At DisableMyCable.com, I try to provide lots of alternative sources of free and cheap TV, so that you are not forced to pay the high cost of cable and satellite TV.
But in this article, I'm going to talk about some free and cheap activities to do instead of watching TV altogether. You see, once I got rid of cable TV, I watched less TV overall, and I don't regret that at all. Americans watch an average of over four hours of TV per day. When you look back on your life, are you going to say "gee, I wish I watched more TV?"
So, here goes.. My list of fun and useful things to do instead of watching TV:
You'll be glad you did.
My Dad passed away in 2015. I sure wish I could talk to him now.
Or, call another family member who you don't talk to enough, like one of your siblings, or your children, or grand-children!.
You might discover something new in your area that you never noticed from your car, or you might run into a neighbor. (Photo is of the beautiful East Bay Bike Path near Providence, RI).
Maybe you have a squeaky door, a hard-to-reach burnt-out lightbulb, loose toilet seat, leaky faucet, or whatever. How about fixing it today? You'll be so happy when it's done! One study actually determined that have a home in good working order can actually prolong your life!
Board games are NOT just for kids or nerds (like me)! If you're not into Settlers of Catan, there are plenty of easy and fun (and some risqué) party games for adults!
Or, for more tame, mellow, entertainment, how about doing a 1000-piece puzzle?
Few things in life are as rewarding as helping other people. Check with your local homeless shelter, retirement home, or a national volunteer organization like Habitat for Humanity.
Surprise your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner. It will be something they remember for a long time.
How many unread books do you own? Bookstores might not be around for much longer. Enjoy them while you can!
Because there is more to life than work.
Or, just play with them.
How long have you lived with the same furniture arrangement? Is there a better, more efficient way to arrange things? Rearranging your furniture once in a while makes it feel like you've moved into a new and better home!
Same goes for painting a room a new color!
Here's the before and after for my condo after I got married.
Have you touched a piano since your childhood lessons? Why not pick it up again? Or, learn a completely new instrument!
You'll get a tax write-off, eliminate clutter from your life, help someone in need, and help the environment. Here are some responsible ways to get rid of stuff you don't need.
Why wait for a major holiday? Have a mid-week after-work barbeque, and invite your friends. It will be a nice respite after a hard day of work. Basically, host "happy hour" at your home!
Social networks can be a tremendous time-sink or a gateway to reconnect with long-lost friends. Take the extra step and give one of them a call. They'll appreciate it, and you will too.
In this day and age of texting and email, your hand-written letter will be something to be cherished.
Meetup.com started after 9/11 as a way to promote community. There are Meetup groups for almost any interest imaginable. There are groups for hiking, photography, singles, technology, wine lovers, and so on. You name it. Simply go to meetup.com, search for your interests and sign up! I've attended many meetup groups, to the benefit of both my career and social life. Just try it!
There are so many free (and low-cost) classes available online it's mind-boggling. You can learn how to paint, speak a foreign language, or negotiate effectively. The possibilities are limitless!
I am not sure exactly why, but I know this is a good thing.
Basically, move your body! One of my favorite hobbies is Swing dancing. How about Salsa or ballroom?
You might not even be able to go in the immediate future, but that shouldn't stop you from thinking about it.
Here's how our vacation to New Zealand went.
The music from the decade you went to high school is your music. For me, it's the 80's. I love it.
Okay, maybe this one is not so amazing or fun, but should be done once in a while. When was the last time you checked on your 401K, your savings accounts, and investment portfolio? Check your credit card statement for any monthly charges for things you don't use anymore, like gym memberships, subscriptions, etc.
Do you have something that you want to write about? Do you have a skill that you want to share? Write about it! You can start a free blog at WordPress.com. Or, write about a more serious topic at Medium.
Live music doesn't have to be expensive. You can see local artists at coffee houses or at a free outdoor concert during the summer.
When was the last time you hung out?
They're cheap, and with a little imagination, you can pretend you are at the majors.
Museums are cool! :-) If you don't want to spend any money, check for days when the museum is free. Most have a free day of the week or month.
Check out my favorite museums in Los Angeles.
You'll get some exercise, your garden will look better, and your plants will appreciate it.
Remember how psyched you were when you got your first car, no matter how old it was?
When was the last time you vacuumed the inside and waxed the outside? You'll feel great when you're done!
This could be fun. :-)
I'm sure I missed a lot of things. So, please leave a comment below with the favorite thing you like to do instead of watching TV! - Brian
Check out my other site, thefrugalnoodle.com, with ideas on saving money and living simply.