Author Topic: Frugal socializing  (Read 2501 times)

Hula Hoop

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Frugal socializing
« on: September 21, 2017, 01:07:37 PM »
I'm generally frugal but I've always been an extrovert and I'm never happier than when out with my friends.  My husband is an introvert and often works evenings and weekends so I do most socializing by myself either with or without my kids (he happily stays home with them if he's not working that night).

With belt tightening I'm having the issue that I truly love being social but it's not so easy to be frugal while still being social.  I guess I could invite people over all the time and cook - and we do a fair amount of that.  But I end up eating out with friends at least a couple of times a month - which I thoroughly enjoy but also feel guilty about.  My husband and I both bring lunch to work every day and we never order in or eat out apart from socializing with friends so I guess it's not too out of hand.

Anyway - any tips on being both frugal and social?  Since I usually have the kids with me, I do often meet friends with kids at the local park and the kids ride their scooters around while we chat.  Any other tips?

lbmustache

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 01:48:03 PM »
If socializing is a priority for you, I don't think you need to be guilty about a "couple" of times a month (I take this to be ~3-4x a month?). It sounds like you are doing well in other areas and have cut back where you needed to, to balance out the eating out.

The park is a good start, and so are dinners at home. If you like to go out for drinks - definitely hit up happy hours and try to go to ones that are cheap (usually chain restaurants). Maybe you can go out for brunch/lunch with friends (usually ends up being cheaper than dinner).

ixtap

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 02:00:17 PM »
Do you belong to a hula hooping group?

Will your friends join you for walk and talk, rather than eat and talk?

Board/card games

Pot lucks

Learn to make a new cocktail at home

Look up free events in your area to try something new. I have seen free dance classes, yoga, lectures of all kinds...


Hula Hoop

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 02:05:52 PM »
ixtap I hung up my hula hoop a few years back but my kids are both keen hula hoopers. 

I just signed up for a very cool free activity with my older daughter today in fact.  MMM has inspired me to seek out these freebies more often.

lbmustache - luckily for me, alcoholic drinks are really cheap where I am in Europe.  So a glass of wine in a normal place would be maybe $2-3.  I go out for drinks quite often after work.

By a "couple of times a month" I really meant around 3.  This month we've had dinner out with friends 3 times (or we will have by the end of the month) and last month it was twice.

mm1970

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 02:16:43 PM »
What I do:

- Regular weekly potlucks with the neighborhood
- Regular Sun morning walks with a friend
- Maybe soon regular Sat morning runs with a group
- 1 to 2x a week lunch break walks with other friend
- occasional playdates
- 3-4x a year invite friends over for dinner
- once/ year (or less) go camping with friends

Not free:
- 2x annually mom's night out
- 2x annually lunch with a friend
- 2-6x annually baby group lunches out (our babies are 5 now)

Mostly, I make my eating out only fall into the category of socializing, not just laziness.  So I don't feel guilty about it.

What I do miss out on:
- Some friends like to go to concerts and lunches or dinners more often.  And I miss out on that.
- Other friends who either don't work, or work less, or have more flexible schedules socialize at "the pool" with the kids during the summer, or early fall after school.  Because this group socializes at "the pool", they also will have an impromptu happy hour at someone's house.  Because I work a full day and pick my kids up at school at 5 pm or later, I'm not likely to be invited to the 4 pm mojitos, because I'm simply not picking up my kids at the same time.

The one time a friend scheduled a happy hour in advance was when hubby was out of town.  Got home late, got the kids ready, called ahead to see if they were still going at 5:30.  Heard yelling in the background and "OMG DON'T COME, ALL THE KIDS ARE MELTING DOWN, IT IS HORRIBLE".

Hula Hoop

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 02:35:56 PM »
mm - sounds like a total nightmare. :)

I'm also a FT working mother so I miss out on a lot of kid centered socializing particularly in the summer.  But I get to have nice kid free lunches with my girlfriends at work (I bring lunch from home of course but we eat outside together).

socaso

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 04:24:10 PM »
I've gotten a lot of mileage out of our local free/cheap list. Just last weekend our family activity was a free event I found on the list. I've found lists like this in a lot of cities I've lived in just by googling the city name with free or cheap activities. I took my son to a very cool kite festival in spring and they were giving away lots of goodies for the kids. He even got a free kite!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 09:42:03 AM »
I meet one friend 3x a month after the kids go to bed to walk.  We walk for an hour and complain about being working moms.  It's great!

Another friend and I meet at the park, like you do, for our kids to play and we chat and walk.

We do A LOT of board game evenings at our house.  A LOT. 

My husband does video game nights with his friends.

I've invited various neighbors over to keep me company while I bake or food prep for the week.  They sit at the kitchen island and chat while I do whatever, and if they stay long enough, they get the first cookie/slice of cake/whatever.   Another version of that, especially at the holidays, is baking parties. A few people and their kids come over, and we all bake cookies/pies/whatever.  Everyone takes home a little of everything to share with their families.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2017, 03:06:32 AM »
If socializing is a priority for you, I don't think you need to be guilty about a "couple" of times a month (I take this to be ~3-4x a month?). It sounds like you are doing well in other areas and have cut back where you needed to, to balance out the eating out.

The park is a good start, and so are dinners at home. If you like to go out for drinks - definitely hit up happy hours and try to go to ones that are cheap (usually chain restaurants). Maybe you can go out for brunch/lunch with friends (usually ends up being cheaper than dinner).

Seconded.  You really value it.  (I do too, though I avoid going out much anyway.)  You can keep searching for ways to steer it/make it lower and lower cost - like some of the ideas mentioned here.  We have people over a lot, or I'll meet someone for coffee now instead of happy hour or lunch or whatever. 

expatartist

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2017, 03:35:24 AM »
Free/cheap things I often do:
* Exercising groups via Meetup.com (pilates, stretching, yoga, etc)
* Art openings
* lectures/talks
* Hiking
* Life drawing groups (with wine)
* Sea kayaking
* Meditation sessions
* Walking tours of my city

Linea_Norway

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 05:02:34 AM »
I usually join my friends on trips in the forest or training trips. I have in the summer joined friends on their sailboat. I have been on hiking trips in the mountains with friends, sometimes sleeping in a tent (for free) and sometimes in reasonably affordable tourist huts.

Sometimes for dinner at home. In case of a dinner, it is good to rotate, so that different friends pay for the food for each dinner.

Fishindude

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 06:38:08 AM »
Going out for dinner & drinks can be a real money drain and in most cases the food is never that great.
We regularly hang out with a group of 2-4 other couples, and every time we go out like this the bill runs +/- $70 for my wife and self.

I can do a BYI booze thing at the house, and I can feed the whole group a great meal for about the same price as we would spend ourselves eating out.
 

Croom

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2017, 04:36:25 AM »
Awesome advice in this threat. I'm looking forward to trying out some suggestions myself.

thelittlebird

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Re: Frugal socializing
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2017, 09:37:41 AM »
I second using Meetup.com to find local social activities, depends on the group whether the activities are free, but you can find lots of different groups with different focuses.