Spring into Action by Enjoying the Free Things in Life
Sara Gilbert/The Coloradoan (Fort Collins, CO)
23 March 2012
Spring has sprung in Northern Colorado. The days are longer, the sun is shining and the weather is warmer. This is a great time of the year to take advantage of many inexpensive or free forms of entertainment and activities. Cutting expenses and pinching pennies has become a national pastime as we all continue to learn how to stretch dollars in this new economy.
There are many low or no cost ways to entertain and relax as we head into the seasons of spring and summer. Fun does not need to cost a lot of money, especially when the weather is nice.
Many of these activities can also be good for your health so get out and enjoy.
» Plant a garden and enjoy the fresh produce that costs you little. Start seeds indoors now to save even more money when it is time to plant outdoors in late May.
» Attend free outdoor concerts available all across our region in the summer months.
» Plan an outdoor potluck picnic with friends, family and neighbors.
» Use less gas and ride your bike or walk to complete your errands or to get to work.
» Visit local parks for some free fun. Ride your bike and you'll save on gas. Invite some of your kids' friends to go along so you can read a book while the kids play.
» Take your lunch to work. Find a warm sunny place outside to enjoy it and get a break from your work day.
» Make a list of the outdoor do-it-yourself projects. Spring is a great time to paint, wash windows or rake the lawn. Even chores can be fun as the weather begins to change.
» Hang out in Old Town and watch the people.
» Eat dinner at home and then go out for dessert at a local ice cream shop.
» Attend a free program at the library.
» Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity or other nonprofits that need your help. Dial 211 on your phone and reach United Way 211 for some possible volunteer opportunities and suggestions.
» After doing a load of wash, hang your clothes outside to dry. Since most yards don't have clothes lines anymore, you can pick up inexpensive retractable clothes lines in hardware stores or even a dollar store.
» Wash the car, and while you are at it, clean out the garage of all the winter sludge that has dropped from your vehicle.
» Find close-to-home places to hike, bike or fish to save on gas. Many local trails, rivers and ponds are available.
» After a busy day outside, check out a book or DVD from the library at no cost to you.
Sometimes the best things in life come at little cost.
Sara Gilbert is the Colorado group manager for the local GreenPath (formerly Consumer Credit Counseling Service), 1247 Riverside Ave., Fort Collins. Call her at (970) 229-0695 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.