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Come sit down beside me with a dollar and a dime, we'll drink away our fortunes, here's to the meantime. -Grace Potter
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8.05.2011

frugal friday.

We made it! I logged a solid treadmill workout at the gym this AM (and worked in some interval action too, which is the best way to maximize your workout). This weekend should be low-key and trust me, I need it after the bender of last weekend. I'm really excited to go check out the Vermont Lake Monsters game on Sunday (funday) as seeing live baseball, having a couple drinks and getting your fingers salty from "peanuts & cracker jacks" is pretty much the epitome of summer. We ended up getting our hands on some free tickets to the game, but general admission is under $10 a pop. My bank account always seems to take a beating during the summer months because there is just so much to do. Winter on the other hand, especially because VT snow season is so long and harsh, results in a lot of brunches out, movies in, some snowshoeing action (free!) and quality lazy-time- wicked key to rebuilding the wallet. But as summer comes to a close, I'm going to offer five fun weekend activities that can be done on a budget.

1. Sporting Events- If you live close to a local university, you've probably began to notice that the college kids are starting to trickle back into town. Early-August is when athletes usually return to campus for preseason workouts and team bonding-and just because you graduated years ago, doesn't mean you can't take advantage. Most teams play a preseason schedule that fans can attend for far less than the regular season ticket value. Of course, you are likely not going to see players performing ballz to the wall, but it's a fabulous opportunity to watch up-and-coming athletes show off some of their skills and get a taste of what their regular season will be like- plus if the boys have been hitting the gym like they should have been all summer, then you are in for an extra delectable treat. Grab the girls, the boyfriend, or the family and head to the athletic fields. Double bonus if they allow you to carry in coolers as you can stuff it chalk full of snacks and drinks (especially since snack bars aren't typically in full swing during preseason).

2. Wine Tastings/Beer Tours- Find a DD and go check out your local vineyards or breweries. Most offer free tours and tastings, fun gift shops, and beautiful landscapes. Plus you can pick up a bottle or case to go! Some of my local vineyards actually allow you to bring in munchies to eat on their patio with a bottle of their wine (this allows you to throw together a collection of  sliced cheese, crackers or french baguette, and fresh fruit...all time favorite combo) while you check out the views.

3. Park Picnic- If your area is anything like mine, then you are always within a couple miles of a bike path, walking path, or park- all completely free to use. Lace up the sneakers and cram your backpack full of goodies to enjoy after a relaxing stroll. Perfect opportunity to get some exercise on the weekend without feeling like you are overdoing your "day off" from the gym.

4. Bake-Off!- Grab your significant other or BFF and heat up the kitchen. Hit the grocery store first and grab some supplies. Hold yourself to only spending $10/each and whip up something tasty. Pick a meal category first- try breakfast or dessert. Both offer a bunch of options for cheap (READ: carbomb cupcakes or fruit tarts). Try foodnetwork.com or epicurious.com for fun recipe ideas. Both offer entire sections about "cheap" and "quick & easy". Voila!

5. Classic Game Night- Randy and I play games all the time. In fact, I just spent $40 stocking up on a bunch of fun new games. There is a bar in our area that actually has games available for customers to play when they come in. A lot of coffee shops do this as well. We have been busted playing Sorry!, War, Yahtzee, Apples to Apples, Scrabble and Frog Juice. Play best 2 of 3 games and the loser has to pay for drinks next time you go. Make it into a bi-weekly or monthly tradition.

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