20 Things To Do With $5 (Or Less)

20 Things To Do With $5 (Or Less)

We all know small amounts count when it comes to saving money. Emptying pockets of change for a month into a jar instead of using it at the register can add up to a substantial amount considering we’re talking pocket change. Small amounts can matter a lot too when we are talking about living life and doing things. I have found myself realizing that $5 can go a long way if I’m creative and give it a chance.  No more waiting for a $20 before I start a project or take the kids out for some fun. Here are 20 things you can do today with just $5.

With The Kids

  1. go for a walk
  2. have a picnic
  3. give them each a little money at the thrift store to pick books (ours are usually 10, 25 or 50 cents depending on type). Then host a storytime in the living room at home.
  4. Take $5 to a craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and let them pick supplies. Get creative. The end result matters less than the fun of the process.
  5. make cupcakes
  6. teach generosity – give/tip/donate it

As a Family

  1. make your own pizza on pizza night instead of ordering in
  2. $1 for a movie at redbox and some popcorn makes for a fun and inexpensive family night
  3. head to a local ice cream shop and split a big sundae. Everyone grab a spoon.
  4. start a family journal – everyone can add to it and share thoughts and moments
  5. start a garden from seed packets
  6. Go for coffee. Skip the latte, get a muffin for the kids (if you have them, of course).

Around The House

  1. makeover a table - $3 for new knobs (beware if you let a 5 year old choose the knobs, they might not match) and $1 for a can of oops paint and a ratty old table is new (and smiling!) again.
  2. print some photos – send photos to shutterfly and pick them up at a local walgreens in an hour
  3. buy candles - an inexpensive way to add a little ambience to the home
  4. paint some terracotta pots with chalkboard paint for easy labeling. plant herbs in them.
  5. use mason jars for instant inexpensive decor and function
  6. using sticky notes or notecards, leave notes around for the people you live with to surprise them and put a smile on their face
  7. mistreat a window with a yard sale curtain
  8. make photo tiles
  9. Have fun, create, enjoy the outdoors, make the most of what you have. Enjoy your time and think of all the things you can do for little money. Other ideas? Please share so we can all gain some inspiration.

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  1. These are all wonderful ideas. But, don’t forget a visit to the library – totally free fun!

  2. oh yes, the library. fell out of rotation and needs to be put back in.

  3. Don’t forget the library! Story time and free movies. Hours of entertainment for all…. plus free magazines.

  4. One of my kids’ favorite things to do is go for slushies after a hot soccer match. This is such a treat for them and costs us under $3. We also really enjoy garage sale season and go equipped with a specific list of things we’re looking for so its like a treasure hunt. I enjoyed your list:)

  5. Nice! I like the idea of having ideas in advance for ‘what to do’ moments. I find it keeps impulse spending in check.

    I have even gone so far as to have my own list on small-ish pieces of paper in a brown bag, to pull and use when we just can’t decide . . .It’s great to have choices and ideas. . .

  6. i love this idea so very much. Actively pursuing ways to do something with less – good for all members of the family to pursue this discipline!

    A fun thing for us is going to the airport to watch planes take off/land. But its only a 10 min drive.

  7. And, there are always board games. When I was a kid…we played board games all the time.

    I recently pulled out an oldie, Mille Bornes, a driving board game – since the 12 year old will have a permit soon enough… In the game you give each other flat tires, make them run out of gas, enter a speed limit zone, etc. Good stuff.

  8. Great inspiration to live life fully without spending big bucks to do it!!

    have a great weekend emily! hope the kids are on the mend!!


  9. It’s amazing what you can buy with 5$ at IKEA. ;) How about:

    Meat Scissors to save time in the kitchen
    Milk Frother to make your own latte
    Candles (as you mentioned)
    Small pillows
    Any number of amazing kitchen utensils/dishes
    A plate full of meatballs & mashed potatoes

    :) I love IKEA.

    I love all your FREE items listed, too – spending quality time with your kids is the best thing to do ever. I love playing board games with mine.

  10. I think this is one of your best posts. Family fun doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Great ideas!

  11. you ALWAYS have THE best ideas Emily!!

  12. Thanks for helping get my creative juices going! Once someone gets me started on a list like this I can usually run with it. It’s just the starting that can get tough. Lots of fun ideas!

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