One of my favorite local blog sites, Bacon and Ice Cream, http://thebaconandicecreamblog.com is described as “A couples highs and lows of work and weekends in Minnesota”, have a humble, honest, and fun way of blending in their life stories with ideas and advice of where to spend limited free time, particularly when you need to live lean. I found Bacon and Ice Cream through a link from their friend’s site at Find Me frugal(er) http://findmefrugal.blogspot.com. The blogger shares her journey to live a meaningful life while managing a mountain of student debt and working in a profession that has personal value, but not necessarily financial rewards. I imagine her being a really good mentor and sounding board for my two older children who have also gone down the path of vocation rather than just earning a living, and now have more debt than I would have wanted for any young person starting their career. All these bloggers and tweeters have an eye to finding the nuggets of activity that provide a good return on little to no investment.
One could always stay home, curled up with a book, a free DVD on loan from the library, or a Netflix marathon, and surely spend nothing more. Being a shut in is cheap, but also isolating. I like my down time, but figuring out what to do and partaking of what the world has to offer, without just throwing money to get the experience has rewards. Here are a few of my favorites:
· Visit a winery or wine bar on free tasting nights, purchase one or two lower cost bottles you preferred to enjoy with a few friends later at your home or theirs. If I’m having friends over for drinks, or bringing a bottle along as a guest anyway, why not make it two activities for the same price. Google wine trails in your area for new places to stop at.
· Concerts or movies in a park. BYOB (bring your own blanket-usually not ok at these venues to combine idea above)
· Author readings. Your not obligated to purchase, but if you might be buying the book as gift or for your own collection, you could nab a signed copy. One of my daughter’s most treasured Christmas gifts was a signed copy of John and Carol Barrowman’s teen fiction book, Hollow Earth, from a November 2012 book signing in St Paul. Seeing and hearing John Barrowman from Torchwood fame was mom’s reward.
· Live music in coffee shops, bohemian style, for the value price of a cup of coffee (oooh coffee) and some tip jar money. Splurge a little and share one of the usually mammoth sized cookies or desert bars coffee houses like to serve.
· Museums and galleries. My husband loves art and we try to seek out the local gallery’s and art shops whenever we are in a new place or a new neighborhood. You can also get on mailing lists to special showings, or premiers. Purchasing a membership if you factor the cost spread out over a year, and you go monthly, makes for an inexpensive luxury if art is your interest. London museums are probably the best value of all, with no admission at so many-donations welcome. I still tear up whenever I remember that I saw Van Gogh’s Sunflowers; priceless.
What’s on your calendar? What else should I put on mine?
|Me in the life I sometimes think I have.|