How to have affordable fun this summer

To avoid becoming a summer shopaholic, Cord reporter Sam Polzin put together eight ways of enjoying the warm months without breaking the bank.

This summer, take your favourite paperback with you and enjoy the fresh and free outdoors. There’s nothing better than clearing your head with fresh air and reading in the sunshine. Find a calm and relaxing place such as a nearby park, a bench in the woods or on a grassy hill. The end of the day will creep up sooner than you think and you’ll still have all your pennies.

Any local library will have a selection of movies for you to choose from. Head down to the Kitchener or Waterloo public library and pick out a classic. You could even plan a movie night with friends and have a marathon of your favourite movie genre. As long as you return the movie on time, it’s no cost to you.

Planning a picnic is the best way to spend lunch with your friends and family. Grab a few friends or family members and spend the afternoon under a shady tree. Spend the morning packing sandwiches and fresh fruit that you might already have in your fridge.

Start your own garden or find a community garden to help maintain. You can plant your favourite flower or vegetable and watch it grow as the summer passes. If you can successfully grow vegetables of your own, this could end up saving you money on food in the long run. Keeping a garden is also great exercise and can brighten your spirits once the flowers are in full bloom.

Check out various coffee shops around town for open mic nights. Whether it’s a girl’s night out or just a night alone, you’ll have a blast finding your inner performer and enjoying a social atmosphere. Open mic nights are usually something that happens weekly, so reserve a night each week to show off your talents and be entertained.

There are plenty of community theatre groups in the area that put on stage shows during the spring and fall season. A night out to the theatre is a perfect way to spend an evening. Tickets can be as low as ten dollars a piece and you’ll no doubt receive a quality experience. You might even be inspired to take up acting as a hobby, which is another way to keep busy all year round.

Take on the art of poetry. Writing is always a helpful way to get your thoughts out on paper. You don’t even need to be artistic to try this out. All you need to do is write and see where it takes you. Carry around a book and see what inspires you each day. Poetry is always fun to look back on and can keep you busy whenever you have spare time.

The sun is always there for free, whether you are or not. So take advantage of it and spend the morning or evening watching it rise or set with someone you care about. This could be a great opportunity to have an in depth conversation with a friend or spend some time thinking alone.

Take a trip to uptown Waterloo and spend an afternoon listening to the live music that is often played in Waterloo public square. There are plenty of coffee shops in the surrounding area where you can grab a drink to enjoy at the same time.