Seven Cheap Ways to Celebrate Labor Day

Labor Day is once again upon us. My holiday will be spent doing all the things I couldn’t do while prepping for my move, like getting an oil change, a hair cut, and a car wash. We also plan to hit a couple of the sales to buy a bunch of stuff we need for the house. Normally I avoid the sales and other events and just relax, so here are seven cheap ways to celebrate Labor Day.

Use a Museum’s Air-Conditioning

It’s going to be hot in a lot of places this weekend, but you can avoid using your air-conditioning by using someone else’s instead. Check local museums to see if they’re offering a free Monday. Also visit to find out if they’re sponsoring a free day at a local museum or Bank of America for their free weekend museum list.

Attend a BBQ

Know any friend’s hosting barbecues? Grab a discounted bag of chips and then head over to hang out with friends on the last weekend of summer (by tradition, not by the calendar).

Stop by a Farmer’s Market

We’re reaching another transition season, when all the delicious summer fruits and vegetables are nearing the end of their seasons, but the fall and winter fruits and vegetables aren’t quite ready yet. Visit your local farmer’s market to buy some of the last berries, peaches, nectarines, plums, and other goodies that will soon be gone until next year.

Make Ice Cream

This weekend I will be making ice cream. Most likely it will be lemon ice cream, since my lemon tree has come into another crop of them. I’m looking forward to it already. It’s the perfect, refreshing follow-up to barbecued burgers and hot dogs. What’s more American than that?

Bake a Pie

I know, baking requires turning on the oven. If it’s too hot to contemplate baking a full pie, make a cobbler or a crumble so you don’t have to use the oven for as long. Whatever you make, it should use those fresh, end-of-season fruits you picked up at the farmer’s market or produce stand.

Check Out a Local Nature Spot

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for fifteen years, and there are still tons of hiking trails and nature spots I have yet to visit. Chances are you do, too. So pull up a local hiking guide online or visit your city’s tourism website to find possibilities. Then pack the cooler with sandwiches and snacks and head out to enjoy nature before it gets cold again.


If you’re like me, the thing you’re looking forward to most is the chance to sleep in. So sleep all you want. Sleeping is free.

Got any more ideas for a fun, frugal Labor Day? Share them in the comments.

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