simply sounds boring.
This is only because you don’t know about all of the FREE fun you can have!
(On the other hand, if a no spend weekend doesn’t sound too bad, make it more challenging by having a no spend week (or month!)!)
Why Should You Try a No-Spend Weekend?
If you still aren’t convinced that you should try a no spend weekend (or week or month!)…
- You will save money!
- Learn that you can have fun without spending
- Bond with your spouse, kids, family
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Fun No-Spend Weekend Activities for the Whole Family
Don’t wait – read on for some fun free things you can do!
Free Things To Do
Here are some free no-spend activities you can do alone or with the whole family:
1. Family Movie Night
Choose a movie from your collection (or borrow one from the library), make some popcorn, and have a movie night.
2. Make Handmade Cards
Make handmade cards to send to someone you love that is far away. – write a letter (or several) to a loved one far away
3. Make Gifts
Prepare for the upcoming year with homemade gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and other occasions. Get a head start and save some money!
4. Plan Your Next Vacation (or Mini-Vacation or Staycation)
Plan your next vacation with your family. Get a calendar out and write down your plans.
5. Play an Outdoor Game
Go outside and play a game with your family or neighbors. Try one of these fun outdoor games:
6. Have a Potluck or BBQ
Invite over some neighbors and friends for a potluck or BBQ.BBQ in yard with friends – have everyone bring something to share
7. Swap Movies or Books with a Friend or Neighbor
You’ll each get to try out something new – win-win!
8. Do a Random Act of Kindness
See if there is something you can do for a friend or neighbor.
- shovel a walkway
- weed a garden
- wash their car
9. Use Up Old Gift Cards
Like me, I’m sure you have old gift cards lying around. Take time to use them up!
10. Redecorate your Home or Rearrange Furniture
I like to rearrange furniture because it feels like I have a “new” home for a while. Redecorate or rearrange for a quick lift in your house.
11. Paint a Room (or Item) in Your House
Paint your kid’s room a fun new color or upgrade an old bookcase with a bright new coat of paint.
12. Make a Time Capsule
This is super fun for anyone, but especially if you have kids. Create a family time capsule and set a date to open in the future. Then, store it away with the date written on top.
13. Clean your Car
Take time to give your car a good cleanout and vacuum.
14. Donate Clothes or Toys
Go through your stuff and fill up some bags to donate.
15. Write Down Your Goals for The Future
Take some time to write down your goals – if you don’t have any, think about where you want to be in 5-10 years and how you are going to get there.
16. Offer to Babysit or Pet Sit for a Friend
Help out a friend or neighbor by offering to babysit or pet sit for free. I always appreciate when people offer to watch my girls so I can have time to myself!
17. Have a Movie Marathon
18. Spa Day at Home
Have a spa day at home. Take a bubble bath, paint your nails, and just relax.
19. Look Through Old Photos or Organize Your Photo Album
Spend some time looking through or sorting your old photos. Reminisce and put them into a photo album.
20. Play an Instrument
Dust off your old instrument and practice a few songs. Playing music is good for the soul and your brain.
21. Clean out Your Garage
Have a weekend goal of clearing out your garage!
22. Have a Garage Sale
Once you’ve cleaned out your garage, have another no-spend weekend the following week and sell everything! (And make a bit of money!)
23. Write a Book
Have you ever wanted to write a book? Do you have any thoughts or knowledge to share? Take some time to plan out and starting writing a book.
24. Plan the Rest of Your Year
Get your calendar out and plan the rest of your year. Fill in anticipated activities, appointments, events, and birthdays and be prepared!
25. Try a Free Trial
Have you ever wanted to try a class or some other activity. Many offer a free trial lesson. Take the opportunity to try it out and see if you want to pay for it later.
26. Sell Things Online
Look through your items and see what you don’t want or need anymore and sell it online to make a bit of money!
Write in your journal and process your thoughts and feelings.
28. Take a Free Online Class
Learn something new by taking a free online class. There are thousands of free classes online to learn all kinds of things.
29. Dinner Party with A Theme
Host a dinner party with a theme and invite your friends over. Everyone can bring a dish and you can have a lot of fun!
30. Start a Side Hustle
Start a side hustle to make some money.
31. Arts and Crafts
Have an arts and crafts day where you pull out your crafting supplies (or old projects you haven’t finished yet) and make some art!
32. Use up The Ingredients in Your Cupboard
Make a meal or special new recipe by using up the ingredients in your cupboard.
33. Call Someone
Call or Skype a friend or family member that you haven’t heard from in a while.
34. Meal Plan
Meal plan for the week (or month) and save time and money by being prepared.
Take a look at your finances. If you haven’t set up a budget, start one!
36. Play Board Games
Play some board games! Need some ideas, here are a few of our personal favorites:
37. Karaoke Session
Turn on some music and have a silly karaoke session at home with the kids! You can find lots of videos online or just sing out the words as best you can.
38. Learn Something New
Take a weekend to learn something new. There are tons and tons of YouTube videos!
39. Create Printables
Create some printables and sell them online. Try selling through Etsy or start your own website.
40. Take Surveys Online
You can earn a bit of money by taking surveys online. Try one of these companies:
Related: Work from Home
41. Plan a Dream Holiday
Plan a dream holiday with your family and start saving up money for it.
42. Watch a TED Talk
Watch a TED talk and learn something new!
43. Listen to Podcasts
Listen to a favorite podcast or find a new one to try out.
44. Clean Out a Room
Clean out a room in your home (or a closet, or the attic, or your wardrobe…).
Bake some cookies or a cake and have fun. On your marks… get set…bake!
46. Read a Book
47. Teach Your Kids a New Life Skill
Teach your kids a new life skill, like:
- how to change the oil in your car
- basic first aid
Do some landscaping – mow the lawn, tend to plants, clean up your yard…
49. Do Some Puzzles
Exercise your brain by doing puzzles:
50. Dance Party
We like these dance party videos:
Find your own favorites and dance away!
51. Play with Bubbles
Play with bubbles or play sand or other kinetic items.
Tend to your garden. If you don’t have one, plant something and start! If don’t have a lot of room, read more about square foot gardening.
53. Learn a New Language
There are lots of free YouTube videos for learning languages.
Look for a free YouTube video – try something new!
Lay in the grass and stargaze with your loved ones.
56. Play with Toys
I love building Legos with my kids (not random scenes but building and rebuilding the actual sets haha.) Spend quality time with your kids and play with them.
Free Places to Go
Yes, there are free places to go during a no spend weekend. Read on for some great ideas:
57. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Go on a scavenger hunt in your home, backyard – or in your city or a neighboring town.
58. Go to the Beach
Relax at the beach while your kids play in the sand and surf.
59. Get Free Library Tickets
Some libraries offer free tickets to museums, parks, zoos, and more. See what your library offers and plan ahead for a super fun no-spend weekend event.
60. Window Shop
Go to the mall or a shopping center and window shop. This is super fun during the holidays.
Give the gift of your time by volunteering at an assisted living center or by helping an elderly neighbor with chores.
You can also give back at a soup kitchen or an animal shelter. There are lots of opportunities to help!
62. Browse a Book Store
This is one of my girls and my favorite pastimes. We go to Barnes and Noble and peruse the bookshelves looking at the newest book (and toys!).
63. Tour Your Own Town
Visit your town as if you were a tourist. Look at places you have never been to before.
64. Go Geocaching
Learn more about geocaching here.
65. Go for a Walk or a Hike
Go for a walk or a hike in your own neighborhood, at the mall, at a park, in the woods…
66. Go for a Run
Break out your running shoes and hit the pavement.
Head to the nearest beach or lake and go swimming (I’ve seen people swim at the beach in the PNW during winter – yikes!)
68. Camping Indoors or Outdoors
Set up camp indoors or go camping outdoors.
69. Go for a Bike Ride
Put your bicycle to use and go for a ride.
70. Tour a Museum
Check out a nearby museum to see if they offer free admission days.
71. Library Visit
We love going to the library! There are often many free events – crafting, writing, storytelling, and other activities. Once we went to a free kid’s experiment class hosted by a local library. Fun!
Plus, you can check out free books, DVDs, movies, and more!
72. People Watch
Go to a park or a mall and just people watch.
73. Go on a Photography Walk
Take your camera out on a nature walk and practice your picture taking skills.
74. Drop Donations to Goodwill
Fill a bunch of donation bags and take them to Goodwill.
75. Fly a Kite
Let’s go fly a kite…
76. Playground Hopping
Travel around your area and visit a bunch of different playgrounds with your kids. Bring a picnic lunch too.
77. Go to Church
You can attend a service and/or other free activities or events hosted by a local church.
78. Go on a Trash Walk
Grab a trash bag and walk around picking up trash in your neighborhood.
79. Visit People
Go visit family or friends or anyone who might be lonely and need some cheer.
80. Go on a Nature Walk
Little kids are especially good at spotting interesting things on a nature walk. Go and collect leaves or rocks and enjoy the sites and sounds of being in the woods.
81. Visit a National Park
Most national parks have free admission days. Find out when the one nearest to you does and plan a trip in advance.
Have a picnic – indoors or outdoors!
83. Visit a Local Garden
Look for local botanical garden and check one out.
84. Free Local Classes
Call your community center and ask if they know about any free local classes.
Preparing for your No Spend Weekend
Talk with your family ahead of time and plan ahead for your no spend weekend.
Research free activities in your area and have a list ready of what you want to do and meals you can eat.
Make a commitment as a family to stick through with it.
What if you want to buy something during your no spend weekend?
Exercise some self-control and wait until after the weekend is over before purchasing it. This is a good budgeting tip as well. You may find that you don’t need the item after all!
What if you or your kids get bored?
It’s ok to feel bored. Embrace it.
You might not have a “spectacular”, rush-filled weekend, but slow, quiet days are also good for you and your family. You will be teaching them a good life-long habit of not needing to spend money every weekend – and it will be worth it.
Final Thoughts on a No Spend Weekend
Now, go out this weekend and have some free fun! Which activities sounded interesting to you? Tell me one of your favorite free activities!