Let’s cut to the chase. Things ain’t getting cheaper out there and not all of us are getting paid appropriately. I don’t know how to make companies value workers but I DO know how to avoid spending money!
Hello, I’m queen of, “I don’t want to eat there, I can make us that at home.” In this time where gas prices are at an all time high and being overworked has really made us value the dollar again, you may want to start pinching your pennies. There are so many things that aren’t going to really be able to get cut back in your budget. You aren’t going to need less food to eat, you still need water, your rent/mortgage etc. It ends up looking like the thing to “go” is your social life.
A night out has easily doubled in the last decade. When a couple drinks on a date alone will run $50 and you haven’t even decided if you want a starter yet- it adds up FAST. Hundreds of dollars a month just to not be home for a night or not cook for yourself. Maybe some don’t bat an eye at that- then this article isn’t for you. However if you just had a “come to Jesus” moment with your spending, take a look ahead. All spring and summer long I’ll be sharing my budget-friendly ideas of things you can still do for fun with friends!
1. Tempe Town Lake
Don’t overlook a day at a place you drive by all the time. We are in a place with some of the nation’s best parks! Would Tempe Town Lake rank on the nation’s BEST? No. But can you make it a fun day? Absolutely. Grab up some friends and have everyone bring a picnic item. Spread out some blankets and bring a yard game to set up. If you find the shade, you can spend a good bulk of the day there without realizing it.
If you have the cash to spend, Tempe Town Lake offers paddle boat rentals which also add to the fun! Learn more about that HERE.
2. Picnic at White Tank Regional Preserve
Get a carload of people together and head to the White Tanks for a nature filled day with lots of surprises to find. The White Tank Regional Preserve has a lot to offer, including the rare Arizona “waterfall.” (Often a trickle these days if you get anything at all. *sigh*)It is $7 to get in but that price is per car. The frugal queen in me wants you to carpool and have everyone split. Grab a snack on the way and be sure to bring plenty of water!
White Tank Regional Preserve is home to something unique that shouldn’t be looked over- an ADA accessible hiking trail. That’s right, a good portion of the waterfall trail is PAVED so you can push a wheelchair OR stroller! We did a whole Fit4Mom stroller class there earlier this year and it was awesome. Right next to the trail there is a playground and covered seating for eating. Fabulous day for the whole family.
3. Scooter Scavenger Hunt
You can get out and have a full day of fun with your friends for under $20! Rent a scooter (or save more by doing it on foot) and do a scavenger hunt around town. While you can spend hours developing one for your friends and it would be “free,” there are several companies now that sell them already to go. They run about $50 a hunt and are meant for groups of about 5. Split the costs and multiple the fun. Here is just one of the local scavenger hunt options.
4. Live music
We like music. Telling you to go to a show doesn’t sound cheap but not all live music is done at an expensive venue. We do FREE shows every year with great bands. Out next FREE show is May 5th with Nothing Nowhere at Tempe Marketplace details are HERE. You can also win tickets to those big shows through the ALT AZ 933 app. However we are not your only music option. We have local venues with great ticket prices but also your favorite restaurant might feature live music one night! Your city’s free event at the park probably has live music. You might even get a show at the farmer’s market these days! Take advantage of the music that is already around you.
5. Food Truck Night
This is as expensive as you want it to be but it’s a great way to gather friends who don’t always agree on what to eat or meet with new groups of people when you aren’t sure of their dietary preferences. We have them coming out of our ears in the valley. Just do a Google search. Try to get a list of the trucks that will be there beforehand! A true penny pincher will want to see prices. I’ve gotten great deals on street tacos and I’ve also paid way too much for stir fry. One time I was more prepared than the other. To make the most out of the money spent, load the crew and eat at a park or back to someone’s house for a movie night.
Be more involved locally! We have a lot we can take advantage of that our tax dollars are even often already paying for. Things like city parks, libraries, and state funded facilities are throwing events all the time that are full of things that can entertain you, your friends and your kids for hours without feeling like all you did was go out and buy things all day long.
Follow your city’s accounts on Instagram/Twitter to be reminded of when these events are happening so you don’t miss them!