Replenished, Recuperated, and Easing into Summer

Summer evening overlooking the Hudson from a friends apartment rooftop
Summer evening overlooking the Hudson from a friends apartment rooftop

It’s a hot and steamy Sunday here in NYC.  I don’t know where spring went but summer is definitely here.

Over Memorial Day weekend I took a trip home to my parents house which was a really good opportunity to rest, recuperate, and replenish in various ways.

I had a lot of gift cards to JCrew left over from multiple holidays totaling $165 (I let my giftcards accumulate) and my mom had a $50 coupon to Gap owned stores.  I needed some new spring clothes, and, since I’m on a budget that does not allow shopping, I wanted to get as much as I could for my buying power and retail wasn’t going to cut it.    We took a trip to the outlets where I was hugely successful in replenishing my wardrobe for the coming season.  JCrew, Gap and Banana Republic all had 50% off the entire stores so I came away with new tops, white shorts, a dress, black pants, a chambray top and new dressy flip flops.  I went over by about $20 but my mom was happy to throw that money in for me.  I stuck to basics and neutral colors that could easily transfer season to season and would last me a couple years.  Shopping for quality is key to not having to constantly update your wardrobe.

I also use my weekends at my parents as an opportunity to shop their grocery store (and their cupboards) since it’s insanely cheaper than shopping in NYC.  (Mozzarella cheese sticks were $2.50 compared to $5.99 at my grocery store) I sacrifice by having to lug extra bags on the bus but I’ve saved a lot of money.

I’m still maintaining my social life, but cutting back on drinks as much as I can.   I don’t want to consume the calories, I don’t like being hungover, and I just don’t want to spend $10 on a cocktail anymore.   I bought a bottle of vodka to keep in my freezer to make a mixed drink before I go out.  Thursday night I went to see my friend Christoph’s band, McAllister Drive, play at Rockwood Music Hall in the Lower East Side.  It was a 10:30pm show, so my friend Ali came over for drinks and snacks beforehand.  I chose not to drink at the show since I had a client meeting the next day which saved me some money.   Rockwood is a great place to get some local flavor if you find yourself visiting NYC.  It’s $10 for all the live music you want and it’s very informal, you can just stop in and pay at the door.

It’s become a fun challenge, trying to find ways to try new things for free.  Friday night I stayed in and ordered some amazing tacos from the hole in the wall Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood I had been wanting to try for only $5.  Yesterday I ended up going on the Bon Appetit Grub Crawl.  Since my advertising client was the presenting sponsor I was able to attend as a comp’d guest.  The food scene in New York is something that is very hard to cut yourself off from.  New restaurants by the worlds greatest chefs are opening every month and this crawl gave me the opportunity to try 5 in one afternoon.

There are some delicious budget friendly recipes in the latest issue of Bon App that I took away with me yesterday.  I’m going to test some out for my first Entertaining post when my friend Lindsay comes for dinner and drinks on Wednesday evening.

I decided I’m going to rejoin a gym,  I had cancelled mine saying that I’d work out on my own but the reality is, it’s getting way too hot and I need a place to work out that’s air conditioned.  Good news though, Planet Fitness opened near my office and is only $10/month…I think I can swing it.

I’m still trying to save for SF and hoping to have some money left over from this paycheck, after a birthday brunch next weekend, and concert tailgating the following week.

How is everyone else easing into their summer?