7 Friend Dates That Don’t Cost a Fortune

After a long week of deadlines and early morning lectures, sometimes the only thing keeping you going is the fact that you get to spend the weekend with friends. Though it’s fun to go out and socialize, sometimes you just want to have low-key fun without a million people around. And if you’re really trying to adult, you may be trying to spend less on drinks at the bar and save for that adult apartment you’re going to need in a semester. Whatever the case, these cheap friend dates will keep your friendships and wallet happy.

1. Brunch at home

Brunch is an inevitable college activity. It’s not only a way for you and friends to catch up but talk about all the twists and turns of Riverdale that week. Unfortunately, going out to breakfast can cost up to $20, including a tip. Instead, try bringing your friends together at an apartment and have everyone bring a dish, it will be cheap because everyone’s contributing and you’ll have a variety to choose from. It’s a win, win.

2. Go to a bookstore

This may not sound like a ton of fun, especially if you’ve had your nose in a book all week, but books offer an escape from this world. If you and your friends bond over things like feminism and social justice like me and my friends do, see if your town has any specialty stores. In Gainesville we have Wild Iris Books, Florida’s only feminist bookstore and Civic Media Center, where my friends and I will get lost for hours. It will be a new experience for everyone!

3. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way for you and your friends to give back to the community while also spending time together. Find something everyone is passionate about. Over the summer when there’s no football or tailgates to attend, my friends and I spent our Saturday's phone banking for our local Planned Parenthood. It was a great experience and didn’t cost a thing to hangout and help an important cause.

4. Have a crafting session

Bring out your artistic side and create something new with your friends. This one is probably my favorite because it’s not often you get to roll up your sleeves and paint or create something original like you did back in elementary school. My friends and I have refurbished old shelving units, bedside tables, and even created large photo frames out of cardboard to take the perfect Instagram-worthy photos.

5. Exercise

Now this one doesn’t sound like fun, but trust me, when you actually decide to go to the gym it’s always better to have someone there to complain to. The time not only goes by faster but they’ll push you to make it to the end. And with the weather getting cooler, you can take your exercise routine outdoors and explore new paths together.

6. Plan a holiday-related activity

Fall is here and so are all the activities. From pumpkin patches, apple picking and local Halloween parades, there’s no need to spend much on the holidays when there’s already so much happening in town. If you’re really in the planning mood, get started on what you’ll be bringing to the Thanksgiving potluck.

7. Spend a day at the museum

Going to the museum is an underrated activity in college. There’s so much culture and new learning opportunities that exist in these spaces. Many colleges have museums right on campus, so you don’t have to travel far, but if you’re looking to get away, look for ones in the community that offer free admission or a discounted admission for college students.

Do you have a favorite (and cheap) way you like to spend time with your friends? Comment below!