Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fun: Cheap and Easy

As Hubby and I start to cut back on our expenses we’ll be looking at a few cheap or free ways to entertain ourselves over the coming months. Winter in Canada always makes for an interesting challenge. Often it’s far too cold and/or icy to go for a hike or to spend significant time outdoors. Or maybe that's just because I'm a temperature wuss.

We already enjoy a few things that don’t cost anything:

We play board games with our friends on a semi-regular basis: Taboo and Cranium are the usual favourites, though we’ll throw in Trivial Pursuit or Scene It for variation from time to time.

Hiking: There are some beautiful mountain trails around here which are lovely in the summer, gorgeous in the fall and completely inaccessible in the winter.

Skating outside: Once you own the skates and know how to use them, this is free. If you’re on a body of water rather than a backyard rink, make sure someone in authority is overseeing its safety.

Tobogganing: There are some great hills around our city. Sleds, disks or Krazy Karpets are often very cheap, and you can’t beat the adrenalin rush.

Sadly, skating and tobogganing are going to be out of the question this year. No careening down hills or dodging mini-Gretzky wannabes while pregnant for me. No beer with the board games either.

I seem to have gotten the raw end of this deal...

Trent at The Simple Dollar has a couple of good lists of stuff to do for free here and here.

The problem is that Hubby is easily bored. When he becomes bored, things like video games tend to be purchased. I’d like to avoid such things in the future, so I’m looking for new ideas.

So, the question is: What do you do for free or cheap fun?


guinness416 said...

As a new Canadian I'm all fired up to learn to ice-skate this year! Last year, upon calling 'round for lessons I got a lot of "and how old is your child?" I'll have thicker skin this year. Congrats on winning Tim's prize and on the impending arrival!

The Chef said...

We do not have extreme climates in India so cannot imagine the conditions in Canada.

As a suggestion to you the most cheap way to pass his time would be to teach him the advantages of practising frugality believe me its real fun.
You can teach him and also ask him to post his ideas on your blog.

Thanks for the Diwali greetings, I am happy that you know about Diwali in Canada

fecundity said...

@guinness416: Heh. Nice of them to make the assumption that you're calling about your child. You'd think the accent you must have might be a clue that you didn't grow up here. Silly people. Good for you for starting to learn. My Dad's been here for 40 years, and he can just barely stand upright on skates while clinging to the boards.

@the chef: I've tried the frugality chat with Hubby. It's a bit slow going as he's not very interested, which is why I'm looking for further ideas.

The large cities in Canada (like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, etc.) tend to be very multicultural. There are five Indians on staff at my office who every year organize an incredibly delicious lunch with Indian food and a presentation on the traditions of Diwali for the rest of us. It's been very educational.

dong said...

I'm curious why your husband is not very interested in frugality? Not that there aren't alot of reasons not to be, but it's such a important part of a relationship (spending money). I'm lucky my gf and I are on the same page, but many of my friends who are married aren't. It's not that disagree as so much don't talk about it or can't get anything resolved.

fecundity said...

@Dong: Thanks for asking. If I knew the answer...

It's not that he doesn't want to save money, per se, it's just that it's not something he's interested in thinking about or planning. Which, of course, you need to do in order to pull it off.

Also, most of his interests are electronic in nature (video games, watching TV/movies, programming), which are generally expensive.

Basically, I'm trying to find a wide array of possible entertainments so I can try them one by one until we have an assortment he considers fun.

Wooly Woman said...

No ice skating and beer can be hard on a pregnant woman, hahahaha. My husband and I play poker often and will do this with friends as well.
Congrats on the baby!

fecundity said...

Thanks, Wooly Woman. And I hear congrats are in order for you too. Hey, Guinness! You were right in your post on Four Pillars. It is the water!