Five free things to do on a no spend month


free things to do

How is your no spend month going, if you are doing one? January can be a depressing time. It is cold and dark and you don’t feel like doing a lot. In addition, most of us don’t have a lot of spare cash after Christmas. To stop you dying of boredom, here are some ideas for free things to do during a no spend January.

Visit your library

Libraries are full of books that you can read for free! If you can’t find one you want, you can usually order it in online. I have done this many times. Even if you think you want to buy a book, it gives you the opportunity to try before you buy.

Libraries offer loads of other things too, including e-books, films and various community events. Ours does toddler groups, art exhibitions and book clubs, for example. You can go and sit in a warm library and read free magazines and papers. When my children were small, we spent many a pleasant hour sitting on the bean bags and reading books.

As reader Jo pointed out a few days ago, the library service in the UK is under threat from funding cuts. However, it will be a lot harder for local authorities to justify those cuts if the libraries are well used. Use it or lose it.

Discover your local parks

We are blessed with some lovely parks in Essex. There are huge country parks run by the county council as well as smaller play parks run by the borough councils. We often take a walk out and see them at different times of the year. To stop unnecessary spending, we generally take a flask, water and a picnic (or a snack at least), even in the colder months.

Do an internet search to see where the parks are in your region and go explore.

Go on a nature walk

Whilst you are out and about, how about taking a camera and notebook and recording some of the interesting things you see? Kids love this! You can borrow books from your library to help identify the wildlife that you see. Nature walks are one of my favourite free things to do. Mr S is a mine of information and can identify a lot of birds, butterflies, trees and flowers as we go along.

Check out free museums and galleries

Even small towns often have free museums and galleries to visit. Cities are even better for free things to do when it comes to culture. We have a toy museum, natural history museum and a big art gallery in our town so we are lucky. However, as these are all funded by the local authority they are another facility that it pays to use regularly to justify the cost of keeping them open.

Have a wardrobe declutter

Do you ever go through your wardrobe and find barely worn items you forgot you owned?  Yes, me too and I don’t even have many clothes. A no spend month is the ideal time for a wardrobe clutter.  You can rediscover clothes and remember why you bought them. It will also help you resist spending on new items.

I hope you enjoy my ideas for five free things to do during this no spend January. You can keep up with more of my ideas by following me on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter!

As ever, I am linking up with  Cass Emma  and Becky in their Five Frugal Things linky.As ever, I am linking up with  Cass Emma  and Becky in their Five Frugal Things linky.


9 thoughts on “Five free things to do on a no spend month

  1. Thanks Nicola for reminding us that not everything has to cost money. I have realised, after visiting France and Ireland last year, that we have amazing access to our countryside in Britain, which until now I had taken for granted. Whether it’s a major hike or just a short walk with the kids there’s usually lots to discover on our doorstep and it’s free. We need to get out and enjoy it, whatever the weather.

  2. I have found this week a wee bit boring but I’ve come up with a few things for next week.

    .Monday I’m attending a free concert at my favourite radio station – and we will also be given a free lunch for being part of the audience. Afterwards I’m meeting a friend for coffee (my treat using a GC).
    .Tuesday I’m attending the monthly discussion group for my social club (membership fee was paid in September) – we will also receive free coffee and snacks. Tuesday night I’ll be volunteering at my ESL class where we will serve free tea and coffee along with snacks.
    .Wednesday friends are coming for lunch – I already have the menu planned and 90% of it will be with foods that I already have on hand.
    .Thursday & Friday I’m working at least a half day which will keep me busy.
    .Saturday or Sunday I will make a trip to the art gallery using my membership card for the entrance fee (membership is up at the end of January so I want to make at least 1 more trip).

    That takes care of next week! 🙂

  3. The wardrobe declutter is a great suggestion. It sounds simple but it can take a lot to part with your old stuff (all that emotional attachment), so turning it into a month’s project can make it more successful. 🙂

  4. I’m not doing the no-spend as most of my months are low spend anyway, but if I was, I would have failed big time, as we just booked a quick break to the Algarve at the end of the month!!
    So excited as I’ve not had a foreign holiday in 25 years – a day trip to Paris about 14 years ago doesn’t count!

    I certainly agree about using libraries. I rarely buy books. Our borough lost 40% of its libraries in 2016 – all in the same quarter of the borough so that’s a huge area now not covered. One has reopened with volunteers, but is a sad shadow of its former self, another became a mini-mart, but the other 2 buildings are still derelict. Such a shame.

  5. All great ideas thank you, especially love the plug for libraries!! We are lucky to live by the coast so always an interesting walk or scoot for my youngest on a Sunday morning followed by a hot chocolate at home. I am learning to knit too, charity shops are great for wool, have just finished a dish cloth (not the neatest, but hey!), trying to do away with wipes and sponges to be more eco friendly.

  6. I’m not doing a no spend January but I’m trying to resist browsing internet shops to cheer me up and to do other things instead. There are some great ideas here. I’m going to see what’s free to visit near to me.

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