My Two Cents / by Richelle Ouellette

the best things in life are free

One of my goals this year is to spend less money on tequila-based craft cocktails and brussels sprouts roasted in duck fat. The foodie in me is somewhat disappointed by this lifestyle change, but I have a feeling my bank account (and waistline) are going to love it.

How often do you bump into a friend and say, "we should meet up for drinks or dinner soon!?" I can't be the only one, and quite frankly I'm sick of spending $30, $40, $50 or more on a regular basis for a conversation that could be had over a much more interesting activity, such as navigating a sculpture garden or at least in a more affordable setting, like my living room.

So, if you want to hang out with me (or date me) in 2016, be prepared for me to turn down your invitation to dinner with a request that we find something more affordable and creative to do with our time. Here are some of my (free, cheap, nerdy and/or weird) suggestions, in advance:

  1. Wildflower Center

  2. Ladybird Lake

  3. Hope Gallery

  4. Tacos (breakfast, lunch, or dinner; the ultimate cheap meal, if we must eat)

  5. Tea time

  6. Coffee shop (a new one please, not Starbucks)

  7. Free yoga session

  8. Mayfield Park Home

  9. Congree Bridge Bats

  10. Governor’s Mansion

  11. Capital Tour

  12. BookPeople

  13. HRC

  14. Farmers Market

  15. Before I Die Mural

  16. Austin Nature & Science Center

  17. James Turell

  18. Creative Mornings

  19. Mexic-Arte Museum (Sundays)

  20. Broken Spoke

  21. Elephant Room

  22. Laguna Gloria (Tuesdays)

  23. Bike ride

  24. Bocce @ Mandola’s

  25. Austin Pets Alive

  26. The Contemporary (Tuesdays)

  27. Uncommon Goods

  28. Workout class

  29. Outdoor Movies

  30. Shakespeare in the Park

  31. Thursday Improv @ Hideout Theater

  32. Open Mic Comedy — Cherrywood (Tuesdays)/Austin Java (Saturdays)

  33. Tuezgayz

  34. Connect Four Night

  35. Zilker Park or Botanical Gardens

  36. BOTG

  37. Central Market Concerts

  38. Sound & Cinema

  39. Unplugged @ the Grove

  40. Meetups

  41. Talks @ UT

  42. Kick Butt Standup

  43. Service activity

  44. Cathedral of Junk

  45. Historic Walking/Ghost Tour

So, hey, let's hang out.