No one knows and adores you like your best friend.
She's the first person you call when you wake up with oily hair after dealing with the longest day at work ever, only to find she's coping with the same degree of pain.
Your best friend understands the realest version of you: the hilarious dance you do whenever a Beyoncé song comes on, how often you tweeze your eyebrows, and how you never butter your pancakes. It’s true love, and you’re both deeply committed to your friendship. The only problem is you're nearly always together — and hanging out with your bestie can get pricey. That’s why you’re in need of some ideas of things to do with your broke best friend that don’t cost any money, and we’re here to help you out.
As much as bottomless brunching and trips to the movies are fun, they also add up real quick. In the interest of best friend bonding and keeping your wallet happy, you don’t have to wrack your brains thinking of activities because we did the hard work for you. Friendship is free — it's finding ways to amuse yourselves that can require a little imagination.
So, the next time you’re looking to cut on costs while hanging with your bestie, refer to this list of activities. Making new memories with your favorite person and saving money at the same time? It’s a win-win.
1. Attempt to learn how to bake together.
Blackened cookies are still totally edible, right? Even if this baking scenario ends up being a hilarious fail, you can still share laughs and capture the best candid pics.
2. Split that bottle of wine that's been sitting in your cabinet for as long as you can remember.
What’s better than a relaxing night in, complete with your favorite rom-coms, snacks, wine, and some gossip? Feel free to break out the face masks, too. You deserve it.
3. Finally tackle that pile of magazines you haven't read.
Let’s be honest: They’ve been sitting in your bedroom for far too long. Invite your bestie over to go through them and get a little nostalgic. Who knows, you might even find an old Tiger Beat with some quizzes for you two to pore over.
4. Discuss the idea of crafting a "personal brand" on social media.
If you’re all about curating a cool Instagram aesthetic, pick your bestie’s brain to take your feed to the next level and establish your personal brand. This could even lead to making a blog in the future.
5. Do away with that idea. Spend time choosing the perfect Instagram filter instead.
There are many apps — like VSCO and Afterlight — that have really cool filters and effects. Do your research and find some that’ll work well with your personality and pics.
6. Redo your LinkedIn pages until they're perfect and you both seem like prime job candidates.
Keeping your LinkedIn page up to date is always a good idea. Having your bestie by your side for input is even better.
7. Apply for said jobs.
Have each other there for emotional support while you apply for your dream jobs. You got this.
8. Get tired of explaining why you're qualified.
Muse about the company you two will start one day for a niche market. Knitted teacup covers? Temporary tattoos that become permanent? The sky’s the limit.
9. Move on to updating each other on your new crush.
This is a classic and essential gossip moment to have with your bestie that doesn’t cost a dime. Naturally, you’ll then look at their Instagram pages.
10. Agree to disagree about whether or not said person is a good fit for your bestie.
After hearing the hot goss, of course you’ll offer your genuine insight on whether said person is actually good enough for your best friend. Per usual, you’ll be completely honest.
11. Follow them on Instagram, then upload a profile photo of you and your bestie dolled up.
Why not make the first move and give your crush a follow on the ‘Gram? This way, they can see your cute pics and hilarious videos, and possibly even slide into your DMs.
12. Research body piercings you both may want to get one day.
If you’ve been wanting a piercing for a while now, it’s prime time to do your research on what you want to get and where you want to get it. Your bestie’s input is necessary, duh.
13. Become distracted and discuss the plot of this week's The Bachelorette instead.
Ah, the dramatic love saga continues on this week’s episode of The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette). It’s time to spill the hot tea with your bestie because there’s no one else you’d rather recap with.
14. Reminisce about '90s television, then begin marathoning Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Get nostalgic with your bestie and take a stroll down Memory Lane. ‘90s TV shows and movies were the GOAT, after all.
15. Quiz each other on Teenage Witch trivia taken from IMDb.
Once again, when the nostalgia hits hard, there’s no turning back. And who doesn’t love trivia?
16. Bust out the nail polish collection.
Pick a fun color and treat yo'selves to a manicure and pedicure. If you really want to feel like you’re at a spa, put on plush bathrobes and make a pitcher of cucumber water.
17. Discuss the hot new hair trend and potentially make a commitment to head to a salon.
After all, you'll need to hold someone's hand during a big chop or color change. Your bestie will be there to hype you up and take some really great pics of your new ‘do afterwards, too.
18. Decide to give each other makeovers instead.
Who says they're just for kids? Break out your makeup and get glam.
19. Go through your closet.
It’s time to make decisions about what's out of date and the pieces you don't wear enough. Whatever you decide you don’t want to keep, donate it.
20. Swap a few tops and dresses, hoping the other person will give them a bit more wear than you have.
You and your bestie may have the same sense of style. If so, swapping some clothes with each other is a fun way to update your wardrobe without costing anything.
21. Open up your laptops and digitally window shop.
Check out all your favorite stores for the hot new looks. Head over to your closet to see how you can recreate them with garments and accessories you already own.
22. Get dressed and actually window shop.
Peruse the latest without breaking out your wallets.
23. Start planning for the upcoming holidays in advance.
Costume ideas, Pinterest boards, and decor ideas are all fair game for this one.
24. Visit a museum you've never been to on free admission day.
Heading to a museum is a great idea if you want to get out of the house, but are broke AF. Put on a cute outfit and get ready to snap some selfies.
25. Discover that zoos, botanical gardens, and art exhibits have free days, too.
Make serious plans to go. It’s free, after all, so why not take advantage of it?
26. Sign up for a local list of cheap and no-fee activities.
New York City's The Skint is a great source. This is definitely the beginning of a new lifestyle.
27. Browse a nearby bookstore.
Share the latest reads with your bestie you’ve been obsessed with.
28. Camp out in a local park.
Bring along snacks and Kindles. Spend the day just enjoying each other's company.
29. Begin training for an athletic event.
This could be a perfect opportunity to get prepped for a charity walk or a 40-mile-long bike ride. Choose your event and get moving.
30. Snapchat yourselves hilariously attempting to train for this event.
It might be harder than it looks, but you’ve got this.
31. Entertain yourselves by revisiting the games you once played as kids.
Monopoly, Operation, Guess Who, and Candyland are all fair game.
32. Break out the arts and crafts supplies you squirreled away once upon a time.
Glitter glue is still just as fun when it's all over your apartment floor instead of your parents' carpet.
33. Turn it into an entire glamour shoot.
These images will only get funnier with time and you’ll cherish them forever.
34. Play a favorite album, then challenge each other to remember every word.
Break out the classics or stream the new Jonas Brothers album. Belting out the lyrics at the top of your lungs is not out of the question.
35. Get nostalgic about careers you could've had.
Have you ever wanted to be a pop singer or fashion designer? Move over, Britney. (Just kidding, but not really.)
36. Dig through your fridge and plan to cook something from the ingredients you never use.
Get creative with what you already have in your kitchen and head to Pinterest for some inspiration. You may end up creating a new favorite dish.
37. Resort to eating chips instead.
If all else fails, break out some chips and guac. Guac never disappoints.
38. Plan a new exercise routine.
If you’ve been wanting to get into yoga, find some great videos online and break out your yoga mats. You two can keep each other motivated and this can become a weekly routine.
39. Spruce up your place.
Reorganize your furniture and get cleaning. Your place will feel super refreshed.
40. Plan an upcoming vacation.
Just because you’re broke AF right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head-start on planning a dream getaway with your best friend. Head over to Pinterest and Instagram for some inspiration.
This post was originally published on Sept. 25, 2015. It was updated on Aug. 9, 2019. Additional reporting by Alexa Mellardo.