The New Year hasn’t exactly started with a bang. Christmas is over, everyone is broke and the country has been battered by storms that are some of the worst we have ever seen. But, it’s not all doom and gloom. Sure, you might not have a lot of money but there are some very cheap ways to get you through the month.
There are tonnes of charities that always require help and assistance. From helping on soup runs, to walking animals, to just visiting a member of the community, there are plenty of ways you can help out. Head on over to Volunteer Ireland for a list of charities you can help.
2. Get fit.
You don’t have to necessarily join a gym to get back into shape. Get out and about, take a few walks, get on to YouTube to find new workouts, dance around your sitting room if you have to. You just need to get moving.
3. Learn to Cook
Look at it this way, you’re going to be spending money on food anyway, why not try a few cheap and cheerful recipes that are fairly easy to do? If you are still trying to keep the calories under control, you can’t go far wrong with the Hairy Bikers diet book, The Hairy Dieters. Jamie Oliver and our very own Neven Maguire also have some brilliantly easy stuff.
4. Check out some podcasts.
There are HOURS of brilliant podcasts in iTunes that you should really give a whirl. Ricky Gervais is completely accessible and hilarious, Kermode and Mayo movie reviews for film buffs and others, Friday Night Comedy on BBC and of course our very own podcasts from Her.ie and JOE.ie.
5. Take more trips to the cinema.
Yes, we know, the cinema can be an expensive affair but try to head out during the day, the ticket prices will be cheaper and the cinema will certainly be quieter. Saturday mornings are a dream! Plus, if you are in the Dublin, you can always get a Cineworld card for €20.90 which gives you unlimited access to the cinema. Keep an eye on Arrive at Lunchtime programme in the IFI! They have free screenings pretty much weekly.
6. Get Netlix.
Yes, it can bit hit and miss for the films and programmes you really want to watch sometimes (West Wing) but by and large, Netflix is most certainly worth it. There are tonnes of documentaries on there and most importantly, if you haven’t caught up with Breaking Bad yet, now’s your chance.
7. Organize a Club.
The easiest way to get everyone together and do something you enjoy is to start a club. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a book club but they are one of the favourites. You could start a movie club, a baking club, a stamp club, whatever you feel like! Get everyone together one night a week, get some food in and some drinks. Voila!
8. Clean out the house.
What better way to start off the year than with cleaning out the house. Get rid of everything that you don’t wear anymore. If you haven’t worn it in three months, let it go! We don’t mean cocktail dresses here, we mean jumpers, skirts, shirts, shorts.
9. Get stuck into a series.
There are so many brilliant series knocking around that are well worth checking out. It’s well worth spending a few euro on a boxset. The list includes Game of Thrones, Sherlock, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock. Actually, that list is endless.
10. Read those books you never get to.
We’re sure that everyone buys a book they think they will read and never get to, but now is the opportunity to get it back out and read it. You can even make a list of the books that you wanted to read but haven’t had a chance. Oh, and join the library. It’s free!
11. Take some walks. Get out and about.
So the weather hasn’t exactly been amazing, you may need to wait until it gets a little better but there are plenty, and we mean plenty, of nice walks around the country. Head over to Irish Trails for more information.
12. Visit a Heritage Ireland site.
Most of the Heritage sites in Ireland are actually free to go to, it’s just the Heritage centre that costs money. There is literally a list of places you can visit for free or even for just a few euro. Head over to Heritage Ireland for more info.
13. Visit a Gallery.
The main galleries and museums in the country are absolutely FREE! We would even maybe suggest taking a day trip to Dublin and visiting maybe two or three of them. There are children’s days, free tours and some of the finest pieces of art in the country.