Happy Women’s History Month! And while this post may not have anything specifically or directly to do with Women’s History Month… I don’t care. I’m giving you some more money saving jewels… because that’s just what I do. So… before we jump into that…I started a thing (my finance report I call it) where I share my financial gains and fails for the month. This is what my January and February looked like:
Now on to the real reason you’re here. If you’re from New York or thinking of visiting New York then you know just how expensive it really can get. It doesn’t necessarily have to be. Here’s a list of a few things you can do and a few ways that you can spend less than fifty dollars the entire weekend. And yes you will get to go outside with many of these suggestions (I hate being cooped in doors).
How To Spend Less Than 50 Dollars For An Entire Weekend In NYC
New York has a very extensive public transportation system (whether that be for the better or the worse is to be argued) and should/ could be a tourist or locals best friend. Ubers can get a bit pricey in the city, and if you’re trying to budget by taking yellow taxis forget about it. What should you do to keep the cost of your travels down? Take the bus or the train. Grab a metro card and head out.
City Ticket: If you want to travel into the city in style you can buy a city ticket for the LIRR on Saturdays and Sundays. I just found out that the city ticket doesn’t only involve going into the city, but can also be leaving the city as well (I took it back in September from Atlantic Terminal to Jamaica terminal). The city ticket is 4.25 and will take you where you need to go rather quickly.
Ferry: The ferry is free… and takes you in and out of Staten Island. There are also other ferries in NYC that you can take to different islands that have a ton of activities for you to do/ get involved in some fun activities. You can take the ferry onto Randall’s Island or Governor’s Island to get into some fun city activities without spending a fortune.
Citi Bikes: Citi Bikes cost you 9.95 for 24 hours (you still have to check in every half hour or face some pretty terrible fees). You can use citi bikes through all the seasons, and it can double as a means of cheap transportation as well as your exercise for the day.
Walk: I know this may sound like a passive aggressive suggestion, but walking around the city can really be your best method of transportation sometimes. Especially when you walk onto the best streets for shopping, eating, or just relaxing (think South Street Seaport and the High Line). If the weather is good, use your feet to get you from one place to another if you can. You’ll be burning off the calories from all the deliciousness that is New York cuisine. Here are a few dope spots for you to walk around and enjoy the NYC sights:
- Brooklyn Bridge
- The High Line
- Central Park
- Times Square
- Washington Square
- South Street Seaport
NYC is home, and because it is home, I know that we are the food capital of the world. You can walk down a block in New York and easily see 8-12 different food choices from countries all over the world. And that is one of the things I love the most about living here. Food can be a little pricey depending on where in the city you are, and what you are eating.
Food Trucks: Food trucks are really big/popular in the city and you can get some really good deals when you choose to eat from one of them.
1 Dollar Pizza: I really don’t know if it is because I am a lover of pizza, or because I usually have 1 dollar pizza when I am inebriated but dollar pizza is tasty. Is it the best pizza I’ve ever had… no but it is definitely edible and will hit the spot if you are hungry. Plus you can pretty much find them everywhere in the city.
Free Pizza: I’m a huge lover of pizza… hence why it is on the list twice. If you’re looking to cut major corners out of your budget, you can head to Alligator Lounge for free pizza every day. They also have karaoke and other fun things to do there so you could get a 2 for 1 deal on eating and activities for the day. (I haven’t been here yet, so I don’t know how good the pizza is… but it’s free so I’m sure it is delicious, as most free things are).
Restaurant Week: If you are looking for a fancier meal option (pizza is always my go to… but I know it is not everyone’s meal of choice) you have two times a year in NYC where you can go to a fancy schmancy restaurant for a good price. Once in the winter and once in the summer, NYC has restaurant week with brunch/lunch deals for 29.95 for a 3 course meal, or dinner for 42.00. Those are the more expensive meal options on this list and you can really only reap those benefits twice a year.
Smorgasburg: I love love love the smorgasburg, and I am thrilled that it has expanded to beyond Brooklyn. Though the Brooklyn one is the best in my opinion, there are a few other areas in NYC that have their version of the smorgasurg during the summer. A few other smorgasburgs are now open during the fall and winter as well (I have yet to visit those yet). If the Smorgasburg is not your thing you can also try the Queens Night Market which opens up on April 21st.
Free Tours: New York is filled with various free tours you can take to learn more about the city from a historical standpoint. There are walking tours, bus tours, and a few ferry tours of the city as well. Hop on one and enjoy a relaxing tour without spending a dime.
Museums: We have so many museums in the city to fit your fancy. Best part… there are discounted groupon tickets, and many times where the museum will be completely free. If you come to NYC during the first weekend of the month, you can head to Brooklyn Museum for first Saturday and pretty much party at the museum after night. Visit NYCgo for a list of museums you can visit all around the city, what they cost (bring your student ID), and when they have free visitation days.
Kayaking: I’m not a kayaker… like that is really not my thing but, this isn’t about me. You can can kayak for free in the city. If you are looking fo an intensely physical activity without it costing you anything… you’re in luck! You also get to see beautiful views (Instagram worthy truly) of the NYC skyline. You can head here to find a list of different areas to get your kayaking on (mostly free… but some have a small fee)
Visit A Book Store: I really really really love books. I love to read, I love being surrounded by books, I love the smell of books. ( okay… I think you get it). So when ever I get the opportunity to be around books I take it. I was always the one who would really love going to Barnes and Nobles, sitting on the floor and reading books (sorry if you had to step over me to get by). When all my local Barnes and Nobles closed I was devastated. So finding Argosy and Strand Book Store in the city made my freaking day! Strand Book store has 18 miles of books! That is a world you can absolutely get lost in!
Free Movies: Particularly in the summer time, NYC has free movies in the mark in all five boroughs. I love movies in the park! It’s a dope movie, usually in great weather, and you’re surrounded by some pretty hilarious people. I saw the Breakfast Club (one of my fave movies) in the park last year, and had a pretty great laugh watching two separate groups of people try to inflate their bean bag chair.
Yoga In The Park/ Shakespeare In The Park: Another summer time option/ opportunity is yoga in the park or Shakespeare in the park. Both are FREE and also good date options if you live in NYC.
Free Swimming Pools: During the warmer months, NYC does open up a slew of free community swimming pools in all five boroughs as well. (Honestly… we are just more lit in the spring/summer). I don’t love community swimming pools (I worked at a summer camp for three years… it was terrifying), but if you find a smaller/lesser known swimming pool you are less likely to have to face crowds and wild children running all over the place. Some pools even have a 21 and older age restriction (those are my faves).
Besides my suggestions you can always visit NYCgo for a plethora of cool things to do, and places to visit in NYC that fit within your budget (hint hint: they have a whole section of free things to do). You can also head to Meetup.com where you can find other people who have similar interests as you doing something interesting nearby. Don’t be afraid… we New Yorkers aren to as rough and tough as the world makes us out to be.
And… just as a helpful reminder, never leave home without any of your discountable identification cards. I usually walk with some sort of teacher ID, and my old college ID to rack up on any teacher or student discounts. You could save yourself a few extra bucks just by walking around with one or two extra forms of ID. Just don’t lose your wallet!
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.