Welcome Week binges, summer night froyo runs, and reuniting with friends at local bars can take a toll on your wallet. Even if your parents gave you some back-to-school cash, (thanks for the $25, Mom!) we could all use a little free treat now and again. With help from The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to New York City, we found some local eateries, salons, and fun spots to help you make the most of your college fund.
Hungry? Head to Chelsea Market to sample breads, cookies, fruit and more from their many shops. The Greenmarket Farmers Market at Union Square hosts many kind grocery vendors that are generous with offering you a taste of their wares. Pommes Frites offers free samples of about six fries and a dipping sauce, but you’ll probably end up buying more once you’ve tried them.
Weaning yourself off the meal plan can be tough, especially during Palladium brunch, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose all the money you’re saving on groceries. Going late to local cafés often means half priced sandwiches and pastries; after 7 Café Angelique cuts their prices in half, and natural food store Integral Yoga Natural Foods begin selling their platters of leftovers at 6 pm Monday to Friday. Close-to-home News Café cuts prices on wraps, salads, and baked goods at 7 every night.
Need a haircut? Besides the many cheap hair salons, New York is also home to many beauty schools and testing salons, which often are looking for hair models at free or very discounted prices. If chosen, you can get your hair professionally dyed for free at the Clairol or L’oreal testing centers. If you’re looking to cut your long hair 3 or more inches shorter, Bumble and Bumble and Crops for Girls will give you a high fashion cut for free. For men, Atlas Barber School is a great place to get one the best, cheapest cuts in the city.
Free entertainment is all over the city. Call up your favorite theater to see if they need a volunteer usher. For minimal effort, you could see $40 shows for free, and it adds interest in your volunteering section of your resume. Take advantage of the parks during the last weeks of summer, and pay attention to the free concerts still going until September. Now’s the time to get a few friends together and prepare to get stand by tickets for SNL, while the nights are warm and the work load is reasonable (ish).