Labor Day weekend often symbolizes the official end of the summer season. Most people get the day off work to celebrate and honor the economic achievements of American workers.
While you can certainly relax and sleep in all weekend, this can also be a great time to do something fun with your family, host a dinner, or score some holiday deals.
Check out these affordable ways to celebrate Labor Day weekend.
Host a Potluck Barbecue
Let’s face it, most people will be grilling out over Labor Day weekend and with good reason – barbecue food is delicious! As you know, costs can quickly add up once you buy the meat, sides, grilling supplies, serving dishes, desserts, drinks, and so on.
The simplest solution is to host a potluck barbecue with friends and family. Offer to host at your house and do all the grilling. Maybe you can buy the main entre like burgers, hot dogs, and chicken.
Then, ask the guests to bring everything else. Assign one person to bring drinks, another to bring paperware, and someone else to bring snacks and desserts. Skip the decorations and just enjoy good food, good conversations, and hopefully great weather.
Picnic in the Park
Another fun and affordable idea for Labor Day weekend is to have a picnic in the park. Bring easy foods like sandwiches, chips, and fruit then head to a big park to enjoy the day. You can bring card games, a football or basketball, or utilize the amenities at the park.
Some areas may have a nice trail for bike riding or if you’re near a river maybe you even rent out a kayak or canoe.
Camping is always an affordable alternative to staying in a hotel when you travel. Plus, it’s pretty fun. You can always camp local as well and receive a resident discount.
State and national parks also offer cheap camping and you can fish, hike, or do other enjoyable activities with family and friends.
If you have most of the equipment already like a tent, sleeping bags, grill, etc. all you’ll need to do is buy food and have a little spending money for activities.
Catch a Game
If you like sports, see if there are any local teams in your area who are playing a game. Watching professional sports can get pricey, but think about little league teams or even youth teams in your area.
It will still be just as fun and you can often just pull up a chair and bring your own snacks.
Shop Online with Coupons
The malls are always packed on Labor Day weekend due to all the sales. For the most part, you probably want to stay away from the stores if you’re on a budget. However, if you really need something that’s been on your list for a while, Labor Day sales may actually help you save.
Whether you’ve been shopping around for a new appliance or want to grab some last minute school clothes for your kids, consider skipping the traffic and shopping online. Use sites like Coupon Chief and Rakuten (formerly Ebates) to help you apply digital coupons to your store purchases and possibly even earn some cash back.
Shopping online also allows you to compare prices easily and you don’t have to worry about seeing tempting doorbusters and other trinkets that you didn’t really plan on buying.
Explore Your Area With a Day Trip
All you need is a tank of gas and a packed lunch to have a frugal day trip. Explore the nearest big city or head out to a more rural area if that’s what you prefer.
You can go sightseeing, check out a local museum or zoo, enjoy a new waterpark, or try out a new restaurant. This is a simple way to make memories and enjoy loved ones without going way over budget.
At Home Movie Marathon
Rent some movies from the library before the weekend starts and have a movie marathon at home over Labor Day Weekend. Make some popcorn and homemade treats and binge watch a series like Star Wars or Harry Potter that weekend.
Movie series like Sky Kids and Shrek are also great for kids to watch.
Holidays Don’t Always Have to Break the Bank
Since Labor Day weekend allows you to have a last hoorah before the summer ends, it’s easy to get carried away and overspend.
When you think about it, there’s a holiday or special event every few weeks. If you splurge for all of these moments, you probably won’t have much money leftover to meet your basic expenses and reach other goals like saving and paying down debt.
Keep it simple and low-key for Labor Day weekend and use these ideas to help you enjoy quality time with loved ones.