If you’re like me, you know that weekends can add up quickly, especially with kids.  But even if you are single or you have a significant other – no matter what the situation, weekends usually mean some kind of spending. Whether you are trying to save money or you don’t have any money to spare, sometimes taking a step back and not spending at all is a good way to go.

One strategy to try when you’re looking to reduce expenses is to try a no-spend weekend!

A hiker on a trail in front of a mountain

Enjoy the outdoors

Unless the weather is terrible, chances are that you can find a way to enjoy the outdoors for free.  This could be a local hike, bike ride, visit a farm, walk through your neighborhood, and so on. You could also try a backyard campout!

Fridge / pantry / freezer cleanout

You can skip on the eating out for the weekend.  Chances are you can skip a trip to the grocery store, too!  Most of us have plenty to use in our pantry, fridge, or freezer. We tend to let things accumulate, or you can just go low-budget for a couple days and simply use up what you have on hand. I personally get frustrated at all the things that seem to never get eaten in the pantry, so now is the time to make the effort to eat those things.

Do some cooking / baking

Speaking of those neglected foods in the kitchen, see if you can find some ingredients to bake something! You can usually put together something with simple ingredients if you do not have a well-stocked fridge.

Game / movie night

A game night is an easy way to enjoy an evening without spending money.  If you don’t have a suitable game, you can borrow one from a friend.  Or you can have a movie night. If you don’t pay for a streaming service, you can still find free movies online.

Have a picnic

Get outdoors with some food. You can also incorporate a hike or walk into this as well – make a day of it!

Do some decluttering

If you are making the effort to go frugal for a weekend, it can be a good weekend to declutter.  You could donate some items, or find items to sell. 

This is a nice opportunity to list some items on Facebook Marketplace and make a little extra money.

Read / visit the library

Maybe you don’t always make the time to enjoy a good book.  The library has lots of great free items, from books to magazines, audio books, and other items to enjoy.  Our library has a “Library of Things”, from games to fishing poles.

Visit a museum or nature center

You can usually find a museum or nature center that is free or cheap.  Our library offers free museum passes. Some museums offer free admission, such as the NYC Natural History Museum. Nature centers are often free, and can be a great place for kids to spend time exploring and learning new things.

Volunteer, donate, or do random acts of kindness

Your time can be spent by helping others.  Clean out items to donate, or find an organization that can use your volunteer help.  You can also come up with some ideas for random acts of kindness, such as helping someone with yard work or baking something for someone.

Work on a house project

While working on your home may not be the most fun, it is nice to complete something and be able to feel better about your indoor or outdoor spaces. For example, clean out your garden or trim your hedges to make your home have better curb appeal.