New York City has been my home for two months now and I have definitely learned some tips and tricks on how to survive this concrete jungle!
Let me break it down for you from everyday living to weekend entertainment!
How To Survive Daily Living
When it comes to your day to day living, things can quickly add up. On a low budget the best thing you can do is make food at home. In New York City, there are not many typical grocery stores so groceries can get pretty pricey. The grocery store I ALWAYS shop at for the lowest prices is Trader Joe’s. From 19 cent bananas to the best orange chicken you can find so many cheap and healthy options!
Staying active is important to me and helps me create a daily routine I can follow, even though I fall off track many times (oops!). My first month in New York has definitely been a culture shock. In Iowa I am so used to smiling at everyone I walk by and saying a friendly hello to most people, in New York that is rarely the case. While free fitness is always awesome to find, it may get you in a few funny situations. Are you ready for story time?!
As my roommate and I are still on our free workout grind, we show up to 24 hour fitness for a cycling class. The website said class time started at 6:30 PM, but when we arrive we are told class is not until 7:00! So, we just sit in the classroom until 7 haha! At 7 we find our bikes and only one other guy comes into the class, grrreeattt. The bike I took had a black knee pad on it, so I just left it on the floor because we had been in the room for 30 min so I assumed someone left it from the previous class. As we are about 5 minutes into the class a woman walks in and asks if there was something on the bike. Then before I knew it I was getting yelled at! She was SOOO upset and cursing at me that I took her bike? I honestly thought she was going to push me off of it! Have I mentioned there were 20 other bikes available?! She then ends up sitting right next to me huffing and puffing the entire work out class. Needless to say I could not get out of there fast enough!!
Long story short, I ended up getting a super cheap membership at Planet Fitness and have had no troubles since!
How To Find FREE Things
One of my most favorite things to do after work and on the weekends is walking to the many beautiful NYC parks! During the summer, so many of New York parks host free events from fitness classes to outdoor movies! The only way to survive this city is finding your happy place and for me it is any and every park!
Some of my favorite free things at the parks include:
Live music on the Pier
Free movies in Bryant Park (or so many others!)
Fitness classes every Thursday in Union Square Park
If you would like to hit the tourist attractions while in New York there are a few ways to do them for FREE!
The Statue of Liberty can easily be seen by taking the Staten Island Ferry! The ferry is a quick 20 min boat ride and goes past the lady herself! While you are at State Island they have a fun restaurant where you can eat outside as well as a brand new outlet mall!
Another fun tourist attraction is the Brooklyn Bridge. The best way to see the Brooklyn Bridge is just walking right across it! You definitely will get your 10,000 steps in!
On 5th avenue you can find the most beautiful church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral! For the most perfect Sunday wake up and attend the 9:00AM Mass then go walk around Central Park!
One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is find a new neighborhood to walk around! If you want to see famous movie/television landmarks walk around Greenwhich Village! Take a stroll to walk past Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment as well as the famous Friend’s Apartment!
How To Stay Entertained
In the fashion capital of the United States, shopping is a must! But, how can you shop when you have little to no money?! One of my favorite things to do is shop at 260 Sample Sale! The best way to know when a sample sale is going on is following @260samplesale on Instagram! They will constantly post what designer sales are happening and at which location! It can get a little hectic at time so be wise to pick and choose your favorites!
Another fun way to shop is popping in and out of stores in Soho! While you may be able to find a few good sales, Soho is too cute to not love window shopping!
Television, Broadway, and MORE!
The most life changing way to find cheap concerts, broadway shows, and sports game is through an app my roomie, Alicia found! If you live or are visiting New York, download the app GameTime! This app will show you the cheapest entertainment around you! I got tickets for just $9 to a Yankees game!
Have you always wanted to be on TV or witness your favorite morning show? Most television shows are FREE to attend but you may need to sign up in advance for tickets. My fingers are still crossed for Jimmy Fallon tickets haha!