15 Budget-Friendly Group Activities for Friends

Are you looking for budget-friendly activities to do with friends? If so, keep reading; this post contains budget-friendly, unique, and exciting activities you and your friends can bond over. 

Let’s agree, meeting in bars or night outs, movie theaters, restaurants are common friends’ routines that are expensive and can quickly become monotonous. 

Looking to break from this routine, have fun with your friends, all while keeping your money with you? 

These 15 Budget-friendly activities to do with friends are things you should try. 

1. Host a Movie or TV Show Marathon 

man watching TV on couch.
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Remember your friend’s comfort show that they keep talking about? Or maybe the new shows on your favorite streaming service…

Create a collection of these and have a movie marathon at night or on weekends. 

You will not only have a lot of things to discuss after the movies but will also save a lot of money while at it. 

A movie marathon will save you the cost of driving to the movie theaters, and getting tickets and snacks. 

2. Plan a Potluck Dinner or Picnic

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Instead of meeting in restaurants, plan a potluck dinner or picnic where everyone brings something homemade. 

 You will get a touch of different homemade dishes and desserts and get so much to discuss with your friends while at it. For instance, you can share recipes, tips on the dishes brought, all while catching up with friends. 

3. Organize a Game Tournament

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In a community of gamer friends? They would definitely love to have a game tournament organized. 

The good thing about organizing a game tournament is that the most expensive bit of it is typically already available. Start by getting the game console, the controllers, and the games ready. 

Invite everyone and let them know what games will be played. 

You can request everyone to tag along with some drinks or snacks for the game tournament. 

Besides, it does not have to be one-on-one. You could also organize virtual tournaments with your friends and still have fun. 

4. Explore a Nearby Hiking Trail

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 Going out and doing something more active, such as hiking with friends, will always be more impactful than meeting over coffee. 

We all know the physical and mental benefits of hiking, even when done individually. It is, however, much more beneficial if you do it with friends. 

Hiking with friends gives you time to socialize, all while exercising physically. It is even much better if you have been looking for an accountability partner because your friends can help you push to achieve your fitness and outdoor adventure goals. 

Bonus points if you love pictures because you will have a personal photographer with you!

5. Have a Photo Scavenger Hunt

Group of young people doing geocaching as a scavenger hunt for teamwork and cooperation
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A photo scavenger hunt is a superb activity to try with your friends, mainly because of how hands-on and visual it can get. Even much better, this game comes in many variations; you can play it many times without boredom. 

You can find outdoor, indoor, selfie, or even funny scavenger ideas to try with friends. You could also download one of the numerous free scavenger hunt apps. 

You can enjoy this game in so many ways without spending a penny. 

6. Visit a Free Local Festival or Event

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Image Credit: Victoria Chudinova/Shutterstock.

If you are on a budget, find free festivals and events in your town and neighborhood to attend. 

 Some great events that are sometimes free include book launches, yoga or workout sessions, meet and greetings, comedy shows, parties, and even career fairs. 

You may also want to check what free local festivals happen in your town and take advantage of that. 

It may be as simple as searching the internet or asking local communities such as Facebook groups and subreddits. 

7. Play Board Games or Card Games

Two young women sitting on couch playing board game with counters, laughing. Happy couple bonding over an indoor leisure activity, smiling and sitting together at a table.
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Board and card games are an excellent investment as they can keep you and your friends busy over weekend meetups. 

You can buy many board and card games to give you and your friends some variety. It would be even better if each group member got different games to keep everything on a meager budget. 

 The good thing about board and card games is once you get your hands on one, you can play it so many times without spending a coin. You can also bring them everywhere, including parties, picnics, meetups, or even while traveling. 

8. Try Out a DIY Craft or Art Project

Young woman decorating DIY jars with paint.
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Trying out DIY crafts with friends comes with a lot of pros. If the project succeeds, you may save money that may have been spent buying the item you made. For instance, if you paint wall art with your friends, you can save money you would have used to buy wall art. 

Secondly, it feels great to look at something and feel the pride of knowing that you handmade it. Who wouldn’t like to look at something like their shoe rack and remember the carpentry skills that went into making it? 

Thirdly, doing DIY crafts with friends is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills while bonding and connecting with friends. You can learn from what your friend is good at, teach them what you are good at, or take lessons for classes you are both new at and try to bring the learned knowledge and skills to life. 

9. Go for a Bike Ride Together

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Cycling around your city is such a great activity you can do with friends. Create a map of fantastic sceneries you can stop over, and plan a day to do it. 

It is a great opportunity to physically exercise, get out there, and enjoy some fresh air and sunlight, all while catching up with your friends. 

It is a fun and great activity for the body and mind, but it almost always creates excellent bonding time and memories if done with friends. 

The good thing about bike riding is if you do not have one, you can borrow or find bike-hiring services and get a bike and helmet at low costs. 

10. Have a Themed Costume or Karaoke Night

Party people celebrating carnival or new years eve
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Nothing screams a fun, creative night like having a themed costume party or meeting up with friends. 

Collectively get a theme you want to pull off and let everyone explore their creativity with what they already have in their wardrobes. It will be fun and exciting, so the creativity and work behind each themed costume are pulled off. 

Accompanying your themed party with a karaoke night would make everything more fun. Karaoke is an exciting way to sing your heart out with your friends. 

11. Arrange a Book Club or Reading Session

Photo of excited funny nerd lady read book open mouth wear eyewear blue pullover isolated yellow color background.
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A book club is a great way to encourage each other to read and suggest great reads to each other. 

You can use two approaches to run your book club with friends. You can get everyone to read a book together and meet up maybe over the weekends or once a month to do book reviews. The second, which I would consider more budget-friendly, is when everyone reads different books, then the books are rotated around to have everyone read the different titles. You can then review or discuss a selected title after everyone has had their hand on them. 

You could also organize reading sessions where everyone shows up with different titles, and you all sit silent and get to reading. This is an excellent opportunity to avoid distractions such as shifting to social media because your friends can serve as accountability partners. 

12. Attend a Free Workout or Yoga Class

african american woman in black sporty bra is sitting lotus pose on yoga mat floor closed eyes and listening an audio meditate mantra hands namaste.
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Gym memberships can be expensive and unsuitable for people looking to stretch their budgets. If you and your friends are looking to take your fitness to a new level, you can always find cheap workouts and yoga classes to attend. 

You can try and find free online yoga instructors and use their sessions to exercise and stretch. If you would like in-person sessions, you can search the internet, ask gym instructors if they know anything, or inquire from the internet communities.

Working out with friends comes with a lot of motivation to achieve your goals.  

13. Volunteer for a Community Service Project

Portrait of smiling volunteers standing in the park.
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There are a lot of community service projects that would love a helping hand from you and your friends. It could be in a soup kitchen, elderly home, pet rescue, or charity organization in your town. Volunteering not only helps you spend time together doing some acts of kindness. It will help you meet new people, view things from different perspectives, and even have much more to talk about after. 

You could also do charity walks or runs, which is a great chance to 

14. Have a Baking or Cooking Competition

Image of young happy lady standing in kitchen while cooking fish.
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Cooking or baking at home competition is an excellent way to enjoy different meals or pastries prepared in your friend group. 

You can have it one-on-one at a friend’s house, or everyone can bring what they cooked or baked for everyone else to eat and rate. 

You may decide to rank the best recipe and choose to learn it from the owner. 

A cooking competition allows you to try different meals without spending too much money. It is a great way to break the monotony of your home menu without going to the restaurant. 

15. Explore a Museum or Historical Site With Free Admission

Happy couple looking at modern painting in art gallery.
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Find historical sites or free museums and visit it with your friends. If there is a paid museum in your town, you can always find their free days and schedule to visit.

Museums offer outstanding learning experiences, which can grow into great conversations with friends. If one of you has been to the museum, they can serve the friend group as the tour guide, helping everyone else share a learning experience. 

Lastly, historical sites and museums are typically aesthetic. You and your friends can take some lovely photos for memories.  

Budget-friendly Activities To Do With Friends

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Meeting and having fun with friends does not have to be boring, predictable, and expensive. You can suggest these budget-friendly activities to your friends and try out something different every other weekend. This way, you will always look forward to what the weekend offers without the fear of spending too much money and going beyond your budget. 

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