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25 Low Cost Hobbies You Haven't Thought to Try

Updated May 24, 2019
25 Low Cost Hobbies You Havent Thought to Try

Having hobbies is one of the aspects of life that leads to happiness and fulfillment but many fun and interesting hobbies also cost a pretty penny, which can lead to stress for those of us not rolling in cash. That’s why we put together this list of 25 Low Cost Hobbies You Haven’t Thought To Try.

We can't promise you haven't thought of everything on this page, but there may be several that haven't crossed your mind. Also, it's important to mention that hobbies are personal and only you know what you would enjoy.

That's why we have a whopping 25 ideas to consider!Before jumping in to our list of inexpensive hobbies, we want to provide some tips for choosing a hobby. Hobbies stem from interests, along with other factors, which is why it's important to consider everything before diving into a new hobby. So, take a look and find a new passion to start this week!
 

Tips for Choosing a Hobby

  1. Think about any hobbies you have had in the past. What did you like or dislike about them? Is there anything you'd like to pick up again?
     
  2. Similarly, what are your passions in life and what is your lifestyle? Do you love nature? Exercise? Staying still or being active? Do you love music or watching cooking shows? Of course, if you want to expand your comfort zone, think about how you want to test yourself.
     
  3. What is your budget? Do you truly want or need a free hobby or do you have a weekly, monthly, yearly limit on hobby expenses? All of these are considered low budget hobbies but some do require equipment or costs to become truly invested in the subject matter.
     
  4. Location and season are a factor. You may want to choose different hobbies based on the season, especially if it's outside. Some hobbies may be easier if you live near a city or near nature.
     
  5. Do you want a hobby for yourself alone, a family, group of friends, or do you want to meet new like-minded people in your area? Think about this while looking at the suggestions. Many will note if they are a good group or better solo activities, so be sure to pay attention to that!
Now, take a look and see if you can find a new hobby!
 

(Mostly) Indoor Hobbies

Blog

Blogging has been around as long as the internet. Before that, journals and diaries were the places to write our thoughts on various subjects. You can keep a personal blog that only you read and use to unwind or write about something you are interested in, fascinated by, or an expert on. You can even write about trying to find a new hobby! This is best as a solo activity.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free if you want to simply write down your thoughts on your computer or in a notebook. Next highest would be the price of a library or computer lab pass for internet, which might be around $30-50 a year.

High End Cost Estimate: $50-100 if an internet connection is needed, as part of your phone data contract or home wifi (price is dependent on company and area). If you get serious about blogging, paying for a host site or domain may be something you are interested in (again, depending on company and type).

Blogging Hobby

Cook/Bake

Cooking or baking can be either a low cost hobby or a high cost hobby, depending on several factors. To keep it cheap, shop produce and product sales, only buy what you need, and carefully read all instructions before starting. There are thousands if not millions of free recipes on the internet. You can also check out cookbooks from the library to save money finding recipes to make. This is a fun hobby for couples, an individual, or a small group of people.

Another way to keep it cheap is to use what you have. Whether that be the kitchen tools already in your possession or the food in your pantry and fridge. Finding used kitchen supplies at thrift stores or garage sales is also a great way to save money with this hobby. If this is how you want to spend your free time, then always be on the lookout for sales and bargains for your kitchen.

Low End Cost Estimate: $0-20 a recipe, depending on what you have and what you want to make.

High End Cost Estimate: $50-100 a recipe, depending on what you have and what you want to make.

Baking Hobby

Crafts

There are so many craft supplies that are inexpensive or budget-friendly, like felt crafts. Felt is super cheap, as a square is only about 10 to 25 cents. It's easy to work with, which means you can cut it out and make pictures or decorate clothing. You can also sew plush toys. It's a relaxing hobby to do alone but you can find cheap craft hobbies that can be done in groups as well.

Take a look around the craft store and see if anything sparks your interest and if it's within your budget, give it a try. There are so many free tutorials and beginner projects on the internet, too, to help you decide.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free if you use recycled items and what you already have to make crafts. If you are buying materials, roughly $5-10 per craft.

High End Cost Estimate: $25-50+ per craft.

Crafts Hobby

Games

When it comes to unique hobbies, a lot of gaming applies. There are a few different types of games you can get into, such as card, board, and electronic. Depending on the game, this hobby is great for either one person or multiple.

Video and other digital games can get expensive but many companies offer discounts or give them away for free because there are advertisements and in-game purchases that can help them make a profit. Alternatively, a pack of cards is only a dollar or two and you can find card game tutorials free online or find books to check out at the library. Mastering Solitaire is also a fun challenge.

Board games can get expensive but there are several ways to make this a free or cheap hobby for yourself. You can make games yourself using paper materials, such as notecards. Think about Pictionary. All you need is ideas written on scraps of paper and some sort of paper or large sketch pad and pen to draw.

Garage sales and thrift stores are also fantastic resources for inexpensive games. Just be sure to check that everything is there. However, many used websites also sell stray pieces so it may still be cheap to complete a set.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $25-50


Join a club

Clubs or organizations are fun and allow you to meet new people and learn new things, especially if you are an individual or a couple looking to expand your social group.

Look in the newspaper or use a search engine to find local clubs that are looking for new members. It's important to look for clubs that allow people to try it out before committing. That way, if you don't like it, you don't have to pay. Some clubs are free and some have dues or annual membership fees. It depends on the type of club.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $10-100 per year


Learn a Language

Apps like Google's DuoLingo and Busuu let you learn languages for free. This is one of those fun interesting hobbies that also benefits you in the long run. Learning a language is not only important on a cultural level but it keeps your brain sharp.

You can also buy or rent language books for more intense study. Again, your budget and level of interest is a factor for this hobby idea.This is a solo activity, though, it's a big push to continue if you have a buddy to practice with.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $50


Learn an Instrument

This is a broad category because there are so many musical instruments, all at different price points for type and also brand. Also, space can be an issue for a larger instrument.

Most music shops feature used and refurbished instruments and the employees can also provide suggestions if you can't decide what to choose. The internet also has many sites that offer discounted instruments. Start learning on your own, take lessons, and perhaps join a band when you're ready!

Low End Cost Estimate: $10-25

High End Cost Estimate: $100-500


Learn Crochet

Because this hobby is so popular, there are thousands of free tutorials and patterns for beginners on the internet, such as a resource like AllFreeCrochet. Your local library should also have a few books on crochet to check out. At the least, you need a hook and yarn but a beginner kit with several more supplies can be purchased for as little as $10.

Start small and work your way up. Buying a lot of yarn can be expensive, so don't jump to an afghan before you've mastered all the techniques and stitches you need. Shop sales and only buy what you need for the project you're working on.

Low End Cost Estimate: $5-10

High End Cost Estimate: $50

Crochet Hobby

Learn Knitting

Like crochet, this is a great hobby to have. Knitting resources, like AllFreeKnitting, provide all the free tutorials, patterns, and videos you need and buying the needles and yarn isn't expensive if you focus on the basics.

Knitting uses two needles, unlike crochet's one hook. It's a popular hobby for people of all ages, both men and women. It's fun to find patterns you want and then make them yourself. Start with a hat or scarf and then move on to more complicated patterns.

Low End Cost Estimate: $5-10

High End Cost Estimate: $50

Knitting Hobby

Learn to Sew

Sewing is not only fun but it is a life skill that will come in handy at some point. Whether you are learning the basics, like hand sewing buttons, or wanting to make your own wearables or decor, learning to sew is a valuable hobby to have.

Hand sewing is not expensive as all you need is a sewing needle, thread, and fabric. Find tutorials and patterns on sites like AllFreeSewing.

Low End Cost Estimate: $5-10

High End Cost Estimate: $25-50

Sewing Hobby

Magic

Magicians always look like they are enjoying themselves! Learning the tricks of their trade will allow you to wow your friends and family and, if you get truly skilled at this hobby, you can even make money. Start small with things like card tricks and then build up with mastering the more complicated sequences.

Low End Cost Estimate: $5-10

High End Cost Estimate: $25-50


Meditate

This is a personal and low cost hobby that will help you relax and find balance within yourself. It can be as simple as sitting or lying down and trying to clear your mind or you can research and find some tips, advice, and challenges for making meditation a hobby that lasts.

It doesn't cost anything to meditate but you do need a peaceful area so that you don't have outside distractions. This can be done indoors or outdoors, whichever makes you more comfortable.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $5-10, for travel or resources

Meditation Hobby

Origami

The ancient art of origami is fun and challenging, making it a wonderful low cost hobby. Origami paper is inexpensive and that's all you need if using free tutorials online. Your local library should also have a few books on this artform.

Folding paper can be easy or difficult, depending on what you're creating. You will have no problem spending hours enthralled with it. The other plus is that you can do origami nearly anywhere as long as you have a solid surface to work on.

Low End Cost Estimate: $5-10

High End Cost Estimate: $10-20

Origami

Trivia

Many places have free trivia nights, whether it be general or a specific theme. Also, along the same lines, bingo and other games nights are commonplace at bars and restaurants these days, too. Although they don't require that you purchase anything, it is common courtesy that at least someone in your group buys a drink or food.

This is a fun group activity but it is also possible that you can find a group to join if you go alone. If you really want to test your skills, trivia alone and see how you do!

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $10-20


Upcycle

The definition of upcycle is to "reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original." It's not unusual to find items for free at the end of driveways, discounted furniture or decor items at thrift stores and garage sales, and around dumpsters. No need to dumpster dive of course, but it is an option.

If you want to give yourself a challenge, turning something like a dilapidated table into a beautiful "new" piece is incredibly rewarding. It takes a lot of love and patience, but often not much money! For simpler upcycling ideas, try finding ways to upcycle or recycle everyday household items, like used K-cups

Low End Cost Estimate: Free, if using what you have

High End Cost Estimate: $25-50, for materials and supplies

Upcycle

(Mostly) Outdoor Hobbies

Astronomy

On the low end of cost, this stellar hobby is free because all you need is to look up at the night sky and can learn about the different stars and constellations for free on the internet. On the high end, buying a telescope or astronomy books can increase your interest but will involve spending some money.

Astronomy is one of the most relaxing hobbies imaginable. It's easy to do solo or with a small group of people. You do have to be a night owl or early bird though!

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $50-200


Bike/Skateboard/Rollerblade

A more specific type of exercise is a fantastic type of hobby to choose. In this case, anything with wheels! This is one of the best inexpensive hobbies for guys or gals who are looking to be more athletic or like to explore their area.

This hobby is fun and also beneficial because you can do it after work or on weekends to unwind or actually use this hobby to go places. It depends where you live, but you might be able or want to skateboard to a new restaurant, rollerblade to the lake, or bike to the store.

Low End Cost Estimate: $50

High End Cost Estimate: $200

Bike and Rollerblading Hobby

Bird Watch

Watching birds is easy, relaxing, and challenging. You will need a bird book, which you can rent or buy. Another option to make this hobby really budget-friendly by either not needing to identify the birds and simply watching and learning about them or using your smartphone or the internet to find the types of birds you are looking for. Narrow it down by searching for the types that frequent your area. Binoculars help, especially if you will be searching in a heavily-wooded area.

Most areas also have bird watching clubs, many for free. Take a look at those for some social motivation and shared interest.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $10-20

Collect Rocks

If you're into geology, rock collecting is just as fun as bird watching but with souvenirs! You can look for the basics: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic or get super specific. The beauty of rock collecting is that you have the option of bring your resources with you or bring the rocks back home to identify, which means this can be a free hobby if you want.

This fun and inexpensive hobby will also encourage you to explore areas with different types of rocks. Travel close to home or far away to find rocks you want to name. It is important to note that you should never take rocks from areas that prohibit it. You also can always identify rocks, take a picture for your records, and then leave them there.

A related hobby idea is to find smooth stones and paint them. It's also super cheap, fun, and entertaining!

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $10-20

Exploration

How well do you know the area you live in? It's amazing how much we miss of things that are right outside or in the vicinity of where we live. This hobby can involve finding the parks in your area if you like nature, searching for hidden gems like small museums, or shops and restaurants that may interest you.

Doing the research is half the fun and then you can visit a new place each week, more or less often depending on your time commitment to this hobby. This is great for individuals, couples, and groups!

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $10-20 a week for travel


Garden

Even if you don't have an outside area, you can still take up gardening! Start small and in season. Seeds don't cost a lot, nor do most of the basic supplies. There are also tons of resources online for free or rentable from the library.

If you become a green thumb, you can enjoy this hobby on another level because you can grow your own herbs, vegetables, and fruits! If you have a family, this is a super fun and rewarding family activity but you can also just as easily garden on your own.
The picture below is from the Raised Garden Bed Tutorial.

Low End Cost Estimate: $5-10

High End Cost Estimate: $10-50

Raised Garden Bed Tutorial

Geocache

Geocaching is one of the best cool cheap hobbies to have. If you are unfamiliar, it's basically a global hide and seek game. The free official Geocaching app uses GPS to help you locate tiny trinkets that people have hidden around the world. You can find something right down the street or travel across town, but you will be able to search and most likely find something stashed away.

This is a lovely hobby to do on your own, especially if you like to travel and search. It's also a fun activity to do with another or a group of people because there is a little bit of a brain challenge to it.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $5-10, for travel


Run/Walk/Hike/Swim

This hobby idea isn't all that unusual but having a plan and giving yourself daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly goals is a great way to make this a long-lasting low cost hobby. Choose your type of movement, whether it be running, walking, hiking, or swimming.

This is a helpful hobby because it’s active but it’s also incredibly relaxing. Listening to new music, podcasts, or audiobooks provides you with two hobbies at once. Get a buddy or a group together to form a run/walk/hike club or do this solo for self-improvement and stress relief.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $25-200, for equipment, memberships, travel


Tree Identification

This low cost hobby is along the same lines as bird watching or rock collecting. Go out in nature and keep yourself occupied by looking at trees and plants and attempting to identify them. Like with the bird/rock hobbies, you can do this for free using the resources available to you already or spend a little and get an identification book.

Fun to do by yourself but also with a partner or group, even a club. This is definitely more of a good weather hobby but you can study up in the winter in preparation for spring, summer, and fall.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $10-20

Volunteer

This can either be indoors or out, depending on what it is. Volunteering is rewarding in a humanitarian sense but it's also a fantastic way to stave off boredom as well. Volunteer at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, your church, or another organization in your area that you want to support.

You can even look online for volunteer opportunities. It may be a year-round thing or random events that come up throughout the year. Volunteering doesn't cost anything except for travel and you will feel better while you do it because you are bettering the world in some way.

Low End Cost Estimate: Free

High End Cost Estimate: $5-20, for travel

Volunteering Hobby

What is the most unique hobby you have?

Up Next: 10 Thrifty And Fun Staycation Ideas For Couples

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Crafting can be expensive especially when you're just starting out and you need to buy paint and brushes and glue guns but it gets affordable along the way especially if you take up upcyling. I also took up Pilates as an exercise hobby that I can do at home on my own and I love it, it's very cost effective and relaxing.

I really love to explore different neighborhoods, either in my own city or when I travel. It can be really thrifty, too, as a lot of the time you only need a few dollars for train fare and maybe a snack or drink after a few hours. It is a great way to learn a new city or town that you've just moved to, too.

I've been practicing tai chi because there are free tutorials on YouTube. It's so relaxing but takes a lot of patience.

Baking is one of my hobbies! I've found that you can save a lot of money by stocking up on staple ingredients at Costco. Things like butter, sugar, and chocolate chips are way more cost-efficient there!

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