Twitter: ‘Tweet, Tweet’ or ‘Cheap, Cheap’?

What’s worse than being broke? Being broke and lazy. Sure, you could walk three extra blocks to the slightly cheaper bodega or put in five minutes of Yelping to determine the bar with the best drink specials, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

And – I’m just gonna take a shot in the dark here – if you’re broke and lazy, you’re probably a little bit ADD too.

Don’t tell me you don’t whip out that iPhone to check Facebook every time a commercial comes on (assuming you actually pay for cable) or continuously refresh Instagram ’til your friend comes back from the bathroom at Union Pool or whatever skeevy bar you frequent. You get bored, and you get bored fast. My piece of advice: Turn to Twitter.

Lazy and broke, but very comfortable

Lazy and broke, but always comfortable

The easily distracted appreciate it for the endless ability to scroll through scannable, 140-character snippets of text, and the broke and lazy can do it for free, slumped over in whatever position is least flattering in photographs and most comfortable IRL (I’m envisioning Mr. Burns or one of those fat tabby cats who got tired mid-cleaning).

And, to get to the point already, you can find some cool, free, or cheap shit to do when you’re perusing this “Twitter thing” to its full potential. The following are some examples of recent, completely awesome opportunities that I majorly failed to take advantage of.

Case Study 1: Cheap-ass comedy by legit comedians

Tuesday, 6 p.m.-ish:
@azizansari NYC: Working on new jokes tonight @SubCulture_NYC 45 Bleecker Street. 730pm. $10 tickets avail at door NOW. Cash only. 150 seats.

Well bust my buttons. If I wasn’t babysitting tonight (read: Broke-ass Side Jobs), I would have been ALL. OVER. THAT. You see, though, if you’re ADD enough to be on Twitter at all times, you could have easily spotted this right when he posted it, run over to Bleeker Street, and had yourself a $10 celebrity workout (because we all know laughing burns major cals and totally counts as physical fitness).

Tuesday, 2 p.m.-ish:
@bjnovak Next live readings: NEW YORK: 6/13 http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/3271

When I followed the link that Mr. Ryan Howard – er, Mr. Novak – posted, my heart rose up in my throat when I saw it was only $5 to get in. And then it plummeted to my bloated-from-free-office-brownies gut when I realized it was already sold out. Gotta act quicker, Rene. Ya dummy.

Case Study 2: Chances to win … anything, really

Governors Ball tickets, expensive hair products, designer handbags, signed copies of newly released albums (my MacBook Air doesn’t even have a CD drive, but that doesn’t keep me from trying). If you don’t mind cluttering up your personal Twitter profile with spammy-looking RTs and #hashtags, you can go to town with the endless “follow, RT, repeat” type contests that exist out there. It’s like playing the lottery for free, except with this, you just might actually win something. I said earlier that these were all opportunities I failed on, but I take that back. My inner Molly Ringwald wannabe snagged herself some tickets to an ’80s themed cruise around Lower Manhattan thanks to this little baby back in April:

@CEGPresents Love the 80s? Win a pair of tix to an 80′s Concert Cruise around Manhattan TOMORROW NIGHT http://ow.ly/jYrZW  @80sVegan #ilovethe80s #tbt

Case Study 3: Secret and not-so-secret sales

Wednesday, 1 p.m.-ish
@GrandCentralNYC Mark your calendars: the return of #1913Pricing is on June 12th! Click for offers: http://ow.ly/lJXEF  #GCT100

So, I technically did fail the first time I saw this Tweet back in February because I actually work during the day and can’t stand in line for two hours to get a 10-cent nylon watch strap or a 19-cent slice of cheesecake (no joke). But if you’re unemployed, this is your calling, and it’s happening next week. (Get ready for a cluster-fu … uh, cluster of fun? Just sayin’.)

Case Study 4: DIY ’til you die

@craft, little sister to @make (as in MAKE Magazine‘s crafty blog), is my favorite. Anything featuring a “Kitty City” or “cat metropolis” has my name written all over it. Honestly, how did I miss this? Guess I need to up my time on Twitter! But DIY Twitter profiles such as this one can teach you cool money- and pants-saving tricks, like how to fix a busted zipper with pliers, and so much more.

Case Study 5: Free food

Back in March, my Twitter-savvy coworker led me to a free dessert (granted we had to walk 40 minutes round-trip from the office, exceeding our half-hour lunch break) because of this li’l Tweet:

@Gothamist Alert: Free Macarons Today! Here’s A NYC Macaron Day Map http://gothamist.com/2013/03/20/its_macaron_dayfree_macarons_all_ov.php

Sometimes even just searching your neighborhood and the word “free” will turn up some useful food Tweets, alerting you to the every-so-often free yogurt giveaways by Grand Central or free mini-pizza slices on Madison Avenue. Both true stories.

Not to mention, you can find free advice, free news, free entertainment and event opportunities, free movies and lectures, and free interaction with celebrities (if you’re so lucky to get a RT or favorite from one – something I’m still aspiring to achieve). This also reminds me  of the three rounds of free drinks I got by RSVP-ing to some PR event at the 40/40 Club via Twitter. You get the idea. Moral of the story is, follow your favorite stores, people, brands, and (apparently) public relations firms on Twitter and check back often. And flat-out searching “free” and whatever city you’re in using Twitter is a lot less time-consuming then slogging through regular ol’ Internet search engine results. Because we’re lazy and have short attention spans, remember?

And speaking of Twitter, you should follow me @rene1e, because all this hyperlinking to other people’s handles made me realize I have significantly fewer followers than everyone I’ve mentioned here. And, as always, I should probably clear my Google search history after I write these posts. Today’s gem? “fat cat slumped over with a bird on its head.” And, if you were wondering, no. No, that did not get me what I was looking for.

Photo credit: pets.webmd.com 

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About the author

Rene Beight - Femme Frugale

Yearbook/newspaper nerd turned marketing professional/freelance writer. Originally from San Diego, Rene now resides in Brooklyn's most hipster neighborhood, where the rent's not cheap, but the whiskey is (coincidence?). On weekends, you can find her wandering the flea (but buying nothing) and squandering away her late-night pizza to the stray cats next door. She's addicted to chocolate almonds, long runs in the City, apocalyptic thrillers, and nachos. Talents include belching at will.