56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money… 1. Read the archives of your favorite blogs We all have our favorite blogs and websites; see what the beginning was like by digging through the archives. (Find the And Then We Saved archives in the drop-down menu in the left sidebar)2. Build a fort Even if you have no kids (and don’t know any) you can throw some sheets over a few chairs and a table, toss in some blankets and pillows and pretend like you’re a kid again. Who doesn’t have memories of building forts or of playing in boxes as a kid? Get goofy and let yourself have fun with it.3. Make some of your Pinterest pins If you’re one of the 104.4 million Pinterest users then this one is for you. You know all those pins that you have on your boards? This is the perfect time to make some of them. The challenge: only tackle the projects that you can do with supplies you already own.4. Get creative with your meals Break out of any food rut that might be building and come up with some new meal ideas using only the foods that you already own. Tap into your inner Top Chef and see what unique and tasty meals you can come up with. Think outside of your normal “go-to” foods, and you just mind create a whole new favorite.5. Mend those clothes that need mendingThat hem that’s come loose, the hole that needs patching, the button that’s hanging on my literally 2 thin threads; nows the time to get that pile of To-Do’s taken care of.6. Have a favorite actor or actress?Check out all of their movies from the library or watch them all on Netflix. Another idea- decide to have a movie marathon theme night. Some ideas: 90’s movies, cult classic movies,cheesiest movies ever made, worst movies ever made.7. Use those gift certificates!Have old gift certificates that have sat around since the last holiday season or from your last birthday? Some gift certificates expire, some charge activation fees (gasp- the nerve!) and you’ll never believe this- some companies will take a percentage off the card for each month it hasn’t been used (double gasp!). Don’t let those gift certificates go to waste! Still can’t find anything you like at the store? This could be a great re-gift opportunity (as long as the gift certificate is not going to expire super soon, and as long as in it’s original wrapper still looking crisp and brand new). Also, consider listing the card on Craigslist, Facebook, Plastic Jungle, Card Pool, Gift Card Rescue or Card Woo. Likely you’ll only be able to get a percentage of the card’s original value but it’s better than nothing since letting it sit in your junk drawers will do you no good at all.8. Get organizedGo through all those old papers, clean-up your computer’s hard-drive, and find a place for all the errant items in your house.9. Cut your own hairIt’s only scary the first time (really!); after that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been cutting your hair this whole time! How to cut your own hair tutorial. And while we’re on the subject of hair…10. New hairstyles A whole new look for you could be as simple as parting your hair on the opposite side, busting out the old LA Looks to slick your hair back, conquer that fishtail braid you’ve always wanted to try, or simply pulling your hair up into just a slightly higher ponytail for an instantly perkier look.11. Spa day at homeUse your cooled morning coffee grounds as a full body exfoliator, soak your feet, put a warm washcloth over your face, turn on your favorite relaxing free radio stations (Songza andPandora for excellent free radio), and use your imagination to pretend you’re in a luxury resort laying by the poolside as a tan pool-boy serves you free! (Hey, let’s go for it) ice-cold drinks.12. Take a picture an hourEver wonder what your life looks like to others? Find out by snapping a picture an hour for the entire day. From the seemingly common to the obviously exciting your life will look different through the lens of a camera. No need to worry if you don’t have a fancy camera, a cell phone camera works perfectly for this.13. Write lettersHow long has it been since you’ve written a real pen and paper letter? I don’t even remember the last time. Send your grandma a note, and tell her what you’re up to. It just might make her day!14. Make gifts!It doesn’t matter if it’s right around the holidays or if they just passed. Someone’s birthday is probably coming up so get a head start, and squirrel away your creations for when they are needed. Check out the DIY Gift Guide.15. Tackle a nagging taskThis is one of Gretchen Rubin’s (author of The Happiness Project) super tips for happiness. The shower needs caulking, the windows need sealing so scratch those pesky tasks off the To-Do list once and for all.16. De-clutterSort through everything in the closets, the basement, under the beds, and in the dressers.17. Clean your house from top to bottomReally scrub the tub, toilet, floors, window sills, everything. Put your back into it.18. Clean your carNo more fast-food bags, stray gum wrappers or dirty windshields.19. Come up with new outfit combinationsWould you much rather be out shopping than doing just about anything? Pull out your clothes and come up with some new outfit combos. You might have far more outfits than you realized. Posts to get your ideas going: How To Wear One Look a Zillion Different Ways, create an efficient wardrobe with these packing tips the translate into everyday life to generate a small but powerful closet, How To Transition Summer Clothes Into Fall, Wearing Scarves to Pump Up Your Style, and don’t miss my 1 Tip for Having Style on the Cheap!20. Potlucks! There are lots of different potluck options: breakfast, dessert, appetizers. When everyone brings something the burden for one person to pay for everything is lifted. I recently went to a themed potluck where everyone brought something related to pumpkins! It was awesome! I brought pumpkin spice cupcakes with brown butter cinnamon buttercream frosting (so good! recipe coming soon!).21. Rearrange your houseMaybe the couch would look better over by the window.22. VolunteerMake a large deposit in your karma bank and help a person or group that needs assistance.23. Free Library and community events Pick up a community paper or look online for your cities free event listings.24. Sleep-in Why not cuddle up a little longer.25. NapRelax. Hey, why not?26. Catch up on your readingThat stack of books and magazines by your bed is begging for your attention.27. Go for a runTry a new route, explore a different neighborhood, burn up some calories, tone those legs.28. Go to the book store and peruse the magazines This falls into the kind of “shamelessly frugal” category but sometimes frugal living calls for it. This is what you do: bring a tea bag with you to the book store then ask the coffee shop barista for a cup of hot water, pick up a stack of the newest magazines and enjoy! Be sure to leave the magazines in pristine shape.29. Go Dumpster Diving!You just might find a dirty treasure that just needs a small amount of cleaning to come to life again. See I Went Dumpster Diving and More Adventures in Dumpster Diving.30. Call your long-distance relativesBoth Skype and Google Voice offer free long-distance internet to phone calling. Do you know of any other companies that have this feature or better options?31. Organize your photosBack-up your digital images, and make a plan for getting them printed. Dot Photo has pretty good prices.32. Make CardsGet crafty and stock-pile cards for the holidays or birthdays so they’re ready when you need them throughout the year.33. Make CookiesA large majority of cookie recipes use common household ingredients which is great for saving money. I always skip recipes that call for exotic ingredients. Some tasty recipes: The Perfect Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe (bonus: gluten-free!), Jet-Fueled No-Bake Cookies, andGraham Creams.34. Update your To-Do List35. Write Get that story written and those memories jotted down36. Start a happy bookCompile all of your good memories in one place. When you’re feeling crappy open it up to a random page for an instant boost. Include those silly things that happen in life that crack you up and make you really to-the-gut happy.37. Go on a bike rideSee your city in a new way. Breathe in the fresh-air that is all around you. 38. HikeGet out in nature and take in all that natural beauty.39. See if you can return anything you’ve boughtAre you guilty of keeping tags on clothes (or other items) and never wearing them? If you’re not getting use out of it, take it back.40. Wash all your linensNothing is better than clean sheets! Right?41. Look over your financesTake inventory of your finances and see where you can make some changes. See How to do a Spending Fast and Get Out of Debt Quick! and if you’re ready to really change your life take the Get Out of Debt Pledge.42. Figure out your goalsIf you don’t have a plan or an end goal in mind it makes it harder to achieve what you want, partly because what you want isn’t clear in your own mind. I like to do a “day-dream best-case scenario dream-goal” list. I figure if you put it out there and work hard it just might happen; it’s worked for me more than once.43. Write a gratitude listSometimes it’s just a matter of noticing how very lucky we truly are. Take notice of all the big obvious things (roof over your head) as well as those things that seem trivial but that help to make your life really great and enjoyable (the bus arriving right as you get to the stop- LOVE that). See What are Your Grateful for Right Now? and Dramatically Increase the Quality of Your Life.44. Have a sleepoverChannel your childhood, grab your sleeping bags, and stay up late telling ghost stories.45. Make meaningful contact Tell everyone in your life why you love them (or like them) and what you appreciate most about them. Don’t miss the chance to get goodness out into the world and don’t miss the chance to make someone feel great and appreciated.46. Have your friends overJust hang out. Easy!47. Bus itHop on a route you don’t normally take. 48. Open Mic nightThere are a ton of talented people out there in your very city just waiting for an audience to entertain.49. Free week at a new gymGet out of a work-out rut quite and switch up your gym. See 4 Reasons Why Your Wallet Wants You to Adopt a Healthier Life ASAP.50. Put things on CraigslistMake some money from the items you no longer use or need, and if the items don’t sell…51. Sell to a pawn shopSee if you can sell your un-wanted items to a pawn shop, and if that doesn’t work…52. Do a clothing swap!Trade what you no longer wear for something new-to-you, and if that doesn’t work… (SeeClothing Swap FAQ’s Answered)53. Hold a yard saleIf at first you don’t succeed try, try again. After you’ve exhausted Craigslist, pawn shops, clothing swaps, and yard sales…54. Donate to the thrift storeYou gave it a good go with trying to make money off the items you no-longer used. It’s time to throw in the towel with the things that are still left. Be sure to get a tax receipt to use at tax time. See How De-Cluttering Made for a Charitable Donation Tax Write-Off and Organizing Receipts in the Cutest Way Possible.55. Connect with an old friendUsed to be really close friends in high-school and have you got disconnected? Re-connect to see what your old bud is up to these days.56. Be anonymously nice Leave random nice notes all around town. Some ideas for your notes: “You can do it!” or “You’ve got this!”; it just might be the sign someone has been looking for to take the next leap in their life. Hang the notes on light posts, tuck them into car doors and windshields, leave them on community cork-boards. Spread around kindness and awesomeness and it will come right back to you. It’s the craziest thing but goodness boomerangs!A couple more things to think about when not spending money:Don’t feel sorry for yourself; this is good for you!Don’t ask your friends to pay for you; mooching isn’t cool and get’s old faster than you’d like it to. (Trust me, Confessions of a Mooch)Don’t online window shop or real-life window shop; it can be far too tempting. (See:Should I Buy It? Take-A-Long Printable Decision Card) What are your favorite no-spend activities? What things do you do instead of spending money?image richard masoner/cyclelicious 64 commentsposted on: november 19, 2012in clothing swap, paying off debt, social, staying out of debt, take action, things to dotagged // break from spending, cheap things to do, inexpensive things to do, mini spending fast, no money, no spend weekend, things to do instead of spending money, things to do that don't cost money, what to do on a no spend weekend, what to do on a spending fast« Save and Share Your Memories with Great Holiday CardsGet Out of Your Head with Some Charitable Giving » 46 Comments MIKE // NOVEMBER 19, 2012Tons of great ideas, and I really love the 1 picture per hour idea. It would be cool to document your entire day like that. Would put a whole new twist on catching up with your partner at the end of the day on how both of your days went.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // NOVEMBER 19, 2012Glad you like the idea mike! that would be cool to have both you and your partner do the photo an hour! nice twist!replyHANNAH // NOVEMBER 19, 2012Thanks! I was having a dull day and did the Pinterest thing. Now I have a toilet paper mantel decoration and a kind-of-trashy-but-comfy workout shirt.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // NOVEMBER 19, 2012Hah! That’s so awesome!replyDOROTHY HUXTABLE // NOVEMBER 20, 2012These are awesome! And as well as stopping me from spending, will probably stop me from eating from boredom, which I do all the time. Thanks!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Glad to hear that Dorothy! I get into trouble when I’m bored too.replyJULIET // NOVEMBER 21, 2012Neat tips.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Thanks Juliet!replyKATHLEEN // NOVEMBER 24, 2012love the list, Anna! makes me want to go for a run and have a nap and clean and declutter!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Hah! It’ll keep ya busy for awhile!replyHEATHER // NOVEMBER 24, 2012Going on a Picnic is a great way to get outdoors and for some added fun, invite some kids along. Walking to the grocery store is way to get rid of a few calories, enjoy some great weather, and strike it off the to-do list all at once. The playground is another good place to get some laughs as you and your friends relive the childhood games and share funny stories.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Good ideas Heather!replyJOLLEEN // NOVEMBER 25, 2012LOVE!!!JolleenreplyANNA NEWELL JONES // NOVEMBER 25, 2012Yay! Thanks!replyDAISY@EVERYTHING FIN // NOVEMBER 25, 2012I love a lot of these suggestions – particularly “take a picture an hour” and being anonymously nice. First of all, taking a picture an hour will not only be interesting for others (maybe.. depending on what type of life you lead) but also may put things in perspective for you. If the pictures of what you are doing consist of the tv and only the tv, maybe it’s time to start being more productive.And who doesn’t want to be anonymously nice! There are so many things we say we don’t have time for but this shouldn’t be one of them.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013I like how you took the photo an hour tip to the next level… to see how it could be an evaluative life tool.replyLAURA // NOVEMBER 29, 2012This was a very helpful article! Thank you for sharing. Being a single Mom…I need to come up with fun activities that are free…and there were some good ideas in here. Plus, I need to cut back on spending and this was helpful.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Hey Laura, I’m glad it’s helpful! If you find some free activities that become you really like I’d love to hear what they are.replyEUGÉNIE // NOVEMBER 30, 2012Preparing lunchs, going to library, going out with doggy, invite the BFFs over to an afternoon with old movies and popcorn, cleaning cupboards to know what you do own and use (food included!), clean outdoor spaces and take care of it, play boards games, go help older parents and grand-parents with harder tasks, free activities in town, etc, etc.. :):)replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Great ideas!replyEMILY DAY // DECEMBER 1, 2012Great list! Online “window shopping” actually HELPS me not spend money. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to things I want. It feels like collecting! I usually end up realizing that I don’t need those things, but they’re always there, in case someone needs a gift idea for me, or I decide to save up the money to buy it!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013I’ve heard that before from a couple people- that just doing some “collecting” of the items is helpful in the fight againt over-spending. Someone told me once that she would even fill up her online cart with everything she wanted to buy and then just close out the screen when she was done “shopping” instead of making any real purchases. That would get me in trouble though! ;)replyAB // DECEMBER 1, 2012Skype is not free computer to phone. It is only free computer to computer.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Ok cool. Thanks for letting me know.replyHELENA // DECEMBER 2, 2012What an amazing site, you are such an inspiration! :)replyANNA NEWELL JONES // DECEMBER 2, 2012Aw, thanks!replyTAN // JANUARY 1, 2013Wow I am doing so many of these things already… even before reading this AMAZING blog! These things make you feel soooo connected and make such a difference!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013That’s so awesome that you’re already doing a lot of them! I agree Tan, connectness is super important!replyGABI // JANUARY 3, 2013This post is awesome. I reference it every day when I get home from school to keep myself from wasting time looking at clothes online or watching too much TV. Thanks so much!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013That’s so great to hear!replySAMANTHA // JANUARY 3, 2013Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013You’re welcome! I’m glad they’re helpful!replyJUDITH // JANUARY 18, 2013I love this…It’s a long weekend and I’m checking this list for ways to fill the hours.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // JANUARY 27, 2013Let me know if you come up with any other fun ideas!replyCLARA GWEN // FEBRUARY 16, 2013Oh this is just what I’ve been needing! I seem to spend my paychecks way too fast these days. I think the first thing I’ll do is the clothing swap!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // FEBRUARY 27, 2013very cool! i’ve gotten the most amazing things from swaps! things like: a brand-new jcrew wool (!) blazer and this super cool vintage purse. let me know what treasures you get!replyABBY // FEBRUARY 17, 2013Thanks for the great ideas! I just started my new “frugal lifestyle” a month ago by getting a second (more fun!) job. It has kept me really busy, so I don’t have time to go shopping because I’m bored. I find I’m much more productive in what little spare time I have, and when I do make plans to see friends, I have an incentive to get things done around the house, faster! I will definitely try some more ideas you have on this list. Thanks, again!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // FEBRUARY 27, 2013I’m happy to hear about your new frugal lifestyle! I used to do a lot of bored shopping too (and still fall into it sometimes). Keep me posted on your progress!replyKAREN @MSENTHUSIAST // FEBRUARY 19, 2013I like the nap idea.;) Calling people on the phone can’t hurt either. I’ll have to try the happy book. I like that idea.replyANNA NEWELL JONES // FEBRUARY 27, 2013it’s fun to have one place to go to look at all the ridiculous/silly/goofy things that make you laugh. it’s cool too because you don’t have to please anyone’s sense of humor but your own. if it cracks me up, in it goes!;)replyMÓNICA FERNANDEZ // FEBRUARY 21, 2013This list is amazing…I´m from Argentina, en 2001 was a very hard crisis…now i live in Spain, In Canary Island of Tenerife..again a big crisis reach me…But the first crisis let me many things…a Thyroid cancer and that the more important is …have health. Everything get if you´ve got health. I´m always making new my dresses…my blouses…with a pin…a fabric flowes…my shoes too…with crochet flowers of many colours…The crisis is the best thing that coud hapens by albert Einstein. Send you my salutations adn sorry my englihs is bad…God bless you..!!!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // FEBRUARY 27, 2013Your english great Monica! I’m so glad the list is helpful to you! God bless you too! :) xoreplyFRASER // FEBRUARY 22, 2013Did you spend that 24k on your smile?:-)replyB // FEBRUARY 23, 2013Dumpster diving is a frequent “hobby” of mine but there are a couple of things to consider: 1) is the item by itself? It could be a Craigslist or Freecycle item for someone picking up later (if you are brave, knock on the door and ask); 2) if the item needs repair do you have the time/money to fix it? Defeats the money saving idea of dumpster diving!replyANNA NEWELL JONES // FEBRUARY 27, 2013good points b!replyEMM-ROSE // FEBRUARY 28, 2013I love this blog. It has some really great tips for living on an over tight budget without going insane. I actually do 28 all the time. I always keep a couple tea bags in my purse. If you are going to get coffee with a friend but don’t want to spend the $3, you can ask for hot water (sometimes costs a dime) and you’re set!reply 18 Trackbacks By The Spirit of Thanksgiving « Joy in the Day on November 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm[...] Detox Made Safe and Simple because it’s that time of year. 2. 56 Things to Do Instead of Spending Money because let’s face it, those new wunder unders are not going to buy themselves! Share [...]By Best Money Tips: 56 Things to Do Instead of Spending Money | PFSon November 21, 2012 at 9:18 am[...] 56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money — Instead of spending money, mend clothes that need mending or clean your car. [And Then We Saved] [...]By Up to Lately – Holiday shows, Post-It art and Painting flags on my Furniture. Naturally. | stasia burrington on November 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm[...] this with you too! A few days ago I stumbled across this great post by Anna of And then WE SAVED: 56 Things to Do instead of Spending Money. 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Your bank has online banking where you can look over all your expenses. Here’s a cool post on alternatives to spending money on stuff. [...]By The Week: January 25, 2013 | Olio.in.Iowa on January 25, 2013 at 5:23 am[...] list of “56 Things to Do Without Spending Money” is the perfect boredom buster for any lowly college [...]By 56 THINGS TO DO INSTEAD OF SPENDING MONEY | My Best Self Challenge on January 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm[...] 56 THINGS TO DO INSTEAD OF SPENDING MONEY [...]By Fun Things To Read On A Friday on February 8, 2013 at 5:00 am[...] this really fun game called “How miserly can I actually be?” This post filled with 56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money came at the perfect [...]By Internet Finds: Week 6 | Reinventing Erin on February 8, 2013 at 7:45 am[...] are 56 things you can do without spending money. This is from the website And Then We Saved, but I found it yesterday on Holly’s [...] Post a Comment Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *Name *Email *WebsiteComment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Let's do this! SIGN-UP FOR FREE UPDATES!