If saving money is one of your New Year’s resolutions, these cheap and fun things to do with your housemates are ideal.
Making long-lasting memories with friends doesn’t have to cost a fortune, as these affordable activities and days out prove.
Explore Leeds and the surrounding area, or enjoy a budget-friendly night inside your student house. Whatever your interests are, this list has got you covered.
Hosting a potluck dinner is a fantastic and cheap thing to do with friends.
The idea is for each person bringing a dish — usually either a main, side, or dessert. You can assign everyone a course in advance or let them choose themselves.
Upon arrival, guests place their dishes in a designated area, resulting in a buffet-style meal they can enjoy at their leisure. Disposable plates, cutlery and napkins are cheap to buy and make for easy cleanup afterwards.
For an even more cost-efficient evening — and to maximise your cooking efforts — encourage guests to bring Tupperware to take home any leftovers.
Take the pressure off university life and invite your housemates to partake in a DIY spa day. Indulging in self-care is a cheap thing to do when you’re bored or need to destress.
Use scented candles and calming music to create a peaceful atmosphere before dimming the lights to relax and unwind.
Other at-home spa treatments could include giving each other manicures and pedicures, reading a book, or even having a nap. Sip on herbal or fruit tea throughout the day to stay calm and hydrated.
3. Have a craft evening
Due to deadlines and busy university life, many students struggle to find time for their creative hobbies.
Having a craft evening is a brilliant and inexpensive thing to do with friends and encourages mindfulness.
Ask your housemates to bring any craft projects they are working on or provide materials for them to choose from. You could also have a tutorial or guide ready for the group so everyone can follow and learn a specific project together.
A craft night is also a perfect cheap thing to do at Christmas — make decorations, labels, cards, crackers, and more, ready to take home for the festive season.
4. Go for a picnic
With all the expensive holidays, festivals and days out, finding cheap things to do in summer as a student can be challenging.
However, going for a picnic is an excellent activity that doesn’t need to break the bank. Make sandwiches and other finger food, bring affordable drinks and get cheap paper plates and cups to enjoy them from.
A budget-friendly picnic is also an awesome cheap thing to do in Leeds. We’re blessed with several great green spaces on our doorsteps, such as Kirkstall Abbey, Beckett Park, and Golden Acre Park. Hyde Park is a popular outdoor space for students, where you can find groups playing music, juggling, or testing their slack rope skills between the trees. It’s a great place to meet others but is also large enough to find a quiet area.
5. Run a yoga or workout class
Forget expensive gym memberships or eyewatering workout classes — exercising with your housemates can be fun and affordable if you do it yourself.
Look after your minds and bodies with this cheap thing to do as a student house. By using YouTube or other free online resources, running your yoga or workout class from the comfort of your own home is easy.
If you or a friend has personal training experience, you could also venture to a local park and train there. Moving your body outside in the fresh air is a fantastic way to keep physically and mentally fit.
6. Start a book club
Many university courses have lengthy reading lists, so university students often struggle to read for pleasure.
Starting a book club is a great way to address this and encourage your housemates to read more widely.
Simply choose a book and come together once a month to discuss it, comparing your likes, dislikes and general thoughts about the story. At the end of each meeting, you’ll vote to decide on your next read.
To encourage variety, it’s nice to have a different monthly theme for the book club, such as self-help, romance, works by women of colour, or memoirs.
7. Clean and declutter the house
Ok, this may not be everyone’s idea of fun. But when you come together and put on some tunes, cleaning the house can be surprisingly enjoyable.
Eliminate the stress of chore lists and tackle each task a house — especially effective if you’re a decent way into the academic year and clutter has begun to accumulate.
Make the activity fun by creating a cleaning playlist, having a snack or break table at the ready, or even turning the activity into a friendly competition of who can best tidy their bedrooms.
8. Volunteer together
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your free time and, best of all, it’s free.
Give back to the Leeds community by volunteering at a local food bank, exercise classes, or providing fundraising support.
Many groups and charities require several volunteers at once, making it a fantastic cheap thing to do with your housemates.
Sign up to Doing Good Leeds to browse local volunteering opportunities and get started today.
9. Attend an event
Leeds hosts many free and cheap events throughout the year, from music and literature festivals to local art fairs.
Attending these with your housemates is a great way to get to know the local area, discover hidden talents, and have fun.
Some regular highlights include
- Leeds Lit Festival
- Leeds Board Game Fest
- Leeds International Beer Festival
- Leeds International Film Festival
- North Leeds Food Festival
- Otley Folk Festival
- Leeds Indie Food Festival
- Leeds West Indian Carnival
- Leeds Digital Festival
- Art Fest
Whether you’re looking for new housemates or the perfect home for you and your university friends, Pickard Properties has a selection of student homes in several popular areas.