Welcome to my first ever challenge-inspired blog post!
I don't usually go along with themed posts, but this one sounded like a great little challenge, so I hope it brings you a smile today.
February can be a dreary month. It's right in the middle of winter, but the Christmas season has passed, and the freshness of January has come and gone. Despite this, my memories of February do include sweet Valentine's celebrations with my family, as well as some of the best snow of the season. Let's find the little joys this month, beginning with a list of ideas for frugal fun, inspired by Personal Capital's challenge.
Here's a collection of 5 things you can do this February to have affordable fun (Claire-style)... or in other words: FIVE FEBRUARY FRUGAL FUN ideas.
1. Create some GIFs
I don't know what it is about GIFs that makes them so entertaining. You almost feel like you've created something magical when the pictures are put together and start moving on your screen. There is a free website that you can upload your photos to, and it will create GIFs for you. Play around with using photos of moving objects, lovely weather, silly kid faces, or a dog's tail wagging. Enjoy!
Speaking of dogs wagging their tails...you know what makes my dog extra happy? Walks.
2. Take your dog for a walk
This may sound simple, but I can almost guarantee it will bring more joy to your day. Crisp air and a little sunshine will surely help fight the February blues too. Get your feet all snowy for me too, ok? 😉
Don't have a dog? Borrow a friend's!
3. Go outside at sunrise
Sunrises have always been my favorite. When I awoke early one morning and saw that there was a fresh blanket of snow, I grabbed my coat and ran out the door to catch the sunrise from a good vantage point. Oh my, sunrises do not disappoint! Our God is an incredible Creator.
3. Make banana pancakes
You've heard me mention banana pancakes before - that's because they are so easy and cheap to make!! After your sunrise walk, enjoy a delicious plate of pancakes with blueberries, honey and peanut butter.
Ingredients: 1 banana, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking powder. How to: Mash banana. Add baking powder until fully combined. Mix in eggs and cinnamon. Cook pancakes on a greased skillet.
4. Create art by using what you have
Step 1: Grab a sketchbook at your local art store that inspires you. I am in love with the one Haley gave me for my birthday (from Global Art Materials: HERE for only $13!), because it's portable and versatile. It's also just really simple and beautiful, so that helps too!
Step 2: While you're out and about - at work, in classes, at the grocery store, on a walk - look for interesting shapes, lines and light patterns. Snap a photo of that object or view on your phone.
Step 3: Find a cozy spot to draw, sketch, or paint.
Step 4: Use that inspiring photo as a starting point for your sketch.
Step 5: Use what you have around as your medium! If all you own are colored pencils, go for it with colored pencils (pictured above). You'd be surprised what can come out of something so simple.
Other ideas: ballpoint pen, black marker, crayons, or even coffee and a paintbrush.
What I love about using a little sketchbook like this and no-pressure mediums, is that it literally does just that - takes the pressure off! You can grow in your art skills, while also finishing a picture in a manageable time frame, even if you only have 20 minutes to spare during your lunch break.
5. Buy flowers
You hereby have permission to buy yourself some flowers today. Please, do it.
I often feel that I need to have a reason to buy flowers, or that it might be strange to buy them for myself, instead of getting them from somebody. Guess what though? Buying flowers today might just be the brightest point of your week. Go for it. Find a bouquet with cheerful colors at the grocery store and proudly add them to your shopping cart. Trader Joe's has some of the most affordable and lovely options, as does Aldi (in the U.S.) and Lidl (in Czech). I'm cheering you on!
That's a wrap! I hope you pick one of the frugal fun ideas and implement it in the next week. Let me know if you do, and I'll celebrate the joy with you!
Happy beginning of February.
Psst...looking for more budget-friendly fun ideas? You can actually use this free financial software to be more frugal!