The coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe today has drastically changed the way we live our lives. One thing is certainly true for most Americans: we are spending more time at home than we were before the pandemic.

With the economy badly hit and so many families negatively affected, this season calls for more frugal and creative ways to pass the time. What are some ideas for frugal fun during COVID-19?

There are, in fact, plenty of ways to have fun without emptying your wallet.  Let’s have a look at 10 of them.

Watch a Movie

Instead of going to the theaters to catch a film on the big screen, you can choose to watch a movie in the coziness of your own home. This is a great time to pull out your old DVDs and organize a movie night with your family. Get the popcorn and your favorite snacks!

What kinds of movies does your family enjoy watching—is it horror, romantic comedies, or perhaps thrillers? Regardless of the movie choice, the most important thing is that you enjoy watching it together.

Television subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are all the rage today because they are affordable and offer you a huge catalog of films and TV series to choose from. Consider purchasing a subscription to one of these TV services so your family can enjoy watching shows together.

Read a Good Book

If you have to be confined to your own home, nothing transports you away like a good book. A good book opens up the mind and allows the imagination to soar. The expression of getting “lost in a good book” is wonderfully possible—you can be so absorbed in a book that you find yourself in another world.

To begin reading, you can grab a physical book from your nearest library or bookstore, or you can choose to download an ebook. Ebooks are great if you have a Kindle or an iPad; with one touch of the screen, you can access almost any book that you want.

For a fun challenge, choose a book written by an author that you would not normally read. You might be surprised at the gems that you discover.

Solve a Puzzle

Puzzle-solving has grown out of fashion in recent years as we become more preoccupied with video games on our digital devices. In the past, it was fashionable for every household to display at least one puzzle picture proudly on their walls. Today, the practice has gone out of favor. However, the coronavirus pandemic is changing all of that.

Puzzles, especially those made out of hundreds of pieces, can be a fun challenge because they stimulate the mind and give you a sense of achievement once they have been solved. There is something quite romantic about piecing together so many individual fragments to create a beautiful whole.

Play with Legos

Legos are synonymous with childhood, and for good reason. With imagination, legos can be built into almost anything. They are the building blocks of dreams.

However, legos aren’t just for kids; in fact, legos can be just as fun for adults. Many Lego sets allow you to create specific worlds, such as worlds for Harry Potter or Star Wars. These Lego sets come with specific parts and instructions that allow you to re-create scenes from these films making for great display pieces.

Experiment in the Kitchen

Whether you cook regularly or not, cooking can be a world of fun. For some of us, cooking can seem more like a chore than a fun activity. Break out of this mindset and you might be pleasantly surprised. Look up some fun recipes online and experiment with making them in your own kitchen—you might just end up with delicious food and even a new hobby.

There are some great cooking tutorial videos available on YouTube, and some of them only require a few ingredients, which is great for beginners.

There are baking videos that consist of only 3 ingredients—all you need to do is to mix them together.

Why not challenge yourself today to experiment with cooking or baking something that you haven’t tried before? 

Camp in the Backyard

If you miss the great outdoors but can’t travel far, your backyard is always an option. Some of us take our backyards for granted and barely use them. Camping in your backyard will give you a taste of the outdoors, and it might also make you appreciate the space just a little more.

Camping in your backyard is a great idea if you already have camping gear packed away in a closet. It costs nothing to take them out, set up a tent, and enjoy camping for the night. For additional fun, consider setting up a bonfire and roasting marshmallows. This is a particularly fun activity if you have kids. Nothing quite excites children like a night spent outside—even if it’s just in the backyard.

Grow a Garden

Since we are on the subject of your backyard, have you utilized the space to grow a garden? If you haven’t, consider picking up the hobby of gardening today – fresh flowers and fresh vegetables in a backyard garden can really brighten up a home.

The fun thing about growing a garden is watching your plants grow slowly over time. It is often a rewarding experience in itself. Go to the florist to pick up some flowers or seedlings that you want inside your home.

Maybe even think about growing some vegetables if you and your family enjoy eating them. Once you have the basic outline of a garden, you’ll enjoy the anticipation of watering and tending to your plants every morning.

Play Board Games

Playing board games is a classic thing for a family to do together because it is hugely entertaining and always full of laughter. With the right board game, the hours can slip away quickly and joyfully.

There are so many great board games to choose from…Monopoly is always a family favorite. For a good strategy game, consider playing Risk. If you and your family love vocabulary, Scrabble is a classic option.

The benefit of board games is that they can be played again and again—you just buy them once and the fun keeps on rolling. This is unlike video games, which are often limited in nature. Board games are a great family investment.


What better way to spend the extra time at home than catching a few winks? This might seem like a joke suggestion, but having enough rest is very important in today’s fast-moving and ever-changing world.

With our modern work schedules often stretching into the night, many people are struggling to get enough sleep. This in turn has a negative effect on our mood and even our relationships.

If you find yourself having a few extra hours a day, consider doing some meditation and getting some quality rest. Take the opportunity to regulate your sleep schedule so that you get ample sleep every night and wake up feeling fresh and well-rested. This little adjustment could be just what you need to have more energy and better mood to meet the demands of the day.


As we have seen in this article, there are indeed many ways to have frugal fun. Having fun doesn’t have to always consist of going to an expensive spa or staying at a luxury resort – fun is what you make of it.

Many of the activities mentioned in this article are best enjoyed with family; after all, family is what matters most at the end of the day. Take the opportunity to organize fun activities that everyone can get involved in – you might just be amazed at the results.

Image by Evgeny Atamanenko