Nov 09 2007

Frugal fun for the weekend

Awhile back, an anonymous reader suggested I write a post about frugal things to do over the weekend.

My husband and I tend to be homebodies, and we enjoy relaxing weekends at home. Still, sometimes we like to get out and about.

We’re still getting to know Pittsburgh. One thing we like to do on weekends is go on long drives around the area. The last two weekends, we drove around and looked at all the pretty leaves. Granted, it burns gasoline and adds mileage to the car, but for us it’s worth it. The car gets pretty good mileage, and we really enjoy those drives.

Another weekend activity is visiting the library. What’s not to love about borrowing free books and movies?

However, our library doesn’t have all the movies we could possibly want. So, we have a Netflix membership.

We have a huge list of movies in our queue, and when we’re done watching one and send it back, another one is sent. We end up watching 4-5 movies per month that way, and our plan lets us watch 9 hours of stuff online. For $9 per month, we think that’s a good deal. Check out Blockbuster’s mail-in program as well, if there’s a physical store in your area. It’s good to compare those plans if you’re interested in buying one.

I think it’s absurd that movie theaters charge $8-$10 per ticket for an adult to see a movie at night. No movie I have seen has ever been worth that much. Even for a matinée showing, it’s expensive.

I’m looking for dollar theaters in our area. Does anyone know of any cheap-o theaters in Pittsburgh? Preferably in the north hills?

Sometimes, we’ll play a board game or two. It kind of stinks that there’s only two of us, because that limits some games. But, we like playing Monopoly, Scattegories, and Sequence.

Occasionally, we’ll go out to eat. Enjoying a late lunch (as late as 3 or 4 p.m.) often means the menu will be much lower in cost than the dinner menu. We like using for coupons, ordering water, and sharing entrees.

Visiting a public park is great free entertainment. Whether you just want to walk around, have a picnic, or play on the swings or the slide (who says you can’t? just because I’m not a kid anymore doesn’t mean I don’t like to slide!), parks can be a lot of free fun.

There are many museums in this city, but I haven’t figured out if any have discount days.

What sorts of free/low-costing things do you do for fun over the weekends?

8 Responses to “Frugal fun for the weekend”

  1. I agree with you on Movies are WAY to expensive! LOL
    About once a month we do get out to go see a movie that we want to see that has just come out but we use buy one get one free coupons and with a student id since hubbys in college we get a discount on top of that. So for about 2.5 each we can afford the once a month movie. But we use Blockbuster Online for all else.. You can get Old movies, new movies, tv series that are older, all types of things! And for the price of 2 reg rentals at the in store rental we can get unlimited movies a month! lol so it works great for us! :-D

    Great Post!

  2. I really like to stay home too! and my favorite place is the library. Next are yard sales and thrift shops. Also my sewing hobby is a big thing for me on the weekends.

  3. We LOVE going on drives. It gets us out of the house, lets us talk with exclusive one-on-one time, gets us away from a screen (TV or computer), allows us to learn the area, and is relaxing for both of us. Good thing we both have Civics that get 30+ mpg! I’ve calculated it and, while it’s not as frugal an activity as staying home and playing a board game (which we also do quite frequently), it beats going out to dinner or to a movie!

    We are like you guys: 23 years old, married for about 1.5 years, no kids.

  4. Kacie, have you been to the main branch of Carnegie Library on Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section? I lived in Pittsburgh in the mid-70ies and still remember that as a cool building with character! As I recall (and it could have changed in the last 30 years), there was an adjacent park for hanging out, picnicing (not in your current weather, of course!), etc.

    If you want to make a day of it with your driving, there are some cool towns and country roads around Pittsburgh. Ligonier is neat, especially if you go during an event such as Fort Ligonier Days in October. That’s about 75-90 minutes away on Route 30.

    Have you been on either of the inclines yet? I checked online and it looks like they’re about $1.75 each way per person, which is pretty cheap when you are riding an engineering marvel.

    I’m not sure how much they cost, but we always enjoyed the Phipps Conservatory flower shows when we were growing up; I think they have special shows during the Christmas and Easter seasons.

    Enjoy and let us know what you find to do. Come spring, you might want to think about a looonnnggg day trip (or an overnighter in a budget hotel) to the Amish Country in the Lancaster area or a drive up to Erie just to say you saw a great lake.

  5. There is something called RedBox at Wegman’s and Giant Eagle in Erie where you can rent a movie for $1. The catch is that it has to be returned the next day. Sometimes they don’t have the movie you want, but you can just check and see if they do online before you even waste gas. And they offer a bunch of codes to get free rentals. Kacie, I have been reading your blog for a while. It inspires me to be more frugal! My husband and I try but we aren’t very disciplined. :o)

  6. Dear Kacie,
    To start with, I want to tell you that I’ve been reading your blog for ages. I can’t remember how I first came across your price book post but I’ve stayed.
    I might even boost your stats quite a bit because each time I’m typing and my partly broken keyboard won’t produce a character I copy it from you (especially your:) lol!
    It’s only now that I’ve started my own blog (not focussed like yours) that I’ve realised how important comments are.
    And today I even have a real suggestion for you – about board games for two players. My boyfriend gave me Carcassonne for Christmas two years ago. I was sceptical at first but it is really good even for two.
    If you ever see at a thrift store or on sale I highly recommend it.
    I’ve written two posts about being frugal at
    I’d be delighted if you came and had a look.
    Keep up the good work. Smiles.

  7. My sister lives in Pittsburgh! The city has amazing parks, museums, the zoo! And you’re so close to many amazing historical locations! I live in Central CA–you can only see the redwoods so many times, you know? We usually just have people over or visit friend’s in their homes–everyone has kiddos so we don’t need babysitters and the hostess provides snacks and guests bring the booze (spouses alternate sober driving duty!)

  8. I like to visit the library and work on my sewing. I’ll either read or watch movies/tv while sewing, depending what’s on. This weekend, we’re going on a Borders date. They cost $8 or so total and involve reading in the coffee shop. They’d be free, but we like the coffee. We do that about twice a month for date night.

    This month is a special treat, because I got a $25 Borders gift card from my bank for being a long-time customer. So that’s 3 dates for free! (actually, I could have had better interest elsewhere so it did cost me, but I didn’t care about that until very recently.)

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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