Quality time with your girlfriends is priceless, but a lot of girls’ night out activities come with a heavy price tag. Dinner, cocktails, concert tickets, cover charges — these kinds of expenses can all add up and sometimes make you cringe at the cost of having fun.
The next time you’re strapped for cash but really want to hang with your ladies, plan a girls’ night out on a budget with these ideas.
1. Window shop
I know it’s not the same as actually buying, but it’s a fun way to plan ahead for your next shopping spree. Take your girlfriends to the mall, check out the new styles, choose outfits for each other to try on, and start a wish list.
Planning ahead before you buy is a great idea, anyway — you’ll be less prone to impulsive purchases and have time to find coupons and discounts. If do you have a small budget for spending, tell your friends your limit and have them hold you accountable.
Waiting a few hours or even days is an effective money-saving tip — and we’ve collected even more helpful tips for saving money from some pretty savvy moms!
2. Go out for dessert
It’s the best part of the meal anyway, right? Whip up a light dinner up at home, then make dessert the main event of your evening.
3. Opt for a matinee & happy hour
Most places, movies are cheaper before 5 or 6 p.m., and if you catch an afternoon movie, you’ll get out early enough to take advantage of happy hour deals.
4. Or do a full dinner & drinks, but use cash-back offers
If you have girlfriends who are adamant about making a complete evening of it, you can save while splurging with Coupons.com’s new cash-back dining offers. You’ll get 10 percent back from participating restaurants when you register your credit card and pay with it at dinner — including drinks! It’s a free and an easy way to save without pulling out a coupon or even scanning your phone.
5. Plan a Girls’ Night In
Who says a girls’ night has to be “out?” Stay inside with a delicious bottle of wine or refreshing cocktails, a summer-friendly salad bar (go potluck style), and a movie or Netflix. It’s also a fun time to try DIY face masks or other spa treatments.
6. Work out together, then go out for smoothies
A hike through the hills, a long slow jog, a beautiful walk around the lake at dusk — all these are free and healthy, plus allow for quality conversation time. Catch your breath with smoothies or protein shakes after your workout.
Need more ideas for free activities in your area? Check out these low cost and free things to do in every state, plus a few free activities your kids can do in your own neighborhood.
In the end, it’s not the dollars you spend but the relationships you build that make for high quality time with your squad.