Friday, September 30, 2011

Beat the broke kid blues: money-saving tips for your weekend

Last night I went to dinner with my stepdad and mom at Portland’s Five-Fifty-Five. After I finished slurping (yes, slurping) down my bangs island mussels, I impatiently awaited the truffle lobster mac n’ cheese* I had ordered. Upon the delivery of such a heavenly creation, depression set it.

*Side Note: I previously blogged about best cheap mac n’ cheese in the city. While all the macs I mentioned in that post are truly great, this Five-Fifty-Five mac n’ cheese really takes the cake. However, I can’t really justify recommending it as a cheap dining option in Portland, as it’ll run you about $31. What I will do is recommend you suck up to your parents, find a sugar daddy/momma, or start sleeping with your boss in the hopes that one of these older, more financially-established individuals will purchase the meal for you.  That’s right—I just told you to essentially throw away your integrity for a plate of mac n’ cheese. But damn, was it good.

At what should have been one of the better moments of my eating-life (from at least a mac n’ cheese stand point), it occurred to me that I had an embarrassingly small amount of money in my bank account and a lot of bills.  Essentially, this means not only no more truffle lobster mac n’ cheese, but the denial of many fun things.  And to top it all off, rent is due this weekend. Shit, I hate the first of the month!*

*Wow, what suburban white girl problems I have—complaining that I can’t eat at Five-Fifty-Five on the reg?! I know, I know. But this is a blog called “Things I heard in the Old Port,” not “How I Freed Tibet,” so just relax.

As the first of the month approaches, you may be finding yourself in a similarly depressing situation: broke, hungry, and pissed that you aren’t living the twenty-somethings lifestyle Friends lied to you about. Basically, leaving the apartment seems like a distant dream, as it usually requires money being spent. However, as you reluctantly hand that rent check over to your landlord, don’t lose hope of ever having fun again.

Turns out, being broke isn’t the end of the world! Just ask Joey from Friends; he’s a struggling actor who lives in a fabulous Manhattan apartment and frequents Knicks/Bulls games in the 90s! That could totally be you! Ehh…anyway…to have fun in REAL life, you just have to know where you can go for free stuff in this town—thank God you have me. Don’t worry, I got your weekend covered:

Tonight: FREE dance party at Flask Lounge! Atomik and Hjort & St. Pierre (formerly Secret Weekend) will provide sweet tunes all night long for you to boogie to for free.  This place is the official home of the Moxie Bomb, so if you’re a real Mainer, you will try this incredible creation. Oh wait, you’re broke. Bat those lashes, and shamelessly flirt, in the hopes of some stranger purchasing the beverage for you. You can’t afford to be picky, either, because you probably can’t  even afford shampoo at this point. Moxie + Jager will be worth the exchange with a creepy stranger. Party starts at 9 and is sure to be a fabulous time. Don’t believe me? Fine, you don’t have to take my word for it, check out Dispatch Magazine’s latest News by the Nunz for confirmation!

Saturday: You will wake up tired from all the Moxie Bombs, your feet will hurt because you danced all night long, and you will still have no money. Oh, also, it’s going to rain, so Saturday is looking grim. False! The Nick has $6 matinees! I’d say check out Drive because Ryan Gosling kicking ass is pretty much guaranteed to cure your broke-kid blues; the soundtrack is also pretty awesome (click here). If violent movies aren’t for you, skip the Ryan flick and check out 50/50 with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. JGL was almost capable of out-cuteing Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer, not an easy feat, and he is, I think, a fantastic actor. Plus, who doesn’t’ like a good bromantic comedy? Ooh Judd Apatow, look what you started you sly dog!

After the movie, take a nap. It will prevent you from spending any more money, and it’s Saturday afternoon—you deserve it, damn it! Once you arise, resist the urge to pay for food outside of your apartment—unless it’s a $3.50 slice from Otto’s (believe me, I’m as devastated as you are about the fifty cent price increase).

Evening plans: Sunset Hearts CD release party at SPACE. While my brother would describe this venue as “RFH,”* I like it.  Try to look beyond the hipsters, and enjoy yourself. It is Saturday night, after all! This show’s only $5, and the wonderful Kurt Baker and Mango Floss join Sunset Hearts—so that’s 3 bands for $5. I bet the Marshall’s lady would agree when I say that’s a wicked bahgain.

*Really Effin Hip adj. Describing somewhere likely to be crawling with skinny jeans wearing, thick-rimmed glasses donning, MECA dropouts (or worse…currently enrolled students), who most likely aren’t enjoying themselves at this RFH hotbed because the amount of people in attendance might suggest the band playing is now too mainstream, and obviously way less “legit.” RFH can describe a place (Congress Street), a thing (messenger bags), a band (Foster the People before “Pumped Up Kicks” was ever played on the radio), a state of mind, etc. 

^You might see that guy at SPACE.

Sunday: It is supposed to be a lazy day. Sleep in. Watch Netflix; Breaking Bad is now on Instant Watch! Score! If you HAVE to spend money on breakfast,* skip the cluster-eff that is Becky’s Diner on a Sunday morning, and head to Uncle Andy’s over the bridge in South Portland. Not only do you not deal with the annoying leaf peepers waiting impatiently for a diner meal at Becky’s, but you also get to experience a deelish breakfast for very cheap. Personally, I’m an Uncle Andy’s girl over Becky’s, any day. Not just because I hate crowds, but because they have a sign on the back wall that says “Where the Elite Meet to Eat.”

*Here’s a hint: you don’t—eggs are cheap and widely distributed in the state of Maine. Purchase some. You will save money.

Come nighttime, head to your parents' house, or to a successful friend's who has Showtime; it’s the Dexter season 6 premiere! You’re broke, so you should probably not do anything but watch Dexter tonight. Payday is five incredibly long days away, so slow down on the spending and mooch some dinner wherever you go to watch this highly anticipated episode of excellent television. Make sure whoever cooks makes a lot---you’ll probably need leftovers since you can barely afford groceries.

Until next time, good luck out there...

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