On my last visit home down south, I couldn’t help but marvel at how much less expensive life is outside of NYC. For starters, when you spend $10 at a wine store in Virginia you’re actually getting what equates to a GOOD bottle of wine. A trip to the grocery store can actually stock you up for under $30. And don’t even get me started on the cost of housing.
There are a few (yes, JUST a few) areas where you can get things cheaper in the great Big Apple. Not saying these make up for our insane rents, but here’s to looking at the glass half full, right?
1. Mani + Pedis
I get an amazing mani + pedi in the East Village for $20. And when I say amazing, I mean the ladies are genuinely nice, do a solid paint job, give a mean foot massage, AND use hot stones. Bam! There’s places at this price point scattered throughout the city…whereas last time I got dolled up in Virginia, the pedi alone cost $35…at what would be a “normal” salon, no frills.
My family members routinely pay for their car/insurance/gas every month, and it comes out quite higher than my $112 a month Metrocard. Plus, walking everywhere is such an easy option when the weather isn’t terrible, which is free.
Not to say that other cities don’t have their fair share of free cultural stuff, but you’d be hard pressed to find a city that offers as much great quality stuff as NYC does for absolutely free. You can essentially visit a museum every single day of the week by planning ahead and visiting during their free/pay-what-you-wish hours. And then there’s the free movies, concerts, theater, festivals…as I always argue, it’s possible to be completely entertained in this city, every month of the year, without spending a cent. (It’s just that food and housing that you need to be concerned about!;-)
4. Working Out
So this one can swing both ways…I have friends who think nothing of a $200 per month gym membership, and hey, no judgements! But if spending that kind of dough for fresh towels and pretty clientele isn’t on your priority list, there’s tons of free and super cheap options. NYC Parks and Rec offers Shape Up NYC fitness classes for free year round, offering everything from yoga, pilates, zumba and aerobics. There’s tons of free and cheap yoga studios and classes in the city (a great round-up cab be found here. Yoga To The People hot yoga is my personal fave, at only $5 a class.) And, as mentioned above, one of the greatest perks about living in NYC is the ability to walk everywhere, which is some of the best exercise there is.
If you don’t mind basic (and I mean BASIC) digs, there’s a plethora of cheap massage parlors in this city (and not all of them are in Chinatown, promise!) An AMAZING hour massage for $45? Yes, please! The closest you’ll come to this outside the city in other US towns is scoring a Groupon somewhere, and I promise you they will pale in comparison to Manhattan’s massagers!;-)
Hmm, well, this may be about even with a lot of other towns, but if you’re in need of a quick bite, nothing beats NYC’s dollar slices! Best spent dollar ever, in my opinion!
7. Art + Wine
If you’re into art and schmoozing with others who are into art, there’s pretty much opening receptions at galleries every single night of the week. And what can be found at gallery openings, my friends? Free wine. I love this site, which keeps an up to date schedule of NYC receptions.
I guess this does feel like a pretty short (but sweet!) list. But when paired with all the other priceless things about living in this city, I’d say it’s not so bad at all!
So, what did I miss?? Anything else that you can find cheaper in NYC than other parts of the US? Share below!
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen//Photo Credit: 1