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Old 10-21-05, 11:14 AM   #1
Eatadonut
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Cheap hobbies...

Because the expensive hobbies thread is depressing me.


What are the hobbies you participate that almost anyone could get involved in, for minimum cash? They can have the potential to be expensive, but you should be able to participate at least at a basic level for pretty cheap.

Yo-yo: I was really into this about 6 years ago, I could probably have competed (didn't have the confidence at the time), I practiced for several hours a day. I saved my money for about 2 months, and bought a high-end yo-yo. It was sweet. I also had a bunch of other ones, specialty, or ones I could bring to school and mess with. Entry fee: $12 for a fireball, a pretty decent yo-yo.

Small electronics: I repaired/built a bunch of tools for my dad as a kid, and nowadays I do some computer case modding, and appliance repair. Entry fee: $9 for a 20w soldering iron, $2 for solder, and all the junk you can get your hands on, I never paid for any of my electronics. Dumpsters and side-of-the-road specials.

Running: $30 pair of sneakers, and pavement. Go.
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Old 10-21-05, 11:28 AM   #2
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Definitely running- just buy some shoes and run.

Basketball is also cheap. You can buy a ball for $20 and there are free basketball courts in plenty of towns.

Cooking can be a cheap hobby. You have to eat anyway, right? Then again, you can make it very expensive.

Drawing could be cheap. You just need some pencils and paper. Same goes for writing. Reading is also cheap if you use the library.

My favorite cheap hobby: surfing the internet. It only costs me $14.95 a month.
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Old 10-21-05, 11:42 AM   #3
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I love to read and buy paperbacks at the thrift store for a buck. My local library sells used paperbacks for 50 cents, but the selection is usually picked over but once in a while I'll find some great reads. If I have a gotta-read book I can't wait for it to come around to a thrift store, I buy at Costco or Target cuz at least the price is discounted somewhat. Then I donate all my books back to the library so they don't clutter my house. I already have quite a collection waiting to be read.

I posted about baking on the "expensive" hobby forum as it can be pricey when you invest in quality bakeware, but compared to others (flying, cars, boating, etc) baking seems pretty reasonable. Sure the ingredients add up when you go for the good stuff ($35 to make a chocolate ganache cheesecake) but seems like chump change compared to the other hobbies, eh?

Lastly, one of the posters poked fun at rock collecting, but I actually like to do that. My in-laws own an 80-acre ranch in Colorado and have a large riverbed that runs through it. I love finding rocks of different colors and designs. You don't find them here in California. They definitely add a nice touch to the yard. Sadly, I've had some stolen but I have plenty stashed away.
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Old 10-21-05, 11:49 AM   #4
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Paper modeling. If you have a computer and printer. This is pretty cheap. There are many pdf files you can get for free to build all kinds of stuff. Spaceships, cars, planes. They range from very simple like the hal9000 face plate to pretty hard like the Millenium Falcon > http://www.starshipmodeler.org/gallery9/fs_falcon.htm

Plastic modeling is prety cheap as well.
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Old 10-21-05, 11:53 AM   #5
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Your rock collecting reminded me:

Hiking: depending on what you're doing, you can get into it for <$10 for a water bottle and disposable camera.

Backpacking: More expensive, but even buying all your own equipment, you could get by with about a $200 investment I'm sure. Of course, if you wanted, you could move this into the expensive thread with some $200 boots, $400 tent, backpacks, clothes, water purifiers...
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Old 10-21-05, 12:02 PM   #6
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I'd put backpacking & cycling in the same category: they can be cheap or expensive. If you go to REI and say "I want to go backpacking." Its gonna cost an arm and a leg. But if you pare down the gear to the essentials & get food at the grocery store its pretty darn cheap. Once you have the gear, its a no-cost activity. Unlike, say, golf, where you drop $40+ to go chase a ball around for 4 hours. Yikes!
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Old 10-21-05, 12:24 PM   #7
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Gardening!
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Old 10-21-05, 12:27 PM   #8
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bikeforums - ok that's not really a hobby, more like misuse of my employer's computer

couch potato - now that's a hobby
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Old 10-21-05, 12:30 PM   #9
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Gardening!

No dear. That's a profession! It makes money!
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Old 10-21-05, 12:41 PM   #10
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Off-road trials can be pretty cheap. I pay £25 for club membership with the MSA and entry fee to each event is £12.
The vehicle is the only real expense but you can pick up vehicles for next to nothing, someone I know uses a Suzuki SJ they got for free. I also know lots of people who trial their everyday vehicles.
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Old 10-21-05, 12:43 PM   #11
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My cheap hobby's

-Darts
-BB guns
-Trash picking and restoring neat old bicycles
-Running
-On the way home from work walking around in a mall for the abnormaly wealthy, looking like crap in my filthy work cloths. I do it just to offend millionairs who look down on blue collar workers, even though we keep their homes working.
-Wasting spare time here
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Old 10-21-05, 12:48 PM   #12
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Skipping rocks. Decades and decades of practice invested. My record: 18 pure skips with a half-dozen pittipats, on a November morning, with the fog just lifting off the perfect mirror surface of the lake. One of my buddies even managed to skip BBs from his air rifle that morning.
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Old 10-21-05, 01:00 PM   #13
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Making beer can be relatively inexpensive but its like riding bikes, once you get hooked you always need lots of new shiny things.

http://www.quiltsandbrew.net
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Old 10-21-05, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boozergut
Making beer can be relatively inexpensive but its like riding bikes, once you get hooked you always need lots of new shiny things.

http://www.quiltsandbrew.net

There's 2 gallons of homebrew in our fridge right now. I'm not going to lie - it's terrible. But, the 2nd batch is much better than the first, and we're still learning.


Actually, with a little cinammon, the apple cider isn't bad.
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Old 10-21-05, 02:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eatadonut
There's 2 gallons of homebrew in our fridge right now. I'm not going to lie - it's terrible. But, the 2nd batch is much better than the first, and we're still learning.


Actually, with a little cinammon, the apple cider isn't bad.

There are three 5 gallon kegs on tap here now with two more in the garage fridge. In front of the beer on tap are port wine and mead in 5 gallon kegs, and next to that are two 5 gallon buckets of barleywine fermenting next to two 5 gallon buckets of alfalfa mead.
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Old 10-21-05, 02:45 PM   #16
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Cycling, Oh wait!

Hmm you could say hiking, becasue if you get quality stuff (and this is for cycling too) and take care of it, its nto really expensive becasue the stuff will last you a long time.

Cooking, ehhh same concept. Except right now the pans, knives, cooking stuff at my house kind of well blows, so ive been buggin my dad tog et new stuff but new all clad stuff is $$!

I cant really think of any cheap hobbys that I am into really (drumming is another ehhh)
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Old 10-21-05, 04:45 PM   #17
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being a jackass is relatively cheap.....just hit bars and offer drunks a couple bucks to do stupid things.

Eventually you'll get banned from some bars, but it's good fun when you have nothing else to do.
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Old 10-21-05, 05:13 PM   #18
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Ultimate Frisbee! $7 disc and you're good to go. And if you're REALLY into it you buy a $20 pair of cleats.
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Old 10-21-05, 05:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Paper modeling. If you have a computer and printer. This is pretty cheap. There are many pdf files you can get for free to build all kinds of stuff. Spaceships, cars, planes. They range from very simple like the hal9000 face plate to pretty hard like the Millenium Falcon > http://www.starshipmodeler.org/gallery9/fs_falcon.htm

Plastic modeling is prety cheap as well.
That reminds me. I found this the other day.
http://www.bowler-offroad.com/MODEL%20INTRO%20PAGE.htm
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Old 10-21-05, 06:36 PM   #20
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Kite flying is a cheap trill. All sorts of kites can be had for little money. Even an entry level stunt kite can be purchased for less than $80, including line, handles, and an instructional DVD. And even though it's entry level it's a blast to fly. It can take a beating too. Good thing! Best of all, you can fly kites all day and it cost you nothing but your time. If you get serious about the sport the most expensive kites are priced in the hundreds, not thousands. Most of your money will be spent going to competition venues, not equipment. The cost of kiting can be reduced by designing and building your own kites. Just another way to spend a warm afternoon.

Another relatively cheap hobby is model building. You know, the plastic models some of us built as kids. The adult version of this hobby turns out museum quality work, gives you a creative outlet, and is fun, if sometimes frustrating. No special skills or equipment needed. But if you want to be the well equipped modeler a few hundred dollars will get the top of the line of everything you need to present work to the Smithsonian. or to compete a national level at the next model car show. But here's a hint, the only thing you need to build show quality models is patience.

Lastly, there is model railroading. This hobby can get expensive in a hurry if you incorporate the latest digital control systems into your layout. But you can get started with a fully functioning layout for a couple hundred dollars. The hobby here is in the design, and building of the railroad. Sit down and design a fully functioning railroad that will fit on a 1x10 shelf in the family room. Then build it ,scenic it and finally operate it. Cheap hobby and it will keep you out of bars at night. Maybe not a good thing!
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Old 10-21-05, 07:01 PM   #21
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or you can just make your own kite for under $10

In jr.high I made an indian fighter kite that was incredible....it was pure speed and power. I actually got yelled at in that class for destroying another student's kite in a fighter kite battle....my kite was so fast and had enough mass behind it that it just snapped the frame of the other kite to pieces.

...yeah, not true fighter kite form, but we werent allowed to use glass lines or sharp edges.
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Old 10-21-05, 07:17 PM   #22
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Cigarette butt collecting.
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Old 10-21-05, 07:18 PM   #23
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i air juggle, gave up air guitar as it was too noisy
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Old 10-21-05, 07:41 PM   #24
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Juggling is only dorky if you do it with a big group.
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Old 10-21-05, 09:02 PM   #25
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Cow-tipping...
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