Can you remember life before $100 sneakers and $5 coffee, when people actually lived on what they earned and still had a little something socked away for a rainy day? The economy may be in the doldrums, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live well.

Here are some tips from

Use third party services to access events

I’m all about taking advantage of the culture offered in one of the best cities in the nation, and I’m not going to let a little pesky cash crunch stop me! I’ve utilized things like rush discounts and sites like to get heavily reduced prices for theater tickets, shows, concerts, etc. offers tickets to events in your city, often for half the price of the box office. And many theaters hold some last-minute rush tickets at discounted rates. You just have to be flexible. Another option is to buy tickets early and get the cheapest seats available. I’ve watched many Broadway musicals from the nosebleeds, but I only paid $25 for my seat. I’d much rather have seen it from far away than not seen it at all!

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Happy hour is truly happy

If you need a night out, plan ahead to take advantage of drink or food specials during a happy hour. My favorite happy hour is a sushi place near me that offers a happy hour menu where everything is five dollars. We can each get a drink, a sushi roll and split an appetizer for $25. Sounds good to me! Prix Fixe is another good way to go, if you’re looking for quantity AND savings! Deals exist at even the trendiest spots, you just have to seek them out.

Become a member

My husband and I are members at several museums around the city. This means we get virtually free entertainment. All our memberships have been $100. Memberships include admittance for the member and a guest. Considering most museums cost about $25 per person for a one-time entrance, we just have to go together twice, and we’ve paid for it. In some cases, we frequent the museums a couple times a month. It’s a great way to experience the culture of a city without putting up much cash.

By doing a bit of planning and evaluating, there’s no reason you have to choose between spending a ton of money, or staying home on a Saturday night!

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