Frugal Fun: Games Night In

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Social events certainly have a tendency of adding up quickly, especially if you enjoy regular evenings out with family and friends. Spending time with people you love is important, but if you aren’t careful, regular nights out on the town (wherever your destination) could leave you running short on your grocery money. Since this isn’t good for anyone, we’ve come up with a great Frugal Fun idea to help you continue being a social butterfly, without breaking the bank – plan a game night in! When’s the last time you took part in a game of Twister? We think however long ago it was – it was too long ago!

Not like they used to be, board games have changed a lot over the years. With the number of great party games on the market these days, a games night in is the perfect combination of casual dinner party interaction, laughter and a little dose of healthy competition. Not only are game nights significantly less expensive than going out, they can also be as simple or as extravagantly planned as you’d like them to be. From last minute plans to planning weeks in advance (complete with invitations!), the choice is up to you.  To help you get started, Fraser Valley Pulse has put together a list of tips to show you just how fun and simple of an event it can be!

Monopoly Justice
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License by mtsofan

#1 Utilize your home. Contrary to what you may think, your home, and the homes of most of your friends can have the potential to be great visiting spots, regardless of their sizes. Sure, you probably shouldn’t try to fit 100 people into your 900 square foot apartment, but a coffee & monopoly date with your girlfriends would work quite nicely!

#2 Worried about what to feed your guests? Organize a pot-luck! Not only are they easy-peasy to plan, they are an affordable option for everyone involved and often yield a very interesting selection of dishes. Mix things up by giving it a theme like finger foods, favorite dishes of the guest of honor, all desserts, or types of ethnic foods (you can even give each guest a different country ahead of time).

Game Night 1
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License by MikeOliveri

#3 Consider affordable decoration options. Sometimes, all you need is a little pizzazz – and sometimes, you can find it at the dollar store! To jazz up you home for a games night, fill a vase with dollar store dice, or borrowed poker chips for an interesting centerpiece. A twister mat makes a great table cloth for the pot-luck table, and neglected gameboards can be re-used as placemats!

#4 Get Out the games!  From board games (Monopoly & Sorry), to DVD trivia games (like the various types of Scene It games), to group interactive video games (Super Mario Bros. & Rock Band), to creative DIY games – the different types of possible game nights are absolutely endless. To stay frugal, ask guests to bring their favorite board game along with them when they come. Not only is it a great conversation topic for any new comers to the group, it also leaves you with a great game selection for the evening!

Andrew Playing Pictionary
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License by Aquistbe

Need a few game ideas to get you started? These proven party games are guaranteed to provide lighthearted entertainment (and plenty of laughter) for all ages:

  • Scattergories
  • Catch Phrase
  • Cranium
  • Charades
  • Taboo
  • Balderdash
  • Pictionary
  • Scribblish

Always remember to take stock on any game notepads that might be running low, and make photocopies so you won’t have to purchase official notebooks later on.  Also, make sure to check all games beforehand to ensure there are no missing pieces necessary for game play.  You don’t want any game-day disappointment!

Have fun!

Contributor: Shannon Clattenburg

Shannon Clattenburg is a creative spirit first and a freelance writer second. She is a features writer for Fraser Valley Pulse and has a love for uncovering hidden gems throughout the Fraser Valley . She lives in Chilliwack with her boyfriend and her doggy Rolo. Twitter: @OrdinaryShan

One Response to “Frugal Fun: Games Night In”

  1. Chris says:

    Our family loves a good game.
    This Christmas ” THINGS ” was a hugh hilarious hit!
    Definitely one worthy of your above list.

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