15 Cheap Things To Do With Friends: A Bucket List For Your Besties

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It’s always a good time to think about how you are spending your money. You want to have fun and live your best life, but before you know it, those last-minute coffee dates and call for another round can leave your wallet in a desperate state. 

But being frugally-minded doesn’t mean life has to be lived in boring solitude. How do you balance your budget with a “you only live once” vibe?   

Here are some of the best, cheap things to do with your friends that deliver serious fun, just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

Enjoy The Great Outdoors 

There’s nothing like some fresh air to help cure the stuck-at-homes blues. And better yet — these are usually pretty safe things to do during a pandemic, as long as you play your distance right. 

Hit Up Your Local Park 

What used to be the most popular stomping ground for MOPS groups (and maybe they still are), local parks have reemerged as a favorite place to hang out for all age groups. Set up a course and play a little frisbee golf. Pack some snacks, a portable speaker and enjoy a picnic together. Or even pack a blanket and catch up while you look for shapes in the clouds. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

It will be a nice break from that work-from-home life and help you harness your creative side. 

Get Moving Together 

Exercising is much more fun if you are doing it with a friend. Find a good route, grab a pal and enjoy a jog or bike ride together. Start a yoga routine. Begin weight training together. The possibilities are pretty endless. 

And you can enjoy the accountability to make sure you actually keep at it. 

Rent-a-Ride & See the City 

A lot of cities have the option to rent bikes or scooters. Gather some friends and spend the day exploring. Even if you’ve lived in the same place most of your life, there are always new things to discover. And a lot of fun will be had just cruising around town with the people you love. 

RoadTrip to a Scenic Location 

One thing that you don’t have to worry about being closed due to local COVID-19 restrictions? The highway. 

A road trip is a great way to do something fun with your loved ones (and get a great photo op for social media). 

You can go big and travel to the other side of the country or you can keep it simple and check out some state parks and star gazing hotspots. 

Keep in mind that you might want to check in on snow conditions and road closures. And, if you’re venturing into a new state, be sure to check their Covid restrictions so you don’t unintentionally put another surge into motion. 

Need a place to stay while you are exploring? Airbnb and VRBO are the places to be right now. 

Related: The 9 Most Underrated National Parks [And The Best Times To Visit Them]

Go Camping

Camping is a fun way to connect with nature and decompress from the work week. And, depending on what you already have in your closet, it can be pretty inexpensive. 

All you really need is a tent, sleeping bag, food and fire starters. 

But if your definition of the hard knox includes using a public restroom, you can also rent a mobile home or travel trailer. Split the bill between you and your friends and you have a reasonably-priced vacation that delivers all the views of camping without all the sacrifice. 

Start a Book Club 

You’re home more than ever now, so why not start a book club to read the books you’ve always wanted. Maybe it’s a club dedicated to classics. Start a book club dedicated to all things Star Wars. Or maybe it’s comics. When you start your own book club, you get to make all the rules. 

Not ready to host but still want to participate? Find a book club near you with
For a new twist, you can start a club centered around podcasts. Each week, listen to a new episode and get together and talk about it. 

Related: The 10 Best Kurt Vonnegut Books [Everyone Should Read]

Get Musical 

Quarantine is a great time to learn to play a musical instrument. Not only do you have the benefit of learning something new, but music is also a great way to harness all those pent up emotions in a healthy way. 

There are tons of youtube videos dedicated to music if you are just starting out. 

If you know a few friends that already play the guitar, invite them over for a jam sesh.  

Shop for a Good Deal 

If shopping is your thing, you can maintain your habit frugally by hitting up thrift stores or yard sales. Sure it might take a little longer to find that designer antique, but the hunt is part of the fun.  

And with a good cup of coffee and a great friend, you can make a whole day of it. 

If scouring through aisles of clothes is not your thing but you still love the idea of getting a good deal, you can also check out online consignment stores like ThredUp

Related: 15 Do’s And Don’ts Of Thrift Shopping [Get Your Thrift On]

Invite Your Friends To A Night-In  

If a night out on the town sounds a little intimidating, or totally undoable in the town you’re in, don’t fret. Here are some fun things to do with your friends right from the comfort of your living room. 

Host a Movie Marathon

Who doesn’t love a good movie or three? Pair them with some ice cream and yummy food, and you can browse Netflix or Disney+ for hours. No judgement. 

Need some inspiration? Check out these movies that are perfect for quarantine or these tv shows from the past

And since you’re already in your pj’s, why not make it a sleepover? Brunch included in the morning. 

Related: Best Sleeper Sofas [That Your Friends Will Actually Want To Sleep On]

Host a Game Night 

For the competitive friend, game nights are a chance to dominate the competition. For the easy-going friend, it’s a chance to just spend time together. In other words, game nights are always a hit. Grab some beer and appetizers and set aside a day to play games like Settlers of Catan or Codenames

And if board games aren’t your thing, you can have the same experience with a night of video games. Mario kart competition anyone? 

Karaoke Anyone? 

Put together a playlist of all the karaoke classics and find out which friend has the best set of pipes. I want it that way and Purple Rain are a must. 
You can go for a full-blown karaoke machine or use your phone with apps like Smule

For the best results, be sure to include some booze and have the camera ready. 

Host a Dinner Party 

Food brings everyone together. So why not make a night surrounding that? You can host a themed potluck, costumes included. 

Or, have everyone gather at your house and pick a recipe out of a hat. Send them to the grocery store and see who can come up with their item the quickest.  

For another fun variation, you can create your own cooking show. Include a list of ingredients on the flashcard and have each team try to come up with a unique way to use all the ingredients. 

Related: Hosting A Dinner Party: 12 Cheap Meals To Cook [Chef Guide]

Set Up a Scavenger Hunt 

Scavenger hunts have come a long way since your high school days. You can find a lot of creative ways to create a game board, many of which won’t cost you a dime. 

For example, send your teams out to take pictures in front of city monuments. And the first one back with their full list of selfies wins. 

You can also create one using objects in your house and give both teams clues to solve. For example, “Susan left this at my house a year ago and I refuse to give it back. What am I?” or “I got this from my trip to New York and it’s sitting in this room. What is it?”

Either way, scavenger hunts are a ton of fun.  

Start Your Own Podcast or Youtube Channel

You and your friends are hilarious, witty and insightful. Why not share your thoughts with the world through a podcast or your own Youtube channel?  

Come up with a topic that you both are passionate about to get you started. And then let the chips fall where they may. 

Will it become the next viral sensation? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, you will have a ton of fun and have a memento of this season of your life to enjoy for years to come. 

And be sure to check out our tips to get you started on your Youtube journey.   

Learn Something New

Scientists have discovered that trying new things (and the thought patterns that are included in the process) are beneficial to your health. And that time with people you love is so important that it can keep you alive longer.

So why not combine the two and try something new with the people you love? There are online tutorials for just about anything you want to venture into. Knitting. Learning Sign Language. Growing a garden

You can also make this a project-based connection like creating some DIY artwork for your homes or writing a book together.   


Want to keep up your status as a social elite but don’t have the funds to back you up? Don’t bust out your credit card just yet. You can have a lot of fun without spending a fortune. 

And before you start getting overwhelmed by to-do lists and planning for the perfect activity, remember that the fun will be had in just being together. 

You might also like: 59 Of The Best Gift Ideas For The Friends You Can’t Live Without 

Fun Things to Do With Your Friends: 

  1. Hit Up Your Local Park 
  2. Get Moving Together 
  3. Rent-a-Ride & See the City 
  4. RoadTrip to a Scenic Location 
  5. Go Camping
  6. Start a Book Club 
  7. Get Musical 
  8. Shop for a Good Deal 
  9. Host a Movie Marathon
  10. Host a Game Night 
  11. Karaoke
  12. Host a Dinner Party
  13. Set Up a Scavenger Hunt 
  14. Start Your Own Podcast or Youtube Channel 
  15. Learn Something New 

Nicole Post

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