Do you have a hobby? Maybe you used to but don’t have time anymore or you lost interest. Here are 11 Cheap Hobbies to Keep You Creative. Cheap is usually the best way to start if you can find a fun cheap hobby you like. Did you know that hobbies help keep you creative?
Our jobs don’t always cultivate God’s gift of creative imagination in us. Most often, jobs are repetitive and the subject matter is limited. In addition, jobs can be consuming mentally even when we’re not at work. So, we need cheap hobbies to help us find peace, relaxation, and fun.
Why Are Hobbies Important?
Hobbies help give us an outlet for frustration as they open us up to seeing, hearing, and doing new things. That’s how hobbies keep you creative. If you haven’t read God’s Gift of Creative Imagination, please take a few minutes to do so now. It will help you understand why the exercise of creative imagination through creative hobbies is important. It even helps your spiritual life!
No matter who you are or what you’re doing, life can seem to settle into a predictable pattern that causes us to lose our curiosity. Maybe we just feel too tired and overwhelmed to even think about something as silly as a hobby. The point is – hobbies are not silly, they are healthy. They stimulate our thinking, de-stress, bring feelings of relaxation and enjoyment.
Hobbies also carry personal satisfaction with them. Many other areas of life might be frustrating but hobbies are meant to bring peaceful satisfaction as we tinker away at our creative and cheap hobbies. You can start and stop them whenever you want. You can change them. You have control over your hobby. Creative hobbies open our minds up to new knowledge.
Cheap hobbies are important so that we don’t develop stress over the cost of a hobby. Some hobbies can be very, very expensive. If you can afford it or have budgeted for it, then pursue it. However, for the average person, cheap hobbies are the best way to start. With little or no investment, you can experiment with a variety of hobbies and then settle on a couple that you enjoy. This also enhances your peace of mind greatly!
11 Cheap Hobbies to Keep You Creative
I decided to start with a small number of hobbies because, again, some of the lists I found of 150 hobbies, are overwhelming. I’ve picked some that most of us could do. You have to start somewhere!
Please note – I did not say to write a book or some national publication. I just said write. Write anything. If this piques your interest then you’ve probably had thoughts about writing before now.
You can start writing for free or for just a small investment in some paper or a notebook and a cheap pen. No one has to read what you write. Your spelling and grammar don’t have to be correct. Instead, you just need to write. It can be poetry, quotes, random thoughts and you can start a document on your computer or tablet and write for free!
Here are some ideas:
- Take up the forgotten art of writing letters to friends.
- If you can buy some inexpensive cards, write a note to encourage someone and send it to them or drop it off in-person.
- Start a journal – to learn more, read The Power of Journaling.
- Start a short-story or a book if that’s where your heart is leading.
- Write random thoughts you have each day.
- Keep a list of quotes that are meaningful to you.
- Write out one Scripture each day.
- Write your prayers.
- Write a poem.
- Take notes at church and then write about them after you get home.
- Start a notebook writing things about your growing children, your family, friends, and yourself. Add pictures to it.
- Write your thoughts and then burn them. It can be therapeutic because you got everything out and now it’s gone.
- Write out the wonderful things your children, spouse, friends, pastor, or others say.
The point is – just start writing. What you write is private and so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Here are three books you can read to help get you going if you’re thinking of writing any type of book. You don’t have to write one that is hundreds of pages long. You can write a shorter book or one as long as you want – just write!
- Bird By Bird – Anne Lamott – $11.99 on Amazon Paperback
- If You Want to Write – Brenda Ueland – $12.58 on Amazon Paperback
- Reflections on the Magic of Writing – Diana Wynne Jones – $24.99 on Amazon Hardback Only
2. Cooking and/or Baking
During the pandemic, I decided to learn to make sourdough Artisan Bread. It took lots of trial and error but I was having fun and learning. First, I had to have a sourdough starter. I bought two and then started several others from scratch. I got one starter from a friend that is over 100 years old! I fed the starters, did lots of reading, and threw out more than one loaf of bread!
I had fun and finally ended up with some beautiful and tasty loaves of sourdough bread. I primarily use one of the starters I made from scratch. Here’s a picture of one of the loaves.
It tasted really good too!
Of course, you don’t have to make artisan bread. I also found a recipe for a loaf of healthy bread and some wonderful, chocolate chip and banana, healthy muffins!
Cooking – yes, I started doing more of that as well. My husband and I are retired and cooking for two is a challenge, especially because I have some special dietary needs after having recovered from colorectal cancer and the accompanying surgeries.
But, I’m beginning to enjoy cooking again and finding recipes that work for him on his diet and me with my dietary restrictions.
I even bought new recipe cards and used them for the new recipes I was discovering. It’s fun and far more economical than eating out all the time. I’m also experimenting with some healthier types of flour for my bread and more!
Maybe you want to learn how to make croissants, bake cakes or bagels, make fun cookies with your kids, or learn to be a vegetarian. You can go online and search for hundreds of cooking and baking ideas along with thousands of recipes. I can’t tell you how many bread-baking sites I looked at until I finally found a few I trusted and whose recipes actually worked for me.
If you’re interested in bread baking, I highly recommend this site – Breadtopia.com. They have a store where they sell everything you might need. In addition, they have video tutorials and lots of recipes. They also recommend other sites. I bought my clay baker there because it was cheaper than anywhere else, and bought a few other things like oven gloves to bring the total up to $75 so that I got free shipping. Check around for prices on flour since they can be a little expensive. For instance, shipping is not free on Breadtopia when purchasing flour.
One of the other things I started during Covid is an herb garden. I don’t do gardens in the ground anymore because all the bending and getting down on my knees was not working for me and my back. Besides, there are few if any weeds in a pot or a raised bed! So, that’s where I went.
I already had lots of pots for flowers and I planted a tomato in one and some Lavender in a couple of the others. Then I bought some great raised beds on Amazon for $89.99 each and plan to buy more of them next year to expand my herb garden.
I have no idea why I decided to grow herbs. I guess they sounded easy and I knew I could use the herbs for my renewed cooking efforts. I planted Lemon Thyme, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Pineapple Sage, Greek Oregano, Sweet Basil, and Tarragon. They happily began growing.
Then, I realized it was time to begin harvesting them since you need to do so before they bloom. I own a dehydrator that hadn’t been used for a very long time. I hauled it out of the pantry, washed it, cleared off a countertop in the garage, and set up my herb drying area. I went online and learned how to dry each herb. Then I labeled the mason jars I had and began harvesting my herbs! You can also just hang herbs to dry them and this is free! I do hang my lavender.
Again, it’s something that has been fun and I’ve learned a lot about herbs. I cut them, wash them, and get as much water off as possible before putting them on the dehydrator shelves and drying them. I bought a salad spinner because I was using too many paper towels to get them dry and ready for the dehydrator.
I discovered that the Pineapple Sage will need to be relocated next year because it will get really big. The Lemon Balm and a couple of the other herbs need lots of room and that’s why I will buy more raised planters next year and transplant them. In addition, the Lemon Balm needs some shade and I had put it in full sun so, it will be moved next Spring.
I also have a flower garden with everything in pots and a drip system so that I don’t have to worry about them when it’s 105 outside. The same drip system also waters the herbs.
There are many, many types of gardening. You may want to till up an area of your yard and make a vegetable garden. I have a separate garden with strawberries and raspberries. Or, you might want a secret garden, a climbing vine garden, or something else that appeals to you.
The great thing about a garden is that it’s inexpensive, gets you outside, and your whole family can participate. Kids love to watch a seed they planted come popping up through the soil in the form of a living, green plant. They like to see the fruit grow and be able to join you in the harvest.
When you’re harvesting and washing your vegetables, fruit, or herbs, you can forget about stress and just relax and enjoy the beauty of any type of garden. It’s fun, cheap, and therapeutic!
I can’t really recommend one book for gardening because it depends on the kind of garden you want to grow and where you live. So, go to your favorite search engine and start a search for the type of garden you’re interested in. You’ll find lots of free information and instruction. Go to a local nursery and ask some questions. Maybe you want a Rose Garden – the people at the Nursery should be able to help you.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Go for a walk.
- Go to the park.
- Go visit a botanical garden.
- Go to the forest and smell the beautiful pines and enjoy nature.
- Go to the zoo with your kids and look at all the bugs, butterflies and creatures.
- Check out a Birdwatching book from the library and start birdwatching.
- Get a fishing pole and go to a river or pond. If you don’t catch a fish, no problem!
- Visit a fish hatchery.
- Take the family to a petting zoo.
- If you live near a Greenbelt, go for a walk and write down all the types of trees and vegetation you see. Then go home with your kids and start researching each one.
- Learn about bugs.
- Go to a horse ranch.
- Find a Llama ranch and go learn about these amazing animals.
- Dry leaves and flowers, label each one, and put them all in a notebook. Your kids will enjoy this as well.
- Take a drive in the country and try to name every crop you see.
- Go to the beach by a lake or the ocean and read all about the area. Learn what fish live in the waterways and what animals live nearby.
Most of these are things you can do for free or very inexpensively. If you don’t know what you like in nature, start at the top and try each one till you find something that you enjoy. Remember, hobbies are for enjoyment and relaxation, and are not meant to turn into a burden.
5. Drawing or Art
Art can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Use a pencil and start sketching or doodling. You can buy a special notebook or special pencils but you don’t have to.
Go to a Dollar Store and buy a watercolor set with a cheap watercolor book. Go home and have fun! Again, this isn’t about perfection. If you, like me, are pretty much limited to stick figures, that’s just fine! Do what you can with what you have as long as you have fun and feel a sense of release.
Acrylic paint is relatively inexpensive and available in many places and online. Buy the base colors and experiment with mixing your own. You can find tutorials online – go do a search on YouTube and you can also find helpful videos. The library is also an excellent source of free information.
I won’t even try to recommend any books because there are too many types of drawing and art.
Art also involves things like wood carving, welding, clay, dried flower arrangements under glass, collecting art, and more. Art is a personal expression using mediums that are meaningful to you. I have a friend who started carving small nativity sets after he retired. He made them for family and friends and sold some. Another friend made wind chimes that were very large and made a deep, beautiful, ringing sound.
Use toothpicks, or pieces of broken tiles. My son and his wife sell tables made from large wooden spools and topping them with designs from broken tiles and a coating on the top to protect fingers! It’s an inexpensive hobby and they even sell them.
Two of my sons began turning wood and they make beautiful pens, bowls, and other items. This is a more expensive hobby since it requires specific equipment, but I’m including it just to help you see all the types of art you might enjoy.
6. Online Study
This might not sound like a hobby but it is. The definition of a hobby is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” And, lots of us find pleasure in learning new things.
You can find free sources of study for lots of things. For instance, I’m taking some free classes from Christian Leaders Institute. They are college-level classes. I am not earning a college degree but could if I wanted to pay for the credits. For me, I simply enjoy learning and wanted to be more well-rounded in my knowledge of the Word.
You can study anything and everything for free online. Of course, some of the free classes are limited but, if you find something you really like, you might be able to save up enough to take more classes. One of the great things about online study is that much of it is self-paced. If you have a job outside the home and a family at home, your time might be at a premium and online study would work around your schedule.
You can study history, current events, languages, other countries with their customs, government, how to grow a green lawn, or whatever you’re interested in.
Walking is healthy, free, and can be done anywhere at any time. If you don’t have expensive walking shoes, just get what you can afford and walk. There are so many places to go for walks or even turn your walk into a hike!. There are nature trails, sidewalks, parks, walking paths, and dirt roads. Walk in place in your living room if that’s all you have.
Walking can be strenuous or relaxing, or both, and is one exercise almost anyone can do. A pair of good walking shoes is helpful if you’re going to walk any distance. You can start slow by just walking around the block or around your house. Take your kids with you or take your dog for a walk. If I take my Yorkie for a walk, it’s much shorter than if I take my 75lb Goldendoodle!
One thing I highly recommend while walking is to pay attention to your surroundings. Yes, stop and smell the roses or whatever flower might be available. Look at the birds flying and landing nearby. Look up at the sky and the clouds. Look all around you at the buildings or houses or whatever your surroundings might be.
Don’t just make walking a task to be completed in a certain amount of time or for a certain distance. Take in all that’s around you and find beauty where you might least expect it. You may be surrounded by concrete and pavement, but if you look, there,s a flower growing somewhere and birds flying also.
In the winter, I have to walk inside on my treadmill. It’s not my favorite and whenever I can, I go outside to walk. However, when it’s snowing and/or really cold, I use my treadmill. When I was recovering from major surgery, I used my treadmill because I was alone, still very weak, and could walk really slowly while hanging on to the small handrails. As I grew stronger, I started walking my dogs outside. Walk any way you can and wherever you can.
I have played the violin since I was 10. However, what I always wanted to play was the cello. Since I had to walk to school, the violin was a better choice at the time. This year, however, I bought a cello and am taking lessons. I love it! It’s really hard to learn to play but the sound (when I manage a beautiful one) is food for my soul.
You can purchase a good used musical instrument at pawn shops and thrift stores for far less than in a music store. You can also find YouTube videos with all kinds of helpful instructions. If you can afford to take some lessons, that helps. However, you might enjoy an instrument that you can learn by yourself.
Instructional books are inexpensive and will get you going. Go get your kid’s Recorder that they don’t play anymore and make some music with it! It’s free. You might not be able to sing but you can play a song on the recorder.
You can also study music! There are so many types of music – rock, classical, jazz, blues, country, African, Asian, Caribbean, easy listening, oldies, Christian, Indie Rock, Hip Hop, Metal, and on, and on, and on! You can study the history of music and the various instruments used throughout the centuries. What instruments were born in which cultures? Which instruments are still being used today and how have they changed?
Study music theory or how to make an instrument like a guitar. My uncle made violins.
Learn to sing by taking some lessons or, again, going to the internet. Sing for fun with the radio and help perfect your ear so that you can hit the right note. Go to the library again and find some books about singing.
No, you don’t need an expensive camera. Most cell phones today have great cameras and offer some adjustments for light or contrast. You can purchase an inexpensive camera that has a few more adjustments and – Have Fun! Take pictures of weeds, sunsets, your kids, your husband snoring, your dog, bugs, birds, or the loaves of bread you’re making. You can take pictures of everything.
You might even take some pictures you want to keep! Or, you might find some you want to print and frame. Maybe you have a friend who’s a photographer and you go with them to learn how they take those great pictures.
I take pictures of everything from bread to weeds. There are some beautiful weeds out there if you look for them! I do have a nice Canon camera but I take lots of pictures on my phone and some of them are very good.
You could also start taking pictures of one particular thing – your kids in all different situations. Your pets in various settings. Flowers you like. Scenery you want to remember. I took pictures of the Grand Canyon that don’t do it justice, but when I see them wonderful memories flow back in and I can see it in my mind.
Photographs are historical records. My husband has lots of fun on Ancestry finding old pictures of old relatives. When you see a great or great-great-grandmother or father, you might recognize yourself or be shocked at what they looked like. You can start your own history right now. One of these days, your kids will either be horrified or laughing hysterically at the pictures you take today.
Pictures speak to us so take lots of them. You can store them on a portable hard drive or on a thumb drive and go back to them whenever you need to.
What? How is coloring a hobby? I thought kids were the only ones who color. Coloring is a wonderful hobby and it’s one of those cheap hobbies! It’s also relaxing, develops creativity, and is fun. It’s peaceful. After my first husband passed away, I discovered coloring. The evenings alone were very hard for me and I could take out a picture and some colored pencils and be lost in this hobby.
You can use crayons, colored pencils, colored markers, or paint. I loved colored pencils. I’m no artist but I could color!. I could use any color I wanted. I could have a purple watermelon with orange rind and blue seeds if that’s what I wanted.
I did purchase some pencils and went on Amazon where I found cards to color – the kind you could actually send to someone. Coloring Books from the Dollar Store work well but you can also buy others in lots of places.
Another wonderful way to color is to purchase a Bible that has ready-to-color pictures in it. There are several to choose from. Be sure to check out how thick the paper is. Many markers bleed through and that’s why I chose colored pencils. However, you need to be careful not to press too hard with the pencils. I own this Bible – The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible. It’s $22.99 on Amazon. It has hundreds of scriptures and pictures to color.
The Bible talks about meditation – thinking about the Word, considering a scripture, spending time in prayer, talking to the God who loves you, and listening to Him. You’re just taking a few minutes or seconds to ‘be still and know that He is God.” Meditation is about taking the time to quiet your mind and soul in order to focus on one thing. It is meant to bring peace.
Psalm 19:14 ESV, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.“
Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.“
Psalm 119:15, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.“
Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Proverbs 4:20-22, “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.“
There are quite a few more verses about meditation, but these give you an overview of the purpose and the fact that meditation is Biblical. We need to set our hearts on our God. Meditating on the Word will make our way prosperous (this doesn’t just mean money). By taking time to really consider and mull over the Word, we understand God’s precepts. We are to set our minds on the pure, just, true, and honorable things. This is intentional. Peace comes as we set our minds on God and His Word. Being attentive and truly hearing God’s Word brings life and healing.
Meditation is free – definitely on the list of cheap hobbies. It costs you nothing but its rewards are rich and eternal. Take just one scripture, set aside everyone and everything else, turn it over and over in your mind, talk to God about it, listen for His words, and then purpose to set it in your heart and to obey.
Meditation is more than just a hobby for fun. It’s a practice for life, peace, and wisdom. I included it in the list of hobbies because it can bring us the greatest satisfaction, joy, creativity, personal satisfaction, and peace of any other hobby you can think of – a peace that passes understanding.
Turning Your Hobby Into a Business
If you’ve ever thought about turning your hobby into a business, here’s a link to a great article about doing just that! CLICK HERE
11 Cheap Hobbies to Keep You Creative
Here they are again:
- Online Study
As you look at this list of cheap hobbies, there’s one more thing to notice. You can combine two or more of them. Nature and Art. Music and Walking. Photography and writing. Coloring and Meditation.
As you look into some hobbies, open yourself up to possibly finding something new, something you never thought about doing before! Let this be another part of your adventure with God. Include the Word as part of every hobby – think about it and meditate on it.
Have fun and let me know what some of your cheap hobbies are! If you have questions or need help, please email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org