Thursday, July 3, 2008

Quick Tips

Check out this page at The Consumerist for sites to help you Recession Proof Your Life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Recession Consumption: Street Grub This!

Cheap food abounds on the streets of NYC.
Take a look at Street Grub for a listing of street vendors around town. The site includes price ranges and user reviews. Get in there and post your own review!

While you're at it, check out The Street Vendor Project - activism for those vendors who bring you recession meals.

Dear (Recession) Diary,

Yesterday I thought I should pop into Whole Foods for a quick & affordable dinner from their salad bar. I spent $9.73 on two blobs of Indian food. Please forgive me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Recession About Town: Hiptix This!

Check out Hiptix.
Roundabout Theatre Company's discount program for people 18-36 years old.
They advertise offers for $20 tickets but I've also been offered $15 tickets to Sunday in the Park With George.

Quick Tips

Here are little things you can do to save some dough. Thanks to our pal Franke for these quick tips:

USE POWER STRIPS: Plug power vampires (e.g. cell phone chargers, iPod chargers - really any appliance that doesn't need to be left on) into a power strip and switch off the power strip when you leave the house. Those vampires are sucking power even when they're not charging anything - costing you money!
Save money on your Con Ed bill - and save Mother Earth too!
(Related tip: don't leave your computer on overnight, even in "sleep" mode.)

Way behind on your NetFlix DVDs? You can freeze your account - with no charge - for up to 3 months and keep your queue active. If you burn through all your DVRed episodes of Battlestar Galactica, you can resume at any time.



Jezebel has some great Recession fashions-- check out the cheap Target styles from Richard Chai.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Recession About Town: SPF This!

To all you folks out there who love theater but hate theater ticket prices, your savior is here. For the entire month of July the Summer Play Festival (SPF) has parked itself at The Public Theater. With two brand new plays a week (that's 8 plays for the month for those of you who are mathematically challenged) by up and coming playwrights, performed by awesome New York actors, and supported by a historic venue, you can't miss this experience -- which only cost $10.00 a ticket. That's right, I said TEN DOLLARS a ticket! This is quality theater at a hip venue, so you can be cool and get some culture all for TEN DOLLARS! I've attended this festival in the past and it is high quality, from the set design, to the directing, writing and acting. And, you won't get a better deal in New York -- unless you wait five hours in line for free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park. (And you should because it's totally worth it.)

Go to SPF for all the details, including directions to the Public Theater.

And, check out some of the cheap eats in da 'hood:
Crif Dogs (1st & A)
Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches (2nd & A)
Dojo (St. Mark's)
Chickpea (3rd near St. Mark's)

Recession About Town: Wave Hill Outing - Almost FREE

A nearly free weekend day-trip to Wave Hill just might restore your belief in nature. Or at least get you out of the smelly NYC for a day among plants and garden culture.
Wave Hill is a public garden in the NW Bronx, right on the Hudson River. It is indeed on a hill, with beautiful garden-framed views of the Hudson River and the cliffs of the Palisades in NJ. The word "garden" however, doesn't do the place justice...neither does "some old, rich, dead guy's glorified yard" (which is technically what this place is). It's a quiet manicured park with gardens, old houses, lawns and a woodland all suitable for an afternoon's exploration and dotted with shady chairs and benches.
Bonus - during certain hours, it's free admission!

How to get there:
The Wave Hill visit page outlines different ways to get there.
If you decide to take Metro North, you should know that if you go on a weekend, you can get a City Pass from GCT to Riverdale for only $6.50 return. We made the mistake of buying our tickets from a kiosk so we paid the off-peak return price of $10. You can buy this City Pass at a kiosk as well...but you have to know to look for it!

What to do:
Wander the gardens. Sit on a bench and read. Enjoy a sandwich at the Wave Hill Cafe - (be warned, it is not Recession This! priced). Take a picnic to share and enjoy it in the shady Picnic Area (you can't picnic on the lawns, so leave your blanket at home). Go in the historic buildings to enjoy the AC and art exhibits. Take a free garden or gallery tour. Look for the frogs in the Water Garden.

Dear (Recession) Diary

Dear Recession Diary,

Last night I shared a reasonably priced dinner with a friend. After dinner, we passed a new gelateria in the West Village, Grom. I suggested I treat her to a gelato (it's been a rough week for my dear friend). We each got the smallest size, barely a kiddie cup - $10.30 for 2 smalls!
I'm sorry - next time I'll buy a pint at the grocery store for half that price.

Recession Consumption: Eat What's in Your Pantry

Buy some parsley on the way home. That may be all you need to make a satisfying, stupidly easy & seriously authentic Italian dinner. Aio Oio (that’s Roman Slang for pasta with garlic & oil) is what Italians throw together instead of ordering pizza when they suddenly find themselves with some drunken and hungry friends over.

Stuff you probably already have:

(unless you are one of those Manhattanites that uses their oven for extra storage)

olive oil
a box of spaghetti
red pepper flakes

All you need is parsley! And about 15 minutes.

I realize this isn’t high on the nutritional value scale. Use the Barilla Plus pasta with Protein and Omega 3s instead if you want to feel less guilty.

Boil the spaghetti with extra salt (there's no salt in the sauce). Chop 2 tablespoons parsley. Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a pan on medium low with 2 teaspoons garlic (chopped very fine, or put through the garlic press) and red pepper flakes to taste (a little goes a long way-- 1/2 a teaspoon will do, add more if you like it hot!). Let the garlic turn pale gold but no darker. Drain the pasta, put it in a bowl, pour the entire contents of the pan over it and toss. Add parsley and toss again.

Dinner for under $3!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dear (Recession) Diary~

This week I brought my lunch to work three times. One big smiley face for me! But, I bought breakfast and lunch the other two days. This is bad for my bank account, Diary. One frown face for me. On the other hand, breakfast is cheap; I get it from JOHNNY'S where you can get an omelette, whole wheat toast and potatoes for $4.00. That's at least half a smiley face. I'm sorry, Diary, for abusing my bank account. I'll try harder next week.