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9 Cheap Things to Do With Friends

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Even though going out to dinner with friends is a lot of fun, doing nothing else together might grow monotonous after a certain point, not to mention the fact that weekend dinners out with friends may quickly drain your bank account.

But if you think free or low-cost ways to have fun are more of a mythical quest than a real task, you’ve come to the right place.

You don’t have to choose between having a good time with your friends and your wallet!

Thankfully, there are a ton of cheap activities that are more joyful to do with buddies than spending money on pricey beverages in a noisy, crowded club. 

We hope that this list of inexpensive, yet memorable group outings will help you create lasting memories with your friends. Read on to find out more!

1. Friends that Sweat Together, Stay Together

young women and men, group of friends doing crunches at gym

The friendships you form while experiencing the ups and downs of exercise together will give you that much-needed motivation in the short term.

It will also lay the groundwork for a network that will help you achieve your long-term health and fitness ambitions.

Your best friend can be a great source of motivation when you’re 30 minutes into a run and feeling like giving up.

When you bring a friend along for your workout, you both have more fun and are more likely to attempt new things! Holding hands squats, for example, are just one of many awesome new exercises you may attempt when you work out with a partner. 

When you participate in team sports, gym workouts, or group runs with other people, especially those you think are better than yourself, you are more likely to push yourself to your limits.

When you’re with friends, you can unleash your inner competitor!

2. Spa Day with Friends on a Dime

two beautiful women having fun while making facial mask at home

A day at the spa might be the ideal girls’ outing, but it can put a serious dent in your wallet.   It may cost hundreds of dollars if you and a small group of friends decide to visit a spa. If you and your friends want to save money, you can give yourselves delightful and soothing beauty treatments right in your own homes.

Homemade face masks can be produced from simple products found in most kitchens, such as bananas, honey, coffee, and avocados. Or you can purchase premade sheet masks that already contain various cosmetic elements. 

And if you all bring your favorite nail polishes, you may take turns doing each other’s nails. 

To create the ultimate spa atmosphere, slip into a soft robe, light candles, and put on some soothing tunes.

3. Game Night

Group of friends have party indoors together

You can have a lot of fun with your friends and unwind without breaking the bank if you make playing board games a regular part of your weekly routine.

The flexibility of a game night makes it one of the best social activities.

Classics like Monopoly and Scrabble are always fun, but you can also pull out some other games from the lists of the best board games for adults, like Catan, Cards Against Humanity, Betrayal at House on the Hill, or Pictionary if your guests are up for it.

The list of exciting board games is endless.

As an alternative, you and your friends can play video games together. The night spent competing in a friendly event is sure to be one to remember.

4. Host a Cooking Showdown

Group of friends cooking separately in the kitchen at home

If you enjoy food competition shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, or Chopped, why not put on one of your own? Gather your friends and stock your kitchen with supplies they can use to prepare a meal together.   

Once they arrive, split them into groups and give them 30 minutes to whip up the best meal possible. If you have a large group of friends but just a tiny kitchen, assign each group a task, such as preparing an appetizer, a main course, a salad, or a dessert.

 As the teams prepare their dishes, you can roam around the kitchen and conduct interviews with them like the hosts of culinary contest programs do.

When the food is done, you can pass judgment on it with witty, humorous remarks. Following the announcement of the winning team, dinner can be served to all. Enjoy!

5. Go on a Picnic

Group of friends eating and talking together on a picnic in the forest

A picnic is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Taking your dinner on the go is as easy as packing a sandwich and heading to the park.

If you’re feeling fancy, have everyone bring a dish to share or take turns cooking for the picnic.

It’s also a good idea to prepare a barbecue picnic, though before you start packing your food, you should research what kind of grilling facilities each park has.

You can have a wonderful time while spending time in pleasant surroundings, and breathing in fresh air is rewarding in and of itself, but you can amp up the enjoyment by bringing along some active games like football, a Twister mat, or a Frisbee to play.

6. Wine and Paint Night

Group of young beautiful women paint on canvas and drinking white wine during party at home

While “sip and paint” parties are becoming increasingly popular, hosting your own event at home, in the yard, or in the park next door is just as much fun. Gather with your friends for a night of painting, drinking, and good times!

If everyone brings their own canvas and painting equipment and you supply delicious drinks, you can have a wine and painting night on the cheap.

Painting parties can be tailored to fit any budget, theme, or group size. Even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush before, you may still have a fantastic time, make something utterly unique, and, more importantly, create lasting memories with your friends.

Hosting a wine and painting night at home is a lot of fun, but you’ll be on your own if you want to learn how to paint. In any case, you can simply play one of the many Virtual Paint Night videos available on YouTube and paint along with that. 

Or you could just let your mind wander and paint anything that comes to mind without regard to style. 

7. Cocktail Evening

Happy group of friends drinking trendy cocktails

Ordering cocktails while dining out can get pricey, but hosting a cocktail party at home can save you a lot of money. 

Set a few cocktail recipes in advance and ask each person to bring one bottle of the beverage of their choice and any extra ingredients that may be required. 

You can even try out your own unique cocktail mixes or have a battle to choose the best drink of the night.

Put on some tunes you like and turn on some ambient lighting or candles. Finger snacks would be a good addition as well. 

Following this idea will guarantee a great time for you and your pals.

8. Movie Night

sitting on sofa eating pizza and popcorn and watching a movie together during home party

Instead of going to the theater, have the best movie night ever in the comfort of your home. Compared to going to the movies, this is a more economical and, in many cases, satisfying option.

Making your living room into your own theater has numerous advantages! You have control over the movie, the start time, the food, the atmosphere, and even the dress code!

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV, and Amazon Video make watching movies at home convenient with minimal setup and effort.

Compared to going to the theater, seeing a movie at home with friends and family is more cost-effective and fun because you already know everyone there!

9. Craft Gatherings

Young women making soap bars at home

Craft parties are the best kind of get-togethers. If you want to bring your friends closer to one another, why not have a DIY date when you all get to work on a project together?

In fact, even your least artistic pals will have a blast getting their hands dirty in these activities. 

Check out these Budget-Friendly Craft Night Ideas:

  1. Soap Making
  2. Painting Rocks
  3. DIY Mason Jar
  4. Decoupage Projects
  5. Paper Crafts (Origami)
  6. Tie-Dye Shirts

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you and your friends may have a good time together without breaking the bank on things like dinners, theaters, or a concert. 

Gather some friends over for a night in with a bottle of wine and a board game, try your hand at cooking or painting, or spend some quality time working out together or at the home spa.

There’s a good chance you’ll have so much fun that you’ll make some of the ideas in this article a regular part of your weekend routine.

However, remember that simply spending time with the people who matter the most to you is a certain way to make memories that will last a lifetime. Going for a walk or simply sitting on the grass in the park with your friends can mean a lot to them.

Remember, it is all about investing your time rather than money to develop a lasting friendship.