1. Craigslist – We all know that Craig can be a creepy mofo, but here’s what: the good ol’ guy has gotten me hooked up more times than I’d like to admit. Since moving to NYC almost five years ago, I’ve scoured Craigslist for various jobs and apartments, gotten free concert tickets, moving boxes, and a toaster. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even browsed the Missed Connections to see if anyone thought I was cute on my train commute home.
2. Happy Hours and Open Bars – Booze is expensive; this is a fact. Booze is even more expensive when you have no money with which to purchase it. This poses a serious dilemma to the New York City twenty-something year-olds. Fear not, young booze-hound, for you are not alone! Luckily, this city is chalk-full of open bars and happy hours; you just have to know where to look. St. Mark’s Place in theEast Village is lined with bars offering 2-for-1 booze specials and is a great place to start, if you don’t mind being overrun with college kids. But then again, if you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance that you ARE a college kid.
3. Daily Deals – Groupon, Living Social, Yipit, Daily Candy – just a few sites that compile deals that often discount over 50% off goods and services. If you have a smartphone, download the Scoutmob app, which allows you a 50% discount at participating stores and restaurants. Sometimes they offer things for 100% off which yes, math whiz, that means FOR FREE. And not crappy stuff like branded pens or coupons for things you’d never buy in the first place – I’ve gotten free falafels and ice cream from that app! Do it.
4. Outdoor Movie Screenings. – These are awesome, and the majority of them are FREE. Plus there are various showings all over the city so you won’t have to travel across the five boroughs to get to one. Sometimes, they even have free food sponsors. A couple of weeks ago, the free movie at Tompkins Square Park was Donnie Darko and they had free pizza from Two Boots Pizzeria. Last Friday, the Intrepid battleship showed The Goonies. Think about it. The Goonies. On a battleship. “Hey you guuuuyyyyssss!” … How much more nostalgia could you possibly ask for?!?
5. FREE Concert Series – Central Park has one. SummerScreen in Williamsburg has bands leading up to the FREE movies they show every week. There is literally a FREE music festival somewhere in New York City every weekend of the summer.
6. Whiplash at UCB – Ever heard of Kristen Schaal? Amy Poehler? Aziz Ansari? These are just a few of the extremely famous comedians who come to Whiplash on Monday nights at UCB to test out their new material. And GUESS WHAT. GUESS. It’s FREE. You just have to RSVP on their website (and maybe get there early to get a good seat).
7. FREE Gym Trials – After all that FREE booze and pizza, you’re probably going to need to find a treadmill somewhere, and it’s best for everyone if it’s in the safe confines of a real gym. Like Crunch. Or David Barton. Pretty much every gym in the city offers a week trial for FREE, and you can even sign up for the group exercise classes (if Zumba’s your thing). Or, if you have any friends who are not as destitute as you, get them to hook it up with a FREE guest pass. Usually these are about a week as well, but sometimes if you sign up for a membership with a buddy, you both get a few months for FREE. After all, what are friends for?!