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Whether it’s the sluggish economy or an attempt to be more environmentally friendly, many of us are trying to be thriftier.  Cutting back on certain activities can be an adjustment but it is also an opportunity to try new things you’d otherwise overlook.

Many communities have activities that are of little cost and provide cultural enrichment. Art museums are a great place to visit. But if you’d prefer to delve into the current art scene, try visiting local art galleries so you can see the artists in your community and the work they’re doing. This is especially neat as you may get a chance to meet the artists themselves.

Libraries can easily be taken for granted. I’ve known many people who buy books or movies because they’re on clearance and seem interesting at the time and then they hardly ever give them a second glance. This is why libraries are still quite relevant. You could easily spend an afternoon flipping through books of all subjects and borrow movies only when you actually plan to view them, so they don’t collect dust on your shelves.

Dates can also be fun without splurging. If you enjoy cooking, try planning a simple, healthy meal for yourself and a date; but let them cook with you. The two of you can go to the local farmer’s market together to pick out fresh ingredients, locally baked breads and maybe some wine. Then you can prepare it at home. This lets you see the other’s tastes and you can bond by working together.

Wine tasting is another fun setting for a date. Whether a casual drinker or wine connoisseur, many small wineries offer complementary sampling that can nicely polish off the afternoon. For a more casual afternoon, coffee cupping is offered at many local coffee roasters.

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