Nine ways to make living in NYC a little cheaper

October 20, 2022 | Sarah Funky

New York has a high cost of living and many costs are going up. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still take a bite out of the Big Apple while living on a budget.

It’s all about knowing how to make little savings that mount up to big savings.

So, if you want to live in NYC a little more cheaply, check out the following nine cost-cutting tips.

1. Get a MetroCard

If you regularly get the subway or bus, perhaps for commuting to work each day, you can save money by getting a MetroCard, which gives you unlimited monthly travel.

Also, it’s worth checking if your employer participates in New York City’s Commuter Benefits program, which enables you to set aside pre-tax income to spend on public transport.

2. Change the Way You Get Around

If you usually get the subway or drive in NYC, you can make significant savings by changing the way you get around.

For instance, if you always walk a distance that is under a mile or two, you can avoid fuel or public transport costs.

You could consider getting a bicycle, too. The initial outlay for a cheap bike will be more than worth it in the long run, and you get to be eco-friendly while also getting a free workout.

In fact, you can even save on the cost of a bicycle if you get a Citi Bike membership to use NYC’s shared bicycles.

3. Shop Around for Cheaper Car Insurance

Even if you switch to bicycling around NYC or using public transport, you’ll probably still have a car. And car insurance alone can be expensive.

Therefore, it’s always worth shopping around to find a better deal on your auto insurance.

Simply use a platform like Cheap Insurance to compare different insurance providers. You might be surprised at how much money you can save on your coverage.

4. Cook More Meals at Home

If you often eat out or get takeaways, you can make substantial savings by cooking home meals most nights.

So, save dining at one of NYC’s estimated 24,000 dining establishments for special treats.

Besides, by cooking more meals at home, you can eat more healthily and hone your culinary skills.

5. Buy in Bulk

Once you get into the habit of cooking at home, you can start buying food in bulk. By doing so, you can save a lot.

Just make sure you only buy items in bulk that have long shelf lives.

In addition to food items, you can purchase things like toiletries, paper towels, and cleaning products in bulk.

6. Take Advantage of Restaurant Discounts

While cooking at home is certainly a good idea, you can still eat out at restaurants in NYC for cheaper when you dine during NYC Restaurant Week, in which participating restaurants provide discounted lunch and dinner menus.

Restaurant Week occurs twice a year. But there are also other discounts and promotions at eateries that you can take advantage of at other times.

7. Make Your Coffee at Home

People can spend a fortune on coffee.

Indeed, just buying one coffee each workday at $5 amounts to around $100 a month. That adds up to a whopping $1,200 per year!

Therefore, by simply brewing coffee at home and taking a flask with you, you can make huge savings.

8. Shop at Second Hand Stores

There’s nothing wrong with shopping at second hand stores. In fact, you can often find more unique and stylish clothes and accessories at secondhand stores than you can find at some well-known ones.

Besides, thrifting is a way of life for many New Yorkers, especially in stores like Buffalo Exchange and Beacon’s Closet.

And you can often find designer clothing at a fraction of the price of new designer clothes.

So, if you don’t already buy second hand, you should consider doing so. You can up your fashion game while simultaneously saving money.

9. Access Free Entertainment, Arts, and Culture

New York has a thriving entertainment, arts, and culture scene, but it can be very costly to do some things, like go to a Broadway show.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy NYC’s delights for cheaper.

For instance, you can visit museums on free admission days and attend free shows, concerts, and events. There are many of those in NYC in the summer and all year round.

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