7 Hobbies That Will Save You Money

  • Do What You Love

    Spring’s warm weather provides many opportunities to jumpstart your hobbies again, whether it’s growing your own healthy garden or repairing that old car that’s been sitting in your garage all winter. While you can’t always get paid to do what you love, you can certainly save money by doing some of the low-cost hobbies we rounded up here. Read on for some fresh ideas on how to spend your spare time this spring. Photo Credit: Clownfish
    Get Cooking in the Kitchen
  • Get Cooking in the Kitchen

    Cooking can be an invaluable and inexpensive pastime. Lori Day, an executive director at the Institute for Entrepreneurship in Central Piedmont Community College, recommends that you buy local fruits in bulk to make your own preserves and consider simple grilling to rich sauces. Colleges, such as Day’s, offer non-degree continuing education courses to help people pursue hobbies at little cost. CPCC offers a Kitchen Basics 101 course for just $139 for three weeks. Photo Credit: ReneS
    Grow a Sustainable Farm
  • Grow a Sustainable Farm

    Grocery bills add up, especially when you have many mouths to feed, and buying organic food can also incur large bills. The spring weather is your cue to start pruning your weeds and start planting some healthy foods. Day says that spring is an ample time to start collecting your seeds, prepping your soil, and getting ready for the bounty. There are many vegetables that are easy to grow like squash, green peppers and tomatoes, she mentions. Sean Steinmarc, co-founder of PSGive.org, an online fundraising community for charities, says herbs like cilantro, chives and mint are also easy to grow and taste more delicious homegrown. “Not only do you save money, but help also lower your carbon footprint instead of buying produce shipped cross-country,” he says. Valerie Deneen, a budget blogger at Frugal Family Fun Blog, says that gardening is also a good way to get your whole family involved. Photo Credit: celesteh
    Be Your Own Textile Factory
  • Be Your Own Textile Factory

    Sick of wearing the same old clothes and looking at the same ugly curtains? Make your own! You can try your hand at sewing anything from clothes to curtains, tablecloths and placemats. Deneen also recommends making your own picnic blankets or outdoor chair cushions in preparation for outdoor fun. On the same line, you can start knitting and give your creations to friends or family as gifts (another great way to save money). Photo Credit: amandabhslater
    Make Your Own Soap
  • Make Your Own Soap

    A great way to achieve peace of mind (and wallet) is to make your own soap and aromatherapy products. Vickie Smith, a publishing executive who makes soap in her spare time, says that spring is a good time to make her favorite soap out of goat’s milk. “Spring is when goat's milk is most available as the babies/kids are often born then,” she says, adding that she loves its creamy texture. Photo Credit: Geraint Warlow
    Get Fit and Exercise
  • Get Fit and Exercise

    There’s no better time than springtime to walk or ride a bike to work. “Because of Daylight Savings, I have plenty of time to get home before it is dark outside,” says Caroline Buckley, a hotel marketer who started riding her bike to work. “I save money on gas, parking and my husband (who normally drives a truck) drives my Honda so it saves even more gas.” Artist Pablo Solomon, who has an expertise in art and investment, also recommends that you take advantage of the good weather to go on hikes to keep yourself fit and healthy, helping you save on medical bills too. Photo Credit: Reggie Alvey
    Fix Up Your Car
  • Fix Up Your Car

    If a car is essential to your life, then acquiring basic know-how on fixing cars can be invaluable. Also, summer is just around the corner and you might want to start prepping for road trip vacations, Day says. Car repairs can be very expensive so this will save you down the road. “When money is tight, the car still needs maintenance and there is a lot of money to be saved by doing it myself,” says Lane Bailey, a realtor and car hobbyist. Photo Credit: comedy_nose
    Be a ‘Thrifter’
  • Be a ‘Thrifter’

    Visiting thrift stores can update your wardrobe and keep you on budget. Budget blogger Susan Barry says that she buys most of her belongings at a secondhand store for $5 or less. “There is nothing like the thrill of uncovering a Chanel jacket for $8 or the perfect Levis in your size,” she says. MainStreet also has great tips for shopping at a thrift store. The warm weather also brings out yard sales and you can find great bargains just by taking a walk around your neighborhood. For more on secondhand shopping (and selling), check out this MainStreet’s Secondhand Nation series. Photo Credit: Eversheds LLP
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