Author Topic: cheap hobbies  (Read 10159 times)

asauer

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cheap hobbies
« on: September 28, 2016, 07:24:23 AM »
My husband and I were doing our monthly budget yesterday and I saw that we have cut our "hobby" budget by 80% over the last two years! In talking, we realized that we have morphed our hobbies into fairly cheap things instead of our former spendy-pants ways. Two years ago we gardened, he did hockey, I made jewelry (holy cow expensive), crossfit and winemaking (even more expensive).  Now, I'm a marathon walker, we still garden, we hike, he plays guitar and I read and write like a crazy person.  SO much cheaper.  Not free, but it's a huge cut.  The weird thing is, I don't know that we intentionally made that decision. I'm kind of proud of us that mustachianism is so natural now that we unconsciously find cheaper ways to do things.

NYCMustachian

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 07:41:37 AM »
That's awesome! I also find that cheaper hobbies tend to be less stressful. I used to be a huge scuba diver. While I still love it and go occasionally, it can be expensive and it's a lot of work to plan a dive, shlep my gear to the dive site, clean up, etc.

Going for a walk is much easier.

BTW, what do you mean by a marathon walker?

DailyGrindFree

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 06:45:25 PM »
Ours are reading, walking, light hiking, running, and biking. No stress at all. :-)

TexasRunner

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2016, 06:47:56 PM »
Following.  Running is (for me) pretty cheap but scuba is ridiculously expensive.

Still in accumulation stage though so not tons of free time... 

doug111

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 06:51:05 PM »
My husband and I were doing our monthly budget yesterday and I saw that we have cut our "hobby" budget by 80% over the last two years! In talking, we realized that we have morphed our hobbies into fairly cheap things instead of our former spendy-pants ways. Two years ago we gardened, he did hockey, I made jewelry (holy cow expensive), crossfit and winemaking (even more expensive).  Now, I'm a marathon walker, we still garden, we hike, he plays guitar and I read and write like a crazy person.  SO much cheaper.  Not free, but it's a huge cut.  The weird thing is, I don't know that we intentionally made that decision. I'm kind of proud of us that mustachianism is so natural now that we unconsciously find cheaper ways to do things.
My cheap hobby is picking up 5 cent returnable pop cans and checking vending machine coin slots !!!! MORE MONEY TO PAY OFF THE MORTGAGE !!!!!

NorCal

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2016, 07:28:24 PM »
I've found winemaking to be an incredibly frugal hobby.  Although maybe my wine standards are a bit lower :-)

redbird

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 08:22:55 PM »
I have the newish hobby of birdwatching. It doesn't need much. A pair of binoculars, a bird identification book or app, maybe gas in the car from time to time if you want to see birds that don't live around your house.... That's it really.

newelljack

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 08:45:53 PM »
I'm looking for any kind of hobby that I can do working FT and having three little ones. So far I have found...reading the forum! Seriously, I get a ton of enjoyment out of following all of you and learning new things that I can try.

druth

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 09:35:01 PM »
My advice is to make your hobby into a side job.  In high school I loved doing speech and debate and now I coach it.  I can make 4-7k a year off of that depending on how much I'm willing to take on.  It forces me to keep up with current events, read plays and novels, read philosophy, write critically, lots of stuff I want to do anyways.  If I weren't doing this I would probably be volunteer tutoring or something anyways, so it fills that itch to be helpful as well. 

It seems like with something like jewelry making you should be able to break even by selling things off or doing custom pieces.  I have a friend who does custom cosplay and cosplay consulting, and she makes pretty decent money off of that on top of her regular job.

Same with wine making.  My parents make wine and they don't sell bottles but I don't think they have paid for a gift for anybody in years.  "Happy birthday, here's some wine"  "Happy wedding, here's some wine" "happy 3rd birthday, here's some wine..." (er, maybe on that last one).  They even got some official looking stickers for the bottles so they seem more gifty!

The only catch is that if you do it for too many hours a week it stops being fun anymore. :)
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 09:39:23 PM by druth »

Threshkin

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2016, 11:10:44 AM »
Another option is to looks for ways to make an expensive hobby cheap(er).

I am a hobby weaver.  Many people consider this to be an expensive hobby due to the equipment and materials costs.  I have cut those expenses almost to zero through making my own tools and scouting Craigslist and other sources for inexpensive (or free) deals on looms and yarn.  I also sell my excess supplies and equipment are reasonable prices to offset my expenses. 

The trick to this is to be prepared and alert.  Have cash available to be able to act quickly when a good deal comes around and to keep your eyes open for those deals.

sparkytheop

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2016, 11:27:30 AM »
Quilting is a hobby that can be as cheap or expensive as you want/allow it to be.

Cheap: Use clothing (found at second hand stores and yardsales), remnants (on sale + 50% off), use flannel sheets for batting, hand piece/quilt (no machine necessary), etc

My first baby quilt cost me about $8 (and a ton of time) to make.  I used fabric I found at Salvation Army, and two remnants, and cut a queen size batting into six pieces (I got nice batting for $16 with sale + coupon).

Reading, hiking, fishing, tent camping (although there can be some start-up expenses), baking, photography.  These can all range from very cheap to very expensive, it just depends on how you meet your needs and keep your wants in check.

lukebuz

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2016, 11:47:42 AM »
ha!  I came in this thread only to suggest winemaking!  It's really quite frugal after the initial purchase of carboys (less than $100).  I gather all my fruit for free by foraging local trees and bushes (and agreements with landowners...let me have the fruit, i'll let you have some wine in return).  Mulberries, raspberries, apples, pears, jalapenos, sour cherries, rhubarb, peaches.   I get all my bottles for 6 cents each at the local return center and reuse indefinitely.  50 cents for cork, label, chemicals.  50 cents for sugar to raise ABV.

Bam.  $1 a bottle that is equal to $15/bottle wine.  Even if you made 200 bottles a year (!) that's a <$250 investment for $3000 return/gifts credit/drunken enjoyment, etc...

Now, if you spend $179 on a kit wine, buy and toss your bottles, slap $1 labels on them...well, yeah. 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 11:49:59 AM by lukebuz »

Rubyvroom

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2016, 12:24:50 PM »
The hubby and I are video game nerds, mostly MMOs.

Most video games are cheap or free these days (depending on how many advertisements you're willing to deal with). Some are still subscription based, and there are pros and cons to a free game versus a monthly subscription game. I actually tend to prefer a subscription based game because they try to push less products in your face and have regular updates and customer support.

Even the subscription based games are maybe $15 a month, for a whopping $180 a year (maybe $250 tops if you actually bought a game that year too). Games can be very intricate and you often can get MANY hours of entertainment out of that fairly minimal amount of money. You can also interact with people online if you so choose.

We always figured we were saving a crapton of money by playing video games instead of going out to eat or drink with friends... yes that's kind of nerdy, but so much cheaper, and we had a blast pvping (fighting other players) with groups of friends.

We tend to not play games as much in the nicer weather months (and just cancel any subscriptions we have at that point), but in the middle of a MN winter, wasting an evening playing video games in our pajamas is like a special kind of heaven for us haha.

Also, the mindset that many of us have in minimizing our spending and maximizing our income and returns is easily transferable to the video game world, where min/maxing is kind of second nature. My hubby has been trying to get me to play EVE Online. He says it's "spreadsheets in space" so I'd love it. That's precisely why I'm staying away from it lol.

Capt j-rod

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2016, 11:20:28 AM »
I do lots of great hobbies for nearly nothing. You need to go to yard sales, Craig's list, and join groups of likeminded hobbiests, aka trade. I prepped a lot of my hobbies before growing my stash. I fish, camp, shoot archery, garden, bike, hike, and flip junk into toys. I have many toys that most don't because I buy them broken and fix them. My current boat is a product of cleaning, fixing and flipping four previous boats. Camping? My camper was junk when it came home, now it is all new and worth double what I put in it. Not handy? Buy a garage sale tent, ($20),and some old coleman yard sale stuff, $20 and use it. Fishing? Used rods, new string, hooks and bobbers.($25). If you don't have a bike, then you missed the whole point on MMM! My gear is everyone else's endless quest for the newest and best... I buy their old stuff, sell my current stuff. Archery? Same arrows over and over... Geocaching is another great hobby. Used gps and endless fun in every town. Canoeing? Free once you get there. Garden? Seeds = food that doesn't try to kill you.

leighb

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2016, 10:59:28 AM »
I've found winemaking to be an incredibly frugal hobby.  Although maybe my wine standards are a bit lower :-)
I agree. Making my own "country wine" has saved me tons of money over the years. I think it's something like 2-3 dollars a gallon. 

FIRE Artist

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2016, 11:21:23 AM »
Classical fine art making can be cheap (drawing with graphite or charcoal) or expensive with spendy pants paints and brushes and expensive workshops.

I am trying to focus on drawing skills building in sketchbooks during my accumulation phase, I figure in retirement, I can devote time to marketing and selling art which will justify spending more on materials. 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 09:00:58 PM by FIRE Artist »

Gerard

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2016, 10:51:34 AM »
I have the newish hobby of birdwatching. It doesn't need much. A pair of binoculars, a bird identification book or app, maybe gas in the car from time to time if you want to see birds that don't live around your house.... That's it really.

A bonus with birding is that it adds value to cheap vacations. I've had big bird fun in places most people wouldn't think of as vacation destinations (near swamps or desert or mudflats). Currently looking forward to a week in highly glamorous Brownsville, Texas. :-)

v8rx7guy

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2016, 11:18:28 AM »
Funny... I started winemaking within the last year.  So far it has been a pretty cheap hobby, but I can for sure see it getting out of control

spud1987

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2016, 11:21:12 AM »
I have a couple cheap hobbies and a couple of expensive hobbies.

Cheap: running/hiking
Expensive: woodworking (especially when accumulating tools), cycling (can be cheap, unless your tempted by high-end carbon bikes :/)

JoJo

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2016, 02:59:20 PM »
I like doing stuff with my hands as I watch TV on crappy winter weekends & evenings, so I do counted cross stitch.  A $20-30 kit includes everything that you need except the scissors and is months worth of work.  Then I spend a little bit on a frame and give as gifts/heirlooms.

spicykissa

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2016, 02:27:34 AM »
I've turned what used to be my job (teaching swim lessons) into a hobby by only teaching private lessons to kids I really like. Bonus points: since I'm still a part-time employee, my gym membership is free. I can also swim for myself and go to yoga classes, though my new career has taken up a lot of that time unfortunately.

My husband turned his hobby (computer programming) into a very lucrative job thanks to geeky friends. He still codes for fun too sometimes, which in and of itself is cheap. You can make yoga or programming spendy if you try to have all the best gear, or rely on experts to show you how vs. just trying it out, like many hobbies.

We also play lots of video games, which is surprisingly cheap for the amount of hours a good game can entertain. Last time I checked, husband has logged something like 500 hours of playtime on his favorite game, which cost $30 (plus the console & internet bill).

Warlord1986

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2016, 08:50:12 AM »
A month ago I spent $13 on yarn. This weekend I sold 11 wash cloths for $33. I have enough left over to make an additional wash cloth for a friend's birthday, and I think I have enough to make some baby booties for Catholic Charities (I think. Maybe). The time I spent making the cloths was when I was watching dvds from the library. You can learn how to knit from library books and dvds, or from youtube.

Hiking is also good. I pay $5 a visit to huff and puff my way up a mountain so I feel hardcore and strong.

Slee_stack

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2016, 12:34:58 PM »
We have cut back hobby costs, but still have some spendy ones.

MTB'g is probably the most expensive.  Car costs to get somewhere are the biggest piece.  Then replacement stuff for parts that wear/break.  The upfront bike cost is a small portion after a number of years.

Racquetball costs me $30/mo in gym fees.  I could play Tennis for free (and I used to), but I enjoy it less.  I already restring my own racquets, so ongoing costs beyond the gym fees is cheap.  I did just break my 8-10 yo racquet last week.  It was a sad day.  I really thought it might last forever.

DW used to do jewelry (definitely expensive, even when selling some) but now does soap making, lip balm, lotion, and oil/fragrance stuff.

Someone mentioned video games and indeed they can be cheap too.  I don't get to play them much (maybe for a weekend about twice a year), but I just started one that was $15 and it has provided at least 10 hours of entertainment so far.  There's money in the PC I play it on, and PCs aren't necessarily cheap, but if you already have one, a game can be cheap fun.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2016, 02:34:33 PM »
Following for ideas! If someone wants to link or provide more info on cheap wine making, I would be very appreciative.

We hike. $36 for an annual trail head pass instead of $5 each time very much pays off for us. Just ends up costing gas. Harder now that we've moved though, we're not 30 min from a million trails now =( There's like... 2.

Gardening. Can be very spendy depending on how you do it, but I get plants from friends, grow a lot from seed instead of starts, and buy sad ugly little starts and nurse them back to health- also some "next to dumpster" plants may have made their way into my garden a year or two... Bonus, we have less grass this way ;)

Reading is a very cheap hobby if you have a local library and/or can get cheap or free ebooks. Got a kindle years ago as a gift and it's still plugging along!

Cooking, as long as you don't go to crazy with ingredients, is a cheap and tasty hobby.

And lastly... our home gym! Start up is expensive, obviously, but we did it fairly low cost and broke even with gym fees after 4 months. We've added some equipment since then, but at a bare minimum we're even with gym fees. If you count gas, we're definitely ahead. And we use it waaaaaay more than we would physically go to a gym.

esq

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2016, 11:31:21 AM »
I have the newish hobby of birdwatching. It doesn't need much. A pair of binoculars, a bird identification book or app, maybe gas in the car from time to time if you want to see birds that don't live around your house.... That's it really.

A bonus with birding is that it adds value to cheap vacations. I've had big bird fun in places most people wouldn't think of as vacation destinations (near swamps or desert or mudflats). Currently looking forward to a week in highly glamorous Brownsville, Texas. :-)

Careful!  Friends of mine who traveled there were very excited to spot an exotic breed of kingfisher, but because it was across the Rio Grande, and thus in Mexico, it didn't count!

tonysemail

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2016, 12:17:59 PM »
i like hiking, reading, sewing, baking, and volunteering.

i'm thinking of adding gardening, but kind of undecided.
i would need to buy equipment like string trimmer and hedge trimmer.
but it pays for itself in a few months because I don't need to pay the gardener anymore.

BW

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2016, 10:41:46 PM »
I see a lot of my favorites have already been named.  So I'll throw a curveball out there, not normally thought of as a hobby: meeting with friends.  It's a great, low-cost way to pass time.  Sharing stories from my life, ideas in my mind, emotions I want to express; and listening to theirs as well.  Doing things together, maybe helping out on a project and learning from each other.  Sometimes my friends are surprisingly funny, or profound, or loving.  And sometimes I fill those roles.  In the end, it really is like a hobby, because it builds up into something much more powerful with practice.  A deeper relationship, and a better sense and understanding of our shared humanity.

That reminds me of another related hobby: meeting new people!

11ducks

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2016, 07:59:49 PM »
Ooh- I'll argue for a more expensive hobby? I quit a hobby (boot camp) awhile back to try and save money. I thought I'd work out at home and go running- which never happened. Without a time to meet, I'd put it off and not bother, which affected my health and energy levels. I found myself wandering around at the shops for stimulation, and wasting money while I was there, and getting flabby. So I've gone back, and I love it!! I'm spending money but getting an awesome mixed workout, getting my social stimulation while I'm there,  and am too exhausted to go out and waste money! I also find that I eat healthier, sleep much better, and don't have huge energy swings. Not the cheapest hobby ($500ish AUD p.a) but I'm finding it more than worthwhile. Plus, I figure the money I'm spending is an investment in my future health. My other hobbies are all free (guitar, reading) if it helps!

Kitsune

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2016, 06:43:14 AM »
ha!  I came in this thread only to suggest winemaking!  It's really quite frugal after the initial purchase of carboys (less than $100).  I gather all my fruit for free by foraging local trees and bushes (and agreements with landowners...let me have the fruit, i'll let you have some wine in return).  Mulberries, raspberries, apples, pears, jalapenos, sour cherries, rhubarb, peaches.   I get all my bottles for 6 cents each at the local return center and reuse indefinitely.  50 cents for cork, label, chemicals.  50 cents for sugar to raise ABV.

Bam.  $1 a bottle that is equal to $15/bottle wine.  Even if you made 200 bottles a year (!) that's a <$250 investment for $3000 return/gifts credit/drunken enjoyment, etc...

Now, if you spend $179 on a kit wine, buy and toss your bottles, slap $1 labels on them...well, yeah.

Hell, even with kit wine, we've gotten good results that work out to about 3$/bottle. Considering that the absolute cheapest wine you can get around here is 9$/bottle (yay quebec)...

Someone mentioned woodworking as expensive, and it can totally be (if you do it like my dad does, omfg), but if you do it like we do... Capital investment of less than 500$ (or access to FIL's workshop in the shed,ya for living next to in-laws), and (very) basic skills (and maybe plans from a site like Ana White), and, this month, we're building bookshelves for the baby's room for less than 1/2 the price IKEA charges for cheap pressed wood and veneer equivalent. And a dollhouse for the toddler, since we can't find anything we like for under 200$CAD, dolls and furniture not included in that price. So... It certainly saves US money. Depends on the approach, I guess.

Um... "Cheap/expensive" is garage sales/kijiji-ing. Cheap because as long as you care about decor and house stuff it's a great way to achieve results for cheap. Expensive in that it involves spending $ as a default (unless you start reselling, which is not practical in our area.) I'm happy with the amount we spend and VERY pleased with the results, so I'm not gonna whine too loud, though.

Reading is cheap/affordable: mostly library books, and books I want to own are bought off Abe books at fairly low prices.

Cooking... I mean, if you're getting super-foodie about it then it won't be cheap, but mostly cooking means we can get excellent food on a cheap-ish budget (tonight: roast duck with grilled pears and brandy, accompanied by roasted squash and celeriac purée, probably followed by apple pie and ice cream. Total cost for us and 3 dinner guests: 18$, including the wine.) Find me another way to feed 5 people food that good for under 20$...

Gardening: affordable if you use free plants and/or grow veggies and herbs.

Sewing... Kinda like woodworking in that in can be expensive or affordable depending on your approach.


« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 06:58:18 AM by Kitsune »

CU Tiger

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2016, 09:23:29 PM »
A month ago I spent $13 on yarn. This weekend I sold 11 wash cloths for $33. I have enough left over to make an additional wash cloth for a friend's birthday, and I think I have enough to make some baby booties for Catholic Charities (I think. Maybe). The time I spent making the cloths was when I was watching dvds from the library. You can learn how to knit from library books and dvds, or from youtube.

How did you sell them? I love knitting wash cloths and kitchen wash rags from kitchen cotton, but cannot figure how to sell them.

Metric Mouse

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2016, 10:56:10 PM »
Ooh- I'll argue for a more expensive hobby? I quit a hobby (boot camp) awhile back to try and save money. I thought I'd work out at home and go running- which never happened. Without a time to meet, I'd put it off and not bother, which affected my health and energy levels. I found myself wandering around at the shops for stimulation, and wasting money while I was there, and getting flabby. So I've gone back, and I love it!! I'm spending money but getting an awesome mixed workout, getting my social stimulation while I'm there,  and am too exhausted to go out and waste money! I also find that I eat healthier, sleep much better, and don't have huge energy swings. Not the cheapest hobby ($500ish AUD p.a) but I'm finding it more than worthwhile. Plus, I figure the money I'm spending is an investment in my future health. My other hobbies are all free (guitar, reading) if it helps!

Would fit in the 'frugal intentions, horribly executed' thread.

Slinky

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2016, 04:39:46 PM »
Another option is to looks for ways to make an expensive hobby cheap(er).

I am a hobby weaver.  Many people consider this to be an expensive hobby due to the equipment and materials costs.  I have cut those expenses almost to zero through making my own tools and scouting Craigslist and other sources for inexpensive (or free) deals on looms and yarn.  I also sell my excess supplies and equipment are reasonable prices to offset my expenses. 

The trick to this is to be prepared and alert.  Have cash available to be able to act quickly when a good deal comes around and to keep your eyes open for those deals.

Hey! A fellow weaver! Hi! Ironically, I just posted about weaving being expensive. :P It is, but you can really cut the costs down if you try. I'm not about to add woodworking in order to make my own tools, but I do a lot of stalking on used things and churning old equipment for new things as well. I will also add selling things you make and "flipping" used equipment that needs a bit of TLC to make cash for supplies.

Trudie

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2016, 11:31:19 AM »
I'm not much of a crafter, but notice how many amazing craft supplies our local thrift stores -- thus telling how much peoples' interests change.  I used to garden like crazy.  Then I started exercising and running like crazy (gardening became less fun and I didn't have time.)  Then I got hurt/sore, so I took up yoga to replace some of the running.  Now I'm getting the gardening bug again.  It just cycles.  The key is not running out and buying a bunch of equipment everytime you have a new "enthusiasm."

Warlord1986

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2016, 05:50:02 PM »
A month ago I spent $13 on yarn. This weekend I sold 11 wash cloths for $33. I have enough left over to make an additional wash cloth for a friend's birthday, and I think I have enough to make some baby booties for Catholic Charities (I think. Maybe). The time I spent making the cloths was when I was watching dvds from the library. You can learn how to knit from library books and dvds, or from youtube.

How did you sell them? I love knitting wash cloths and kitchen wash rags from kitchen cotton, but cannot figure how to sell them.

A friend of mine owns a soap shop and I asked if she would sell them in her shop. She offered to buy them 10 at a time for $3 each. She said they've been selling so I might have to make more.

Joggernot

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2016, 06:48:39 AM »
For me, a good hobby is something that makes money. I paint very well, so sometimes sell their paintings or paint logitopy to order. Now I want to open my own online clothing store, which will be with my pictures) I want to create the right brand, as far as I know, this should be discussed with the lawyers. A friend recommended me good lawyers http://studiolegal.com.au, but my husband said that this is not in our budget ((
Well, "logitopy" apparently isn't a word in the dictionary online.  Could you please define it for us?

Cerastez

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2016, 03:27:38 PM »
Genealogy!  There are lots of free resources onlne and at your local library.  Plus many libraries let you access what would be pay sites, for free with your library card. 

Joggernot

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Re: cheap hobbies
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2016, 05:11:52 PM »
There's nothing in a dictionary.  Are you sure you spelled it correctly?