back to top

19 Cheap And Easy Hobbies That'll Make You Say, "Why Didn't I Think Of That?"

Even if you suck at hobbies, you're bound to like one of these.

Posted on

Hobbies! They provide you with a sense of accomplishment, teach you about yourself, and introduce you to new people, concepts, and facts about the world.

CBS / Via giphy.com

Oh, and they give you something to do besides fight with your relatives on Facebook!

If you want a new hobby but don't want to spend a ton of money or find yourself bleary-eyed in a craft room surrounded by sewing machines and confused about how you got there, I have some simple suggestions for you:

1. Become a Wikipedia editor.

en.wikipedia.org

Whether you're an expert when it comes to history, grammar, or obscure murder cases, you (yes, you!) can become a Wikipedia editor — and it doesn't even require registration. Anyone can start, and you'll be helping Wikipedia continue to be the endless wealth of information (and BONKERS STORIES) that it is.

To get started, take a look at Wikipedia's Help:Editing page. It tells you how to make edits, what kind of tone to use, how to add references, and more. Peruse some Wikipedia pages you find fascinating, and when you find changes to make or have an interesting addition, you can get going and submit edit requests.

For more info, check out Wikipedia's guide on editing for the first time.

2. Become a documentary buff.

Netflix

Want to immerse yourself in some of the crazy-amazing stories unfolding around the world? Want to become an expert on true crime? Want to have something to talk about when you're forced to chat with a coworker at happy hour? Dive into documentaries! There are tons of gripping options on Netflix and even YouTube.

I watched Icarus recently, which uncovers the sinister history of Russian doping in the Olympics and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. It not only blew my mind, but it also made for a great conversation starter with friends, especially around the time of the Olympics. Documentaries will help make you the most interesting person in the room (even if you're not).

Check out some great Netflix documentary recommendations.

Advertisement

3. Or a podcast buff.

BuzzFeed

Podcasts have taken over. Just like documentaries, they offer some of the best storytelling on the planet. And an easy way to breeze through small talk when you're drawing blanks. Whether you're looking to broaden your mind, get some great advice, obsess over pop culture, stay up on the latest news, or realize your dreams, it's all happening — right on your phone.

Get started with our list of podcasts you need to listen to in 2018.

4. Start a recipe club.

Terri Pous / BuzzFeed

If your attempts at a book club have all turned into, well, wine clubs (same, TBH), or if you're just really into eating with your friends, why not try a monthly recipe club? All you have to do is decide on a key ingredient each month, and then everyone brings a small dish to fit that theme, like, say, wine. You can switch off hosting each time, and even plan it to be a weekend brunch.

Read more about my coworker Terri's recipe club if you need more convincing.

5. Become a plant parent (a plarent?).

@tomgvellner / Via instagram.com

Taking care of plants around the house or in your garden makes you feel productive, responsible, and downright proud of your lil' guys. Watching your plants grow and thrive is seriously one of the most satisfying experiences.

I know, I know, you can't keep anything alive. Try some of these beginner houseplants if you murder everything you touch.

6. Conquer some puzzles.

Rachel Miller / BuzzFeed

Working on a puzzle is a particularly great hobby when the world feels like it's falling apart (ahem). Literally putting something back together can be a peaceful and powerful act during hard times. And it allows you to create something without having to be super-crafty.

Open the door to this new hobby (heh heh) with a beautiful doorways puzzle ($14.50 on Amazon).

Advertisement

7. Become an avid Amazon or Yelp reviewer.

imgur.com

I'm always so grateful to (and often entertained by) people who take the time to write reviews, especially because I rely so heavily on them when I'm looking for a restaurant or buying literally anything online. It's a genuine service to provide, and the people who do it really treat it like a hobby.

All you have to do is, you know, buy some stuff or go out to eat, and then share your comments. The rest of us will appreciate your work!

8. Practice meditation.

Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

Speaking of the world falling apart, if you're feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed (or just want to be a more peaceful, centered person!), meditation is a particularly soothing hobby to pick up.

Two excellent apps that'll guide your practice are Calm and Headspace.

9. Join the world's largest treasure hunt, AKA geocaching.

geocaching.com

SERIOUSLY. A TREASURE HUNT. All you have to do is download the geocaching app on your phone and use it to find your way to a specific set of GPS coordinates. Once you're there, try to find the geocache hidden at that location. The caches could be anything from a plastic container tucked inside a tree cavity to a small box hanging from a branch. Inside the cache will be a collection of lil' treasures that you can choose from and swap with your own. Most caches have a signature book, too, so you can show you were there.

Your local area should have some geocaches already (there are 3,858 geocaches around New York!), but even if not, you can make your own, hide it in a secret spot, and register its location on the geocaching site. Good luck out there!

Download the free geocaching app here.

10. Improve your handwriting.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

Ask basically anyone and they'll say they think their handwriting is awful. But with a little practice, you can make it beautiful! TBH, improving your handwriting can be a tedious task, so if you're worried about finding the motivation to get started, follow Instagram-famous artist Seb Lester. His short videos will hypnotize you into kicking off your handwriting journey.

Check out some other simple ways to improve your handwriting here.

Advertisement

11. Then, send some snail mail.

@tomgvellner / Via instagram.com

Show off your improved handwriting by sending greeting cards, notes, or postcards to friends and family. You don't even need an occasion or holiday to make this your hobby — everyone loves getting an unexpected message from a loved one in the mail. Plus, it's fun to pick out some new stationery.

If you're a snail-mail lover, these products are for you.

12. Embroider your feelings.

@the_rewm / Via instagram.com

My coworker Rachel says that embroidery may look impressive, but making cool things is surprisingly easy. You should be able to get everything you need from YouTube, and you can learn other techniques (like making pretty roses) from photo tutorials on Pinterest. Rachel made that feminist masterpiece above, which is based on a design created by Jen Riggs (check out her Etsy shop here), and says it was pretty straightforward once she learned to do a simple back-stitch.

You can learn a bunch of basic stitches with this Creativebug class.

13. Learn everything there is to know about crystals.

amazon.com

Crystals aren't new, but they are definitely A Thing right now, showing up in jewelry, decor, and your ~spiritual~ friend's Instagram. They also make for a great hobby. Dig into what different ones represent and how you can use them to support meditation and intention-setting. Maybe you'll even find that with practice, they'll bring you some peace.

A great jumping-off point is Crystals for Healing: The Complete Reference Guide With Over 200 Remedies for Mind, Heart & Soul — get it from Amazon for $13.69, Barnes & Noble for $14.37, or a local bookseller through IndieBound.

14. Upcycle some stuff.

youtube.com

Upcycling is literally turning your trash into treasure. Look around your house or inside your recycling bin for items you thought were useless. Then, instead of tossing them, you can transform them into something clever, like the Lego charger holders above. It's a hobby that's good for you and the planet!

Check out these impossibly cute DIYs to find a potential project for your stuff.

Advertisement

15. Paint some watercolors.

Rachel Miller / BuzzFeed

Even if you're not the most artistic person, learning watercolor basics can be a simple and satisfying way to entertain yourself. Plus, you can hang your pretty creations on your fridge or show 'em off on Instagram.

To get started, there are loads of free tutorials on YouTube, or you could check out Beginning Watercolors classes on Creativebug.

16. Start bullet journaling.

@the_rewm / Via instagram.com

If you're looking for a new hobby AND you've always wanted to be more organized (or you just love a good notebook), bullet journaling might be exactly what you need. To break it down: It's like taking short notes on all kinds of things (to-do lists, grocery lists, important dates), and then marking those notes with simple symbols to categorize and track them easily.

You'll be one step closer to getting your shit together when you read this bullet journaling explainer.

17. Binge every episode of a retro TV show.

CBS / Via imdb.com

Become the go-to expert on a show like I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Twin Peaks, or some other classic. And make it a true hobby by learning fun facts you can impress your friends with about the actors, the writers, and the crew that made the show what it was.

Kick off your marathon with I Love Lucy on CBS or Hulu.

18. Learn sign language.

Lemonadeserenade / Getty Images

There are so many reasons to learn ASL — from communicating in a new, meaningful way with friends, family, or someone in a crisis situation to developing an awareness of and sensitivity to Deaf culture (more than 28 million Americans are considered deaf or hard of hearing).

Get started with the free ASL App, which features lessons from America's Next Top Model winner and all-around great human Nyle DiMarco.

Advertisement

19. Or, learn a spoken language.

duolingo.com

You could brush up on a new language before a trip, to impress your friends, or just to challenge yourself. Not to mention, being bilingual makes you smarter, improves cognitive skills, and even shields against dementia in old age.

You can choose from dozens of languages with super-fun app Duolingo (everything from French to High Valyrian) — and it's totally free.