As we continue on with the year of gazelle intensity, we continue on to work to find stuff to do that fits within our budget. The best things in life are free, as they say. Or at least “dirt cheap”. We had a wonderful Saturday this past weekend. It’s near the end of January here in Minnesota, but Saturday brought us a 45 degree, sun-filled day. If you don’t live here/aren’t from here, you have NO idea what a treat this is. January usually brings subzero temps and the worst of winter in general. But Saturday was like waking up to heaven on earth.
We decided to bring the kids ice-fishing. For you southerners 😉 , this is where you walk out onto a frozen lake, dig a hole into the ice until you hit water, plop your ice fishing pole or tip-up down into the hole, and wait. And wait. And wait some more. Fishing in general is an art to some degree, but ice fishing is compounded in complexity by the fact that you can’t bask in the sun while waiting for the fish to grab your line. Well, you can, but you’d best be wearing your Carhart gear, gloves and a hat, lest you get some frost bite with your sunburn.
What a wonderful day it was. The younger kids cleared off some snow and made themselves an ice rink, checking in occasionally to hold a fishing line or check a tip-up. Oldest daughter sat in a chair for hours on end, waiting for a blessed Walleye (her fave fish) to grace her line. Rick wandered around, talking with other anglers, trading tips and fishing advice. Maddie and I laughed at the sight, groups of Minnesotans everywhere in camo jackets, baseball hats, etc., blabbing away as if they were old friends. Such a simple hobby, yet so enjoyable. It can be expensive, but you can also ice fish with nothing more than a $10 ice fishing pole, a manual ice auger and some minnows.
We brought along some snacks (sandwiches, apples, water bottles, air-popped popcorn and homemade brownies) to combat boredom and hunger, waiting for the big catch so we could have ourselves a nice Walleye dinner.
What did we catch? Nothing. Nada. A big fat zero.
But we really didn’t care that much. After a long day (nearly 7 hours) of fishing in the (relatively) warm sunshine, we headed down the street for home. We cuddled up in blankets, cooked up some frozen pizza for dinner, watched TV and fell asleep on the couch, all but 2 of us.
It was awesome. And it cost much less than dinner out, a trip to the theater, or a new pair of brand-name sneakers.
My point? Frugal living isn’t so bad. You can take yummy meals from home to work for dirt cheap. You can choose to cut needless expenses so that you have more money to pay off debt, save for retirement, or simply to live on. Or, you can continue to fall for the lies that keep people broke, leaving your dreams behind for a “you only live once” lifestyle. The choice is yours.
What are your favorite free or cheap (keep it clean 🙂 ) activities?