What is a no spend weekend?
A no spend weekend is a tactic to save money. If you’re like our family, weekends mean fun, family time! Weekend plans can be elaborate and costly, so there may be times you want to switch it up a bit. A no spend weekend is a commitment to make plans that cost little to no money. Depending on the activities you choose, you may spend a little. Still, these activities can drastically save money compared to other weekend plans!
Whether your family is trying to cut back, save for something special, or just have a low key weekend, a no spend weekend can be a fun, memorable experience with your family.
I’m a planner by nature, so I enjoy having a rough idea of what we are doing upfront. If you don’t care much for planning, you can easily wing it and dive into the list as you go.
Family Friendly No Spend Weekend Ideas
1. Go For A Walk
Around the block. On a trail. At a park. Around your MIL’s block. Wherever! Going on a walk is a simple way to spend quality time as a family while enjoying some fresh air and sunshine.
2. Game Night
Our 8 year old LOVES playing games, and we just don’t play them with him as often as we should. Planning a family game night is the perfect addition to any no spend weekend.
Make something easy for lunch and take it in the backyard or to a park. Let the kids run around and enjoy your day!
4. Go To The Library
Spend some time at the library reading books. Also, check out their summer schedule. Many libraries do free or low cost events for kids during the summer. Our favorite local event was dropping off stuffed animals for a stuffed animal sleepover!
5. Ride Bikes
Ride bikes as a family around the neighborhood or hit a trail. If you don’t have a bike, let the kids ride while you walk!
6. Movie Marathon
Everyone loves a good movie marathon. Pick each person’s favorite movie, come up with a theme, or watch a series. You can all pile up in a bed or on the sofa or even make a pallet. Don’t forget the popcorn and candy!
7. Bake Goodies
Do your kids love to bake? Mine sure do. They love to help me cook in general. Make cookies, a cake, or cupcakes and let them take the reigns.
8. Clean The House
While it doesn’t sound incredibly fun… it can be! Plus it’s a great idea for a no spend weekend. Come up with a game plan, assign tasks, or turn it into a competition to make it a bit more appealing. Throw on some tunes and get to cleaning!
9. Family Workout
There are lots of fun options on YouTube and other platforms, like the Peloton app, for quick family workouts.
(You do not have to have a Peloton to have the Peloton app, and it’s actually cheaper monthly if you don’t!)
10. Community Events
During the summer, lots of cities have community events. Look for farmer’s markets, downtown events, crafting opportunities, etc.
11. Go To A Playground
A playground is always a solid option. Play with your kids or take a blanket to hang in the sun.
12. Yard Work
There are so many options for yard work– cleaning out, maintenance, etc. You can also plant flowers or start a garden. Our oldest love tomatoes… so much that I pack him cherry tomatoes every day for school. So, every year we grow tomatoes he can pick and be proud of when he eats them!
There are so many crafts that can be done with items you already have at home. A quick Google search or Pinterest search should give you some ideas. I have some inexpensive craft ideas for you too.
14. Walk The Dog
Walk around the block, a local trail, or venture out and find a local dog park to visit.
15. Visit Zoos & Aquariums Online
Here is list of zoos and aquariums you can visit from home for FREE!
16. Play Yard Games
Enjoy the fresh air and play yard games in the backyard. Typical games may include cornhole or horseshoes, but there are lots of games to choose from! My boys love yard Yahtzee played with oversized dice.
17. Make A Bucket List
Get creative. Make a monthly bucket list, a summer bucket list, or just a bucket list in general. We decided to make a Summer 2021 Bucket List. More coming on that later!
Here are some bucket list tips to get your started.
18. Have Spa Day At Home
Bust out the sheet masks and cucumbers! Even my boys enjoy a little R&R and pampering sometimes.
19. Nerf Battle
Everyone loves a good Nerf battle. We’ve had some throw downs at our house! You can make rules, rounds, or just have a free-for-all!
20. Water Balloon Fight
I promise if you tell your kids you are having a family water balloon fight they will be ecstatic.
21. Camp Inside
Pitch a small tent or make a blanket fort and camp inside!
22. Camp In The Backyard
Pitch a tent in the backyard and spend the night under the stars. You could also make smores with a firepit, grill, and tell spooky/silly stories.
23. Grill Out
Here in the south a good ole fashioned BBQ isn’t difficult to talk us into. This can be more than just cooking. Hang outside, play yard games, play catch, whatever appeals to you. Don’t forget your iced tea and watermelon slices.
24. Have A Pot Luck
Invite family or friends over for a pot luck! Everyone bring a dish.
25. Scavenger Hunt
Set up a simple backyard scavenger hunt.
Don’t feel like being creative? Got you mama. Here’s a backyard scavenger hunt printable for you!
26. Play Video Games
Sooooo my kids are currently obsessed with Roblox. I’m sure many of you guys can relate. We try to limit their time on screens, but whenever we play with them, it’s obvious that it brings them so much joy.
27. Have A Garage Sale
Declutter and sell it in your garage or in your front yard. You’re weekend just went from no spend to makin’ money! In my experience, the kids really like being a part of this.
28. Visit Garage Sales
Give everyone a low limit… I’m talkin’ a few bucks each… to spend and see who can find the best item!
Note: I had to change this from “Go Garage Salin'” to “Visit Garage Sales” because salin’ isn’t a word unless you’re in the south… and it looks awful written out, ha!
29. Have A Date Night At Home
Have a family date night or a date night with you and the hubs. It can be a lot of fun to really deck things out at home! Here’s a date night I planned at home for me and my husband (that can easily be turned family friendly).
30. Meal Prep
Get the whole family involved in meal prep for the week! Maybe then they won’t complain about some of the choices.
31. Rearrange The House
This is one of my favorite. Even something as simple as moving around decor can provide a fresh feeling in your home.
32. Cook A Meal
Cook a meal together!
33. Hand Wash Your Car(s)
Have fun while you’re doing it. It’s okay to get a little sudsy.
34. Complete A Puzzle
Depending on the size of your puzzle, this could take up some time!
35. Make A Time Capsule
We haven’t done this yet, but I’m adding it to our summer bucket list! How much fun?!
Enjoy Family Time During A No Spend Weekend
Whatever your reason for saving money, use the time to enjoy your family in a more simple way. It is a great opportunity to make memories.
There are so many ideas that can be used on a no spend weekend. This list is just a beginning. Let this list spark your creativity and come up with even more ideas or variations of these ideas that work for your family.
It’s all about your mindset. So, set your mind for fun and have a great time with your family during your no spend weekend!
Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Leave them below!