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Ask the readers: How do you socialize frugally?

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Friday 29th of October 2021

I don’t enjoy shopping, but I can go and browse. I can go to a bar or restaurant and have one drink or an appetizer and enjoy the company but not spend much money. There are, at certain times of the year, free concerts and free movies so that’s another way to do those activities your friends may enjoy and not spend. Here’s the thing about being frugal though, sometimes you have to decide what your top priority is. If spending time with friends is a top priority it might mean spending money you otherwise wouldn’t spend. As long as it doesn’t put you in a financial burden I don’t see the issue of doing it occasionally. And there are always rewards points or similar programs that can be redeemed for gift cards. If your friends want to go to the movies but you don’t want to spend actual money, you can earn gift cards to use for example.


Friday 29th of October 2021

It seems almost impossible to get together with friends since we all have kids that aren't quite teens yet and sitters aren't always available. When we can/do get together we don't care what we are doing as long as it's together!

Instead of strolling around our neighborhoods we have purposefully driven to a new spot (state, city park) and explored the area a little bit. Packing a lunch to go along makes it more fun and the car ride is extra time together. Sometimes the kids come, sometimes they don't. I found a book at the library that has walking tours of the area I live in (Minneapolis) so we've used that to do local urban exploring.

We've done movie and crafting night where we will watch a new movie or an old favorite from college while knitting away. Everyone brings a snack to share.

Another fun idea is meal prepping together. I found recipes online where you can prep meals to stash in your freezer. Someone with a Costco membership will do the shopping for everyone (which is reimbursed) and then we all meal prep together. Great bonding and it saves time down the road!

Michelle H

Friday 29th of October 2021

When I was trying to get out of debt I had to start turning down invites from friends for expensive nights out, so I started looking for free and cheap things to do, and inviting them to join me. $10 carload night at the drive-in movie, cheap happy hours, bands at small venues with no cover, bogo restaurant deals, etc. At one point I even found a country bar that was so desperate to get women in the door on ladies night that they would hand you $5 at the door just for showing up - with the cheap drink specials that $5 covered 2 drinks and a tip!

That was 25 years ago, and I'm out of debt, but I still approach my entertaining from a position of frugality. Poker night at home, concerts in the park, team trivia night at a local bar and grill that has half price appetizers and drinks on Thursdays, and we're good enough we usually win a $30 voucher we can use the next time.

I have discovered that most people are happy to be invited to something, and not be the one always trying to plan an outing.


Thursday 28th of October 2021

My bestie of 27 years are both frugal. We would do sonic car dates ( for fountain drinks) during half price happy hour. Go grocery shopping T the same time. Go to rummage sales together. Scour locals for free events. We also would have frugal themed dinners. We tent camped in county camp sites. Went to beach days at little known free lakes. We raised kids at the same time and had lots of fun. Frugally rocks!

Heidi Louise

Thursday 28th of October 2021

Recently, my sisters and I met two women on different occasions who spoke about how our Mom had helped them meet people when they moved to town. She took/invited/dragged them to League of Women Voters meetings. This was the 1960-70s. We knew Mom was involved and even a local officer, but didn't know how she used that group for socializing as well as activism. So as well as the volunteering that has been mentioned, perhaps becoming involved in a cause important to you will provide some new contacts.

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