Ahhh! It’s finally the weekend. But how can you make the most of your time off without waking up on Monday morning with a bad case of weekend sticker shock? It’s simple. Have fun without wearing out your credit cards or busting your budget.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday entertainment expenses can easily add up to $100 to $200. It may not sound like much, but that equals a whopping $10, 400 a year! Imagine being able to add that to your nest egg.

Here are a few frugal, if not free, ways to enjoy yourself.

For a frugal good time, meet your girlfriends at the park for a "potluck picnic." (MGP)

For a frugal good time, meet your girlfriends at the park for a “potluck picnic.” (MGP)

1. Have a potluck picnic. The idea here is to make a picnic with ingredients you already have in your pantry, like that can of white beans you’ve had forever. In just ten minutes, you can use them to whip up a delicious salad. Add a few raw veggies, a little fresh fruit, crackers, cheese and grab a bottle of wine and you’re ready to lounge and munch on the lawn of your favorite park. Bring a book and call friends to tag along with their own potluck treats.

2. Be a tourist in your town. Most New Yorkers will tell you they’ve never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. We have a natural tendency to ignore the wonders in our own backyard, so spend a day checking out the local sites (the free ones of course).

3. Go to the library. Yes, the library. You know, that place you haven’t been since college. Many libraries have free film or concert series. Or you can just check out a best seller for a weekend read.

4. Attend a reading. Almost every city has a major bookstore that invites well-known authors to come and read from their recent works. So call and check the schedule. You never know, your favorite writer might be in town.

5. Commit a random act of kindness. Give a sister a break. You must have at least one friend who is overwhelmed with parenting or caregiving. Offer to take over her duties and give her a day off. Or volunteer at the local soup kitchen or shelter.

6. Get smarter. The Internet has opened up access to free courses in just about every subject imaginable. Try Coursera to find offerings from major universities. Nurture your inner artist at CraftArtEdu. Or become a financial wizard by taking an investment seminar.

7. Write something memorable. No texting or typing allowed. Pick a dear friend or family member you have not spoken to in far too long and write them a lovely letter. 

8. Boost your creativity. A new study reports that taking a walk makes you more creative and that strolling among the trees may even strengthen your memory. Take a nature walk or plan a hike if you’re lucky enough to live near a great trail or state park.

9. Stop and smell the roses. Visit the nearest botanical garden or arboretum for a lovely, relaxing afternoon.

10. Take to the water. If you love boating and want to burn a few calories, try an afternoon of paddle boating or kayaking. Most recreational areas near lakes rent them for a very small fee.

About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being

We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.

To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news into your life or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.