Friends With Benefits: Ten Fun and Low Cost Ways To Spend Time with Your Crew

Grown with our own hands...

It doesn’t take a lot of money or resources to hang out with your friends. All it takes is some time, a cool group of friends and some creativity. In the spirit of friendship, and to promote personal balance by prioritizing things that really matter (Ahem….that would be people over work); we’re offering ideas for twenty fun things that you can do with your homies. If you have other good ideas, feel free to suggest them in the comments section below.

Volunteer Together – Want to make a difference in the world? Have a passion cause that you’d like to support? Interested in volunteering for just a day or for an ongoing basis? Try It will match you to volunteer opportunities based on your location, interest area, age (adults, teens, kids) or any other perameters you choose. Our crew recently picked invasive weeds from a park forest, picked fruits from neighborhood trees to redistribute to the hungry and worked at a local Food Bank.

Go to a Concert in the Park – Most towns in the good ol’ USA, host summer concerts in the park, and a lot of the local entertainment is really good! If you live in or near a major city, like San Francisco or New York, your summer concert series will most likely feature at least a few major headliners, but don’t sleep on the local talent or cover bands play. I’ve seen Janelle Monae and George Clinton & The Funkadelics perform for free in San Francisco and 80’s rock and Michael Jackson/Earth, Wind & Fire cover bands kill in the burbs. Mind blown! Let your city pick up the tab. You and your friends can handle the drinks and picnic basket.

Play Boardgames – Boardgames are fun, fun, fun! Yes, there’s a place for multi-player video games, but there’s nothing like smack talkin’ over a strategic game with a bunch of friends and snacks. We’re big fans of TableTop, the online show by Geek & Sundry. There’s a place for “mainstream” games that you’ll easily find at Target, but we suggest some of the most fun and highly-rated here for starters: Otrio Sheriff of NottinghamBang!, DimensionForbidden Desert DixitSmash Up , King of TokyoQuoridor & Ticket To Ride to get you started.

Organize a Game of Bocce Ball (Don’t forget the Italian vino, salumi & formaggi) – There are plenty of parks that have their own bocce ball courts. If you’re not familiar with the game, don’t let that deter you! It’s similar to the French game, Pétanque. It’s simple to play and fun for all ages. If you’re really a baller, I suggest installing a court in your backyard.

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Find a Road Less Traveled & Ride Bicycles –  Riding bikes never gets old, and finding a beautiful trail to chat and get exercise with friends is a great way to spend a beautiful afternoon. Bike in your neighborhood or find a well-reviewed trailhead (Yep, most trails are reviewed – even on Yelp! – so other visitors will tell you whether or not they’re paved, safe for children or their proximity to a local cafe.)

Host a Potluck and TV Season Premiere Party – There’s nothing more agonizing then when your favorite show is on hiatus. It gives us something to look forward to every week, for goodness sake! The good news is that when your shows come back on, it’s like a Hollywood premiere in your house. There’s no reason to revel in the fun and excitement alone. Invite some friends over for a viewing party and a potluck for some grub. House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Blackish, I’m waiting…

Dress Up and Go to a Play – It feels good to do something entertaining and cultural, especially, when you look good doing it! Grab dinner, enjoy a drink, go out with a few girlfriends and turn some heads.


Upcycle Your Clothes & Shop Vintage –  Some people don’t find shopping with friends fun, but fashionistas, do! Go to some of the great boutiques in your town known for their high quality and unique selection of previously owned designer duds, and get yourselves something fabulous. Bring your clothes to trade-in or sell to offset the cost and walk away with a steal…or a stole, depending on your taste.


Organize and start a letter writing campaign – Not happy with the outcome of the current election? Worried about the environment? Women’s productive rights? Climate change? The portrayal of African American Women in the media (If so, hit us up about that one) Stop bitching on Facebook, the world’s favorite echo-chamber, and do something.

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Take a Kayaking Lesson – It’s fun, peaceful and great exercise. Paddle by yourself or go doubles with a friend. Just do it!


Anything That Sounds This Funny Has To Taste Good


You don’t have to be an elite athlete to require portable, fast-metabolizing energy and nutrition. Pre or mid-cycling bagel break? Nah. Way too dense and heavy for me and unnecessary carb loading seems so…so, well…90’s. Energy gel? No, thank you. It doesn’t really satisfy for a casual ride or short break at the local cafe. This Stroopwafel, though? Well, now you’re talking! Stroopwafel, a popular pastry in the Netherlands, is a thinly prepared waffle baked on a waffle iron and sandwiched between a thin semi-firm syrup that consists of brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. In the case of Gu Energy Labs, they’ve created their own Stroopwafle line with taste, texture, power and performance in mind. Each light, semi-crisp disc has the presence of complex and simple carbohydrates for immediate and long-lasting energy; essential amino acids to prevent mental fatigue and facilitate muscle repair; and electrolytes for all over body functioning. It’s 140 calories per individual pack and both gluten and caffeine-free. The great news is that Gu Energy Lab’s new form factor isn’t a sly way for the company to repurpose their energy gels. The caramel interior delivers its own unique sports nutrition, while it also stands on its own as a delightful pastry that’s sold in four new flavors: wild berries, salted chocolate, salty’s caramel and caramel coffee. We rate it as tasty and worth a try.

Do you have any sports nutrition suggestions? If so, please share in the comments section below!