The FrugaList: Vol. I

No one needs an excuse to save money (and if you do, then you’re probably in the fabled 1%, in which case suck it).  With that noble goal in mind, here is a weekly cross-section of face-melting ways to save dough, which you can turn around to use and buy dough for baking.  I bake.  Do you?  It’s fun.

ARTS

Say you’re tired of walking the streets of Providence and will puke if you see one more colonial house on Benefit Street.  The remedy for your architectural blues lies a few feet below, in the form of the East Side Railroad Tunnel.  This beast of a hidden area makes the Keeney tunnels seem like corn borer holes (Midwest thing, sorry) and is the best place in Providence to go for a creepy stroll.  It’s got ledges to shimmy along, rivers of red goo and at least one Satanic ritual has taken place there – can anyone say crucified bird?  There’s some great German graffiti, and it’s generally a good place to practice your Half-Life 2 walkthrough.  But bring one of those SARS masks because, when I was in there, I think I ingested about two more hours’ worth of rust particulates than the FDA recommends.

Savings:  Your industrial design sanity.

TL;DR – P-town underground. 

MUSIC

Faunce is a brilliant place to find culinary price-gouging and some of the cleanest bathrooms on campus, but its top floor also plays host to live music every Thursday night at 9.  I speak, of course, of Brown Student and Community Radio’s Live Block – bands, sometimes local, sometimes not, in the studio, jamming out, swimming in a soup of sound.  Past artists have included brilliant names like Zombifying Venom, Bog of the Infidel, and Megalosaurus the Daffodil Killer.  I’d be proud to name my children any of those, so join me in climbing the stairs and hit up Live Block.

Savings:  ~$10 (ticket for The Met in Pawtucket)

TL;DR – Live music in Faunce at night when you would otherwise be pregaming for Friday.

FOOD

The College Hill coffee scene is, like Tatooine, a binary system, with most people devoted to either Wickenden’s Coffee Exchange or Thayer’s Blue State.  Wickenden has wood floors and is best during the winter, while Blue State has two locations and easy dollar refills.  But please, widen your mind and direct your feet to Malachi’s, over on 134 Ives.  The thing that makes it a real gem is its frequent fliers card.  Whereas Blue State makes you buy 10 cups before getting a free one, Malachi’s wants only four. Seriously.  Brothers Joe and Josh run a slick shop that’s nice and quiet in the early hours — I’ve been there a few Fridays at 8 am to enjoy the early sun.  Take the opportunity to make friends with the ProPo, too – a few officers always stop by around 8:30, and if the Law likes the coffee, I’d say you’re golden.

Savings:  ~$13 (buying 4 cups vs. buying 10 cups)

TL;DR – Free coffee every four cups, men in uniform.

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