Friday, February 10, 2012

Frugal Fashion Friday - Free (or Almost Free) FUN!

Today is Frugal Fashion Friday but instead of fashion, today is all about FUN!  I love doing things that I enjoy that are free or almost free.  I thought I'd compile a list of the things that I love just for you all.  This weekend you can try them out, no matter where you live and they are all budget friendly.  I even have a few ideas for Valentine's Day gifts. It's a very popular holiday and one of the biggest days to give gifts. I have a confession to make, I think Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday.  I think that you should tell your special someone "I Love You" every day. But my Honey is a big mushball and loves Valentine's Day so I celebrate for her.

At the County Fair - we cashed in our change for the entry fee and a ride on the Ferris wheel

Create a Carpet Picnic -  Grab your favorite goodies and create your very own indoor picnic.You don't have to cook a full dinner, you could just do snacks and finger food.  If you're feeling adventurous, you could create your own campfire using a Sterno can.  Using the Sterno heat you could cook hot dogs, and s'mores. Just grab a can of Sterno and put it into a heat proof dish. I use a ramekin and a plate underneath.  You can purchase a pack of wood skewers from your local grocery store for a few dollars.  Grab your hot dogs, marshmallows, and other items. Then light your Sterno and you're ready to go.

Visit an Art Gallery or Art Museum - In the DC area the Smithsonian museums are completely free. It's one of the most amazing things about living here.  Check your area for free or low cost museum admission. If you don't live near a free museum, check out a local art gallery.  It will be a great place to see new and emerging artists and it's free! You can also Google "free art museums" and you'll get results for your city or all over.

When I think of art and romantic gestures I always think of the movie Some Kind of Wonderful. Keith paints a picture of Amanda and gets a friend's dad to hang it in the art museum. The dad lets them into the museum after hours and the painting is hanging in the gallery. That's not my favorite scene in the movie but it's a good one.  If you haven't watched it, you should.

Consult a Going out Guide - There are tons of apps for checking out the local happenings.   My favorites are the DC Going Out Guide and Got Eventz.  They are both free apps that provide info on local movies, music, events, restaurants and bars. The DC Going Out Guide is an extension of the Washington Post. Check your local paper or tv station they may have their own app. Got Eventz provides details nationwide.

Got Eventz Lite (free) App Interface

There are free apps for restaurant reviews and reservations like Urbanspoon and Open Table.  You can also use these great tools online.

In the mood for a movie? You can check movie times or buy your movie tickets on your phone or online using Fandango.

Progressive Dinner with Friends - Enlist a few of your friends to join with you in a progressive dinner.  Each house or apartment makes one course.  You travel to each location and enjoy.  The only cost for you is the course you have to make and possibly gas (if you need to drive). You can just plan a few courses or create a cocktail time along with your dinner and dessert.

Visit a Playground or Go Sledding - Nothing can bring out your playful side by doing something child like. Once my Honey was very stressed and I took her to the neighborhood playground to swing.  How can you be stressed when you are flying through the air on a swing like a five year old? Winter is also perfect for child like pursuits.  It doesn't cost you anything to grab a trash can lid or plastic bin lid and sled down the local hill.  When you're done, you can go home and make some adult hot chocolate

Snap Photos - If you have an iPhone or an Android you can use a photo app to create fun photos that you can post and print. Take photos of your fun. I have an iPhone so as you know I love Instagram.

You can download photos and print them out. Incredibooth  is another fun app.  It creates a photobooth on your iPhone or iPad.  Snap pictures together or of each other and save them for later. They make a great gift or even better, "just because". Incredibooth is only 99 cents on the app store. There are several different photo options available with the app. You can also buy add-ons if you'd like. Download your photos to your computer or email them and post them online or print them out.  The possibilities are endless. A great DIY!

There are tons of other photo apps available at different prices. I'm a fan of the free or low cost apps.  My service is through AT&T.  I'm very happy with the options and services I get through them. If you have an Android you can check out these cool, free, photo apps for Android.

If you don't have a smart phone, you can use the camera you own or use a disposable camera. You can have it processed as digital images to print or share online.

Create Your Own Card - If your an artist and can create amazing personal cards, I'm jealous! If art isn't your thing I have a simple solutions.  Use a blank piece of paper or card stock and clip phrases out of magazines and newspapers that express how you feel and add a picture or two (from the magazine or from your phone).  Write your own message inside. A handmade card is more personal than one you purchase. You don't have to be Picasso to cut fun phrases out of magazines. Just use your imagination and your DIY ideas. It doesn't have to be fancy, it's from the heart.

I love finding creative ways to have fun on a budget.  Creating unique and memorable gifts and memories is always special.

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