40 Fun and Fulfilling Things to Do on “Buy Nothing Day”

published Nov 23, 2018
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Maybe you’ve already stretched the dollars you’ve saved during what has become, somehow, Black Friday month. Or you could be one of those who would never dream of spending a precious day off saving money at the cost of braving dense crowds on the prowl for a good deal. Whatever your reason for skipping shopping on Black Friday, there’s a day—the same day—just for you: Buy Nothing Day.

Besides the obvious act of not shopping, here is a list of things you can do, alone or with visiting friends and family, to celebrate this holiday of silent abstention:

  1. Bake some monkey bread.
  2. Practice contour drawing.
  3. Go for a walk.
  4. Put together a photo book.
  5. Make a stop-animation film.
  6. Play speed Scrabble.
  7. Take a YouTube deep-dive into a topic you’re interested in.
  8. Have a TED talk marathon.
  9. Curate a to-be-read list for 2019.
  10. Dig out the supplies for a project you never started and do it.
  11. Pick a favorite book and read it aloud.
  12. Sing some songs.
  13. Make your own pumpkin spice or peppermint latte.
  14. Rake some leaf piles and jump in them.
  15. Get out three large boxes and fill them with donations.
  16. Wash the car and clean out the inside.
  17. Listen to an audio book while you do a puzzle.
  18. Make plant babies.
  19. Build a pillow fort.
  20. Make a coiled magazine paper bowl.
  21. Play soccer in the backyard.
  22. Plan your next vacation.
  23. Do a yoga video.
  24. Pare down the list of who you follow on social media.
  25. Give the dog a bath.
  26. Practice origami.
  27. Write some haikus.
  28. Plan and begin a movie marathon.
  29. Write some letters to soldiers.
  30. Crochet dish rags to give as gifts.
  31. Play charades.
  32. Come up with a personal statement of purpose or family motto.
  33. Make a popcorn and cranberry garland.
  34. Cut some paper snowflakes.
  35. Give a loved one a massage.
  36. Find somewhere to volunteer.
  37. Visit a national or state park.
  38. Introduce the younger generation to Bob Ross, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, and Reading Rainbow.
  39. Make a list of preparations that need to be made for December holiday festivities.
  40. Practice writing in calligraphy with regular markers.

What are your favorite things to do that don’t take a lot (or any) money?