It’s hard to imagine life without your best girls. The relationship you have with your friends — inside jokes, shared history and mutual support — is a game changer. Make time to celebrate your favorite ladies this year on National Girlfriends Day, which is August 1. Here are six free ways to do just that.
1. Have a girls night in
If happy hour and dinner are out of the budget, a night in doing the same thing can be just as fun (and easier on the wallet). Put on some music or your favorite movie (use one you already have or borrow one from the library) and host a potluck. Everyone can contribute a dish and/or beverages. Best of all, it's quality time together. It’s a win-win.
2. Organize a nostalgic night
Have some women in your life who have been there since your younger years? This could be the perfect way to celebrate together. High school sleepovers may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a nostalgic night with your girlfriends. Send invites (digitally to keep it free), stock up on the essentials, like homemade face masks, and get ready for a night talking about old memories while making new ones.
3. Do some shopping
Sounds like this one involves money, right? Think again. Invite the ladies in your life over and have everyone bring five to ten pieces of clothing that is in good condition but they no longer want to keep. Once everyone arrives, create a lottery system or have your friends draw numbers out of a hat to determine the order of selection. Once you have the details ironed out, it’s time to start “shopping.” Not only will everyone leave with a free new outfit (or two), but you’ll also get to spend time shopping with your friends without having to step foot in a crowded mall.
If you're clever with a sewing machine, you can get some ideas from this savings savant who turns cheap shirts into chic outfits.
4. Capture the moment
If you live in the same place as your best gals, get everyone together for an evening together. Share some laughs and good conversation — and make sure to capture the moment. If you don't have anyone around to take a group photo, use a self-timer to capture the moment. (If your phone doesn't have one, there are apps that give you this feature.) Whether you post them on Instagram or keep them for your own private album, you’ll all cherish the photos for years to come.
5. Mail a letter
Nothing is better than checking the mailbox to find actual mail, not just ads or bills. Whether your girlfriends live down the street or across the world, make time to write her a letter this year. Remember: It’s not about what you write or how the letter looks. It’s about showing your bestie she’s on your mind.
6. Call your long-distance BFF
Whether it’s your best friend from middle school or your favorite college roommate, make time to call your best friend living in a different city. Between work, kids, relationships and life, it can be difficult to make time for long-distance friendships, especially with texting being much more convenient on-the-go, so take the time to celebrate your long-distance bestie with a phone call or, better yet, a video call. Services like WhatsApp and FaceTime make this easy and free.
Want more ideas? Perhaps you and your girlfriends can enjoy some of these summer freebies together.