56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money

things to do instead of spending money

Not spending money? No need to worry there’s lots to do!

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 mending

That 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 organized

Go 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 hair

It’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 home

Use 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 and Pandora 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 hour

Ever 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 letters

How 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 task

This 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-clutter

Sort through everything in the closets, the basement, under the beds, and in the dressers.

17. Clean your house from top to bottom

Really scrub the tub, toilet, floors, window sills, everything. Put your back into it.

18. Clean your car

No more fast-food bags, stray gum wrappers or dirty windshields.

19. Come up with new outfit combinations

Would 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 house

Maybe the couch would look better over by the window.

22. Volunteer

Make 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. Nap

Relax. Hey, why not?

26. Catch up on your reading

That stack of books and magazines by your bed is begging for your attention.

27. Go for a run

Try 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 relatives

Both 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 photos

Back-up your digital images, and make a plan for getting them printed. Dot Photo has pretty good prices.

32. Make Cards

Get crafty and stock-pile cards for the holidays or birthdays so they’re ready when you need them throughout the year.

33. Make Cookies

A 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, and Graham Creams.

34. Update your To-Do List

35. Write 

Get that story written and those memories jotted down

36. Start a happy book

Compile 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 ride

See your city in a new way. Breathe in the fresh-air that is all around you. 

38. Hike

Get out in nature and take in all that natural beauty.

39. See if you can return anything you’ve bought

Are 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 linens

Nothing is better than clean sheets! Right?

41. Look over your finances

Take 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 goals

If 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 list

Sometimes 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 sleepover

Channel 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 over

Just hang out. Easy!

47. Bus it

Hop on a route you don’t normally take. 

48. Open Mic night

There 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 gym

Get 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 Craigslist

Make some money from the items you no longer use or need, and if the items don’t sell…

51. Sell to a pawn shop

See 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… (See Clothing Swap FAQ’s Answered)

53. Hold a yard sale

If 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 store

You 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 friend

Used 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:

 

What are your favorite no-spend activities? What things do you do instead of spending money?

image by richard masoner/cyclelicious and it was taken at the 2009 san francisco bike expo fashion show

130 comments

in Clothing Swap, How To, Paying Off Debt, Social, Staying Out of Debt, Take Action, Things To Do

97 Comments

  1. Mike // November 19, 2012

    Tons 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.

    • Anna Newell Jones // November 19, 2012

      Glad you like the idea mike! that would be cool to have both you and your partner do the photo an hour! nice twist!

      • Rachel // May 16, 2013

        We have a Half Priced Books where I live and they sell new and used books and magazines. I get all of my magazines from them, they may be a month old but they are only .25 each! So I save a bundle!

    • Alison Hood // March 26, 2013

      No 28 is truly awful! I don’t want to buy a magazine which has been thumbed through by someone else. Go to your local library & read the magazines there.

      • Anna Newell Jones // March 26, 2013

        That probably is the more ethical decision. Thanks Alison. xo

      • Sara // January 11, 2014

        Every time I go to the grocery store there are tons of people reading the magazines in the magazine aisle. If you think you are getting an unthumbed through magazine at any store, think again.

      • Barbra // January 11, 2014

        I agree that #28 is terrible: both expecting coffee shop owners to provide a cup and hot water for your tea (it’s not free for them, they have costs to cover), and reading magazines that are for sale.

        Really enjoyed the rest of the ideas though.

  2. Hannah // November 19, 2012

    Thanks! 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.

  3. Dorothy Huxtable // November 20, 2012

    These 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!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 27, 2013

      Glad to hear that Dorothy! I get into trouble when I’m bored too.

  4. Juliet // November 21, 2012

    Neat tips.

  5. Kathleen // November 24, 2012

    love the list, Anna! makes me want to go for a run and have a nap and clean and declutter!

  6. Heather // November 24, 2012

    Going 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.

  7. Jolleen // November 25, 2012

    LOVE!!!
    Jolleen

  8. Daisy@Everything Fin // November 25, 2012

    I 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.

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 27, 2013

      I like how you took the photo an hour tip to the next level… to see how it could be an evaluative life tool.

  9. Laura // November 29, 2012

    This 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.

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 27, 2013

      Hey 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.

  10. Eugénie // November 30, 2012

    Preparing 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.. :):)

  11. Emily Day // December 1, 2012

    Great 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!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 27, 2013

      I’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! ;)

  12. AB // December 1, 2012

    Skype is not free computer to phone. It is only free computer to computer.

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 27, 2013

      Ok cool. Thanks for letting me know.

    • Sarah // March 10, 2013

      Skype calls are free to a phone when the user has the Skype app (as opposed to calling a phone number). You just have to be sure to watch your data use or have an unlimited data plan to avoid overages.

    • Sarah // March 10, 2013

      Skype is free to a mobile phone asking as the user has the app. The only thing you have to watch is data use or have an unlimited data plan to avoid overage charges.

  13. Helena // December 2, 2012

    What an amazing site, you are such an inspiration! :)

  14. Tan // January 1, 2013

    Wow 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!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 27, 2013

      That’s so awesome that you’re already doing a lot of them! I agree Tan, connectness is super important!

  15. Gabi // January 3, 2013

    This 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!

  16. Samantha // January 3, 2013

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Judith // January 18, 2013

    I love this…It’s a long weekend and I’m checking this list for ways to fill the hours.

  18. Clara Gwen // February 16, 2013

    Oh 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!

    • Anna Newell Jones // February 27, 2013

      very 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!

  19. Abby // February 17, 2013

    Thanks 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!

    • Anna Newell Jones // February 27, 2013

      I’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!

  20. Karen @MSEnthusiast // February 19, 2013

    I 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.

    • Anna Newell Jones // February 27, 2013

      it’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!;)

  21. Mónica Fernandez // February 21, 2013

    This 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..!!!

    • Anna Newell Jones // February 27, 2013

      Your english great Monica! I’m so glad the list is helpful to you! God bless you too! :) xo

  22. fraser // February 22, 2013

    Did you spend that 24k on your smile?

    :-)

  23. B // February 23, 2013

    Dumpster 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!

  24. Emm-Rose // February 28, 2013

    I 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!

  25. Patricia // March 3, 2013

    You should give credit to this photo that is from the 2009 San Francisco Bike Expo’s fashion show.

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 3, 2013

      Hi, Thanks for letting me know more info about this photograph. I gave credit per the Creative Commons license and where I attained it so I will add this info to it.

  26. Nick // March 10, 2013

    Make a fort? haha, nice article, I’ve just written a similar one myself… and actually began surprising myself with all the creative ways you can save money.

  27. Karen // March 16, 2013

    Don’t forget to add Geocaching to this list. Even the kids love who can find it first. More info at http://www.geocaching.com

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      I just found out about Geocaching actually and it’s included in another post about free/low-cost family activities- such a cool idea!

  28. Rebecca // March 21, 2013

    I just stumbled onto your blog because someone had pinned this article–I have to say that I absolutely love it! I have been feeling terribly blue because I simultaneously am trying to save money to purchase a car (much needed!) and pay off my student loans….but you have encouraged me! :) I also wanted to add something to your list here, for the lifelong learners, or just the curious. A friend recommended coursera.com to me: free classes on basically anything by wonderful college professors from a variety of institutions across America. It’s marvelous!

    Again, thanks for the blog–I’m reinvigorated to head to work tomorrow and then on to my want less, spend less, be more free goal!

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      Whoa! Very cool! I had never heard of that site before. Also, I’m so glad to hear that you’reinvigorated! xo!

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 26, 2013

      I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found encouragement here! And I can’t wait to check out coursera.com- it sounds amazing!

      • Lola russo // December 16, 2013

        coursera is awesome – do check it out! I’m a teacher and have taken many online courses and this one has the best of choices. You’ll find tons of things on it that you’ll want to take! Good luck to you!

  29. Coty // April 2, 2013

    A good one for the ladies…

    Try out new eye shadow and eyeliner looks! The times when you are bored at home are great for attempting risky makeup looks :)!

    I love this post! just found your blog on pintrest and I’m excited to explore it! This is gonna be great for college next year!

  30. Nora // April 7, 2013

    This post was just the thing I needed to better use my time; thank you for sharing!

  31. Sharonne // April 16, 2013

    Thank you so much for this blog! I am going to print this list and put it up somewhere where I can see and read it everyday. I already do a lot of these things before I even came across with it on Pinterest. But I have days of depression and boredom and forget that there are so many things that I can do than go out shopping to feel better..

  32. Rebecca // April 26, 2013

    Just stopping back by to say that I finally listed some books on Amazon thanks to this great article’s suggestion! I’m excited to get a little extra cash back into my wallet–thanks for the ideas!

  33. isis // May 4, 2013

    When borders was still around they would allow people to sit around and read the books. When I lived in my car this was my entertainment. Starbucks was right next door and they would let me make my own tea or coffee when I brought what I needed in then I would go to borders and read for hours. I mostly stuck to hardcover because they didn’t leave marks showing that it’s been read. I would go there after the library closed and on Sunday when the library was closed all day

    • Anna Newell Jones // May 28, 2013

      I love going to book stores and flipping through magazines. I always try to be very careful so they don’t look used or anything after I look at them. Another than you can do is bring your own tea bag and just ask the coffee shop for a cup of free hot water.

  34. DannyCattington // June 7, 2013

    Great list of suggestions!
    But I’d suggest swapping out #39 “See if you can return anything you’ve bought”. The vastest majority of items cannot be returned after a 14 day period and it’s absolute torture for sales associates when customers get upset about this simple fact. I’d recommend switching this with “Swing by the library”. Borrowing cards are free and there is no sales pressure, as all books are on loan. Something about books makes everything a little better.

  35. Abbey // June 14, 2013

    Hey Anna! Loving this blog. I live in Newcastle, Australia and I love that so many of your suggestions are geared towards consuming less and re-cycling what you have! Good of you girl. Keep it up.

  36. Karen White // June 17, 2013

    I can actually get exhausted from online window shopping! I do recommend it though I have found that often I come back days (or even weeks) later to some of the window shopping I had done and not be able to resist the temptation to buy.

    • Anna Newell Jones // June 17, 2013

      I totally hear you! I get the same way. It’s nice to window shop online and to be able to easily close out the browser and find something else to do. I love how easy it is to remove the temptation when needed.

  37. Kay Lyn Chase // June 23, 2013

    How about adding clean out your closet, list clothes on ebay? I noticed you mentioned Craigslist but my goal is to get some traction out of my “old-larger sized” clothing and post on Craigslist rather than just donating. If they don’t sell then I’ll donate.

    • Anna Newell Jones // August 21, 2013

      Definitely better to try to get some cash for any items before donating. Good one to add…

  38. Kay Lyn Chase // June 23, 2013

    Another idea that a friend of mine made me aware of is not only can you borrow books from the library but you can also borrow e-books and audio books for free from your local library system. I’m reading “The Girl that Played with Fire” on my Ipad that would have cost $9.99 in a download from Amazon. You don’t have to own a Nook or iPad but it helps!

    • Anna Newell Jones // August 21, 2013

      That’s a good insider tip that I don’t think many people know about. So easy too!

  39. aearthr // August 3, 2013

    How inspiring!
    I will start from 1. Read the archives of your favorite blogs
    Another thing that will make me and people around me happy 14. Make gifts! 56. Be anonymously nice

    • Anna Newell Jones // August 15, 2013

      So glad to hear that you like the list and that it’s inspiring!

  40. Sharna // August 9, 2013

    Great list!
    One idea I’ll add is to have some fun playing a free on-line game. There are tons of game sites that let you play either a completely free game (often with ads) or 1 hour free demo of a paid game. Big Fish Games is my favorite. Alternatively, there are MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games that are free to play, if you’re into more of the immersive world of role-playing games. Neverwinter is the newest of these, and worth checking out.

  41. Amelia // August 14, 2013

    Love them! Great when you’re living on next to nothing but need to do something with your day other than browse tumblr and watch supernatural. Having a social life is so difficult when you have no money but these ideas are wonderful.

    • Anna Newell Jones // August 15, 2013

      i’m so glad they’re helpful ideas. i tried to make sure they were all original and not too “out there” or unattainable. if you think of any (or come up with any) that should be added to the list let me know :)

  42. Patricia // August 20, 2013

    All of your links seem to point to andthenSHEsaved.com, which doesn’t exist any more.

    I sure hope you’re still around!

    • Anna Newell Jones // August 21, 2013

      I’m still around! Just got some wonky stuff happening on the back-end. The links should be fixed in no-time. Sorry about the trouble!

  43. Mary // October 18, 2013

    I love your blog full of ideas on how to keep over spending in check. My aha moment was when I found myself donating large bags of useless stuff I purchased and then donated to Purple Heart. Every time they called I had a large garbage bag full. Now before I purchase anything I think about this bag of stuff !

  44. lexi // October 23, 2013

    great ideals!

  45. grace // November 1, 2013

    AWESOME list!! Can’t wait to try some of this stuff out. It sounds like when I go on a spending fast, I’ll have alot more free time. :) Being at home isn’t so bad- I could potentially get LOADS of stuff done!

    • Caroline // November 8, 2013

      Good ideas, nice that you share them with other people.
      My husband and I live rather frugal, so we are allways on the lookout for new idea’s.
      We make some of our own furniture, clothes, grow vegetables,…
      Some ideas from our household: our local library has dvd’s you can lend for free. On rainy days we pop some corn, close the curtains and watch a dvd.
      Or we play a boardgame (my favourite is cluedo).

  46. Sophie // January 2, 2014

    What a wonderful, realistic list – I love it. Thanks

  47. Sarah // January 14, 2014

    I go window shopping and don’t take any money. If I am thinking about new clothes, I try on and then later take my husband back and see what he thinks. Then I save for it. Window shopping without money is good exercise (especially if you are walking to and from the store. Also a good way to get out of the house and have a change of scenery.

  48. Suzanne // February 27, 2014

    What a fantastic list! I especially love taking a picture every hour. I might do this with my nieces this summer. They will use any excuse to play with my camera!

33 Trackbacks

  1. By The Spirit of Thanksgiving « Joy in the Day on November 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

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    [...] Want to save more money? You don’t need a financial advisor. Start writing down all your expenses. Look for real, practical ways to reduce your expenses. 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. [...]

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  18. By Internet Finds: Week 6 | Reinventing Erin on February 8, 2013 at 7:45 am

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    [...] 56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money – If frugality is your thing, this is a great list to consult when trying to come up with something to do that is free or cheap. [...]

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  25. By Free To-Do List | Debt Free Before 33 on May 13, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    [...] because I know there are tons of sales; I should go because I need a specific item. Inspired by Anna’s list, I’ll distract myself with one of the following activities whenever I get the browsing [...]

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  • Anna

    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!

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