Have you ever been stuck at home for long periods of time? If you’re reading this, you probably have. The Coronavirus pandemic closed down much of the US for months, and now we’re all practicing safe social distancing. This period gave me a lot of insight on fun activities to do at home.
In this post, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite fun activities to do at home that cost little to nothing. When stuck at home, we have to find things to do, especially at a low cost, to keep us busy.
Let’s take a look at fun activities to do from home that are free or cheap to do so that you can save money!
1. Play Boardgames
Boardgames are one of the first stay-at-home activities you can do with roommates and family. Whether it be a classic like Checkers or Chess, or a more advanced board game from your local game store, board games are a great way to pass the time. Set up in your living room or room of choice and get some board games started.
If you don’t have any board games or want to play board games with friends online, you can play online at Board Game Arena. There are tons of games here for friends and family activities.
2. Game with MMORPGs
When you’re at home, playing a free or low-cost MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) might be perfect for you. These are games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14. For sci-fi lovers, you could play EVE Online or Elite Dangerous.
The games mentioned have varying ways of paying for them. For example, Final Fantasy 14 has a one-time purchase plus $15 per month to be able to play. If that’s not in your budget, EVE Online is free to download, and limited play is also free. To open up all of the game, you can pay $15 per month.
3. Watch Shows and Movies
Watching shows and movies with housemates or synchronized online is a great way to spend very little money while at home. You can sign up for Netflix for as little as $8.99 per month, Hulu, for as little as $5.99 per month, to name two services. You can also rent movies individually on YouTube, which can be as low as $2.99 for most movies.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoy watching movies, and this is one of our favorite fun activities to do at home.
4. Walk Outside
Taking a walk is free! It also has the health benefit of being a super easy exercise. Hook up your phone to music or your favorite podcast and listen-away while walking. I also get a lot of my thinking done while walking (though sometimes I just walk up and down the hallway!)
The best places to walk are forest trails, parks, and even large parking lots. My wife and I frequently drive to a strip mall down the road and walk around the large parking lot. This usually takes us 15 to 20 minutes, which I estimate is about a one-mile trek. Not bad!
5. Watch YouTube
Besides watching shows and movies on YouTube, you can also watch your favorite YouTubers while at home. This fun activity to do at home doesn’t cost you anything, and the ads that pop up while you watch support the people you’re watching.
My wife and I love to watch The Food Ranger. He has traveled to many countries around the world, trying out exotic foods and describing them in great detail. If you’re a foodie like me, he’s a must-watch.
With that in mind, you can watch anything on YouTube. This includes DIY videos, reviews of products and games, tutorials, and much much more.
6. Do DIY Crafts
Doing DIY Crafts can be an excellent low-cost and fun activity that you can do from home. As I often note, my wife is into crochet, and she buys a lot of yarn during big sales and then spends weeks, if not months crocheting up a storm.
I have a friend from high school who does woodworking on the side. He fixes up old furniture and makes some great creations.
Another friend does paint pours, and her art is amazing. Check out one of her paintings!
There are entire online communities dedicated to various DIY crafts. When you’re at home looking for company, these can be great communities to join while doing your craft.
7. Read Books
If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription on your phone, Kindle device, or Kindle on PC, you can read millions of eBooks on Amazon for a one-low-cost subscription. The public library may be closed, but with Amazon and similar sites, you can pick up your favorite eBook and read it on your eReader of choice or your mobile device.
If you’re interested in fiction, let me do a quick self-plug for my thriller/psychological fiction novel. Persona Jeremy, a book about a high school teen boy who retells the story of his encounter with a darker side of himself and how he must battle his own mind in an effort to face an event from his past that spun his whole life out of control. A real psychological dive into a teenaged boy’s mind. Available as paperback and on Kindle Unlimited as well.
If books are your thing, you could read magazines or browse blogs online. A favorite book of mine that is also a bestseller is Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier. The book speaks of Grant’s life years back when he had $3 to his name after losing his job.
He lived with his parents and was essentially not doing anything with his life. Five years later, through hustling and learning about personal finance, Grant was a millionaire. There’s an audiobook version as well.
8. Earn Money with Online Surveys
Stuck inside? Sign up for Swagbucks and get paid to complete online surveys. Swagbucks will allow you to earn a few dollars an hour filling out surveys. Over the course of a month, you could earn over $100 just by giving your opinion.
One friend uses Swagbucks money to pay for bus fare. Another use of Swagbucks money is vending machine money at work.
Alternatives to Swagbucks include:
9. Cook with Your Family
A simple, low-cost activity at home is cooking. My wife and I learned how to cook a great steak a few years ago. We bought a 16 oz cut of steak for $9/lb, then we bought instant mash potatoes, which the individual packages came out to about $1.50 each. We also bought a bag of salad for around $4.
The combined sum was $14.50, which fed both of us, so $7.25/meal. We figure in a semi-decent steakhouse, this same meal would have cost closer to $30/each after tax and tip. That’s a savings of over $45 plus it’s fun to cook together.
Whether you’re living with someone or single, learning to cook is a great pastime, plus you can impress someone with your home-cooking (and they say the quickest way to some people’s hearts is through their stomach).
If you’ve ever watched Food Network’s cooking show Chopped, you can have your own version of Chopped at home. On Chopped, contestants are given four seemingly random ingredients to cook a masterful dish with. In YOUR kitchen, you could grab four random ingredients and see what you can make. We enjoy doing this at home here and there.
10. Talk With Friends/Family Online
A free activity to do from home is talking to friends and family online. I have a lot of gaming friends, and I use Discord to talk to them. Discord is similar to Skype, except that there are servers that serve as private text and voice chatrooms.
I belong to several Discord servers and have several groups of friends that I keep up with. I also use Skype to video chat with family occasionally.
Of course, there’s always Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other social media sites where you can chat with people on.
Whether you’re physically stuck indoors or simply having a few days at home, chatting online can bring out your social side.
11. Clean the House
I’m sure you’re familiar with spring cleaning. Well, regardless of what time of year it is, when you’re stuck indoors, this is the perfect time to clean house. Throw out anything you no longer need, clean up, and even consider rearranging.
You can get so much done in as little as a day cleaning your house from top to bottom. Plus, you’ll feel great once you’re done.
When we clean the house, we start with the kitchen, which is on one side of our house, and work our way to our bedroom, which is on the other side. We can do the majority of cleaning in a few hours.
12. Learn a Skill
There are many freebie ways to learn a new skill. YouTube is a bountiful resource for learning many DIY skills and more technical skills, such as programming.
You can also sign up for Skillshare, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning to take courses. Not only that, but if you have a favorite blogger who offers courses, now’s a perfect time to show your support to them and learn a new skill that they offer to teach.
Some colleges offer free online courses. MIT offers a plethora of free courses. Check them out and see if anything works for you!
13. Take a Bike Ride
In the warmer months, taking a bike ride around the neighborhood or town and back is an amazing way to get exercise and pass the time. If you have a bike trail near your house, take advantage of it and get some exercise on your bike.
Wrapping It Up
It’s easy to go stir crazy at home, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things you can do while stuck. Mix it up. Do something different each day or make a weekly schedule.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll find something you enjoy that you never knew existed!
What are your favorite low-cost activities to do at home?